Written By Natalie Waterson
I love to exercise. In fact, I love brutal workouts that challenge me and leave me gasping for air.
Before you roll your eyes and quickly move on, give me a minute.
You see, I couldn’t always say that. For most of my life, I detested getting hot and sweaty like most ‘normal’ people, but one day I had an epiphany. Yes, it took a very low point in my life to get me excited and determined to change my situation – because let’s be real here – no-one else can do it for you. There are no magic pills or formulas, no fool-proof diets, no instant results. Others can encourage you, assist you – even journey alongside you, but you still have to put in the hard work. That’s what I did and, that’s what I continue to do.
Being a wife and a mother, I understood priorities and responsibilities. I chose both roles and so I worked on them the best I could – working long hours and ‘overtime’. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t ever complain about it because I was thrilled to be wanted and needed. You see, I knew how to look after my husband and children - I just forgot how to look after myself.
As a woman, we are expected to wear a lot of hats. We are expected to juggle a lot of responsibilities; be that perfect parent, friend, daughter, sister, leader, co-worker, etc. etc. And others just assume we’re naturally good at it. Maybe we are. But I don’t care who you are, if you do an experiment and decide that for just one month, you will not fill the gas tank of your vehicle and just drive it past the gas station every day, it won’t matter the age or model of your car, before the 30 days are up, your vehicle will come to a standstill.
Besides regular check-ups …. fuel is the one thing that keeps your car moving forward. So why is your health not a priority?
I was at a stage where simply walking from the parking lot to the supermarket had me winded. Climbing stairs in public was a big no-no. Riding the elevator and hanging over my shopping cart was a way of life. While my family thrived – I was suffering in silence. Exactly how long would I still be able to move this vehicle forward before it stopped completely? And the cherry on top? The eye-opener, if you will … a doctor told me I was on the brink of being pre-diabetic.
So I made the change. Was it easy? Absolutely, take this to the bank, without a doubt … no.
Once I got down on the ground to exercise, it was a tremendously difficult mission to get back up. But I did. I got back up. I struggled, I grunted, I moaned. But I got back up.
I started working out to videos in the privacy of my own home in front of the television set. One day a neighbourhood friend came to visit and asked me what I was doing. She decided to join me – so the two of us started working out just one day a week together. Gradually, it started to snowball. Once a week became twice a week, and more ladies started to join. Now I run classes at a hall three times a week and once over a weekend. Four classes a week. My workouts are intense and high energy and I currently have 15 people that attend my classes.
So does that mean I have arrived? That I am at my goal weight? No, not just yet. I'm still working on it. Do I have a 'perfect' Barbie-like figure? P-u-leez, I’m too old for that! Is everything tight and toned? Maybe... in my dreams.
So what’s the point, you ask? This is it. I am a better mother, wife, and friend. I have more energy to perform my tasks. I am no longer pre-diabetic and if you see me in a supermarket, I might be the one dancing down the aisles to the song playing over the speakers. I am enjoying my life now.
These bodies of ours are a gift from God. A temple for the Holy of Holies. Pastor Rick Warren once said: 'God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. I’d better take care of it'. And that’s what I’m doing. With every grunt, every squat, deadlift and burpee… I appreciate, praise, and thank God for this precious gift He’s given me.
1 Corinthians 3:17 (GWT)
'If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.'
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
'Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.'
Hebrews 12:11-12 (ESV)
'For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees...'
Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.