I was overwhelmed by the response to by post Friday through comments and email! I am so excited to see how God might work through each of us to encourage one another. Being fit and healthy is so important and affects so many areas of our lives. I pray that our focus will always be to bring honor to Him through our effort to be fit and healthy. While my story is one that includes weight loss, I know many of you are seeking not to lose weight, but to be eat healthier and start exercising. Wherever you fall, I am thrilled by your desire to be "fit for service." What a great gift to give our children -- being good examples of being fit and healthy.
For me, my weight and health was not an issue until after I had my children. I grew up blessed to be athletic and fit. I never had to watch what I ate very carefully (which would be a curse later as I got older!) I played lots of different sports up through playing volleyball in college and later coaching. I was even a certified aerobics instructor through my grad school years, with one of my degrees in physical education! So, you see, just because you are knowledgeable in the area of fitness or have been fit at a certain point in your life, you are not above slipping into bad habits that can suddenly lead to a place of bondage.
For many women, this does happen during the child-bearing years. Your body experiences a lot of changes, and the stress of being a new mom can make it harder to set fitness goals--there just does not seem to be the time or energy to devote to keeping in shape. Personally, I found this to be true. I let myself become a lazy eater and a sporadic exerciser. Putting on weight and acquiring bad habits can be a slippery slope. A few pounds here and there adds up--I know on my 5'10" frame, the extra weight found places to hide before I even noticed the scale going up.
The unfortunate reality is that being out of shape affects so many others areas of our lives--our marriages, our ability to be active with our children, our confidence, our attitudes, and our ability to serve, just to name of few. Being out of shape is truly like being in bondage--we are controlled by unhealthy eating and laziness. I hit a point and made a decision that I could not go on like that. No food or other distraction was worth what it was costing me to be out of shape.
When you look at our nation, most of our prominent health problems stem in part from obesity, bad eating habits, and lack of regular exercise. We truly are at a crisis point. The sad thing is that this problem is not becoming an issue for children. We are seeing health issues in children that we have never seen before. If for no other reason, get fit and healthy as an example to your children.
I have titled my posts about my weight loss journey "Out of Egypt," because I truly believe that being unhealthy and out of shape is a place of bondage that Satan desires to keep us so that we will be less effective as Christians. Because we serve an almighty God, we do not have to stay there! He desires to lead us "out of Egypt," out of a place of bondage. As the verse that my blog is based on says, "He brought me out into a spacious place, He rescued me because He delighted in me! (Psalm 18:19)"
Wednesday I will share a bit about how I lost the weight--my eating and exercise approach. This is at times "a desert experience." I will share some of the lessons that God taught me during this time.