Project Balance

I have made a new resolve this past month to put into action the resolution I made last January: to get into shape and shed a few pounds. That’s right, I am about ten months late, but it’s better late than never, I say.

Like many young women, I have always struggled with having a positive self-image. Instead of being thankful for my health, I often criticize my figure because it isn’t Hollywood perfect. Even knowing how stupid that is, it isn’t always easy to ignore. In late high school and into college, I was obsessed about my weight and thought I’d be better off not eating. Or if I did eat, I thought I should probably throw up afterwards to make sure it didn’t stick. However, I never was able to go through with it. I always got scared and cried.

One of the times I tried to throw up in the dorm shower, I got really scared and started crying. I was pretty shaken when I came out of the shower, and my roommate noticed and asked what was wrong. Something must have knocked sense into me, because that day was the end of my psychological problems with food. Well, the end of that kind of problem.

Recently, I have had the opposite problem. I work hard eight hours a day, I come home and I just want to relax and indulge. And within reason, that would be fine, but if I have gone out to eat with the girls for lunch and had a cheeseburger and fries, coming home to brownies and ice cream and three bowls of Fruity Pebbles isn’t a good idea. Actually, I have always tried to make health and nutrition a priority; it’s just that sometimes it’s more of a head-knowledge thing than a lifestyle. I am on the Advisory Team for the Wellness program at work, but that doesn’t usually stop me from eating a couple donuts that were left over from meetings. Mmm, I <heart> donuts. Unfortunately, my thighs love donuts too, and they refuse to ever let them go. The donuts, cheeseburgers and chocolate go right to my tummy and thighs, and I’m left sitting there, feeling fat, and judging myself for making bad dietary choices. And then I’m tempted to go back to the food obsession that led me to try bulimia… Why can’t I just find a balance?

So here I am, determined to find balance, and hoping that you, the readers of Single! Young Christian Woman will be inclined to join me. If you do, be sure to find the routine that fits you best. Here is my Project Balance:

Reduce caloric intake, but don’t starve myself. Exercise, but don’t strain myself. Eat more fruit and veggies, but don’t forget the protein. Make fitness a priority, but don’t judge myself if I miss a day. Every other day, I will spend 15 to 45 minutes on the elliptical – enough to get my metabolism up, but not so much that I stress my body. The days that I don’t elliptical, I will stretch and maybe learn a few yoga poses to practice. Every day, I will limit myself to one “junk food.” I will do crunches most days but not every day. I will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, but the portions will be smaller and I will eat healthy snacks in between.

If you don’t have an elliptical machine, maybe you have a treadmill or a park where you can run. If none of these will work, I suggest you go to Wal-Mart and get Gold’s Gym weighted-handle jump rope for about $6.

We all ought to be good stewards of these bodies that God gave us. Let’s stay motivated, but also gentle on ourselves both physically and psychologically. Let’s focus on balance and moderation in all areas of our lives. Will you join me?

Remember, though, that no amount of physical fitness can ever negate the need for spiritual health. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:20-23:

20“My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.

21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to a woman’s whole body.

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

What’s balance look like for you? Join our group on Facebook and tell us about your Project Balance.

Extra: A jump rope will exercise not only legs; it works abs and arms and is great aerobic exercise too – a great full-body workout for cheap-cheap. And you don’t need to spend an hour doing it. In fact, it’s one of the best solutions if you have very limited time for working out. Jumping rope four or five times a day for just two to three minutes a time will have a payoff. It’s enough to get the heart pumping and muscles burning, but not so worked up that you have to shower. Get a couple of ropes and leave one in the car or in your backpack or purse and add a few minutes of jumping rope during breaks between classes or coffee breaks at work to wake your mind up too.

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