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If you were to ask my children about me, they'd tell you that when I need something I ask them to get it for me. For the last several years, I've done a lot of sitting in the big brown recliner, asking the children to run and get this or that. I haven't bathed them. I haven't cooked much. I haven't spent the day playing with them. I got an average of 2-3000 steps a day, on a good day. If you ask them, it probably seems perfectly normal. But they have had no problem asking me why it still looks like I'm pregnant, or why my legs are so big.

Yesterday, I woke up and put on my exercise pants and long t-shirt, even though I knew that I wasn't going to be able to make it to Fusion. As I pulled my legs through, choosing them to remind myself to move, I was suddenly aware that I wasn't off balance. My legs felt strong and full of energy. My husband asked for help to lift a large item off the floor and I jumped right up to help him. My back didn't hurt as I easily assisted him. My legs wanted to move, no longer groaning that it would take too much energy to get up.

It was a slow descent into becoming so sedentary. I'm gracious with myself because all the sitting was necessary for a time to care for Redmond. I was stretched beyond my limits on a daily basis for nearly three years. By the time things got better, I was exhausted and in some bad habits. It was time for a major change.

The energy and strength I felt in my legs yesterday had me on the verge of tears all day. Not tears of sadness, but gratitude and hope. I hadn't even realized how bad I'd gotten until I felt really good. The heaviness that seemed to pull my body into the ground was gone. Everything feels different. My movements feel more purposeful. Rather than feeling like I'm wading through mud, I feel free. I am so thankful for this fitness program that is teaching me how to cherish, nurture, and challenge my body.

I've been approached several times recently by well-meaning friends who want me to take their weight-loss products. The statement they repeatedly make is, "I've lost weight without exercise!" I'm happy for them because I know how good it feels to get rid of systemic inflammation and to fit into my old clothes, or need totally new ones. But at this time in my life, exercise is exactly what my body desperately needs.

I can do short-term diets and push hard for a few weeks to lose the weight that snuck up on me during pandemic-baking, (can I get a witness?), but I need to have stronger muscles. I'm in this for the long haul, and while I'm thrilled that I've lost 30 pounds this year, I've barely been on the scale at all. It isn't my focus. I'm doing exactly what I know my body needs to do so I can be in the best possible condition to do all the things God is calling me to do, and the way my body looks will reflect that.

Focusing on becoming fit and healthy in every way includes a sensible nutrition plan, supplements to support my body as I require all these new things from it, regular therapy sessions to support my mental health, finally getting to all the doctor appointments I've put off for myself for the last three years, and lots of time in prayer and Bible study. Part of that plan is participating in this fitness program that is tailored to my exact needs, created using the latest science and exercise techniques, and provided in a fun and safe environment. I could do it virtually, but I'm so inspired by having others around me that I'm thankful that I'm able to do it in person.

I'd love to know what's working for you. How can we support each other in this journey?


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