I thought my body could stay on low maintenance till 30 at least. Unfortunately once it hit about 25 everything started deterioriating! No longer could I eat junk and sleep late and expect to get through life. Doctors visits became frequent, I always felt so lethargic/sleepy, yet struggle with sleeping. I would look in the mirror and think…”yep, tired is ugly”.
This seems to be common amongst us young women, especially those in ministry as well. Well, here’s some encouragement to you (and myself) to get moving!
After a couple of years of talking about getting into more exercise I was pretty much forced to start exercising after my emotional wellbeing started deterioriating as well as physical. This time it wasn’t just well meaning friends telling me to exercise but the professionals: counsellors, doctors and ministry books. As the idea of having children started coming closer I wondered how on earth I would be able to pull through more energy to do that…
Now its not like I hadn’t TRIED exercising before. My dad and husband had always been forcing me to jog with them before/after work. I had joined Fitness First before and went kinda regularly but was a bit bored and it was too much of a rush to get there in lunch breaks and after work for classes. You had to get a ticket to ensure you made it in the class but I was so stressed by the time I got there it was impossible to be calm throughout the (Yoga) class!
At this time my sister told me to join Zumba classes with her at community college. I was on an extended break so always had heaps of time before and after class to chill. Originally I wanted to learn Wing Chun but too expensive. The good thing about a community college class is everyone starts together and so everyone is un-co together! The first couple of classes was terrible but after that I really enjoyed it (note: do not ask me to show you I still look silly). When finishing my sister and I decided we must continue. Soon after that I joined a local gym and got some really helpful consultation/programs.
After 6 months I felt:
- Handled stress much better: work was much easier to handle as well as church ministry
- Motivated as I was seeing/feeling results: When walking and chatting with people, they would feel puffed but I wouldn’t feel anything. My fat % fell within the healthy range 🙂 Also I noticed that I actually had muscles too LOL.
- Just a happier person: I think my husband was the most thankful for this one, I was less grumpy.
On a slightly unrelated note, another thing that motivated me was seeing all the Asian si-lai’s at Zumba class who had so much more stamina/energy than I had. If they could do it surely I could too!
I don’t know what it is for you, but I find classes now to be particularly motivating as well as well-structured fitness program with some light weights. Cardio equipment (which is what I did before) just didn’t really work for me at all and I felt like I was wasting money. My husband won’t join me since he much prefers team sports.
What is it for you? I really encourage you to workout before you are forced to work it out. I meet so many young women who are not handling stress, on the verge of burnout, sleeping poorly, needing emotional help and balancing multiple priorities. Exercise is not the magic that will fix everything but it does make a difference. Although I’m meant to go at least twice a week, I find even if I manage to make it to one class a week it really helps.
For those in ministry its also a good opportunity to spend time with friends/strangers and not just church people all the time! Basically, just hurry up and do something! 🙂
And yes, I need to keep listening to my own encouragement too its SO hard…a good Christian book which addresses stress/burnout – make sure you’re in it for the long term!: