Thursday, March 2, 2017

Working Out

I love working out, and try to do it as often as I can. 
But it has been a huge struggle for me for several years.
It is a very controversial subject, and I am no expert, but I just want to share my story, in case I can encourage someone out there to just keep going!! 

"Working Out" and "exercising" and "health" 
are like curse words for some people, and they run as far away as they can! 
For other other people, it's a religion, and they won't even let life get in the way of their perfect workout routine, and their very boring, gross diet.

I am all about treating your body right, and taking care of yourself, but I'm also about doing that so, first of all, God is pleased, of course, but second, because I love pizza, and chocolate cake, and macaroni & cheese, and cookies! 
And if I workout, and make other healthy choices in my life, 
I don't feel quite as guilty about eating those things sometimes!
(that's probably not the best advice, I know. Just keepin' it real over here!)

God has given us our body, and it's our responsibility to take care of it, and treat it in a way that would please Him! 
And notice that I said please HIM! 
Which means, it probably won't always please us 
(i.e. we might not be the size we want, or the height, etc.)!

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

There are so many gyms, and exercise plans, and diets and articles, and sooooooooooo much information on how to be fit out there today, and it's just crazzzzzzzzyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!! 

Girls, especially, but even guys, are given this false impression that they have to be perfectly fit. However, "perfectly fit" is going to be different for every person, so we can't be held to the same standard of all being a size 0 and having abs like the Hulk and legs like Barbie! Oh, and a happy life to go with it! 

This is something that I have let discourage me on more than one occasion in my life. Growing up, all of my sisters were smaller than me. Not a ton, but we didn't share the same clothes very much. And I couldn't fit into the clothes my older sister wore when she was my age. 
We were all pretty short, as far as that goes, but some of us felt like out bellies were too fat, and our legs looked big, and so on. And I raise my hand!!✋✋

I don't think I was ever fat as far as over-weight goes, necessarily, but against my sisters, I definitely felt like an elephant. 
I still do sometimes. 
They can just wear more fitted clothes and look good. 
Whereas, I feel like I can't breathe, because I am sucking in my stomach the entire time I have a certain shirt on, so that I don't have a little roll sticking out!! And I know other people look at you differently than you yourself do. 
So many people would argue with me about this right now, but I'm not talking about how I looked...I'm talking about how I felt!

One day I ran across a quote, and now I can't even remember where I saw it, but it totally helped me! It said, 
"The curve of a smile is a woman's most perfect curve and the only tag that matters is the one that says 'Robed in the Righteousness of Christ'."

And I loved that! It's so true!! It's not about what size you are. I am NEVER going to be a size 2, unless I was very, very sick, and that's just not worth it! However, I can strive to be in the right size range for my height and age, and except that that is the size and height God created me to be, and be thankful for the health He has given me! 

Exercising is so important and so good for your entire body, and for so many health problems. I have never done an exercise program for weight-loss, so I can't speak authoritatively on the do's and don't's of that subject, 
but I exercise because: 

#1. I love it 
#2. It helps to keep me slightly fit
#3. It just helps me feel better physically and mentally

Several years ago, I was doing some exercise DVD's (at home workouts), and just feeling like it wasn't enough...they were too easy. 

I found a Jillian Michaels work-out DVD that looked do-able, and was more intense than what I was doing, so I started that. It was great! I really liked it! There are 7 workouts on the DVD, and each one is only 5 minutes. They each focus on a different area of the body, and you can do the whole entire thing, or mix and match the ones you want. It was a nice total-body work-out, where I could do the whole thing, if I had time, or simply do one of them, and still get a great work out in. Unfortunately, after a while, I started feeling sick while I was working-out. I was sweating like CRAZY while I did them, so I focused on making sure I was getting enough water all throughout the day. It finally got to the point that I just couldn't even get through one work-out, and I would literally throw-up after I was done, or have to lay perfectly still on the floor for a good 30 minutes to an hour. I did some research, and according to everything I could find, a lot of people that are out of shape, actually do throw-up or feel sick while working out, and they recommend just keep pushing through, until you don't feel sick anymore. But I wasn't out of shape, and had been doing those workouts for months, and felt fine before. Plus, after a while, I couldn't even push through, and it never went away. I absolutely dreaded working out, though, but I missed it all at the same time. 
About a year later, I started the couch to 5k running program. The program lasted for 9 weeks, but I stretched it out farther than that, and instead of trying to run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes, I focused on just simply learning how to run and breathe properly, then on how to run for the full 30 minutes without stopping. After about a year or so, I was consistently running 2-3 miles 4-5 days a week, and then I got to where I would do the full 5k in 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week. I wanted to build up enderance, and strength, and I did!! I LOVED running, it made me feel SOOOOO good! It was hard, yet my body craved it. Where I lived, running outside was simply not an option all year round, so I did do a lot of running on a treadmill. I loved getting up early and running a couple miles before I started work. Unfortunately, I started feeling sick again. I had ran for a good year and a half before this was a problem, so I don't know what went wrong. I finally did see a doctor about it, but they couldn't really give me any answers. The longer it went, the worse it got, and it was to the point that I couldn't run for more than 15 minutes, before feeling like I was going to pass out and/or throw-up. I found that if I drank a Gatorade while I was running, that it would help a little bit sometimes, so I thought I was probably dehydrated. I tried to drink a lot more water, and it still didn't help. I found that if I ran in the afternoon, or evening, about 1 hour after having a full meal, I felt completely fine. I know they say that you're not supposed to work out that close to eating, but that's the only way I could do it. So after I figured that out, I went back to being able to run as much as I wanted, as long as I didn't do it first thing in the morning. And it was great! 
When I got married, I moved away from the roads I was used to running on, and from my treadmill. 
Since living here, I don't feel very confident about running in our neighborhood a lone, and Bradley is not crazy about the idea either, lol!! There isn't a track anywhere around, but there is a park near-by, so hopefully I will eventually go there every now and then. I just don't feel that comfortable about being alone yet! So in the meantime, I picked up my Jillian Michael's DVD one more time. I figured it had been several years, I had learned to eat a good meal or breakfast before working out, and all that. I took it very slow, only doing one work-out at a time, and only about 3 times a week, just to ease back into that, because it definitely works more muscles than running! It was going good, and I was working my way up. Even got to where I could do the entire DVD work-out! I was feeling really good, and it seriously works every muscle in your body! I love feeling sore muscles, because then you know for sure you were working them good, and my legs, and arms, and abs, and chest were all telling me it was going good, lol!!!! Then, all of a guessed it! Couldn't even get through one 5-minute workout without getting sick. UGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm not talking like I just felt a little bad, people. I'm talking like throwing-up all over the place, and feeling AWFUL for the entire day. So, it was back to square one. My body still craved being active, and just getting everything stretched out and toned. But I didn't know what to do, and my every-day life is not very active. Before I got married, I was watching 5-7 little kids every day, and I stayed very, very active doing that! But now, I'm not. So I had to figure out something. I went way, way back to the beginning, and started with exercise DVD's that were "too easy" for me several years ago. The woman that puts these out, has come out with lots of new ones, since I last looked into it, so that was encouraging! Again, I was not doing this for weight-loss, or health reasons in particular....just mainly to stay fit and be a little more active. So these were definitely better than nothing at all! I started out really easy, and just let my body get used to the different moves and things like that. It takes a lot to make me sweat, so at first, I was barely even getting warm. But after really getting into them, and trying lots of different ones, switching it up every day, I am loving it! It feels so, so good, I'm sweating really good afterwards, my heart-rate gets nice and high, even some of my muscles are sore sometimes, I'm moving, and I feel great! I still have to make sure I eat good. If I work-out in the morning, I make sure I eat lots of protein and fiber....I can eat some fruit, as long as I don't only eat fruit, because that's too much sugar, and not a lot of anything else. If I workout in the afternoon, I just make sure that I have had a fairly healthy lunch...again, plenty of protein. So I eat a lot of peanut butter, oatmeal, granola bars, things like that. 

So that's my story and my 2 cents! 
Come back next week, and I will have links to all the workouts that I have loved, and to the ones I am doing now! 
As well as some tips and ideas for things I eat and drink after a workout to feel even better!! 

Having a healthy life-style is very, very important. But it's hard. 
And it's about the "life-style." It's not just about working out, or just about eating right, or just about one thing. Life is not about being a size 2, or the skinniest, or strongest, or never getting to eat your favorite food! It's about taking care of the body that God gave you, to the best of your ability. 
That's what you're eating, drinking, portion-control, exercise, sleep habits...everything!
You only get one body, so choose wisely what you are going to do with it! 

I am NO expert or health professional in ANY way.
I understand that every one is different, and every one's needs are different.


  1. Great post Karissa! I'm doing a series on exercising soon, and I love seeing your perspective. It's so true that everyone is different, but doing something is important. You just have to find what works for you! Glad you're doing better!


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