For the last month, I have thrown myself back into a regular work-out routine. Two years ago, I was regularly running and lifting weights. I was competing in races, and I was feeling great. Slowly but surely, from 2007-2009 I allowed my body to develop a dangerous love affair with fat. WARNING: The longer you let your body hang onto fat, the more resistant it will be to letting go.
Yes, I have been arguing with my body over this unhealthy attachment I have allowed it to form. It says to me, "But fat is so soft and comfortable." I argue, "Yes, but it only weighs you down." I then provide an alternative. Lifting weights and running, I offer it muscle in the place of fat. "Oh this hurts!" It yells. "I know," I reply, "but while fat will weigh you down, muscle will lift you up. The pain is good." My body seems to disagree with this idea entirely. It doesn't want to move. It stiffens on me as if turning its back to me and snubbing the entire concept of muscle. This is much like a spoiled child who has been given only chocolate milk being told to drink water.
I persist, though. I know better. I've been on the better side. I know that fat is only deceptive. It offers comfort and rest--both enticing ideas. Yet, the good things that it offers end there. In the end, it is one of those tricky relationships. The fat draws your body in with those ideas, and you are almost in a trance.
My body fell hook, line, and sinker for fat. It was taken away with the smells of delicious foods..forgetting entirely the calorie and fat content. Before it knew what was going on, the fat was slowly on its way in. All it does is come into your life, move in and take up space.
My body says, "All of this fat is providing me warmth." I plea with it, "At what cost? After it has moved in and taken up all of that space? You can't even fit into those cute jeans you love anymore! Can't you see the havoc it has wreaked?" I sigh in frustration. My body is totally clutching on to fat with all it has. It does not even realize that fat is a selfish partner. It claims peace and rest but only for itself! For you, it makes its way to your heart in a BAD way. It will CRUSH it in the end if you let it go on.
So, I tell my body that, although there are some things fat has to offer, you must wise up. Do not listen to it. Make way for muscle. Does it hurt to let muscle in? Oh yes it does, but you see muscle is one of those relationships that takes time. You build muscle up. It doesn't feel good at times, but those are only the trying parts that are making the relationship stronger and better. Muscle moves in slowly too. YET, it is very considerate. It does not take up much space. It helps your blood flow. It supports your heart. Allow a little pain for a little while, but you can be slow about it. Muscle is very patient and flexible if you take your time with it.
So, tonight, as I marched toward the torture chamber of fitness, my body sensed the smell of Chinese food from the restaurant next door wafting through the air. It tried to lure me in. I said, "NO! We are going in." My body didn't like this whatsoever. It said, "You are going to work out for how long?" "60 minutes,"I reply. "Oh please no," it begs and pleads with me like a small child clinging to a bottle. My eyes are fixed ahead and I silence the cries. My response is, "A good relationship takes hard work, time, and dedication." I resolved that, for my body, I'd go the extra mile. So, instead of running three miles tonight, I ran four.
Yes, I had to ignore the pleas and cries of longing for that old sedentary, yet comfortable, relationship. I had to push on. In the end, I showed my body what was better. It calmed down and actually felt better in the end. "Was that so bad?" I finally say. "Actually, not at all," it responds, "let's do this again sometime."
MORAL OF THE STORY: The longer you let your body form an attachment to fat, the harder it will be to sever the relationship. BUT, if you just persist, it will understand what a good relationship is and accept Muscle as the better partner.