Pursuit of Health and Fitness

This year, I am starting 2019 at the heaviest I have ever been, and "losing weight" is not on my list of new year's resolutions.

We are now about ten days into our journey of a brand-new year, and normally at this time, I'd find myself about ten days into some pretty lofty resolutions. There have been variations of different goals thrown on my list throughout the years, but my number one has consistently been the same:

Weight loss.

Every stinkin' year.

Typically, in the upcoming months, I would be consumed by strict diets, extreme exercise, and an obsession with the scale. Some years, I would find great "success" which would be defined by a smaller number when I step on that worth defining machine. Other years, not so much. Either way, every time January rolls around, my focus is on the same thing...the weight.

Not this year.

Listen, before you start your mental rant, I know.

I know that being overweight can come with a multitude of problems. I have seen it first hand while caring for patients when I was a nurse. I am aware that being "fat" is linked to various health issues and risk factors, as well as many social dilemmas as it's not exactly publicly acceptable in the eyes of many.

I have seen skinny days, and I have seen heavy ones and I have noticed that heavier I am, the fewer doors that are held for me and the ruder people seem to be.

And to be honest, it's ridiculous and really sad.

When did our worth become so defined by our size?

What about the health of our character, our minds, our hearts, or our souls? Have we become so shallow that we see no value in these things anymore?

In the past, I have nearly killed myself trying to get skinny in order to become acceptable in the eyes of our culture. I have obsessed over what was on my plate, restricted myself, consumed unhealthy weight loss supplements, and formed extremely terrible habits to shed the pounds, and I would argue that those behaviors are just as unhealthy as being overweight.

When I first became a mom, I was so worried that my kids would struggle with being chubby like me, so just like I obsessed over what I ate, I obsessed over what they ate.

As time went on, I realized how much this fear was consuming me, and I began to see how even at such a young age, my kids were beginning to adopt my unhealthy relationship with food.

One day as I was feeding them lunch, my skinny little six-year-old was getting ready to drink a cup of water, and before he did, he looked over at me and said,

"Mom, is this going to make me fat?"

This wasn't the first time he had asked me this.

In what way is that healthy? I was failing them.

I have failed miserably at being a role model of true health because I have spent my days pursuing something else that I felt would make me worthier...a certain number on the scale.

While my son's questions were certainly a wake-up call for me, the final straw came this past summer.

In June of 2018, I lost my 20-year old cousin.

She was absolutely beautiful both inside and out.

She was overweight.

And she didn't die from being overweight. In fact, medically, she was in perfect health.

She actually died from trying to be everything our culture was demanding of her. She wanted to lose weight, so she decided to have surgery.

I get sick to my stomach every time I think about it. Not because she did it, but because she felt like she had to, or even wanted to, and that I cheered her on. She came as close to perfection as an earthly being could. Her personality lit up every room that she walked into. She made everyone feel worthy yet, she still felt inadequate herself despite all of these things.

This is not okay, and I won't stand for it anymore.

What if rather than obsessing over my weight all of these years, she saw me obsess over self-love and worth? Would it have changed things?

And maybe my obsessive and restrictive behaviors didn't directly impact her decision to get the surgery, but also, maybe they did.

One thing is for sure, they certainly didn't help.

It was almost exactly a year ago that she told me she was getting the surgery. She didn't want many people to know, but she told me, and I congratulated her. I was so happy for her because I knew from experience what a struggle weight loss was, and I knew that was what she wanted. I've been so focused on the extra pounds myself, that I could only imagine the feeling she'd have when she reached her goal weight.

But as I sit here now, I'm thinking, why on earth is it always about the weight?

Why is our worth so often defined by our size?

There's so much more to the puzzle, and I'm not going to continue with this belief that a healthy weight equals a healthy life...

So, this year, Corey and I have both agreed to refuse to obsess over the number on the scale and instead focus on our overall health.

That means this year and from now on,

We will focus on mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and physical health.

And I'm sorry, but I refuse to believe that weight is the common denominator of success for all of the above.

There are many avenues that we will be taking in order to achieve this pursuit, but here are a few to start:

We will:

-Love who we are today as well as who we are striving to be in the future while encouraging others to do the same
-Avoid toxic relationships, heal broken ones, and strive to breathe positivity into every person we come into contact with
-Become more intentional by taking timeouts from the hustle and bustle to allow for rest
-Stress less, and laugh more
-Plug into God's word, not just to complete a task, but to grow deeper in our faith
-Exercise more, not to punish ourselves, but to celebrate able-bodies
-Use food as medicine to heal from the inside out
-Live a preventative lifestyle rather than a curative one by seeing a functional MD to ensure we are fueling our bodies the right way

Our health will not be defined by the number on the scale, the six packs, or the pant size, but by the signs that our bodies, minds, and souls are giving us. If we are hungry, we will eat. If we are tired, we will rest. If we are feeling burned out, we will stop and evaluate our current systems and routines. If the weight comes off as a by-product of these positive changes, awesome, and if it does not, that's okay too.

We are living in a world that has it backward. Striving for the perfect physique will not lead to health, but more often than not, striving for well-rounded health will lead to a better physique.

This year, and every year we will strive to become the healthiest versions of ourselves.

Health, in every aspect of our lives. 

Now that's refreshing.

And that's a habit we don't have to feel bad about spreading to those around us.

There's a good chance you will find us working out and fueling our bodies with healthier options more in 2019, but hear me loud and clear, our goal is health. Health is so much more than the number on the scale.

We are learning and re-teaching ourselves a new way of life. We are reframing out old restrictive thinking and fueling our minds, bodies, and souls with things that will make us healthier from the inside out.

There are many amazing resources in this category, and we are extremely excited because we have so much room to grow and so much to share about this journey. We can't wait to show your proof that health can be achieved through way more than a strict diet and exercise regimen. If you're looking for a quick fix to solely lose weight, I can't say that you're in the right place because that will not be our focus. We've been there, done that, but this time we are looking for the whole package.

We are in pursuit of health and fitness of:

Our minds
Our emotions
Our souls
And our bodies too

And you should join us...

If you're in pursuit of the healthiest version of yourself, subscribe to join us on the journey.

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