A Simple Pair of Sneakers

{from the archives}

I had a revelation the other day.  I haven't purchased a pair of sneakers/tennis shoes/shoes-that-athletic-people wear in about eight years.  That sounds sad, right?  But the saddest part is that other than being out dated and definitely not fashionable, they were still in pretty great shape.  You see, I don't do the whole gym thing.  I experimented with it back eight years ago when I bought said shoes.  There was a 24 hour fitness (who am I kidding, I don't even know the name) on my way home from work and over a couple of months I went probably 15 times.  I was definitely a pro.  HA.  Then I got mad because I started to "gain" weight.  It was "muscle" "they" said and I said, "PEACE OUT, GYM" and never looked back.  A couple of years later, Adam was wanting to get serious about needing a work out partner so for pure heart health, we borrowed my parents old treadmill, bought some free weights and went through a thirty day challenge making bets of who would work out five days every week.  We actually both successfully completed that month.  And I am not gonna lie, I enjoyed the whole "free weight" thing...I just did lunges in our long hallways and a few arm weights topped off with cardio on the good ole treadmill.  All of 45 minutes and never left my home.  Trusty shoes and all. 

At 32, you've just read the extent of my workout history--for my entire life.  Staying true to being really real, I am ashamed to admit my diet throughout my 32 years has consisted of a brutal Coca Cola (I wrote Coke, but man that didn't sound right) addiction, home cooked comfort meals of thick and rich gravies, fried foods, and sauces galore, and sugary snacks.   I do have one year where I gained about ten pounds-- it was the year that I had a 45 minute commute to work and Adam began traveling which somehow led me to eat about a 5,000/day calorie diet.  With him gone all the time, I never cooked, and with getting up so early, I was forced to eat breakfast, which equated to all meals being a poor decision for nine months straight.  I also really disliked my boss.  That was a rough one.  ;)  Not even lying about the calorie count--the Coulters and Adam and I counted it up one night after an average day for me.  My genetics are really good, I guess.  I always thought the majority of it was due to my Graves Disease (hyperactive thyroid), but since I don't have a thyroid anymore, the only thing left to blame is genetics and a ridiculously high metabolism.

Case in point: 

Yall.  That's skin and bones.  
And some awesome style if you ask me.  
Gotta love the 90s. 

That's also a picture of a high school girl who ate two bagels with strawberry cream cheese (from Benny's, Southlake girls, you know the goodess that was Benny's) before school, washed down with a coke of course, followed by skittles sometime mid-morning, a fried chicken sandwich and fries from Wendy's (with a coke), for lunch and whatever delicious home cooked meal my mom made that night and who knows how much other junk. 

Look closely.  I have a Dr. Pepper and a Coke.  I'm just praying the third one to the right isn't mine too.

That gets us back to the whole thing about having the same exact pair of tennis shoes since 2006.   Back before I was pregnant with Blakely, my friend Becca told me about this girl who ended up dying of complications from pneumonia because although she seemed healthy and fit aesthetically, she was in very poor physical condition internally--"heart health" is what I think people would call it.  She told me that the doctors said had she run thirty minutes a day, her lungs would have been better conditioned to survive the vicious attack they were undergoing.  The story stuck with me.  Although I was pregnant and couldn't start a new work out regimen at that time, I continued to think about what I might look like on the inside.  What would happen to me if I needed my organs to fight an infection hard for me to live?  Eating like that has to have done a number on my heart.  If it hasn't yet, a lifetime of doing so just might.  

I fear that without Becca's true life story, I may have always dismissed when people used words like "skinny-fat" to describe me because although I knew what they meant, I didn't seem to care.  I loved what I was eating and I was pretty teensy.  Even though I still probably wouldn't use skinny fat to describe those muscles, I get what it means.  I look skinny, but my heart and cholesterol is full of fat.   Preslie was 22 months old; my diet was awful--I would eat a fried chicken salad with three sides of salad dressing, one fried chicken (smothered in hot honey mustard) snacker and a large sweet tea FOR LUNCH at least three times a week.  This was my result.  

Three months later after this picture, I was pregnant with Blakely.  Another 46 pounds later, she was born.  Seven months later (this was written awhile back), I weigh 104 and somehow have a more defined full-on six pack of abs, than pictured above, pre-gym, 7 months postpartum.  

What a scary deception, huh?  The girl in that picture above is SO unhealthy, but she looks like she hits the gym and either skips most meals or drinks green smoothies paired with egg whites and bland chicken breasts for all meals.   The socialized eye sees what the world would call a healthy woman, but I can't race an 80 year old to a car without huffing and puffing.  I can't push the stroller around the neighborhood without a vicious side stitch.  I suffer endless headaches from simply not drinking enough water.  I wouldn't stand a chance fighting any lung infection, and my heart?  Probably a few years away from a rare thirtysomething heart attack if I don't stop my careless, grease-filled eating.  I am no healthier than anyone out there struggling with an obesity problem; in fact, I would be willing to bet that I am probably more unhealthy than them. 

Then there is sin.  Gluttony.  The reality is that my ability to eat whatever whenever causes me to carelessly sin.   I have no consequences for overeating which causes me to mistreat my body with the misconception that it won't effect "THE WAY I LOOK" without a single consequence.  How naive.  It may not effect the way I look for another few years, but it will effect how long I live.  My body is to be my temple, and I have treated it as anything but. 

The bottom line, this is about a mom, who has two children that she loves more than her life itself, realizing that what is on the outside doesn't indicate a healthy all.  My aunt has lived her 60 some odd years eating whatever she wants, too, and had a close call by stroke a couple of years ago.  All because she looked healthy on the outside, but wasn't on the inside.  It was a wake up call.  And so was my friend Becca's story.  

So back to these again.... 

This new pair of shoes symbolize so much more than a newbie to hit the gym.  They are the first new pair of tennis shoes that have been worn on these feet in 8 years.  Not because it's a New Years Resolution (inconvenient timing because I don't make NY resolutions--the time couldn't be until now because my gym doesn't take kids until they turn one and we have finally worked out a system for me to be able to go even though I can't take Blakely), not because I need to lose weight (umm, let's be honest...I need the opposite), but because I want to be healthy for my children.  Adam made a huge leap to change his lifestyle because he needed to lose weight--it's been one year and he has never been healthier.  For me, it didn't start as a healthy-lifestlye mission, it started as an outlet to relieve stress where I could socialize with my girlfriends at the club, which happens to be a short three minute drive from our home, but about 15 or so trips in and I realize that it is SO much more than that.  The benefits of working out for my body are endless, but even more so, the benefits to my children are even greater.  Not just a healthy mom on the inside, but they are also learning the importance of the gym by seeing Adam and I make it a priority to be healthy, which I hope in turn promotes a healthier lifestyle for them.  Our gym's Kids Club is so amazing; they aren't just child care, they take the kids to the "big gym" and actually teach them about being active--one day I picked Preslie up and Ms. Beverly was teaching her and the other kids soccer skills, another time, they were running laps.  She loves Miss Allison so much that she has not only become a household name, but she has also become one of Preslie's babysitters.  Happy as little larks and being active at the same time.  I am not sure if my daughters will struggle with weight like Adam or be skin and bones like me, but no matter the body type that God gives them, we are working on laying the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.  

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