Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Third Little Thing

Recap: I had a date with my husband and a day out with one of my friends this week. Success! Both were much needed and will hopefully occur more frequently from now on.

Week 3: Work out more and enforce the right reasons for working out to my kids.

I had a bit of a break down last week that I blame on being constantly bombarded by junk from the world. Mainly junk about how women are supposed to look. Mind you, I did not break down due to insecurities about my body; I am at peace with my cellulite, forever-changed-by-having-children boobs, and my butt’s ability to grow at the exact same rate as my expanding baby belly. However, it took me years to get that way, and along the way there was a lot of struggling over not looking “right” or “normal” or whatever all women are apparently supposed to look like.

Venting my frustrations to my husband last week, he brought up how differently health and working out are marketed to women and men. Men are generally motivated by the discipline, the health benefits, the ability to accomplish a goal, and that’s how the media markets working out to guys for the most part. Women, apparently expected to be the less intelligent and more vain species, get headlines like “How to Lose 10 Pounds in One Day Drinking Only Lemon Water!” and “How to Look Like You Never Even Had That Baby Less Than 48 Hours After Birth!” It’s insulting. The implication is my health, my endurance, my discipline don’t matter. Just make sure if you are a girl you fit in a size two because no one is really interested in seeing your pasty butt in anything else.

Seeing how as a family we are very motivated by health, we eat right (mostly) and try to prioritize physical activity for health reasons, not so we won’t look like relatives of the Pillsbury Dough Boy. What bothers me is what’s outside our house. We don’t have our TV hooked up to any stations and we try to be conscious of images we bring in from outside that our kids are exposed to. We’re not trying to be overprotective, but as a parent I do feel it's important to establish the okay early on, and most of what I see on television, in entertainment, and in the media on a regular basis is not okay, especially for kids too young to know better. I want them to have a firm foundation before the crazy gets in. However, the minute the protective coating we can offer them as children is gone, they are going to see some ugly, vain, really out-of-whack priorities in their faces every day. I feel like I have a very short amount of time to instill this in them and make it stick:

We take care of our bodies because they are temples. We put good things in them and we use them so they don’t become weak. Why do we do this? Because our bodies are used to glorify and serve God. Period. That’s what they are for, and we’ll trade these bodies in for way cooler versions in Heaven anyway. (I’m sure that’s why people are making all those nudie tapes and posting pictures of their privates on the internet. They just know we won’t have these bodies forever and are saving images, right? That’s all it is, not our vain, image-driven society making people feel this is okay, right?) Take care of your health. Be able to do some pull ups because it really is cool. Embrace what you were given instead of coveting a picture of some girl’s butt on Pinterest because it’s the butt you want. It’s not your butt, and that’s good. You are the only one who can be you. (Sammy, if you are looking at a girl’s butt on Pinterest, STOP!)

With that vented and out there, I am going to try to increase my work-out from not much of anything to something because my pregnancy will be healthier that way, and I’m in the second trimester and feel like I won’t die from just moving around. And when my kids ask why I work out, I will tell them because God gave me this body and I’m taking care of it, not because every image I see on a daily basis promises if I do I’ll look perfect. Perfection: not in this life.

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