Why I’m Stretching Beyond My Comfort Zone to Become a #teamNFC member!
Follow along to #WitnessMyFitness in a promotional #teamNFC program at National Fitness Center!
“Just don’t look at the scale,” advised one of my sweet, well-meaning friends recently when I mentioned my frustration about being overweight. She really did mean well. I’d already been following this misguided advice for some time, stretching back to my days of pregnancies and extended breastfeeding of my two children. I was always hungry, and my babies needed nourishment. Besides, I generally ate nutrient dense food, even lots of organic picks from my own garden. Isn’t it typical for busy wives and mothers to carry around extra, stress-filled pounds?
My kids have kept me busy chasing after them these past few years. When it comes to stretching my legs, this country girl has always loved the outdoors, from working on the farm to hiking in the woods. I’ve even had fun trying some indoor fitness classes from time to time. My admission is, I never have woven my personal fitness into my daily life the same way I fit in things for the rest of my family. The children would get to their swim lessons or ballet classes every time, my husband would get his meals made from scratch, work obligations would be met, volunteer hours would add up, but my fitness was not a priority. I finally realized I’ve been last on my own list for far too long.
Which brings me back to the scale my friend told me not to look at. I’m not advocating for any sort of obsessiveness here. Goodness knows society sends women too many critical messages about our bodies needing to look a certain way. I am beautiful, and so are you. All women need to own that truth, no matter what the scale sales.
However, telling myself to never look is tantamount to saying not to evaluate any part of my life to see where I am and what needs improvement. You might say the same for any sort of spiritual, intellectual or relational area that could use some work in our lives. Of course, I still want to care for my family, just not take a backseat to all of their needs all of the time.
And so, I found myself sitting across the desk from a very kind man named Jason Akers who explained to me that at a body mass index of 33.2, with everything he could evaluate about my current sedentary lifestyle (writing apparently doesn’t burn many calories), I have a very high chance of developing diabetes or even cancer. I already knew that with women’s cancer rates at one in three these days and all of the environmental health risks we face, even the best fitness program in the world couldn’t guarantee anyone a life without this disease. Yet, I’m hopeful about not developing diabetes and about having a fighting chance to prevent or beat cancer someday if I’m in better physical condition.
Friends, I know we don’t want to say the “f” word here, but that three-letter word is not doing us any favors in the health department. You probably know chronic disease in America has been on the rise along with obesity rates. Did you realize that two out of three people in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control?
Akers serves as Personal Training Director at the NFC West Signature Club for Knoxville, Tennessee-based National Fitness Center. He stressed that cardiovascular work is not enough, but that I need to get more serious about resistance training with weights. He explained that what I eat, when I eat and how much, can all play a role in how well my metabolism works. He even connected me, via a preferred membership perk, to an innovative online tool that can help me take charge of my meal planning. It’s been quite a discovery for me to realize that I really need to shake up my schedule and completely change the way I’ve been approaching some things from food to time management to jump-start my metabolism. Of course, I didn’t want him to know that I feel the urge to use the occasional soda for extra energy in order to work when I’m short on sleep. I’m still trying to break that habit completely.
A part of me is feeling very vulnerable in sharing my intention to lose weight and get in the best shape of my adult life. I have an immense fear of failure in this area. I’m also feeling elated that God has opened a door for me to care for myself physically while encouraging others! That’s why I’m happy to announce that I’ve accepted a role as the first #teamNFC member, and the coordinator of this fitness-focused social networking program at National Fitness Center!
While I continue to share stories at the Flour Sack Mama blog about carrying on Grandma’s best traditions while improving on what we know better, I’ll be sharing here and via social media about my fitness journey. I’ll also be introducing you to other ambassadors and fitness pros. I plan on stepping outside my comfort zone and stretching into a healthier life by doing what I can to get in shape.
Akers explained to me that personal trainers can be the extra ingredient for success when someone sets fitness goals. They help with everything from proper form to customized plans to progress reports. Even if you don’t get private personal training, the clubs’ HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training classes are an economical way to get attention from a personal trainer in a structured workout setting, while also getting encouragement from other club members.
I’m looking forward to some better numbers that fit my ideal of a healthy lifestyle. An entire team of supportive fitness professionals is available to help, in state-of-the-art facilities with all the equipment you or I could need. The question I’m asking myself is if I’m ready — really ready — to show up. “It’s a personal decision to get in shape,” Akers said. “We can help you once you make that decision.”