“You look amazing,” my neighbor says, as she watches me soak up some sun in my new bikini. Her eyes are fixed on my belly. I take a deep breath to push up my ribcage, thereby accentuating the firm muscles of my abdomen.
This is only a dream, of course.
In reality I avoid displaying my figure. In a way that was easier to do before our son was born. Now, I dread the summer months when I have to accompany him to the local pool. Usually I select a shady place behind the bushes and waddle to the pool with my oversized towel wrapped around my figure. Over the years I have become quite skillful at dropping the towel and submerging myself into the pool simultaneously.
Let’s just say that I don’t feel attractive in a bikini.
But this is going to change in 2009. Now that I am closer to 50 years of age than 20, I realize that I need to lose some fat and exercise more. I have to say “more exercise” because I do exercise every day. But, apparently, lugging twenty pounds of laundry up and down the stairs on a daily basis does nothing to combat the fast accumulation of fatty cells in my upper arms.
“Why don’t you go out jogging with me in the morning?” My husband asked. Now, there are some things I enjoy doing with my husband but stomping through the woods and waking up the birds is not one of them.
"No honey, I can’t.” I sighed. “We’re not allowed to leave Stefan at home alone, remember.” Whoever came up with the rule that younger kids cannot be left unsupervised at home, please accept my heartfelt gratitude.
Of course I know it is all about making a commitment and sticking with it. According to an article I read in Stars and Stripes newspaper, a psychologist explains that only about 3 percent of people who make a resolution end up meeting that goal. Setting a realistic goal and tracking your progress help to ensure success in the end. In other words, I can forget about having an abdomen of steel by June.
But what course of action should someone take who despises sports? Throughout the years I have forced my cranky self into the gym to work out, only to abandon that regimen after a few weeks. I just cannot find any joy in pushing and pulling on a weight machine. I have tried taking classes to keep up my commitment, but after a few weeks I always find excuses not to go.
My thoughts have led me to some deep soul searching. I believe that God loves me no matter if my figure resembles a polar bear or a ; yet, I also believe that God wants me to take good care of my body, so that I can take good care of others. How heartbreaking it is to have a child who wants to play soccer with me, but I am too sluggish to play? How sad was I when our son ice skated for the first time a few weeks ago, and I could not join him because I was too scared to try.
Perhaps the clue is not to think about exercising at all, but restating my goal for 2009 as being more active and having more fun. I could join in kicking the soccer ball a few times a week, walk our son to and from school and dance with him to his favorite songs at home. I can even buy some inline skates. Granted, I might demolish our basement as I practice skating there, and I might never get the hang of skating, but I will make an effort.
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