Who here enjoys tapping the “back” button with their pinkie finger to delete part of a sentence? Delete-delete-delete-delete … Why, it’s almost like exercise. And I do have a delightfully slender pinkie, don’t you think?
Speaking of exercise, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Because tomorrow marks yet another attempt at the dreaded “E” word, as my friend Peggy calls it.
Yes, Working out, another bad word for it. And at a gym, no less!
But this is no small feat. My history of exercise is illustrious. To summarize:
- Hating gym class in grade and high school. Y’all been there and you know the list. I don’t have to tell you. Ok, I’ll tell you: Nakedness in the shower. Poorly fitting gym clothes. Unsleekness, self-consciousness, and immobility of body, compared to the rest of the world. A strong desire to throw up. Shall we stop there?
- Exercising at home: Mother outpacing you as you attempt to run. Brother following on bicycle laughing.
- Aerobics with a friend at local disco. I mean, gym. Fun, private, and on the short term very effective. Body at that time 105 pounds and unconcerned, just realllly want a boyfriend.
- Repeat ad infinitum as prices go up and momentum goes down until current weight and form achieved.
However, now that I’m old, gym is free, and I have no excuse. Besides which, my doctor has “requested” that I start seriously exercising and dieting. Relax; I will not go into my history of dieting. It’s just slightly more embarrassing than my exercise history.
There’s a reason he’s recommending this so strongly. It’s not just because I’ve hired him as a doctor, and he wants to hear himself talk. No, the problem is I have a number of risk factors for heart attack, also known as “M.I.,” or Myocardial Infarction. These risk factors may also lead to stroke and other illnesses. And keep in mind, heart attack is not the only heart disease there is.
The list is is impressive, to say the least:
- My obesity (don’t I just adore that word): I am at least 50 pounds overweight. And my BMI (body mass index) does fit into the “obese” category, so you don’t have to be nice, punch my arm, and say “ohh, come on… have a brownie …” I might say yes! Go here if you want to see how you measure up.
- My high blood pressure (also known as hypertension): Your blood pressure does not even have to be super high to put you in this category. Please go here for more information.
- My high cholesterol: This is a little more complicated, because some kinds are good, and some kinds are bad. Let’s just say that mine is bad, and call it good. Bad. Oh, you know what I mean. For more information, go here.
- My high blood sugar. This is the primary sign of diabetes. And diabetes is one of the more common risk factors for heart attack and other illnesses. For more information, see here, and here.
- My age: Although 56 is not ancient, women age 55 or older, and men age 45 or older, are more likely to have a heart attack than their younger counterparts. Of course, the risk grows every year.
- My family history of heart attack: I am fortunate that my family history doesn’t include stroke and diabetes, but I am sad to say that one family member has added this particular risk factor to my chance of heart attack. I am more sad for them than for myself, but yes, it does add color to this already fabulous (?) list.
- My sex (Man, does this list ever end??): Men are more likely to suffer heart attack, but after a woman reaches menopause, her risk is greater than it was.
- My tobacco history: I no longer smoke, but 30+ years did not do my body any favors. Unfortunately, long term second-hand exposure also adds to that risk.
- My lack of physical activity: We have already pretty much covered that.
- My stress level (Rolls on floor laughing): Have you read this blog?? And I have held back, trust me!
There are three other risk factors listed at the mayoclinic.org site that I should mention, ones that I do not have (and thank you to the site for helping me to flesh out this information):
10. Illegal drug use
11. History of pre-eclampsia (a condition which may occur during pregnancy)
12. History of an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
Anyone here think that I should dismiss the advice my doctor is giving me? (Searches among the audience). Oh, I see that hand! Wait. That hand belongs to me.
Speaking of God, have I forgotten Him in all of this? Of course not. I have always been conscious of the fact that God requires me to be a good steward of all He has given me, including my body. We could all improve our stewardship of what God has given us, I’m sure. But this area has always been particularly difficult for me. Obviously, I can serve Him better with more stamina, more years, and even with the happiness that comes from doing what is right. Not to mention the happiness that comes from exercise, which produces endorphins!
And I have always believed that better fitness is a better witness. Wouldn’t it say a lot about what God is capable of doing? I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). Which is exactly my point. He is the One Who can enable me to do this. He is the One Who will sustain me. If I forget all of this, I will surely be lost in this endeavor.
SO, tomorrow’s the day, the gym is the place. Attractive clothing will be donned, and self-esteem will be firmly (somewhat firmly) tucked into my waistband…
Someone remind me. What is a waistband again?
ANYhow – won’t you come with? Because I really would like to have someone with whom I can commiserate. (You see the word “misery” buried in there?)
And maybe it will be like it was so many years ago. Right, Beth?
♫ ♪ Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill
Today’s music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock ‘n’ roll ♫ ♪
[Read more: Bob Seger – Old Time Rock Roll Lyrics | MetroLyrics]