I’ve always loved to move, but after reading this post from Robyn today, I asked myself, ‘Why have I been moving this week?’ Robyn really made me think about the ‘why’, the motivation behind all the movement I do every week, whether it’s a walk with the dogs or a short jog down our road. I would often move or not stop moving for over 10 years out of guilt, because I didn’t think I had done enough, and now I’m re-learning how to enjoy that movement that I do love so much, without doing it out of guilt.
For a long time I definitely didn’t enjoy rest as much; I felt like I couldn’t rest, like I didn’t deserve rest. Isaiah 40:28-31 was really convicting though, when I realized I wasn’t waiting on the Lord. I was just plunging on ahead, hoping that my energy and my body would somehow hold out; the thing is; it doesn’t.
Movement is such a tricky thing. It’s a blessing to be able to move our bodies, because God gave us muscles and ligaments and basically, He made us to move. He didn’t make us to just be sedentary, but I think our culture has kind of demonized ‘being a couch potato’ to the extent that many of us have fallen into the other ditch of moving all the time and not allowing a moment or very many moments for rest and refreshment.
This is concerning to me.
Because I’ve read SOOO many posts from young people on Instagram in their 20s-30s about being burnt out, exhausted, suffering from fatigue, and I wonder, ‘Why is our culture so exhausted? Why are so many young people exhausted?’
I was on Instagram, and another fellow Instagrammer shared this post Davida at the Healthy Maven, ‘To The Woman Who Is Addicted To Exercise.’
Davida shared her story on that post, and it struck me with a thought.
When we’re young we are often very driven by our peers, what other people are doing around us, and thinking that it will work for us. We guilt trip ourselves, because we don’t feel like we measure up to that other person. We’ll compare:
Numbers of Followers
My parents are a really good example of seeking the Lord more than trying to please everybody around them, but when we’re younger it seems like the comparison game is still really strong.
I would compare:
My running schedule
Whether or not I could do pull-ups
How much weight they were lifting
How many marathons they had done vs. what I had done
And the list goes on, but you get the point. Comparison fueled my love for running especially towards the beginning, and right now I’m struggling with that. I still LOVE running genuinely, and I would definitely run as long as God allows until I can’t run any more, but I don’t want to be destroying my body or doing runs/training just for the sake of comparing my accomplishments with someone else.
Exercise can be a huge blessing, but it can also be a chain. For a long time I didn’t listen to my body how I should’ve, and I did more than my body was used to or that it could handle. I would get stressed if we went out to a restaurant for dinner and I hadn’t done my workout. I would worry about being in the car for too long, and I didn’t want to eat even if I was hungry, because I thought I would gain weight.
I am so passionate about enjoying movement now, and I don’t want to promote doing it because you have to even if you don’t want to do it.
Yet, I’m still wrestling with that struggle. I’m still wrestling not comparing my shorter runs or shorter workouts or inability to do pull-ups to other people.
But God made me me.
He made me to need certain kinds of foods, certain kinds of movement, and certain kinds of rest. Right now I’m actually laying on the couch writing this post on a Saturday, hoping to have some sort of nap, because I am TIRED.
An hour and a half later, I woke up, and now I’m finishing this post in real time, and it feels so good.
That’s what I’m learning this week for the week in review with Meg. It’s A-Ok to rest. It’s A-ok to say that I NEED sleep. It’s a-ok to just sit there and not do anything, because that rest can be productive. It produces a clearer mind, a refreshed body, and more energy to do the things that you love to do, the things that you’re being called to do today; and I really appreciated reading a book from a Pastor’s Wife that commented about how professional athletes prioritize their own rest.
How much sleep does an average professional athlete get?
I found this article from Huff Post, and I thought it was interesting how the least sleep people needed was 8 hours. That’s not going to bed at 1 AM and getting up at 7 am y’all. That’s going to bed at 10 pm and getting up at 6 am or 7 am if you need 9 hours.
I’m no professional, but I have heard over and over from so many different people who have studied the way God designed our bodies and shared why lack of sleep can be so detrimental to things like:
That’s why I’m prioritizing (this past week) and more this month:
More Sitting Still After Eating Instead of Succumbing to the Guilt of ‘Not Moving Enough’
More Resting Even If I Can’t Quite Sleep During the Day (which looks like laying down and listening to a podcast or just listening to my rhythmic breathing)
More Actually Savoring Food Instead of Thinking ‘I Need to Eat’
Less Saying ‘Yes’ If I’m Exhausted and Not Letting the Guilt Creep Up
More Saying ‘Yes’ to What God Wants Me to Do Above Trying to Please Everybody
More Investing in My Family
It also seems to be meaning, eating more, and that feels weird, but it feels good. It feels good not to be associating food with calories burnt during the day as much, it feels good to eat because I’m hungry and stop because I’m satisfied.
Healing doesn’t seem to happen quickly, but it’s slow and sure, and I’m grateful. This time last year, I still had a lot of digestive pain and issues that I’m not really struggling with this year, except for on occasion. It’s been so much better, and I’m super grateful for that.
Each week has many ups and downs, but in the midst of it all God is faithful and good, and it’s so wonderful to look back and think how far He’s brought me.
Anybody else struggle with resting because the guilt creeps up on you for resting?
How do you ENJOY movement and know you’re doing it out of the right motivation?