Heroes and Bikinis: Abs Part II

I just got back from the gym. Guess which muscles I focused on for fifteen minutes. Exactly right: the internal and external obliques and rectus and transversus abdominis (I think that means road runner in Latin). Out of all the muscle groups, working out my abdominals is probably the least pleasant in my opinion. Just the jargon associated with ab exercises – crunch, twist, double-time, pulse, plank, hold, keep holding! – is enough to make me want to keep the six pack in the cooler and wear my Longhorn sweatshirt year-round. But no pain, no gain (bet you haven’t heard that before) – you’ve gotta suck it up so you don’t have to suck it in!

I mentioned in my last post that since the ‘70s, more and more women have embraced weights – figuratively speaking – to reshape the bodies their genes have provided for them. I am one of these ladies!

 I, like many of you reading, have never been overweight, and until my junior year of high school, I considered French fries my daily vegetable and never gained a pound. Before I go any further, have any of you heard the oh so flattering phrase, “Skinny Fat?” Here’s the textbook definition: when someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath (urbandictionary.com). People who fit this description appear to be healthy, but often have a dangerously high body fat percentage.

Before I started working out with weights and eating right, I was the aforementioned walking oxymoron called Skinny Fat. One thing I love about weight lifting, besides the obvious benefits such as building stronger bones and preventing disease, is that it allows you to be like Phidias, the Greek sculptor. You start with an unprepossessing piece of marble, and chisel, hammer, and shape until it’s transformed into Aphrodite. You begin with the raw material you were born with, and with a little knowledge mixed with a significant dash of discipline, you replace skinny fat with super fit.

Lifting weights regularly and maintaining a balanced, healthy diet have literally worked wonders in my life – not wonders of the world like Phidias’s Zeus mind you, but wonders just the same.

Before I started working out, I was self-conscious about wearing tank tops because I thought my arms were too pudgy. I don’t even have to mention how I felt about two-piece bathing suits. But the bottom line shouldn’t be so superficial that it begins and ends with how good we look in very little clothing (the Bible has much to say about modesty, after all). But keeping fitness a priority very often leads to and sustains confidence, strength, and vibrancy, all qualities of life that enable us to better serve God and one another. Being able to wear tank tops while we labor and a two-piece while we rest is just the icing on the cake. 😉

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di

 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10