Friday, November 18, 2011


Something else I've been thinking about lately.

Folks, running is not the only kind of exercise.
And if you don't like it, that doesn't mean you're fat.

The world doesn't like us to know those things.  Oh yeah.  One more thing.

I like doughnuts.

I enjoy spending time on Pinterest sometimes.  I see pretty things and get good ideas, plus it can be a really great place to look if you're trying to find a new healthy recipe or some new ways to make cards.  It's a trendy place that way.  But I've noticed something lately.  A lot of women are on Pinterest, pinning away at "motivating" posters telling them to go exercise.  And they always write captions on the bottom like, "So true!" and "I need to put this by the fridge!" and even "I'll think of this every time I eat a cookie!"  The thing is, I don't find those posters very motivating.

Here's an example:

Let's go through this, shall we?
Myth #1: You will regret eating that cookie.
Truth: I often don't regret eating cookies.  The only time I do regret eating cookies is when I'm feeling guilty or fat.  Guess who wants us to feel guilty and fat, guys.  Not people who love us.  People who love us are encouraging and kind.  They don't tell you to stop being so fat and put down that cookie because, even though it's delicious, you've already had a carrot today and that has enough sugar in it for your whole week!  (I also sometimes regret eating a cookie if I've already eaten 12.)

Myth #2: You will not regret running that mile.
Truth: I sometimes do regret running that mile.  You know why? Because I hate running.  There.  I said it. 
I hate running! and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
 Do you know what I do enjoy?  Biking, yoga, pilates, swimming, hiking, walking... lots of things.  I don't always do them, but I enjoy them.  When I get home after going running, I am not filled with energy and happiness, as many people are.  I am, in fact, more prone to crash on the couch and watch TV all night long than if I hadn't gone running. 

By the way, did you check out the tumblr account name of the person who made that poster? That's right.  makemeextrasmall
Let's try again:
Myth #3: Not exercising = being fat.
Truth: Not exercising = not being as healthy as you could be.  The purpose of this post is not to say that exercising isn't good for us.  That's not true.  Exercising is great when done right!  We've been told to take care of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20, among many) and I definitely believe exercising is one part of doing so.  But there is so much more involved in being healthy than just exercising.  If I'm eating perfectly and doing everything else except exercising, I'm going to wager a guess that I won't be fat.  Now that might not be true - but I don't eat perfectly now and I'm not fat, so I'm guessing it's not too far from the truth.  To conclude: No, if you don't exercise, you may not be as healthy as you could be, but that does NOT mean you are fat.  Even logically, it doesn't follow.

and, while we're at it, Myth #4: Exercising = being skinny or causing skinniness.
I'll let you all in on a little secret.  Not all bodies are made to be skinny.  So, like it or not, you might exercise until the cows come home and never be as thin as the girl in that picture up there.  And guess what.  That's okay!  Because your body is special and specific to you - Your body knows when it's at a healthy weight!  And that healthy weight might not be 100 or 125 or whatever you think sounds healthy.  Your healthy might be 150.  It might be 175.  But the take-home lesson from Myth #4 is that, while exercising is good for you, not everyone who exercises is going to end up skinny and that's okay.
And let's just finish this out with two last remarks.
1. Exercising builds muscle.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  So if you start exercising to lose weight and notice that that's not happening, maybe you're gaining muscle.  Conclusion: When it comes to tracking your weight loss/gain, try using a tape measure instead of a scale.



Mom said...

Can I be your mother so that I can take credit for all of the smarts that you are showing here? Oh yeah! I AM already your mother! BUT, I will not take credit for your smarts. You got those from your dad.

Jessica said...

Ahhh. Thank you. I am not a running fan either. For those who are, go for it. Just don't make me feel like I have too.

I also like donuts, and I have never felt guilty eating one :) In fact I exercise so I can eat whatever I want... not in place of eating whatever I want.

Bethany said...

Write a book.

Today, really. I'll read it.

Kathleen said...

i think you are wise and wonderful!

Carrie Ann said...

Oh, Alison. This post made me so happy. I also hate those posters. I think they're stupid. I don't feel bad about every cookie I eat. Sometimes i actually regret NOT eating the cookie.

A. Bailey said...

This is awesome Allison. Thanks for posting it. And thank you for helping me pack up my kitchen a year and half ago. I will never forget it. AND I hate running too. I am an exercise video sort of person. Denise Austin just makes my day :)

Allison said...

Amen! People post pictures on pinterest and write captions like "this is what I'm going to look like after I'm done." All the girls in the pictures are WAY too thin. They must not eat donuts... or anything else either.

Stefan said...

Hey, Al...
You mention that we've been told in 1 Corinthians to take care of our bodies, but you didn't mention what Paul said to Timothy. And I quote: "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:8)
You know me and how much I love to exercise, but mostly I do it because it's fun, not because it's going to burn that cookie off me. When I exercise just for exercise's sake, I find it boring and non-motivating. I agree so much with what you said. Life is good. LIVE IT!!

Annegirl said...

I'm going to put THIS on my fridge. And also, I miss you.

Alison said...

Thanks so much! I'm glad you all liked it :)

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