Thursday, June 29, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

The Gym Experience...Accept the Challenge

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NOT the most flattering photo but then you will get the message of this post...

Repentance is usually a word that is completely associated with a faith based decision. Making the decision to turn from doing wrong to walking right in belief and trust in God and His Son. It also was true for me because I was an addict...a foodaholic. True in ever definition of the word regardless how funny it sounds. I didn't sneak it. I had my own plate. I loved chocolate chip cookies and mocha fraps. People think that because I was large, I gorged myself or was sneaky with food. I loved to eat, bake and cook. However, I see other reasons I ate and some of it was encouraged. Regardless of the reasons, I still had the choice. So the day I woke up and made the changes in my life, I began to build the confidence to gain control of areas in my life that belonged to God and nobody else. 

One of the areas that helped me build confidence was joining a gym. Was it easy to walk in the door? No, not even at weighing in at my goal weight. Was it easy to get on my first piece of equipment? No, I was afraid people were watching me or judging me. Did I think I would be laughed at if I went to a class? Yes, because I was like a puppet on a string and the puppeteer had me wound up tight and when I was in the gym, I felt released, free. 

However, all the myths of what I thought, the preconceived ideas about the gym weren't true. Surprise! Our mind has a way of telling us that we can't do something and our feelings enforce that thought, feed it to the point we won't do whatever it is that our bodies want to do or need to do. When we move the enemy out of the way and allow our body to control what our minds think and do, then we can accomplish anything. I learned this as a runner. My mind would tell me I couldn't make it the first mile, but my body knew it could. I would just move forward, thinking about the finish line and what I would do afterwards. You cannot trust your thoughts or feelings, but you can trust what you know, realizing that this thing will only last a short time and you will be done.

People at the gym go to accomplish their goals for that hour, that day and that time that lead to their bigger goals. They don't pay attention to what you are doing, wearing or even who you are. The difference that I learned is that I could watch how someone used a piece of equipment so that I could use it more effectively. I learned to go backwards on the treadmill by watching and then that person challenged me to try it. A member offered to show me how to use the elliptical the first time I was on it. The staff has been beneficial in showing me proper way to do exercises and suggesting classes to take.  The classes themselves are simply fun. I have learned that it is alright if you need to modify a pose or exercise and the class participants are focused on the instructor and following the instructions, not how you are doing in the class.

Intimidation is something that we have allowed to lead our lives and we should simply repent of the problem and change our behavior. Don't let intimidation rule our lives. Whatever you choose to do, realize that everyone had a starting point and did it for the first time as well. 

In 2015, I had a goal to join a gym, one of my best girlfriends told me of one hiring. I applied. I had no idea how much I would love the gym life and working out. It is life changing. When you workout, more oxygen goes to the brain and you can make better choices and better decisions. I feel so much better after just five-minutes. This gym girl loves her experience. 

Accept the challenge...just get started! 

Hugs, Rita


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