As we all recover from the annual weekend of overeating, here is a little
We all know from our childhood Sunday school lessons that God’s creation was once perfect, but is now imperfect. Over the course of the last ten years, I’ve seen this truth realized in my body. It’s not that God didn’t knit me together perfectly in the womb as he tells us in Psalm 139, but as it turns out he made me a good foot too short… for my weight, that is. I’m pretty sure that if I were somewhere in the 6’8 range, my body mass index would be right on the money. But since I’ll remain vertically-challenged in this life, I’ve come to the realization that I may need to drop a few LB’s if I’m going to live my life to the fullest.
Like a lot of guys, I’ve been steadily putting on the pounds since marriage, and have been insecure about it. Thankfully, Jill has managed to acknowledge that I’ve gained some weight without making me feel terrible about it. And so despite the downward slide, I’ve remained optimistic that I’ll get motivated and get me one of those Bradley Cooper physiques that sell so many issues of People magazine to you ladies.
Thankfully, about two months ago, Jill’s dad asked me if I’d like to try a home workout with him. Well, not just any workout – P90X – the “mother of all home workouts.” I liked the idea of us doing it together and despite the fact that he’s in his sixties, does Pilates twice a week, and just ran a half marathon, I figured I could keep up with him.
Long story short, we hit the 30 day mark of the 90 day series and things are going very well. I’ve dropped an inch off of my waist, am building muscle, and most importantly, I’m having a lot of fun doing it. As I think of the last month, I’m very, very thankful for the encouragement that I’ve gotten from him, from Jill, and from my parents, my mother-in-law, and even my kids. The key here is that they’ve been encouraging, but not TOO encouraging if you know what I mean. They haven’t been over the top with compliments (code for “we can’t believe you have hauled that beer gut out of bed each morning to do this”) but have instead expressed sincere encouragement every so often.
The lesson for me is that Jill would have been well within her rights as my wife to say, “I’d prefer that you not turn into a monster slob one fried chicken at a time… can you please get to the gym?” but instead she was patient with me and provided encouragement. Moreover, my father in law is a gym rat and certainly didn’t need to do P90X with me, but he jumped in with me because he knew I wouldn’t likely do it myself.
I’ve come to believe that while encouragement may abundant in this world for Generation Y with their helicopter parents (us), it is sorely lacking in this world for most adults. And a little goes a looong way. And while I may not be able to restore my physique to anything near perfection, whatever improvements I make I can chalk up to having loved ones that value encouragement more than criticism.
How can you encourage your spouse this week?