Fitness Testimony and What Health Means to Me

Fitness has never meant to me, that I need to own a scale.

Health to mean is not obtained by drinking a shake the color a pine tree.

Being pretty or beautiful does not require a size 2 jeans.

My parents never were big on fitness and health. We are backwoods country people where you eat what is put on the table and exercising means helping out on the farm. But let's be real even us country people now have internet and television where we are told us doing what we have always done is wrong or we don't exercise enough. I agree and yet disagree.

When I was growing up I loved playing outside. Running through the fields, the woods, climbing trees, and running through the house on rainy days. But something changed when I turned 3 years old, my mom wanted to counteract the tomboy that my dad was creating. She enrolled me in a dance class. Thus, I fell in love with dance.

Dancing became just as important to me as hunting did. My family was amazed that I was learning to be graceful and were even more amazed that helped me to hunt because I could be selective and fast on my feet. So my parents didn't worry about my weight as a child. I was free running everywhere.

Now, when you have lessons and school starts life gets hectic and fast food becomes so easy. Again my parents didn't care because I had active lifestyle. My mom started worrying about her figure after she had my brothers though. That's when Richard Simmons was introduced to my life. I will never forget the hours my mom spent in front of the TV pulling on bands that smelled like tires.

Then my aunt who is a few years older than me started doing fitness videos called Taebo Fitness. I would join in because I liked how it looked. Then people all of the sudden started talking about lean products and eating healthier. It became a crazed thing. Lean Pockets, Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, Southbeach Diet, and Slim Fast all started popping up.

Into my teens years as my all girls school the girls talked about being on diets above or videos. I happily just sat back and watched them as I munch on Golden Flake Mesquite BBQ chips that my dad sent me in care packages. My figure stayed the same because I was practicing dancing 4 nights a week. I was part of the dance team, and I was continuing my lessons in ballet, tap, and jazz. My friends were jealous because my figure was slim. I was picked on and said to have an eating disorder. Which was never the case. I love food and I would never waste it by throwing it up again.

College is where things started going downhill for me. My insecurity finally started heating up. So what if I was sorority girl, I had to look the part. I compared myself to all my friends in my cosmetology classes. It became much worse when I graduated from Ohio State and went on to the University of Alabama. Southern food and countless hours partying and studying does not add up to a beautiful figure. I went back to my love of dancing. Dance team took over but I still didn't feel like I was in great shape.

While I was thinking of another activity to do in addition to my dancing, my brother's cancer doctor recommended that he take light walks and maybe do yoga. Bryant, is my baby brother who I love so much that he feels like my child. I was up for anything to make him feel better. So we started yoga and walking. Even when he didn't feel like going out, we were introduced to Leslie Sansone. She does walk at home videos that are just fantastic! She's upbeat and positive. It was what helped my brother feel good and helped me feel better.

Once I graduated from getting my masters in 2011 I went on to try out for another dance like team. I didn't make the cut because I was told I didn't have the look that they wanted, but I went through a boot camp that gave me a body I didn't want to get rid of afterwards either. So I wanted even more ways to stay fit. I found pole dancing fitness when I returned to Seattle. People who have never pole danced usually have an opinion that isn't a good one of pole dancing. It's hard! Very hard, you have to have core muscles that you didn't even realize you could have.

Then in 2013 after moving back to Alabama I was told that someone didn't seem me running, or doing a triathlon. Well, that got under my skin. I am a Collins and in my family you don't back down to people who say you can't do something. I made up my mind right then and there to run the 2014 Princess Half Marathon. And I did. That lead to me running more.

So what about today? What am I doing now? Well that's a jumble of things because I cannot stand to be stuck with one fitness program. I have tried Team Beachbody but their system can seem very daunting for beginners in fitness and even novice. Granted I love some of their workouts but I want to feel free to do other things and not have to say "This program gave me this body." No myself discipline gave me this body. I have also tried Crossfit. I like this for pushing myself more and more. But I don't want to be bulky with muscles. That's not what I want to look like at all.

The program I am loving the most right now is Tone It Up. I have used a few of their videos here and there and loved them but never really looked into them. I had even received a few of their products and still didn't check them out! When did I finally jump on the wagon? Well when Pretty Neat Living (used to be known as OrganizedJen) posted her Food and Fitness Vlog! (Seriously, the woman can talk me into anything!) I loved how she talked about their food and food journaling. I checked it out and I knew then this was for me. I love the Booty Calls that they tell you to do because that's where either my yoga or running fit in and then I do a workout with them.

Now I still go to all my doctor's appointments (Sports doctor, nutritionist, Family doctor, Gyno, dermatologist)  which is where I talk to them about what I am putting into my body. Mine doesn't recommend too many shakes. One told me that too many shakes can slow you down rather than speed you up. I am a running; I do not need to be slowed down! He and I work together on making sure I can fit in my Chickfila fix into my diet, which he laughs about and calls me a crazy chick.

Now I do pass on making healthier choices, but processed food is just there in our world. We try to cut back as much in our family, but we are real and we like to just live. My kids like to do yoga with me and they like to go on runs with me. I never force them to do any kind of exercise. I simply fix it where they have to get some of their energy out.

Now my biggest complain is that so many people assume dieting and exercising go hand in hand with losing weight. Let me show you something:

Society would call most of these women fat or obese. It irritates the far out of me (see southern gal showin') that just because I am tall I don't get called fat for a weight a shorter person would. I don't think it is fair also to talk about healthy and weight loss when some people can't lose weight for medical concerns and medicines.

For me one of the best tv moments of all times comes an episode called "They Shoot Fat People Don't They" from the tv series Designing Women. I will swear by this speech from Dixie Carter's character all of my life because even if I am not what people call a fat person, I have that character inside me. 

"...In the end it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about you. People are going to forget you about 10 minutes after you die anyway." Don't let some group, magazine, fitness program, or family member make you feel bad. Do something about fitness and health for you. Don't worry about weight, inches, and sizes. Instead worry about how your mind feels, how your heart feels, and how you can encourage someone else to do the same. 

I recently started a group on Facebook with a friend of mine, instead being accountable for working out we encourage one another for getting through the day. If we worked out fine, if not, that's okay too. Join here at: Encouragement For Soul, Body And Mind

No comments