Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weight Matters (and Why Brooke Shields' Blue Jeans Also Matter)

"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not." -Mark Twain, American writer and humorist
I don't know anyone who doesn't struggle with weight. Family, friends, and people in general living on both sides of the ocean, models included. Everyone seems to battle with the scale in some way.
Brooke Shields talked recently about getting back into her Calvin jeans from the eighties. (To see the clip, click here). When I read her conversation about zipping up those jeans and looking like a sausage, I had to laugh -- because I could relate. I've done the same. Those relic blue jeans really do matter.

photo: www.wikimediacommons.org
It is no understatement to say as we age, we grow -- for lack of a better word -- fatter. No matter who we are and what our heredity is, life catches up to us, the couch feels ever more satisfying, and food becomes the best ally in finding comfort in our turbulent lives and world. It's true -- whether from years at a deskjob, or from pregnancy, or from just plain slowing down on our feet but not slowing down with the fork, we all gain weight and keep it as we age. Unless we do something about it.

For me, after having three boys in less than four years, my weight became an unavoidable issue, and I reached my own tipping point with my weight. I made a decision, and set a goal -- of getting back into the jeans I'd kept from 1988. My relics.

Making a workable plan was the hardest part, and included many false starts and a few extra gained pounds before I finally hit my groove. But this is what has worked for me: trading in an extra hour of sleep in the morning for 3 miles on the elliptical. And keeping at it, every day. There aren't many days where getting up at that hour is easy. And then, truly working out for any stretch of time at any activity is work. But after months of driving myself toward that goal, I fit back into my relics. And then I had a party.

Now, over three years later, I still work to get up at early hours and jump on the elliptical. And still, not many mornings are easy to get moving. But from all that working out and setting goals and working more, I have to say I feel great. Not because I dropped a few jeans sizes and have stayed that way, even though that is a huge perk. But I feel great. Deep down. There is something spiritually satisfying about being fit. That is what gets me out of bed these days, the deeper sense of well-being and health.

I do agree with Brooke. Having a goal, a measuring stick or pair of relic jeans, to work toward creates a feeling of triumph when that goal is met. Sausage-look or not, a healthier life is always worth working toward.

Working out is tough. There is no magic formula to being fit besides pure work. There is no miraculous diet that makes us our best without the dedication and perserverance that goes with becoming well. But, we only get one life to live. We only have one chance to go through each day we've been given. And in that light, it's so important to never stop trying to be our very best. The work is worth it. Being healthy is always a great goal to keep.

Starting the conversation (leave a comment below): I'd love to hear your fitness journey. What is it that gets you moving? What works for you? Do you have a relic to stand in as your goal?


  1. Jennifer,
    Great post. I think just deciding to start is the biggest step. Being intentional about activity, about putting the fork down at the halfway point instead of at the empty plate mark...those are often the hardest (and ironically, most rewarding) moments. What a gift that taking even small steps yields immediate results of feeling better.

  2. Hi Jennifer, I can so relate to what you wrote about! I gained a lot of weight while pregnant with both of my boys, and the second time it was much harder to get it off. Last January I started working out six days a week, alternating jogging with strength training (a video called 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels.) It's definitely not easy, but when I work out I notice that I have more energy. I've also dropped some weight. (But I doubt I'll ever fit into my relic jeans again.) The best part is, working out makes me feel much better about myself. I feel healthy and strong, and that's more important to me than numbers on the scale.


  3. Thank you, Jennifer and Sara, for taking the time to share your thoughts here ... I'm inspired by your own fitness journeys.


  4. Jennifer,

    I think I met you briefly at ACFW and found your blog through our agency's website (Macgregor Literary.) So interesting that you're blogging about this today (or, recently, I guess!) I am constantly struggling to make peace with my body and feel like it won't happen until I drop that 15 lbs. I've been lugging around since having Baby #3! ugh. It's definitely NOT easy.

    In the past, I've struggled with eating disorders and am TRYING to be healthy this time... but still, I fail. It IS amazing to me that beautiful women like you and Brooke Shields even think about such things, but thank you for presenting it in such a clear, honest way. :)

  5. Thank you, Courtney, for sharing openly about your struggles, too. It is true-- weight has such a spiritual connection. I'll be cheering you on as you approach your own goal to feeling your very best.




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