10,000 Steps: A ‘Fitness’ Journey

Today, I walked over 10,000 steps. I know that because my phone told me. I actually walked a few extra trips around the block with the kiddos today to make sure I got those extra steps in. They say if you walk at least 10,000 steps a day, it’s good for your health.

I’m not sure how monumental it is, but I figured it’s worth a shot.

Weight is a thing I’ve struggled with for many years, pretty much as soon as I hit middle school and high school. It is not a pretty struggle, and it is certainly not a fun thing to deal with — but I feel like it’s a common struggle for so many people that we don’t often address.

People who struggle with weight can’t hide it. It’s not something you can take off and put in your closet. Instead, you’re kind of wandering around hoping to God the clothes you are wearing are semi-flattering or at least not horrid. If you’ve gained weight, it’s not like any other kind of issue, such as cigarettes or something outside of your person that you can stash. That extra weight is literally on top of you every minute, and you are dragging it around every where.

It doesn’t help when people make comments that bring others down. I can’t tell you how hurtful people can be, even without meaning it.

I guess what I’m really worried about is this — why on earth is it anyone’s business what anyone else’s body looks like, fat or thin? Why do I care what other people think of how I look? Honestly, it is an interesting question to ponder.

Why does it matter matter so much?

My theory on the matter is that we are all so concerned with what everyone thinks about our appearance because we tie it too closely with how we actually are as a person. Somehow, in our minds, we’ve partnered our looks and weight and fitness to what our personalities are like. That isn’t correct either.

While I may not be the same person I was when I was a size four eight years ago, it didn’t change because of my weight. My personality didn’t disappear because I gained weight. I still like Dave Matthews Band and the Beatles. I still sing really loudly in the car. I still drink coffee by the gallon, so it seems. I still enjoy writing and all the other things that make me who I am.

This goes for other circumstances as well. Maybe if we, as people, started realizing how much in common we have and started getting to know one another and realizing that we are complex, beautiful people with different ideas and feelings and problems and emotions and desires — maybe life would be just that much easier. Maybe we could have a few more friends, or at the very least, shed a few less tears.

I’m not really sure how Jesus felt about weight – in all honesty, I think he was too busy loving people and seeing them for who they are and what they should be to care too much. However, I know that we are called to treat our bodies as temples for the Holy Spirit. I do think we should treat our bodies well and try to be healthy, but that does not mean we should beat ourselves up and have negative thoughts constantly about it, because that isn’t healthy either.

I do know that Jesus called us to love our neighbors — and he didn’t call out specific ones. He just said our neighbors — not just the nice ones, or the pretty ones or the thin ones. In Matthew 22:39, he said, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Maybe instead of counting steps for fitness, I should be counting steps toward someone in love. Maybe I should focus outwardly on those who are hurt and broken around me, rather than worrying about how my jeans fit. I guess if I’m moving in the Spirit into a posture of loving those who need it most, I’ll get to 10,000 steps pretty quickly.

Maybe it’s not physical weight I need to lose, but mental — the kind that’s holding me back from my neighbor.

Let us give thanks for and care for these bodies that God entrusted to us, but let us also look a little more clearer at those around us. Instead of seeing the outward appearances and perceptions, let us see the person that shines out from inside and offer compassion and grace.

Maybe I’ll start taking those 10,000 steps toward someone else, instead of walking on my own.