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So I realized today that I don’t need exercise.

Hold on a minute, I hear you say.  You run.  You work out with kettlebells.  You jump rope sometimes, and walk when you can.

Yes.  I do all those things.  I love them.  I feel good when I exercise.  My thinking clears up and I sweat out some bad attitudes and negative junk.

But I don’t need to exercise to fit into my clothes.

See, I’ve gotten injured several times over the last handful of years.  I hurt my back.  I hurt my calf.  And now, my foot.  You learn to modify your exercise, take it down a couple of notches.  You stretch. You rest. You might even pray, if the pain gets too excruciating or prolonged.  You discover right quick that you can’t eat the volume of food you devoured while including 2 hour-long kettlebells sessions and running 25+ miles in your weekly schedule.

Blessedly, long ago, I’d heard about Weigh Down Workshop and later Thin Within. I know I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Thin Within is WDW without the condemnation. Much more palatable and grace-filled.  Thin Within’s structure states that you eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.  You start by cutting your portions in half.  You eat slowly and deliberately, eliminating distractions. What I love is that no food is taboo.  You might need to eat less of it, listening to your body’s cues, but you can still have pecan pie. Food loses its power over you. The program contains much more valuable information, but I’ve given you the basic gist.

I don’t practice it perfectly, but I’ve eaten this way of eating for almost 20 years now. At this point in life, I can’t run as much as I’d like.  Yet swinging kettlebells every day bores me to tears.  Besides, exercise can never burn off as much food as you eat.  A piece of pizza can contain anywhere from 300-500 calories and up per slice.  Running a mile burns somewhere around 100 calories. If you eat 2 pieces of pizza, will you run 10 miles?  Not me. Okay, maybe me if I’m training for something.

Running, lifting weights, swimming, etc. can help you get toned, improve cardiovascular health, mental acuity and extend your life.  Exercise has its own rewards, like building muscle mass to enable your body to burn more calories when at rest. But despite popular shows like “Biggest Loser”, it’s not the main factor in weight loss. We need to eat less, period.

So let me encourage you as I encourage myself.  Exercise is not the magic bullet, only an enhancer.  If you’re physically unable to move much, you can still lose weight. And you can keep weight off by obeying hunger and fullness. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139). You have everything you need to get lean.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. – 1 Corinthians 6:12

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