Lifting Weights

Weight.  We lose it, we gain it, we lift it, we shift it, we take pride in it, and we even hide in it.  Weight.

The people in my circle and I have all been going round and round with this weighty word lately.  We all have different weight goals and methods of getting there, but we all really want the same thing.  A change in our weights; a physical and an emotional change.

One friend is using her beautiful, wonderful change in weight to help others fight for their own change.  Another friend is building up her self-esteem higher and higher every day as she takes back control of her weight.  She is taking care of herself, loving herself, and you can see it all over her pretty face.  And another friend is choosing herself everyday.  I love this one.  She chooses to be herself instead of a number on a scale so that she has the strength to take care of herself and everyone else. And me, I’ve decided to be a lifter of weight.  I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained it, I’ve shifted it, taken pride in it, and certainly have done my fair share of hiding in it.  But now I really like lifting it.

Now I crave that soreness in my shoulders from pressing those weights above my head again and again.  I’m bent on that burn in my legs when I don’t think I can get back up from that last round of squats.  Hurts so good, doesn’t it?  Realizing the heaviness of those weights, but lifting them anyway just plain hurts.

But it’s a welcome hurt. I wake up the next day and  I can’t walk, I can’t sit down, and I cry a little bit as I lift the baby carrier into the car.  The third day it hurts a little more, but I feel a little bit stronger. There it is, that’s what I’m hurting for.  So I grab a heavier set of weights, and I do it all again.

The process of building muscle is painfully slow.  Especially slow for women, I was warned. (Test my patience, oh Lord, you know it needs it.) But when I think about the emotional weight that we all carry, the process makes sense.  We carry these heavy burdens on our shoulders.  We carry titles given to us and titles we give ourselves.  We carry regret, sadness, insecurity, and fear. With all the things bearing down on us, it takes courage, determination, and a whole lot of gritting of teeth to lift them up and off our breaking backs.  So we have to take a little weight at a time, raising the hurt up and down again until it doesn’t feel quite like the same hurt anymore.  The hurt is a little lighter, we are a little stronger, and we are able to add some fear to the bar and start again.

Lifting weights is teaching me a lot about myself.  I’ve been picking my weights up, one at a time.  It feels good to get them off of my chest.  Some days the weights feel a little heavier than the day before, and some days I can pile on more.  I lift and I lower and change a little every day.  I see new lines, have new definitions, and feel a heart beating stronger in my chest.

The process is slow, the weights are heavy, but the reward is strength. So take heart, my friend, for strength of mind, strength of heart, and strength of body awaits, all we have to do is keep lifting our weights.

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