The Spin

22 Feb

Today I was jealous of an old lady.

No, not because of her wisdom or even her lifelong loving relationships…

…it was because of her LEGS. They were absolutely not old-lady legs AT ALL. They were model legs. For real. I’ve never seen an older lady with such young, skinny, tone, tan model-legs before (honesty, is that even possible??) but I promise you, they were the greatest legs. So great that I am openly obsessing over them to you, bloggy world. They looked that good.

Okay, before you think I’m a huge creeper for staring at some lady’s legs, just know I was at the gym. Why do skinny people even GO to the gym? I mean, do they get paid by the gym owners or something to make their gym look good? You KNOW they were probably born that way, with great genetics that run in their beautiful family of skinny people – they dont NEED the gym. How dare they want to be physically fit and healthy. Those aspirations are for normal people with “slow metabolisms” and a love of fast food and desserts. Hmpf.

But anyways. The gym.

So there I was, thankful to reach the end of a tough spinning class. Have you ever been to a spinning class? It is the empitome of death and life (talk about your spiritual metaphors!) You feel like you’re going to die for an hour, but afterwards you feel accomplished and awesome like you could take on the world… after a quick nap of course. Okay so I’m no spinning superstar, but since I hate strongly dislike working out, I figure surviving something that intense once or twice a week should at least help me make SOME progress. Baby steps people.

At the end of the class the instructor makes sure everyone stretches out, using your stationary bike as a prop. You put your leg up on the seat and stretch, switch legs, cross one over, stretch the calves, etc etc… So I climb off the bike, thankful to be alive, and put one leg up on the bike. Of course, I can’t really reach my foot all the way up to the seat of the bike (like some over-achievers), so I stick with the middle of the bike, totally acceptable. As I am doing this, standing to the left of my bike with my leg/foot extended towards the right side of the room, I see my spinning neighbor to the right doing the same. That is, if by “the same” you mean stretching like a yoga master contortionist with her foot aaallll the way up on the HANDLE BARS and then squatting down and forward… practically doing a split standing up. Now, normally, I would just shake my head in disgust (in my mind, of course – I’m too tired to actually shake my head anyways) and look away, preferable towards one of the few guys in the class (men are horrible stretchers)… but that is when I noticed my spinning neighbor’s LEGS. Good Lord those were amazing legs. 

Which brings us back to the whole jealous of an old lady thing. Of course, I didn’t realize she was an older lady until she switched fancy yoga poses and I caught a glimpse of her face. WHAT?! Those legs do NOT, cannot, belong to her. I may have stared, but only out of disbelief and slight confusion, for everything I knew to be true about getting old were apparently lies. But seriously, I almost said something. As if I had to acknowledge the amazing legs. But how do you compliment someone on their legs?

“Uhh, hi, excuse me, sorry to interrupt your very important show-off, I mean stretching time, but I just wanted to let you know that you have the most beautiful legs, not that you dont already know, I mean, they are YOUR legs, but I just can’t stop looking at them, not that I’m staring or looking or even noticed really. I’m not a creeper, promise.”

After thinking through the possible outcomes of opening my mouth, I decided it best not to boost her ego, because you know, she probably hears that all the time. I forced myself to look away and tried to trick my brain into thinking that she got those legs from simply going to spinning class once or twice a week… so, my legs will totally look like that, probably by next class. Or something.

And this is just what we do, as women, as females. Compare ourselves to those around us. Never satisfied until …well … until never – just NEVER satisfied! We always want to lose more, no matter how good we may already look. Sure society is to blame, growing up in a country where thin is beautiful and overweight is ugly. There are few role models in the spotlight with a strong, healthy, confident self-image (and who aren’t teeny tiny sticks). However, there are some, and it gives me a huge smile when I hear them speak the truth in their own ways.

[Kelly] Clarkson strikes back against those who have criticized her waistline, saying: “When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’  The 27-year-old ‘American Idol’ champion turned music supserstar says that like everyone else, her “happy weight changes,” and that “sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more.” Clarkson says she’s not concerned with her image, and the only reason she exercises is for her “psyche.” She says she’s “much better when those endorphins are going. It’s a release. And I also love food, so there’s a payoff!” …”For me, it’s the times when I’m not paying attention that I end up losing weight. But I’m never trying to lose weight – or gain it. I’m just being!” Clarkson adds. (-

Kelly Clarkson has been constantly criticized for her weight gain since she arrived in the spotlight back in 2002, but it is refreshing to see her brush it off with such true words – THEY are the ones with the problem, not her. And if we were honest with ourselves, we may discover the same could be true of us. If only we did not care so much about looks, and cared a little more about the issues that truly matter.

And speaking of issues that matter, here is an excerpt of a “personal note” from Pink found on her website about her latest video for her song “F**kin’ Perfect”:

Cutting, and suicide, two very different symptoms of the same problem, are gaining on us. (the problem being; alienation and depression. the symptoms; cutting and suicide). I personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t know at least two of these victims personally. A lot of us have seen certain starlets showing off their latest scars on a red carpet somewhere, usually right before they head back to their favorite rehab.
Its a problem, and its something we should talk about.
We can choose to ignore the problem, and therefore ignore this video, but that won’t make it go away.
I don’t support or encourage suicide or cutting.
I support the kids out there that feel so desperate/numb/powerless, that feel unseen and unheard, and can’t see another way.. I want them to know I’m aware. I have been there. I see them.
Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Making this video was a very emotional experience for me, as was writing this song. I have a life inside of me, and I want her or him to know that I will accept him or her with open and loving and welcoming arms. And though I will prepare this little munchkin for a sometimes cruel world, I will also equip this kid to see all the beauty in it as well. There are good people in this world that are open-minded, and loving. There are those that accept us with all of our flaws. I do that with my fans/friends, and I will do that with my child, whoever they decide to be.

That’s right, even those who do not profess to be followers of Christ recognize the need to be happy and confident with who you are, the way you were made. That is because it is a REAL PROBLEM. In a world full of depression, hate, and alienation, how much more should we, His people, be spreading that message of hope and acceptance and sharing the love with one another? How much more should we be supporting the women around us, letting them know that they are beautifully and wonderfully made and encouraging them to be confident and hold their head up no matter what others say. Now I’m not saying we should all just sit around and be fat and lazy and it’s okay as long as we are “happy”. We can certainly help eachother lose the weight, cheering one another on to reach the goal of a smaller, healthier size – but being thin should NOT determine our level of happiness! True joy comes from the Lord and true self-worth and value comes from finding our identity in our relationship with Him! Our self-esteem affects us (and those around us) in so many ways, and we must not fool ourselves into believing that fixing things on the outer surface will also fix our deeper issues underneath. While it is certainly okay to want to be healthy and beautiful on the outside, it is important not to neglect our inner health and beauty. 

Find someone to encourage. Tell them they are beautiful. Bring to light their amazing inner qualities that they may be unable to see anymore. Be real. Be honest. Be love.


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