I’m trying to get rid of my baby belly fat, so I have attempted Jillian Michael’s 6 week 6 pack on youtube. It’s level 1 (out of I have no idea how many levels), and I’m lucky if I do it once a week. I can’t even finish the whole 30 minutes, but I’m not looking for a 6 pack, just some abdominal strength. At one point a little over halfway through the video she says, “If you want a 6 pack, I bet you’re prepared to do the work, right?” And I want to say, “No Jillian, I just want a flat belly without watching what I eat or working out.” Then she says, “You know that comes at a price, don’t you? But it’s a price worth paying.” And we continue working out for another minute until I’m too exhausted to finish.
Here’s the thing. I’ll probably have another baby some day and I’m bound to get old and wrinkly eventually, so while I do want to be healthy, my body is mortal. My soul is what is immortal, but am I willing to work for the goal of heaven? Or do I think I’ll just float right into heaven the same way I can snack my way into a 6-pack? Do I care for my soul just as much as I care for my body? My soul comes at a price, and I think of St. Paul’s words to train for devotion.
“Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly…. Run so as to win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
“Train yourself for devotion, for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future…for this we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all.” 1 Timothy 4:7-10
My new goal: keep working out, however often I can, and get on the elliptical. And then, while I’m there, say a decade of the rosary before watching TV while I “run.” Then I can work out my spiritual muscle of virtue through the rest of the day!