Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. Proverbs 31:25
This world can be so confusing for us as women– we walk through the grocery stores or turn on the t.v. and are bombarded with images of “perfect” that we know are air-brushed and edited to meet standards that were set by someone else and then we turn and see ourselves– less than perfect, maybe covered in the baby’s spit up or with dark circles under our eyes, most likely not looking like the supermodel on the cover we are staring at.
We live in a culture obsessed with self-love and selfies, with fads and quick fixes. Is it healthy to be self-obsessed? No! Yet we are called to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20) What does it look like to live in this balance? How do we care for and honor the body we’ve been given while also not falling into the self-defeating and self-destructive cycle?
I am no expert but this is something that I have thought about since my early days in college, and I have found that for me personally, fitness has complimented my faith in ways that I would have never expected. The first thing is that we need to be focused on REAL and not perfect. With owning our story and gifts that God has given us while striving to grow but knowing we are not perfect people.
I have personally found that my early morning workouts are great times to pray and process and getting up early helps me set aside time for devotions and getting my focus right before the busy day starts. Also, as I strengthen my body physically I find that I have spend SO MUCH LESS time focusing on myself. I know that may sound counter-intuitive, so let me explain…I have always been self-conscious about my legs– they are short and stocky and strong (definitely not supermodel-esque!). I used to so insecure about wearing shorts and whenever I was out with a group of friends or later at the park with my son. My heart and thoughts were completely focused on ME– and negatively! That’s not how we’re called to live friends!
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 130:14
So what changed? Well personally I found programs and nutrition that literally changed my body from the inside out. Yes my legs are still short but as I have toned and strengthened, do you know what’s happened? I’ll wear shorts outside. I don’t think twice about how I look. I’m not asking my husband if I look fat. Those may sound like small things but for me they are HUGE– because my eyes and heart are not clouded by self and instead I’m able to engage fully in relationships and focusing on others! Simple I know, but sometimes it’s the most simple things that make the biggest differences. Am I perfect? Nope. Do I slip up? Absolutely? But I’m living into a calling now and re-taking an area that can be such a self-destructive struggle and instead using it to glorify God.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! How have you found a balance of your body image and glorifying God through it? If you’d like to join me and some other like-minded women as we dig deeper into this topic, I’ll be spending the end of August and beginning of September (starting August 22nd) in a support and accountability group that goes over ALL of this. We’ll be doing workouts, sharing recipes, supporting one another but also digging deeply into our faith and really setting this busy busy season up for success by focusing on the right things!
Fill out the form below to get more info on this group or click on this link to check out the Facebook event!