Two hours at the gym per day used to be my minimum. The mission? To destroy calories.
I counted every calorie (even in sticks of gum) as to not go over 800 calories in a day.
Each step of my workout was punishment for eating.
I never took a rest day. I complained about being “required” to teach a group fitness class on Sunday, even though I voluntarily created the class.
I avoided mirrors as often as I could. But whenever they found me, I stayed far too long, picking apart my imperfections, re-committing to what I would do differently to get better results.
The majority of my day centered around what workouts I should do and what I shouldn’t eat.
I hopped on a scale every morning. The number it said determined how the rest of my day would go.
Bottom line: I hated every inch of my body.
By definition, I may have been thin. Very thin, in fact. But I wasn’t healthy. Every body is different, and health takes various shapes and forms. Health isn’t measured by size at all.
Oh, sweet friend, I pray this doesn’t look familiar to you. I pray you don’t have tears streaming down your cheeks. I pray you cannot relate.
But because of the amount of time I’m worked in fitness, I have no doubts that some of you can. Maybe even many of you can. I may not be able to scoop you up in my arms right now, but God can. And that’s my prayer for you. Right now. That you’ll finish reading this from your loving Heavenly Father’s arms.
God did not intricately create you to pursue perfection in something that doesn’t matter.
Your health matters. The size of your body does not.
This is a mindset shift, and I’ll be honest with you – it will not happen overnight. It will take a tremendous leap of faith, especially if you’re one who has held on to your “health” with white knuckles.
You will have to trust God is able to renew your mind.
That in His strength, you can break even years of bad habits.
And yes, even that He is trustworthy with the results.
But can I tell you the absolute best truth of all? Lean in. This is oh so good.
He is a consistent, faithful Redeemer. If you surrender your health to Him, He won’t keep it for Himself. He will shape it, mold it, make it new, and give it back to you so much better than you created it for yourself.
God has completely renewed my mind in how I think about fitness. Each day when I wake up, working out is no longer a chore. It’s a joy. I look forward to moving my body. I don’t wonder if this workout is going to “fix” that body issue. And I don’t choose my workout based on what my knowledge tells me will burn the most calories.
I choose my workout based on how my body feels. I celebrate what it’s able to do. Don’t get me wrong – I still push myself. But my workout is no longer defined by how sore I am the next day.
My workout is defined by how it enhances my life, not how it limits the next day’s effectiveness.
In the past, I’ve pushed my body to the place that it’s so sore, that I don’t want even to stand up. My boys would ask to go play outside, and I would beg them to watch a movie & cuddle with me on the couch. There’s nothing wrong with cuddles, but do I want my boys to remember a mom that was too worn out to run around with them outside?
No workout is worth sacrificing being the mom I want my boys to remember.
I’ve already told you what fitness used to look like. Let me tell you what it looks like now.
I work out for roughly 30 minutes, listening to & honoring my body.
Eating is about nourishing my body to live as abundantly as possible.
I take 2-3 rest days a week from traditional workouts, but I stay active.
The steps I measure are the ones that make an impact for eternity.
I use mirrors for their intended purpose – to tame my bed head, to make sure there’s not anything stuck in my teeth, and to make silly faces & hear my boys’ giggles.
The majority of my day centers around purposeful living for His Kingdom.
I open my Bible every morning, and His Word guides my day.
Bottom line: I love what my Creator created my body to do, I’m grateful He allows me to steward my health, and regardless of what my body looks like, I am in the best shape of my life.
God, I thank you for the sweet woman reading these words. I pray that I could disappear right now, so she would just hear you. Whisper to her how special she is. How crazy about her you are. That you formed her on purpose and with a purpose that is not defined by anything man can measure. Remind her that you look at her heart, and that Your opinion is the only one that should weigh on her. Give us discipline to steward our spirits, minds and bodies in ways that please You & bring glory to Your name. Give us your perspective. Renew our minds. Change our hearts. Redeem our stories. We’re grateful you care about the smallest details. We surrender to Your will. You are trustworthy with it all. We love you.
In Your Son’s precious and holy name I pray,