Not to pat myself on the back, but I swam about a quarter of a mile, and ran or hiked 9.5 miles mostly with my kids. And when I look at these numbers on the wall I feel pretty darn accomplished – specially knowing that I ran and hiked with my family so my children are reaping these fitness benefits too.
Can I be completely honest? I didn’t feel that accomplished when I got dressed for service Easter Sunday. Do I really look THIS big? I can’t believe I weigh 211 lbs at the doctor’s office! Ugh I’m not making any progress at all. I think if we’re both honest, you could probably point out some season in your life when you are less than thrilled with your appearance or the number of the scale.
My husband is happy. My kids are happy. So what is it about the bathroom mirror that tears me down?
I will share with you a lie I accidentally bought into: if I was truly fit, I would look fit.
But to understand how this is a lie, we first have to answer: What does it mean to look fit?
The reality is that we are so bombarded with images of thin women on social media, that our brains can’t help but play the comparison game. I mean, I see this girl run 5 miles and look like she has just a sun-kissed glow of perfection – and all before breakfast… meanwhile I fall behind my children, barely running a mile and a half, bending over looking like a fish out of water, my face blotchy, my hair looking like a lollypop for a llama… and it’s definitely not #selfie worthy.
What exactly does it mean to look fit? Is it a size number? A distinct shape of the waist line?
And this is where – in the name of sanity I yell at myself and all of you who get caught in this trap – STOP!
What was your goal to begin with?
If your goal is to look like a sportswear model, then you need to eat and work out and be photoshopped like one. And there are very fit women who are NOT photoshopped, but I guarantee you they eat very strictly and train for hours (that’s right… more than 60 minutes!) every day. Some of these women have made this lifestyle their job and their mission. I’m not saying it’s not admirable, I’m asking: Is looking like a sportswear model your job and your mission?
If yes, disregard this blog post and move on.
But if not – because maybe like me, we’ve devoted our lives to something other than exercise and mason jar salads… then it shouldn’t matter whether we look like we sell sportswear or not, right?
Hear me out here: I have devoted my life to raising and homeschooling my children. So while my husband goes to work and devotes to his vocation in the medical field, I spend an equal 8 hours at home educating, grading, planning, problem solving, cleaning and feeding three children (how I got here is a whole ‘nother story – check out my recent guest post!). If you are a mom or a business woman or in ministry, nod your head if you can agree with me when I say, “I don’t have hours to devote myself to looking like a stranger on my screen.”
And maybe we can even go a little Spirit-filled and declare:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
– Psalm 139:13-15
This isn’t a call to give up on being fit, but rather to trash our preconceived and erroneous notions of what that means!
Give God some glory and thank Him for how wonderfully made you are! Use fitness and eating healthy as a way to glorify the Lord for making you a temple where He chooses to reside. Remember that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being”! What you need in order to exercise for 30 minutes (or more!) today He has already given you, and He didn’t short-change you when he put you together.
Do you need to do a little mental spring cleaning when it comes to your body image? What are some lies you need to renounce today before you lace up your shoes?