As I’ve slowly gotten into blogging, first with my husband and my personal site and now with this site where I can share my fitness and food thoughts, I’ve found it helpful to seek inspiration from others on the world wide web. One such blog I visit regularly is Caitlin‘s, and in honor of her new book release this week (a huge congrats!), she has encouraged other bloggers to participate in her “Operation Beautiful” week. And so, in the spirit of helping others see and appreciate their own beauty, I thought this space would be the perfect one to write about the things we can celebrate about our bodies – what we can do and the possibilities that are ahead of us.
When you look in the mirror, what is the first thing you see? Many of us first note the imperfections and then allow the negative self-talk to follow. What you step on the scale and see a number higher than you’d like, what happens? Does it ruin your attitude and affect how you function that day? And what about the times when you browse the magazines in line at the grocery store; are you seeing the airbrushed abs and envying them? I think we all realize that in our North American culture today we are bombarded with false realities and impossible standards of what it means to be “beautiful” and “healthy.”
No longer does being “fit” mean to be in good physical condition and health – it means seeing toned muscles, no bulges when you wear a form-fitted dress, and sporting the latest in workout wear and technology trends. Instead, I try to keep my definition of “fit” to mean being able to live life with energy, joy, and in freedom. For me, this includes the ability to do the things I love:
It’s not easy for anyone to maintain a balanced perspective in a world dominated by such impossibilities, but keeping in mind what’s really important in life helps me to take the focus off of my bloated belly and turn off the guilt from a bad week’s worth of eating and change my attitude. I do that by remembering this verse found in I Timothy 4:8: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” This verse always both convicts and encourages me whenever I’m feeling down on myself because it reminds me that while working out, eating well, and taking care of our bodies is important, it’s only part of our lives. We are whole beings and separating the body from the heart and the mind is doing a disservice to who we were created to be – there is so much more to life. I don’t even believe it’s compartmentalizing our lives into different priorities (like exercise over cleaning the house or time with people over reading a book at home), but rather integrating all those different aspects of our days into a more holistic view of life.
Although I don’t have all the answers, here are some things I do know and some things I’m working on living out:
- Moving in some form every day makes me feel better all over!
- Running is my stress reliever, my chance to get outside, my moment to pray and think or simply enjoy motion.
- Eating for health rather than for weight makes me a happier and better woman.
- Keeping central to my days the goal to love God and love others.
Working out is wonderful. Trying out new healthy recipes is great! But let’s together try to keep in mind the truth that we are enough, we are valuable and worthwhile as we are without comparing ourselves to the impossible images and standards that are all around us. It’s about living well and being well – in every area of our lives, not just on our health and fitness scales. So here’s to keeping that balanced perspective in mind today as you live – be well, friends!