**This post is a perfect read for the whys behind your lenten promise this year. Cutting chocolate? Perf. But only as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.**
The summer going into my senior year of high school, I went to a catholic conference in Steubenville, OH. During the conference, there was one block of time labeled “girls session.” You can about imagine how this went: In a society riddled with body image issues and problems with self worth, countless females topped the stage and had some of these moments:
“He may have taken my virginity, but he can not take my self worth”
“People can determine the words they use to describe me, but they can not determine how those make me feel”
“I’m big, and I’m beautiful, damnit.”
….. This post will kind of be like that.
We have a small group of women that I meet with for work biweekly, where we eat delicious food and then talk about Jesus. It’s a great gig. Recently we were talking about the reasons for why we work out. Our why. Is it because you are trying to take care of the sacred gift that God gave you that is your body, or is it because you want to look good?
This had literally never occurred to me, but my mind immediately went to: To look good, of course! I don’t bust my ass at the gym for Jesus!
Well, it looks like I was way off.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20
It was a question that literally stopped me in my tracks and has since reformed my thinking (or attempts to), especially when reading the scripture above. So much of my self worth in this life has centered around my body. Until 2 years ago, my success had literally depended on it. As a track athlete, how you cared for your body was a direct reflection of your performance on the track. And for that, I ended up hating the process of keeping it fit. So in the years post-college I have resented running and working out because I was just so over the fight for the perfect body. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve slowly started to fall back in love with taking care of this body, and a big part of that has been JC himself.
When we glorify God in all that we do (((EVEN working out))), you tend to get to the place where you were wanting to go anyway – or – if God willed it, you end up somewhere even better.
As women especially, it is so hard not to put our self worth in the body image that people see. And changing that mindset is one that is going to take me a lot of prayer and determination to keep going. We are human. We are imperfect. And our perfections should not lie in our outward appearance. They should lie in our relationships with Christ, our relationships with others, and the love that we put on this earth.
Now, I am not perfect in the mindset and I struggle daily. But it is so darn refreshing going on a run for no other reason than to take care of this amazing, perfectly-imperfect body that God has given me.
So this lenten season, give up that chocolate. Give up eating past 7. Or commit to the gym. But do it because those things will be good for the body that is this sacred gift from God, not because you need to look a certain way.
Regardless, God will love you either way.