The health craze. It may become an obsession. You read every nutrition label, you overwork your body throughout the day and then somehow manage to get in a two hour workout that night, and you continually feel that you have to detox or try a new diet so that you can look and feel as good as the girl next to you. You may fail. Your thoughts are a broken record. And, every single morning, you face those insecurities in the mirror.
A couple years a go, that was me. I worked out 6 days a week, and wasn’t getting enough protein and iron into my body. I constantly compared myself to those around me. And, no mater how much I worked out, I felt like it wasn’t enough. I was giving so much of my time and energy(not to my health, but to my body image).
People would tell me, “you are so healthy. Do you like living this healthy lifestyle?”
And, then it hit me. It hit me real hard. One day, I woke up and realized “I am not healthy.”
I came to the realization that my intentions were not healthy. It isn’t about how you look, but it’s about how you feel on the inside. It is about choosing a healthy lifestyle to thank the One who created you in the first place.
Media is sending our young girls(and guys) so many distorted messages that mess with their perception of beauty and health. And, with the rise of social media, there are new expectations, more comparisons and higher rates of depression.
I used to have a distorted perception. I used to be self-conscious.
I don’t usually talk about the eating disorder/ poor body image that I used to struggle with but I felt that I was supposed to share a page of my story, a page that allows you to see that behind the face of Orthirexian Jen, there was a journey to the page God is currently writing. My past pages may allow you to see that health is more than the proper amount of greens and proteins on your plate.
When your intentions are right, you will be transformed from the inside, out. Health, most importantly, takes place on the inside.
If you are trying the latest diet(I’m currently a fan of Paleo), or a new workout routine, do it for yourself, not for the girl sitting next to you, not for the guy across the way and not for the acceptance of a certain culture or people.
If you do, do it because you want to honor God with your body.
When your intentions change for the right reasons, your heart and mind begin to see your life, your worth, your value, and your uniqueness as a daughter/son of the King in a whole new way. The face, the physical things about yourself that you wish you could change will suddenly appear as though you are looking through a different mirror. And, remember, this mindset is a process.
He placed a flower crown on your head and reminds you that “You are beautiful.”
I don’t need a certain amount of likes or followers on Instagram to feel affirmed(this is the type of generation we are growing up in). And, sadly, this created environment is causing many to search for acceptance in the wrong places. It is causing people to choose certain lifestyles for the wrong reasons.
Yes, I workout. Yes, I probably eat healthier than the average 20 something year old. Yes, I am more athletically built. Yes, I have crooked teeth. Yes, my skin is not perfect due to a certain skin disease. Yes, I may not be the most beautiful, but I feel beautiful.
Why? Because God has done a work in my heart.
“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is greatly to be praised.” Proverbs 31
When your greatest desire becomes to please the Lord above all else, He will transform you in new and unexpected ways.
Every run, I remind myself that it is for Him.
“So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Today, amidst the overcast skies, I went running. And, as I climbed the hill, I felt an inner strength that I didn’t even know existed… Once again, God was encouraging and speaking to me in His outdoor spaces.
Today, this is why I choose(and try) to live out a healthy lifestyle: to honor God, to have respect for myself and to discover a strength and beauty that I never knew existed.
Pray for the right intentions. You are so beautifully and uniquely you. May you embrace who you are in Him and look in that mirror with a new smile, a smile that says “Yes, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”
The choice is yours, darling.