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Sunday, November 17, 2013

What fitness means to me

It's amazing just how much of my day is lived selfishly. I have good intentions and I don't want to conform to this broken world, yet I fall into selfish behavior pretty much over and over again throughout each day. I can wake up, pray, read my devotion, and set my mind on living for Christ, then before I've finished my first cup of coffee I've already failed more times than I can count on one hand. My overwhelming desire to do and be good, coupled with my sinful nature, is a battle I can't seem to win. 

When I got certified in personal training, it was because of my passion for fitness and my passion for helping people see that they can live a healthy lifestyle without feeling deprived. God gave us all of these amazing foods to fuel our bodies, yet our busy lives and the way we view food as a nation sets us up to fail if we don't learn how to deal. I don't claim to have it all figured out. But, I do feel like God spends a lot of time showing me that fitness is not just about vanity, but rather about taking care of the house He created for our souls. 

Now, I can tell you that I have struggled with this and I continue to struggle with this, because my outward appearance IS important to me. I won't lie about that. In fact, I will tell you that it is probably more important to me than it should be. Having said that, the most important thing I learned through my journey in getting my certification was that being healthy and being thin have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other. And, health and fitness has a whole lot more to do with God than it does with us. 

Here's where I'm going with this....
As I said at the beginning of this, I wake up every day with an overwhelming desire to live for Christ. I'm lucky to get it right for even half of my morning. We do this same thing as humans with everything that is right in this world. Everything that does not come naturally to us takes a constant conscious effort. It is impossible for us to get it right 100% of the time. The thing is, I wake up every day hungry for Christ. I trip, stumble, and even fall all day long. But at the end of the day, despite all of my failures, I am still a Christian. In the same way, I wake up each day hungry for health. I trip, stumble, and even fall all day long. But despite all my failures, I still have my health. 

When we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves, we leave ourselves little room for success. I know that I was not born without sin. But I want to spend my days trying to be the best Christian I can be. I wish I didn't fall so short. But I always have a clean slate. I'm always forgiven. It's always forgotten. And what a relief that is. It's not a ticket to stop trying to do good. It's not a free pass to sin. It's another chance to change and to do better next time. It's relieves the pressure that we are expected to be perfect. 

I believe that if we can learn to look at our daily health and fitness with the same attitude we look at Christianity, it would  relieve a lot of the pressure to be perfect. After all, the goal is to take care of this house God gave your soul. Seems like Christianity and healthy living should go together when you look at your body for what it truly is. We all get upset with ourselves when we mess up, but that's not a reason to stop trying to change.

Knowing that we aren't expected to be perfect, applies to everything about us, including our physical appearance. God made you the way He wants you, so stop trying to be something other than that. We aren't meant to be super models. We weren't made perfect on the inside, why would we think we need to look perfect on the outside? You're beautiful the way you are, you just need to be responsible and take care of the body that houses your soul. In my opinion, THAT is what health and fitness is about!