It has been awhile since I did a drop everything and get vulnerable post about something I am struggling with, but I never want anyone to think I have it all together, so here it goes.
Lately, in every yoga class, my teacher’s seem to always mention that summer is here and bikini season is upon us and I cringe every time. However, it is not because I do not feel comfortable or confident in a bathing suit, but because things like that make me feel like I SHOULD NOT feel comfortable or confident until my body is rock hard and perfect by society’s standards. Let’s get something clear, I do not think a perfect body exists. I think it is something so many people are trying to attain and they miss out on all the life they could be living. There will always be something you want to change. Health is important, but the two DO NOT go hand in hand. Excess weight is not good. But having a six pack IS NOT IMPORTANT. You cannot convince me that God wants you to be the most chiseled version of yourself and that is how he wants you spending your time. Being healthy does not equal having a hot body, and this mentality rips people apart.
My recent realization has been that my struggle is not with myself, but it is with the constant need to compare perpetrated to me by others. Anyone can take anything too far, even things that are intended for good. I am not here to attack, but to simply suggest that finding balance is to remove the extreme. If something becomes an obsession how can it be healthy? Obsession by definition is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind. If we are constantly pre-occupied with our body shape and diet and exercise plan we will not be able to focus on what actually matters, i.e. loving our neighbors as ourselves and loving the Lord with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Y’all, release it and accept yourself in the body that God gave you. Nurture that body. Give it nutrients and take care of it, but do not let that self-care turn into something that overshadows everything else. So many conversations revolve around “when I lose ten more pounds” and I want you to release that mentality and start living now. Exercise can be a form of therapy, but it shouldn’t be your only form. Make sure that along with doing the things to care for our body we are also doing the things needed to care for our minds and hearts. A perfect looking person that is lacking depth is not what the Bible calls us to.
Anyways, as I climb off my soapbox I am reminded that I am only human and currently wrestling with the way my pants are fitting and anxiety about my yoga class this evening and feeling like it is going to kick my butt and make me feel self-conscious, so trust me I am preaching to myself as well. I think of it like the faith of a mustard seed argument though. Imagine how much it would affect you if just like 1% of your mentality about your body image could change?! You know what is the most beautiful thing… when someone is really, genuinely and completely happy. That is my goal; the joy of the Lord to renew my strength.