Sunday, January 8, 2012

Push Up Bras and Centerfolds

Lately I have been inspired by so many women who are not only making a decision for themselves and their family's to get healthier, but they are also reaching out and supporting each other for help with these life-changing choices. Fortunately, most women seem to have a realistic goal as to how much weight they want to lose and what steps they need to take to implementing more nutritious, fresh and unprocessed foods into their diet. But being a woman, I too struggle with something that many other women struggle with as well - poor body image.

Not only are we bombarded with pictures of extremely thin women, but we are also told that is what the essence and ideal of beauty encompasses. A Victoria Secrets model. A center-fold cover. And now, a Body Rock model. I am not here to judge these women or their intentions, but merely to point out that in order to be healthy and proud that we are caring for ourselves, we do not necessarily need to look like them.

If you missed my last blog on body types and eating, check it out here:

The fact remains that some of us will never be a size 0 - 5. I know I won't. I wasn't back when I was a college athlete and I'm still not today. I'm the smallest size I'm going to get, and it isn't between 0 and 5. God designed all of our bodies differently. Being healthy does not mean that we need to strive to look hot in a bathing suit. Being healthy means we need to exercise, eat a real-food diet and be confident in the way God made you, inside and out.

Second point. This doesn't necessarily apply to all size 0 models that we sometimes compare ourselves to, but it does apply for many of us - we are mothers. No matter how many core exercises I do, yes I have a strong mid-section and the illusive "six pack," but I will always have excess skin compliments of my three pregnancies. Will I ever fill out a bra or exercise top like these models after all the years of nursing? No. And that's okay too. As mothers, we make a lot of sacrifices, including changes in our bodies that we cannot reverse. But is it worth it to be a part of the miraculous gift of procreation? I think I can say that every mother would agree - yes, it is.

I want to encourage all of you hard working women, mothers and single ladies to not only set clear and attainable goals as to what you want to accomplish in the areas of fitness and nutrition this year, but also to take the steps necessary to reach them. But in the end, I pray you will always remember that your value and self-worth does not lie in what you look like, but rather in what you are worth to your Creator and Redeemer.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 
--- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20