I feel like I’ve been struggling with my weight for most of my adult life. It’s never been a life or death sort of thing, but I always seem to be up and down with my weight without a real plan that works. Recently, I had come to the realization that I’d gained about 30 extra pounds. When I say that it snuck up on me, I really mean it! I truly was too busy loving myself and focusing on body confidence, that I didn’t see the extra weight. I’m so grateful for the confidence and self-contentment that God has given me, but man did it hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized how out of shape I had become.
You may or may not know that, along with blogging here, I am an active duty military member. Every 6 months, we have a physical fitness assessment + a weigh in to measure how healthy we are. I’ve never excelled at the assessment, but before this time, I had always been able to skate by without worrying too much. This time was different. I found myself only a few pounds away from the weight limit for my height, and I couldn’t believe it! I remember frantically trying to lose the last few pounds, measuring myself at least once a day, and crying and crying to my husband. I was shocked at what my weight had climbed to, but I became even more shocked by what he said next.
“Babe, I mean this in the nicest way possible…but, I think maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds.”
I’m sure you can imagine how I reacted. I felt so much sadness, anger, uncertainty, and confusion all at the same time. My sweet husband had said a not-so-sweet thing, and I really didn’t know how to handle it. Over the next few weeks, I really searched inside myself to find the motivation to get my act together, but nothing that I did seemed to work. I was stuck.
Around this same time, I began digging back into some of my favorite marriage development books. The topic of weight had put a bit of a strain on our marriage and friendship, and I was desperate to find my confidence again to make things better! The more that I read, the more I realized that staying healthy and fit was a way to honor my husband and more importantly…honor God.
“God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. I better take care of it.” -Rick Warren
It was like a light bulb went off in my head! I had been focusing a ton on communication, intimacy, housework, submission, etc to honor God by being the best wife that I could be, but I was completely neglecting my health! This perfectly-made-by-God body of mine was being neglected while I focused on “more important things” to enrich my marriage. It’s like I was skipping over one of the easiest ways to honor God and my husband!
It’s okay, ’cause it took me a minute to wrap my head around it too! Check out some of the ways down below that getting my health in check has blessed my marriage and my relationship with God. I’m hoping you’ll find some light bulb moments in at least one of them!
fitness makes me happier
I don’t think it’s any surprise that when you eat healthy and get active, you start to feel happier. #duh 😉 The cool thing is, when I’m happier, I’m better able to be a kind, servant-hearted person to those I come in contact with. If you’re anything like me, you know that weight-loss struggles seem to take over your mind when you’re working hard to find something that works for you! When I wasn’t happy with myself or treating my body right, I constantly was obsessing over how I looked and why I couldn’t lose the weight. That left me in an absolutely crappy mood…and that meant I was treating those around me like crap as well.
Taking the time to make my health and fitness a priority has made me a better servant for Christ. It started in my home with the way that I treated my husband and has expanded outward to those I come in contact with at work and around town. Going to the gym gives me that boost of endorphins needed to stay positive during my day even when things may start to get sour due to outside circumstances. Plus, it’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood when you workout to Jesus jams!
fitness makes my husband happy
It makes me so happy to make my husband proud as I chase after this goal of getting fit! I really value his opinion, and I want to make him proud. It’s also a bit more than that, though, if making your husband proud isn’t enough to spark the motivation. (No judgement here, girl!) Think of it this way…God calls us to be servant lovers and work together with our husbands to build strong marriages. I believe that staying fit and healthy is a part of that!
One of the ways to grow the bond between husband and wife is through intimacy, which we talk about a lot on this blog. (Read: My Intimacy Experiment and Scheduling Sex Can Be Sexy!) Men are visual and physical creatures, so it’s no surprise that our husbands are taking notice of how we present ourselves. I know that my marriage runs smoother when we are taking time to be intimate regularly, and I also know that I feel a lot more comfortable and confident during sex when I’m looking and feeling my best. When I feel that way, I am able to be a servant lover and really do my part to build that connection with my husband. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know that bettering the intimacy in our marriage bed has affected all other areas of our marriage positively. The conclusion here? When I take care of my body by eating well and exercising, I am making myself irresistible to my husband! I am showing that I accept the desires that God has implanted into my husband, and that I respect my husband’s need to be visually stimulated in our marriage. It’s not necessarily about how we actually look, but that sexy confidence that comes from taking care of yourself. I truly think that Satan is threatened by women who understand the needs of our husbands and who work hard to fulfill those needs for the glory of God!
fitness helps me practice self-control
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Self-control (especially when it comes to diet and nutrition) is something that I have always kind of struggled with. When I love something, I REALLY love it. I tend to obsess over those things that I like a lot such as pizza, tiny houses, The Bachelor, “what I eat in a day” videos, ice cream, netflixing, etc. LOL Normally, I would say that it’s no big deal, and you should surround yourself with things that make you happy without thinking twice. However, if you’re anything like me, it’s really easy for things to become idols. I always thought that an idol was a tiny little statue that people worshiped. I’ve since figured out that an idol can be ANYTHING that takes up more time in our minds than God does. My heavy weight, lack of progress, and love of pizza and ice cream had become idols for me.
The best way that I have found to combat idols is to get really good at self-control, and fitness has been helping a ton with that! It’s no surprise that if you want to meet any goal related to health, you can’t just go around eating pizza and ice cream all day. I’ve really had to scale back and be intentional about my meals and workouts. This intentional mindset and self-control has rippled out into all the other areas of my life allowing me to be in better control and focus on God instead of letting idols run the day for me.
fitness is a way to say thank you
I saved the best for last. 🙂 The main reason that I made a change to get healthier is the very first thing I pointed out….”God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. I better take care of it.” -Rick Warren…It really is that simple. It’s so easy to take what we have for granted, and I think the easiest thing of all to take for granted is the fact that we exist. We didn’t ask to be born, and we didn’t have to. God decided to create us because He was thinking about us from the start and loves us. If He put that much thought into me, the least I can do is to do my best to take care of my body to the fullest extent possible!
Let’s chat! Are you on a health and fitness journey? What motivates you to keep going?