Diary Of A Born Again Christian

"Be still, and know that I am God."

Self image, staying fit, and how God sees it all.

on July 11, 2012

I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I was always a little chunky as a child, but my true battles with being overweight began when I was 13. I tried my best to be as active and healthy as possible, but still continued to gain a lot of weight. When I was 21, I found myself weighing in at 430 pounds. Granted, I am 5’11, so I didn’t look as heavy as I was, but it was a real eye opener for me. Not only did my weight make me feel terrible, but I was given awful news about my fertility as a result of being obese; I had PCOS. That meant that it was very difficult for my body to ovulate, and the chances of me being able to have a child one day was very slim. Determined not to be barren, and to have a good quality of life, I began my weight loss journey with the lap band. I lost 130 pounds in a little over a year. I was a size 18 at that point, and was more than happy with my results. At the age of 24, I found out I was pregnant. To me, it was a miracle. My weight loss beat PCOS, and I was blessed with the most beautiful thing in this world. While I was pregnant, I experienced IUGR. This meant that my baby wasn’t growing at a healthy rate in my womb. So, my midwife basically gave me a “prescription” to eat lots of protein, and higher amounts of carbohydrates and fat. Unfortunately, it was much harder to get off my “pregnancy diet” then I expected. When my son was 6 months old, I discovered I weighed nearly 60 pounds heavier than I was before I became pregnant, 45 of those pounds being after I gave birth. I began eating healthy again and exercising, and in 4 months I lost 40 pounds. Since then, I gained back 30 pounds as a result of antidepressants. Now I’m back on the wagon, and the journey continues!

The reason I included my personal story, is because I want to make it very clear that I know what it’s like to struggle with health and self image. How does God see health, and how does he see self image?

The bible says that we are God’s temple, and that it should not be destroyed. God doesn’t want us to destroy our bodies by eating junk food, consuming a lot of alcohol, or abusing drugs. We should eat healthy, get exercise, and be kind to our health. But, God also doesn’t want us to feel mass amounts of pressure to be physically fit. After all, God loves us no matter what our scale says. What is most important to God, is our spiritual health. To me, that’s where it starts for Christians. The best way for us to be physically healthy, is to be spiritually healthy first. If we have faith in God, pray, and do all that we do in His glory, becoming a healthier person should follow suit. After all, God doesn’t want us to be lazy, gluttonous, or consumed with substances. These things distract us from our faith anyway. For me, my journey to having a healthier body hasn’t come with so much pressure like it has before. It feels natural, and it feels like something God wants for me. I also know that I won’t disappointment if I’m having a bad day. Because it doesn’t disappoint Him, I know that it won’t disappoint me.

When it comes to self image, I believe that God puts a lot of importance on our heart’s intentions. If you want to fit into your skinny jeans to appear desirable to men or other people, that’s not the right intentions. You should be striving for that because it gives you self confidence, and because it means you’re on your way to being healthy. A lot of Christians think we shouldn’t put importance on our outward appearance, but I don’t believe that this is correct. How we look often reflects who we are on the inside. If you dress in sweat pants and ragged shirts, that likely means that you don’t feel very confident about yourself. That’s not good for us, because if we don’t have confidence in ourselves, how can we have confidence in our faith? Now, this doesn’t mean we should put too much focus on how we look as well. If you’re dead set on wearing what’s in season, or looking sexy, that’s not good for us either. When I see “fashionistas”, I see a woman who puts so much importance in the way she looks, that she doesn’t have a lot of time to focus on the truly important things in her life.

What it comes down to is your own personal convictions. If you don’t feel good about what you’re doing when it comes to your health, or your appearance(whether you’re very fashion forward or don’t have the motivation to wear clean clothes), God is probably trying to tell you something! God is in us, and he is constantly speaking to us to help us better our lives.

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