The Ugly Truth about Fitness Culture
The other day I was looking through old videos I took on my phone, and I was watching one with the kids in it, when suddenly I was hearing something that stopped me in my tracks. I must have had a workout video on that I had been doing, and I heard the words, “If you want to have a body like mine, you have to do the d*** work.” I was actually horrified on multiple accounts. The words used (in front of my kids), the tone they were said in, the SHAME that was being used to motivate, and the actual message that was being said underneath these words:
- “Only a body that is lean and ripped is a good body.”
- “You must work harder, faster, longer to be good.”
- “You are not good enough as you are.”
- “You should compare your body to mine b/c mine is the standard of perfection.”
I could talk for a very long time about this. But if you’ve drank the kool-aid and find yourself striving to work your tail off to achieve that image of perfection, here is what I have to say:
It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s an illusion. We can blame it on the world. We can blame it on the health and fitness and diet industries, but let’s call a spade a spade. Because there is ONE evil one who is out to kill and steal and destroy. There is ONE that does not want you to live life to the FULL. There is ONE who wants you to strive and stress over your body until the LAST of your days b/c he knows that we are less effective for the kingdom when we have our eyes fixed on OURSELVES. That’s what this does – it fixes our eyes on US. It makes US the center of the universe rather than the Creator of our GOOD bodies. And it leaves us on a hamster wheel that we will NEVER stop running, no matter if we hit that “perfect” size, weight, and shape. It will never be enough.
Friends – you don’t have to participate in the game. You actually don’t have to take part in it. It’s not actual truth. It does not line up with the Word of God and who He created you to be. Honor and steward the creation? Yes. Make it an idol? No. Practice self-control and even doing hard things that are good for us? YES. Strive, compete, and compare? NO. Live a lifestyle that values WHOLE health SO THAT we can serve to our fullest? YES. Live a lifestyle where our minutes are dictated by every morsel we put in our mouth and every minute we move our bodies? No.
You don’t have to play. You CAN say “so long” to the shaming message, the competing message, the “we all need to fit in the same box” message. I may not have quite as much ab definition as I did in those days, but man, I am so much LIGHTER b/c I no longer think about my body. I no longer poke and prod and degrade it. I no longer analyze every inch and what part needs to lose more fat or have more tone. You can STILL live well AND reject these degrading, life-sucking messages.
I have a fitness program that I created called Refine Online. It is a full-body fitness program that INCLUDES your deep core (including pelvic floor!) and speaks LIFE over you throughout. If you are done playing the game, I’m encouraging you to check it out!
You deserve kindness. You deserve to be treated like the incredible creation you are. Do not accept anything less.