Over on his blog, The Anti-Jared talks about what motivated him to become real serious about being healthy. For him, the driving factor was fear. As I read his post, it got me thinking about why I do what I do. What is the motivation behind my food choices and determination to have a strong, healthy body?
The main reason that I am treating myself better is love.
I know that it sounds fluffy and mushy, and I almost want to roll my eyes while typing it. The truth of it is that for a long time, I didn't like myself all that much. I was ridiculed a great deal in school, and not treated any better at home. I felt that for so many people to seemingly have so much hatred for me, there must be something intrinsically wrong with me that made me unworthy of being loved by others.
I'm older and wiser now, and I've learned that sometimes people are just stupid human beings. That may sound mean or simplistic, but it's what I believe. Some people hurt others just because they can. Other folks simply say or do dumb things because they don't engage their brain before their mouth. I try to be much more forgiving of those folks, because I know that I tend to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease sometimes myself. The point is that just because I'm not beautiful to some people, that doesn't mean that I am worthless and unworthy of being loved. Just because my body doesn't always work like it's supposed, it doesn't mean that I don't deserve to be cared for.
A Pretty Ugly
I have naturally curly hair. It tends to frizz in high humidity. I have an olive cast to my skin that some people think looks sallow in the winter. My face is rather long. My lips are a bit thin. My teeth are big, and my smile is gummy. I still get pimples sometimes and struggle with dry and oily skin. My breasts are large, and far from "perky". I have stretch marks in many crazy places. I have scars across my rib cage, where my gall bladder was removed. My tummy is soft and squishy, particularly my lower belly. I have a nasty 6" scar that bisects my abdomen. It didn't heal well, and it's about 2" wide. My hips are large, as is my butt. My inner thighs flop around just like my arms do. My legs are crooked. My knees make horrific sounds when I walk or climb stairs. I have arthritis in my right knee. I have an auto-immune disorder that affects my blood, leaving me vulnerable to blood clots and a 90%+ fetal death rate for my children.
Well, there is my list. See all of the things that make me "less than" in some people's eyes? Now, let me say with utter conviction that I own it all, and I love it. I love me just the way that I am. I love the parts of me that God gave me, whether other people find me pretty or not. Even bigger still, I love all of my inside parts that don't work. I may be broken, but it doesn't make me worthless or 'less than'. I guess it makes me unique, because no one else can be broken in quite the same pattern as me. We all shine with the light of the Lord, and this is my one-of-a-kind signature.
I am so much more than the sum of my parts. I am more than the score of my intellect. I am more than how many steps I can take. I am more than the performance of my womb. I am a daughter of the King of Kings. He knows every flaw that I have, within and without- and yet He loves me. Who am I to believe the taunts of foolish children over what He thinks about me? Yes, I can love me too.
Part of loving me is claiming control over my own flesh. I can have the things that I enjoy in this life, so long as I love and care for this body of mine. There are so many things that I would like to try and experience, and a lot of them revolve around being fit enough to participate. I love me enough to want to give those things to myself, instead of damning me to a life sitting on the sofa and watching everyone else have fun. For that reason, I am aspiring to give everything 110%. This life isn't about calorie counting and time logged on a treadmill. Those are just vehicles to get me to a place where I can live with an overwhelming abundance. If I'm going to be a glutton, it's going to be in devouring every good thing that God has given us to enjoy on this earth.