Let’s talk about exercise.
How do you view it? Do you see it as a means to the goal of your perfect body, or do you see it as the activity that keeps your heart beating and your body working?
The way you view exercise really does affect you.
Now, I am in no way, shape or form an exercise fiend. I was not born with any kind of athletic ability besides the gift of being able to walk on two feet. I do, however, get caught up in the “exercise syndrome” time and time again. There are times I go to the gym with the intent of “getting healthy”, and instead leave with the idea that I have to measure up to the woman next to me. There are times I workout because I know it is a way to take care of my God-given body, but there are also times I workout in order to look like the model in the magazine.
It’s all about motivation.
Exercise is generally not the problem. It’s not wrong to take a run or lift some weights. It’s not wrong to participate in daily exercise. In fact, it’s healthy. It’s good for you, your body, and your emotions!
The problem lies in the reasons for exercising. You know what I mean. When you are exercising to “tone up” and “lose all fat”, the motivations may be a little skewed. Exercising should not be about attaining the picture-perfect body. It should be all about taking care of the body you have been given.
Nothing more, nothing less.
You see, exercising today has almost become a right of passage for the modern day woman. And I am not talking about the normal, healthy 30-45 minutes a day kind.
I am talking about the excruciating, continual kind. The kind that you hate doing. The kind that makes healthy people squirm with fright (or envy). The kind that is motivated solely by the picture on the magazine or the woman working out next to you.
That kind is dangerous.
That kind of exercise singles out and eliminates. It becomes obsessive. It becomes controlling. It becomes a burden.
It becomes an idol.
Yes, my friend, even exercise can become an idol. When you place it on a shelf of importance (higher than anything else), you have gone too far. It’s time to get right about exercise.
I know this may not be society’s “accepted” view, but it is God’s view. God’s command that nothing should be esteemed more important than He. Not even the weight machine, the running shoes, or the fitness classes.
I’m not saying exercise is wrong. It isn’t.
I’m not saying to stop exercising. Don’t.
I’m just saying that it may be time to reassess your motivations, because it is definitely time to reassess mine. You can be healthy and still be motivated for the wrong reasons.
Think about it. Pray about it. Search God’s word for it.
Beauty is not about attaining that goal body; it is about honoring God with the body you already have.
I’ll leave you with a few verses that God has used to challenge me in this area.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
1 Corinthians 10:31