to the woman who is working out and not seeing the results she wants

Comments Off on to the woman who is working out and not seeing the results she wants

Dear friend,
You must have clicked on this link because of the title of this post. No, it’s not short, sweet, or catchy. It’s what was on my heart today as I was working out. Why? Because it is often how I feel about myself. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s get real. This is what I wanted you to know….

I see you.

I’m with you.

You’re not alone.

I’m not here to give you 5 steps to lose those last 5 pounds or tell you how to jump start your metabolism.

I’m here to sit with you…

… in your frustration.

… in your tears.

… in your desperation.

… in the waiting.

… in the asking.

… in the wanting to throw the towel in and just give up because it isn’t working anyways.

Keep going.

I’ve wrestled long and hard with body image for many different reasons. I struggle when I do what the “experts” say to do, and yet…. nothing changes. I’m part of the “does she really work out?” club. I’m also part of the reason why the diet industry is a $90 billion industry. You, too? Welcome, I’m glad you’re here. It’s nice to know you aren’t alone, isn’t it?

There are more posts than we can count that are out there for you to read to figure out how to get bigger glutes, a snatched waist, sexy shoulders, and whatever else you want to find. But for some of us, those are just discouraging. Instead, I want to offer you encouragement, right now, where you are, no matter what you think right now about your body.

When I’m on the struggle bus and want to quit because everything I try doesn’t seem to give the results that I am looking for (see the aforementioned in the previous post… 😂), I come back to one solid truth that never changes:

My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. 1st Corinthians 6.19-20

Maybe I don’t like the way it looks. I get frustrated when I try to manipulate my way into looking like something different because I think I’m only attractive if I look a certain way. I look at me and see all the things I don’t like.

Even as that last paragraph came off my keyboard, one thing stands out to me. I. So often, I don’t consider what God thinks about me. We know all the cutesy verses people use to try to cheer us up when we are struggling with body image: fearfully and wonderfully made, right? And we are! It’s true! But sometimes we need more than a coffee mug verse.

Instead, can I remind you of the great truth that our bodies are made to glorify God. Switch the script in your mind. “I workout so that…

… I can play with my children.

… I will sleep better.

… I will have more energy.

… I can fulfill the call God has on my life.

… I can be a living sacrifice. (Romans 12.1-2)

Fill in the blank with your own answer that has nothing to do with how you look. Our bodies are vehicles that take the message of the Gospel with them. Way too often, I, myself, forget this. I get caught up in a worldly view of myself. That I must check all the worldly boxes of beauty and physical fitness to be accepted, loved, popular. Yet, one truth remains: I have been bought with a price.

I want to remind you, dear friend, that maybe the results we are looking for won’t be found on a scale or in the mirror, but in our hearts. Bodily training has some value, but godliness is of value in every way! (1st Timothy 4:8) We learn discipline, consistency, hard work, and many other traits when we train our bodies, but if that’s all we learn… we’ve missed it.

My heart’s desire is that I allow the time of training for the Lord to speak to me, shape me, mold me, reveal truth to me. Greg laughs at me because he listens to his rock music when he is working out, and I’m cranking up Shane & Shane! It’s a time where my hands are busy and my mind is clear to just do the next rep, the next exercise. When I’m working out, I ask the Lord to help me with the way I see myself, to help me to remember what my body is meant for.

Me in my home gym (aka the garage!) after my workout this morning. 🙂

Sure, I’d love to lose the extra weight. I won’t even lie. I bet you are nodding your head in agreement saying, “Me, too!” But… can I be content with what the Lord has for me right now? What if He never allows me to look the way I think I should? Am I going to stay mad at Him for making me “wrong”? He didn’t, by the way, make you wrong. Let’s not buy the lie that there is something wrong with us if we don’t fit what culture says we are “supposed to” look like. We need to reject that.

I know this is not a short post. I joke that I would have been one of the major prophets with my gift of words. But I want to share a bit of my story from the last few months. I was working out consistently, lifting weights, tracking my weight, and my food. For the first time it didn’t feel restrictive for me, so I went with it. And then I did something to my shoulder. I couldn’t lift weights, do push ups, nothing. I literally did squats and lunges for months. I cried. I was frustrated. For sure nothing seemed to be changing for me. I did my best to press into this place, and Greg can attest to the tears I cried over it. When my shoulder finally started to feel better and I decided to test the waters, would you know I couldn’t even do a single push up. Not even a girl one. All the upper body strengthen I had gained was gone. I probably cried some more.

Something I can see in hindsight, even now as I am writing this, is where I was placing my identity. Y’all. I’m telling you, I was ready to put in the work and effort for my body to change. I was ready to “look good” for having 5 kids. I was ready for all of it. Except deep down, I know none of that is what brings joy. The fear of man is a snare. And I’m telling you, I walked myself into a trap. A trap of comparison. A trap of selfish desire. Thinking that if I could just lose the weight and be toned, then I would feel better about myself. You guys. I’m over here rolling my eyes at myself as I read what I type. What a lie. God does not love us more when we weigh less, nor does He love us less when we weigh more. We attribute the worth of self to things that God does not.

If you’ve made it this far, stick with me for one more thought:

How do you talk to a friend who is frustrated, particularly when it comes to their body? I bet you are kind and compassionate. Loving and encouraging. You probably tell her all the things you love about her and spur her on to keep going, even if nothing seems to be changing. You help her to see the changes that she has made. You might even notice physical changes that she doesn’t! You don’t tell her to just eat a few donuts and drown her sorrows in brownies. I mean, maybe just one brownie with a cup of coffee… 😉

You lift her up. You cheer her on. You ask how you can help her, keep her accountable, whatever you can do… right? Be that for yourself. Talk to yourself that way instead of beating yourself up. Find that friend who will be your encourager on this journey to being healthy. Skinny doesn’t equal healthy, my sweet friend. Press in to the hard places. Keep going even when you don’t get the results you want. There is so much more I could say, but your cup of coffee is either cold or gone!

I’ll end with this, sweet friend. Trust God. Whatever that looks like on your health journey. Even if you don’t ever get the body you think you want, He is still good. He is still faithful. He still loves you. Learn what it means to honor God with your body, to care for the temple that it is, and be content in what He gives you. He does not make mistakes. He did not make you wrong. Like me, this may be a daily surrender for you- give it to the Lord. After all, He knows what is best. And yes, you are indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made for His glory. Shine bright. May the joy of the Lord be what radiates in your life today.