The Impact of Faith on Fitness and Food
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
It took me some time, but I have found that faith, fitness, and food are interwoven and deeply connected. The three are linked more than we might assume. My discovery occurred around two years ago when I found myself in a difficult state. My mindset was all wrong, hating my body, judging myself, and falling into eating disorders. It wasn't until I hit close to bottom that I knew a shift was needed. I fell before God and cried out for change. It was then that I found a link between my faith and the way I treated my body. The extent of my physical and mental transformation would not have occurred without this critical realization.
Before my new understanding, I was lost and hurting. I found myself wanting to grow in my faith daily, yet my actions were not supporting that desire. I would overindulge and eat to excess. I was a mess, judging my body, comparing it with others' and allowing harmful thoughts to grow deeper and deeper. I slowly fell into a pattern of mistreating my body with eating disorders; guilt crept within. I would do my devotional in the mornings and pray for the Lord to continue to strengthen me and renew my life, but my mindset apart from that was all wrong. I prayed for love for others, but I wasn't loving myself. I prayed for strength to overcome situations, yet I would binge eat and harm my body. I prayed for growth in my walk with the Lord, yet my actions were preventing me from growing. I found myself falling further and further. I knew that if I truly wanted to let God be Lord of my life, I had to treat him with respect. And that meant loving myself, for I am his creation.
1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
This verse from 1 Corinthians is the foundation on which I built my journey in fitness and food. I found it as I cried out for a new beginning. It was just what I needed to kickstart my new mindset. I desired to grow in my faith and that meant understanding and obeying God. This word preaches that our bodies are holy temples where He lives. He finds a home inside each of us and helps us walk in faith. When we become Christians, our bodies belong to the living God, and he dwells in us. If we mistreat our bodies, we are mistreating our God and his home. He created each one of us in his likeness. As we fall into negative self-image and harm ourselves, we are in-turn telling God we don't think his creation is good enough. Instead, we need to dwell in the knowledge that he created us to be powerful, loving beings. He created us and made us holy. We need to believe this beautiful fact and live accordingly.
I choose to live in such a way that honors him. For me, that means challenging my body physically, fueling it with the foods it needs, and loving each and every part of it. I choose to train my body as I train my faith. Challenges, both physically and mentally, prepare us and mature us. I choose to grow. In mind, in body, in faith. I choose to believe God created me for a purpose and I can worship him in my daily living. I choose to love him with my body.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:31
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
This is one of the most straight-forward verses relating to the treatment of our bodies. It proclaims that our bodies, and the way we use them, is a form of worship to the Lord. Whether we eat, or drink, or workout, or run, or lift, or do anything else, we do it to bring glory to our Creator. The use of God's creation brings him glory. Our bodies are his craftsmanship, so we should perform actions that glorify his name rather than degrade it. We show thankfulness for our bodies through challenging it to grow. God didn't create us to destroy our bodies, but to use them as living sacrifices, as a way of worship, as a source of reverence. We are called to worship him in everything we do, and I choose to worship him in my workouts, in my nutrition, in my love, in my life. I will worship him with my body.