“I’ve re-evaluated WHY I work out”


I recently received the following email, and I just had to share it because this woman completely nailed it. I desperately wish every female could view their health and fitness from this vantage point.

Some 0400 thoughts from a sleep deprived nurse…

Initially, I wanted to be skinny. I’ve always wanted to be skinny. I thought skinny would mean beautiful and more appealing to my husband. I ran 6 miles a day (despite the fact that I hate running) hoping my legs, butt, and belly would shrink. It didn’t work. I became frustrated so I’ve re-evaluated WHY I work out.

Now, I work out to be strong, mentally and physically. I do sprints so that I can run to a patient’s room when their bed alarm is going off to catch them before they fall. I lift weights so that I can turn an unconscious 300 pound man in bed. I jog 2 miles (max) so that I can chase my girls around the house before bed. I do lunges and squats because my husband is a “leg guy”. 😄

I work out because it makes me a happier nurse, mom, and wife…. which makes me a happier me.

Thank you for encouraging me to run faster, do more reps, push past the pain and learn to love myself.

I love everything about this. I think if we are honest, we all struggle with desperately trying to get the “ideal” body, and our health and fitness habits and goals revolve around that at least to some extent. Now, I really don’t have an issue with wanting to look good. I know that motivates me. However, in my opinion, basing our fitness journey primarily around that is ultimately going to be unhealthy. Because one of two things is going to happen. Either we will become puffed up like Mr. Popper’s Penguins with pride, reveling in our bodies. Or we will get frustrated because in our minds we won’t be measuring up, and there will always be something to “fix”. Even if we lose 5 pounds, we will just start obsessing about something else we don’t like, and thus tumbling into a cycle of despair and self-loathing.
Thus, my suggestion is this…rather than focusing on how our body APPEARS, we should be focusing on what are body can ACCOMPLISH. Think about how exercise makes you able to lead a higher quality of life because we aren’t hindered in any way by our physical limitations. Then, every day pray that you have the grace to see yourself as God sees you – a uniquely beautiful and talented woman that can affect the world in a way that ONLY YOU can. Work hard to be the best for HIM, but also embrace the person that the LORD has made, rejoice and be glad it in.

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