With Eli getting here anyday now, I have found myself thinking a lot about getting back into shape. I think that every woman who has carried a baby probably goes through this...she sacrifices her body for 9+ months, gains 40 lbs (in my case) and then beats herself up when she is still wearing maternity pants a month after giving birth. Eventhough it didn't take me long to get back into shape after having Josiah, I have found myself worrying that it will take longer with this one. (I've had many women tell me that it gets harder to lose the weight with each pregnancy). But today, while doing my quiet time, I really felt convicted after reading this passage:
"...train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Paul isn't saying here that we shouldn't strive to be healthy or that we shouldn't exercise to keep our body's in shape. He's just saying that our spiritual growth and walk with the Lord should not come second place to the training of our bodies. I think we can dig even deeper here and say that when it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, our motives should be God honoring. Do I want to get in shape so as to be commended by my friends or family? or to look like a model on the front of a magazine cover? OR do I want to get in shape so that by the grace of God, I live a longer, healthier life to which I can devote to the Lord in ministry and witnessing? I think that if our motives are anything but the last mentioned, then we are probably sinning. I also think that the way we get in shape should be examined also. I have known many people who use the "get skinny fast" methods which include pills, starving themselves, throwing up, crash diets, etc. I'm sure you can add to the list. But let me ask you this...although, you may like the results that you see in the mirror, is the method that you are using to lose the weight harming your body from the inside out? You may be doing more harm than good...I can't tell you how many women I have seen use one of these methods, see fast results but not realize that she is killing her insides and her metabolism...in turn, she gains the weight back (plus some more) and then falls into a pit of depression...HOW IS THIS GOD HONORING? Can you truly say that this is a good way to treat God's temple?
I don't want you to think that I am pointing the finger here...I myself have been guilty of having the wrong motives and trying the wrong methods and I can personally tell you that neither will lead you towards a happier life. The key is to find the right balance. First and foremost, our spiritual growth should be of most importance. We can't let working out get in the way of time spent in the Word. Secondly, we need to make sure that our motives AND methods are in check with holiness when we are getting in shape.
On a more humorous note, I may need one of you dear ladies to remind me of this post in a couple of weeks when I try to squeeze myself back into a size 7 only 3 weeks postpardum! Just kidding...I'm not even going to try that!