Lately I've been struggling some with self-image. Not so much having a poor self-image ... by the grace of God I think I'm finally getting over that. No, now I admit I have some fear of over-correcting.
In the end it all boiled down to motivation.
Something motivates everything we choose to do. Something motivates me to push play and do my workout. Something motivates me to choose the right foods in the right portions. Something motivates me to share my weight loss and fitness journey.
Am I stealing time from God or my family to fit in my workout? Am I being selfish? Am I, as week three talked about in our Daniel Bible study, building an image? Or is what I'm doing glorifying God?
I'll share my answers to these questions that I asked myself, but know that my conclusion was that these fears were just an indication that I'm going in the right direction. Our enemy does not want to see us do good and if he can talk us into stopping ourselves we've given him an easy victory.
What motivates me to workout and eat right? The list goes on and on. I feel better. I treat my family better. I'm a better example for my girls. I'm doing what I can to affect the quality of life I'll be able to share with those around me. I'm making sure certain weight and health limitations don't decide what I'm able to do. None of that sounds selfish.
Why do I share my journey? Because I want to be real with others and to help them. I've been there. Maybe not EXACTLY where someone else has been, but I've been overweight and I've been tired. I've been disgusted with myself and impatient with myself and overcome with guilt. I've been frustrated feeling like I was doing all the right things and feeling like I was getting nowhere. I've found something that works and I feel like the selfish thing would be to keep it to myself; or worse, take credit that isn't mine. I didn't come up with the program, and I didn't design the human body that God gave us.
Am I stealing time from God or family? In reality all I'm probably losing is a little sleep, or a little time I would have puddled around doing something else. My morning routine goes something like this:
5:00am - get up, drink coffee while doing my Bible study and morning pages (writing exercise)
5:40(ish)am - change into workout clothes and work out with Tim
6:20(ish)am - put away weights, fix Tim some breakfast while he showers
Usually by the time the girls get up I'm showered and ready to fix their breakfast and see Tim off to work.
As they get older and more able to go and do things, they won't be held back by Mommy being too tired, too big, to unbalance and self-conscious to get out there and help them.
So no, I refuse to fall back into the "other side" of self absorption. As Beth shared ... "constantly thinking little of ourselves is still thinking constantly of ourselves." That's where I used to be. And I'm here to tell you I haven't jumped the line into constantly thinking much of myself. I'm constantly thanking God for my newfound health and confidence.
I imagine this is a struggle for a lot of Christians, especially Christian women. But self-improvement doesn't instantly mean you become selfish. I will continue to pray God will reveal to me if I cross that line. Thank you for stepping with me into my little self-evaluation - I pray it will free someone to take that step to take care of themselves and see that even that can be a form of worship and service.