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What Does Fitness Have to do With God?

Faith, Self Development
Do you struggle with finding the motivation to reach your health and fitness goals? Been there done that! Click through to read some of the ways that getting my health in check has blessed my marriage and my relationship with God. I'm hoping you'll find some light bulb moments in at least one of them!

I feel like I’ve been struggling with my weight for most of my adult life. It’s never been a life or death sort of thing, but I always seem to be up and down with my weight without a real plan that works. Recently, I had come to the realization that I’d gained about 30 extra pounds. When I say that it snuck up on me, I really mean it! I truly was too busy loving myself and focusing on body confidence, that I didn’t see the extra weight. I’m so grateful for the confidence and self-contentment that God has given me, but man did it hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized how out of shape I had become.

 

You may or may not know that, along with blogging here, I am an active duty military member. Every 6 months, we have a physical fitness assessment + a weigh in to measure how healthy we are. I’ve neverย excelledย at the assessment, but before this time, I had always been able to skate by without worrying too much. This time was different. I found myself only a few pounds away from the weight limit for my height, and I couldn’t believe it! I remember frantically trying to lose the last few pounds, measuring myself at least once a day, and crying and crying to my husband. I was shocked at what my weight had climbed to, but I became even more shocked by what he said next.

 

“Babe, I mean this in the nicest way possible…but, I think maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds.”

 

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Related: ย 5 Tips for a Better Week (That You Can Learn From Your Dogs)

 

I’m sure you can imagine how I reacted. I felt so much sadness, anger, uncertainty, and confusion all at the same time. My sweet husband had said a not-so-sweet thing, and I really didn’t know how to handle it. Over the next few weeks, I really searched inside myself to find the motivation to get my act together, but nothing that I did seemed to work. I was stuck.

 

Around this same time, I began digging back into some of my favorite marriage development books. The topic of weight had put a bit of a strain on our marriage and friendship, and I was desperate to find my confidence again to make things better! The more that I read, the more I realized that staying healthy and fit was a way to honor my husband and more importantly…honor God.

 

“God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. I better take care of it.” -Rick Warrenย 

 

It was like a light bulb went off in my head! I had been focusing a ton on communication, intimacy, housework, submission, etc to honor God by being the best wife that I could be, but I was completely neglecting my health! This perfectly-made-by-God body of mine was being neglected while I focused on “more important things” to enrich my marriage. It’s like I was skipping over one of the easiest ways to honor God and my husband!

 

Not convinced?

 

It’s okay, ’cause it took me a minute to wrap my head around it too! Check out some of the ways down below that getting my health in check has blessed my marriage and my relationship with God. I’m hoping you’ll find some light bulb moments in at least one of them!

 

fitness makes me happier

I don’t think it’s any surprise that when you eat healthy and get active, you start to feel happier. #duh ๐Ÿ˜‰ The cool thing is, when I’m happier, I’m better able to be a kind, servant-hearted person to those I come in contact with. If you’re anything like me, you know that weight-loss struggles seem to take over your mind when you’re working hard to find something that works for you! When I wasn’t happy with myself or treating my body right, I constantly was obsessing over how I looked and why I couldn’t lose the weight. That left me in an absolutely crappy mood…and that meant I was treating those around me like crap as well.

 

Taking the time to make my health and fitness a priority has made me a better servant for Christ. It started in my home with the way that I treated my husband and has expanded outward to those I come in contact with at work and around town. Going to the gym gives me that boost of endorphins needed to stay positive during my day even when things may start to get sour due to outside circumstances. Plus, it’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood when you workout to Jesus jams!

 

fitness makes my husband happy

It makes me so happy to make my husband proud as I chase after this goal of getting fit! I really value his opinion, and I want to make him proud. It’s also a bit more than that, though, if making your husband proud isn’t enough to spark the motivation. (No judgement here, girl!) Think of it this way…God calls us to be servant lovers and work together with our husbands to build strong marriages. I believe that staying fit and healthy is a part of that!

 

Whaaaaaaaatttttt?

 

One of the ways to grow the bond between husband and wife is through intimacy, which we talk about a lot on this blog. (Read: ย My Intimacy Experiment and Scheduling Sex Can Be Sexy!) Men are visual and physical creatures, so it’s no surprise that our husbands are taking notice of how we present ourselves. I know that my marriage runs smoother when we are taking time to be intimate regularly, and I also know that I feel a lot more comfortable and confident during sex when I’m looking and feeling my best. When I feel that way, I am able to be a servant lover and really do my part to build that connection with my husband. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know that bettering the intimacy in our marriage bed has affected all other areas of our marriage positively. The conclusion here? When I take care of my body by eating well and exercising, I am making myself irresistible to my husband! I am showing that I accept the desires that God has implanted into my husband, and that I respect my husband’s need to be visually stimulated in our marriage. It’s not necessarily about how we actually look, but that sexy confidence that comes from taking care of yourself. I truly think that Satan is threatened by women who understand the needs of our husbands and who work hard to fulfill those needs for the glory of God!

 

fitness helps me practice self-control

“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Self-control (especially when it comes to diet and nutrition) is something that I have always kind of struggled with. When I love something, I REALLY love it. I tend to obsess over those things that I like a lot such as pizza, tiny houses, The Bachelor, “what I eat in a day” videos, ice cream, netflixing, etc. LOL Normally, I would say that it’s no big deal, and you should surround yourself with things that make you happy without thinking twice. However, if you’re anything like me, it’s really easy for things to become idols. I always thought that an idol was a tiny little statue that people worshiped. I’ve since figured out that an idol can be ANYTHING that takes up more time in our minds than God does. My heavy weight, lack of progress, and love of pizza and ice cream had become idols for me.

 

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I keep this taped to my desk to keep myself in check!

 

The best way that I have found to combat idols is to get really good at self-control, and fitness has been helping a ton with that! It’s no surprise that if you want to meet any goal related to health, you can’t just go around eating pizza and ice cream all day. I’ve really had to scale back and be intentional about my meals and workouts. This intentional mindset and self-control has rippled out into all the other areas of my life allowing me to be in better control and focus on God instead of letting idols run the day for me.

 

fitness is a way to say thank you

I saved the best for last. ๐Ÿ™‚ The main reason that I made a change to get healthier is the very first thing I pointed out….”God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. I better take care of it.” -Rick Warren…It really is that simple. It’s so easy to take what we have for granted, and I think the easiest thing of all to take for granted is the fact thatย we exist.ย We didn’t ask to be born, and we didn’t have to. God decided to create us because He was thinking about us from the start and loves us. If He put that much thought into me, the least I can do is to do my best to take care of my body to the fullest extent possible!

 

Let’s chat! Are you on a health and fitness journey? What motivates you to keep going?

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    ParticularlyCALLED
    September 2, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    http://www.particularlycalled.com/life-lessons-from-working-out/

  • Reply
    ParticularlyCALLED
    September 2, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I love this post! I just wrote one very similar about my experience. Glad I found you, darlin! I’ll be sure to check out more of your posts.
    http://www.particularlycalled.com/called-to-be-fit-at-life/

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    July 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Great article I’ve been married 21 years and 3 years ago I decided to get FIT for my health then i got the ropes of things how to eat how to train eating better my husband probably thought I’d quit at some point but i havent its just my medicine now love working out.
    YES of course his SUPER more attractive to me its a bonus because after all we’ve been married for 2 centuries now , and what I get out of it is satisfaction that YES GOD MADE ME WITH EVERY LITTLE DETAIL THOUGHT OUT AND ITS AN HONOR , so more than for vanity i take pleasure in caring for this body he gave me , I cool down to worshipmusic and pray before i start that he helps me train because sometimes i lack the confidence but Im humbled at how far I’ve gotten from where i started i was a size 12 now Im a 6 ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • Reply
    Lauren Castleton
    May 2, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Being a freshman in college has presented me with the struggle of the freshman fifteen. When I realized after recently weighing myself that I had gained 10 pounds, my heart sank, but then I stumbled upon your website and this article and it has been so helpful to me! God truly put this in my life to help me out. Having a boyfriend and going to church with him has been really grounding, being able to connect with him and God has been really important to us. We have the emotional attraction but I worry that the physical attraction may be fizzling out for him because of my weight, but now I know I have the strength within me to change that! Thank you thank you for writing this article! It is literally just what I need in my life right now. God sure delivers!

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      June 16, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Yay, girlfriend! I am so happy that this post has given you that peace and motivation! Keep fighting the good fight, and take heart knowing that God is SO FOR YOU!

  • Reply
    stephaniegriffithhome
    May 1, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I love this post. I want to honor God and my husband through this lifelong struggle I have.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      June 16, 2017 at 7:32 am

      I do as well! It can be really hard sometimes, but it’s a JOURNEY! We can do this!

  • Reply
    Erica Dunomes
    April 8, 2017 at 8:59 am

    What a blessing this article is to me! So glad to have read it. I’ve been yo-yoing in this diet thing for 20 years now and I really feel that this year, 2017, is the year and time to lay that struggle to rest. The husband thing really sticks out at me. I know that my husband isn’t happy about my weight. And so to lose weight and get fit would really improve our marriage a bit, I think too. I do however want to be careful not to make idols out of this goal. Yet, I fully want to honor God with my body, since it is His temple. I’m becoming more intentional about this. And I hope to see major growth above all else from this. Your article has given me an extra push. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      April 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      I’m so glad that this article was able to give you some encouragement! Keep praying about your journey with fitness. If you keep God and serving Him in this way in the forefront, success is yours!

  • Reply
    Keosha
    March 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    I know I’m late on this comment but I really love everything you said. I mean I’m not married or even have a boyfriend but this opens my eyes so much and really helped. I’ve been struggling with my weight for the longest and reading this has really just gave me a breath of fresh air. I love reading your blogs…keep doing what you’re doing because God is really using you to help people!!

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      March 24, 2017 at 9:09 am

      That is so encouraging to me, thank you! Keep up the hard work on your health journey!

  • Reply
    Blanca Del Toro
    February 23, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I just love this post! Everything hit me where I needed to be hit and it feels good! I started my health journey last month and I did lose some weight but…I have been getting a bit obsessed with things other than God and now I’m just struggling to stay motivated with losing weight. Thank you for this post and God bless you and your family! XD

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      March 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post, and thanks for taking the time to comment! Good luck on your fitness journey!

  • Reply
    Justine
    January 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    God told us to love our body because it is where the holy spirit resides. We have to make sure the we are healthy and fit. Thanks for the post.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      February 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      You’re absolutely right! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    Erika Shayne Andrade
    January 12, 2017 at 1:08 am

    This article changed my whole perspective of fitnes!!!!

    My perception of fitness and diets was ruined in high school from self absorbed, on the verge of eating disorder peers, and a nasty teacher who helped create these insecurities in my peers.
    Looking at me no one would ever say that I was overweight. Most people think I’m super light and are very surprised at how heavy I am. I’ve had guys try to scoop me up and instantly regret it. I’ve had male clients who want a different therapist because I can’t possibly give enough pressure for their sport injury due to my tiny size. During session, they laugh because they doubted I could help them.
    But according to my BMI, I am overweight and at time obese. I’ve always had a pretty high metabolism and I’ve never really cared to work out or diet. But this article inspires me.

    There was a very short period of time when I taught zumba and with that came a free membership to the gym where I worked. A friend who used to be a personal trainer offered to train me for free before my classes. With all this free access I figured why not. I was only teaching zumba because I missed dancing and thought I could make a little extra money while having fun. But combined with my weight training and more runs on the treadmill I was loving how my body was transforming. My size didn’t really change and neither did my weight. But I loved the toned body I had.

    I had just decided to start working out again when I found this post. It was perfect timing. So after this long story, haha, I say THANK YOU!!

    As I recommit myself to studying the bible everyday and growing in my relationship with God, this is great. Taking care of God’s Temple speaks more to me than “you’re overweight and are going to die”!

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      January 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Absolutely love what you had to say and share in your story! I think that so many of us have felt a similar way, and we have to stick together!

  • Reply
    Trish
    October 23, 2016 at 4:52 am

    Hi. Thank you for that. I have also realised the same thing recently and started my fitness thinking the same that my body is a temple of Christ and that He lives in me so I better look after His “home” in me.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 23, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      That’s the best way to think of it! I hope that your fitness journey is going well!

  • Reply
    Leshia
    October 12, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Wow! This is exactly where I’m at on my fitness journey and I needed encouragement and God-motivation to continue the journey. Self-control is my struggle, mainly with portion control. I continue to eat over my limit with healthy food! Thanks again for your story!

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 23, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Portion control is hard for me too! Stick with it girl!

  • Reply
    alyssaheitz
    October 12, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hey! Thank you so much for this post. We have a lot in common!! I have a blog fitforgod.co, but reading your words were so impactful! Do you mind if I link this post into my next post? I would love to link this in so my readers can go deeper.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      I’ll have to check your blog out! And, of course, that would be fine!

  • Reply
    Tia Louise
    September 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    WOW! Most definitely needed this blog post. Being a women who struggles with her weight & practically has always had a problem with it, this is a reminder for sure! Sadly, (thankfully) it’s gotten to the point where it’s hard for me to just simply enjoy the life God gave me, so thank you for this. It’s a reminder that I’m on my weight loss journey for the right reasons & in the end, I’ll be much better because of it. ๐Ÿ’ž I love that quote from Rick Warren, so smart, so real, so straight to the point. Each reason you gave was awakening. Though I’m not married, yet, thank you for insight on how to make sure I ensure proper health & fitness that way I’m not in that awkward position or putting my husband in a selfish position because of my laziness.

    God is so good. Thank you once again!
    God bless!

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 5, 2016 at 12:15 am

      God is good all the time! Yes! Keep moving forward! I have faith that you’ll reach your goals in no time ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Brenda Webb
    September 28, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you for this post!

    I am striving to be like Jesus in every area of my life, and my body image projects on all that I do. The energy when I am fit transcends my attitude, motives, and mental well being.

    You have reminded me of my worth in Christ and to honor Him by being my best !

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 5, 2016 at 12:14 am

      I’m glad to get to be that reminder! I love what you said about energy! Good point ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 28, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for sharing. 1 Corinthians talks a lot about the body being the temple of the Lord as well.
    I feel being at our healthy weight and strength allows us to be at our best for him.
    Now confession is also good for the soul. I struggle with this topic just like the rest of you girls. I really need to step up in obeying his leading me in this area, so let’s pray for each other we’re all in a battle. I have several health issues that causes pain and to walk or other type of exercise dose not appeal to me, even though I know it is healing to do. Vicious cycle! So balance is the key. Blessings

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 5, 2016 at 12:14 am

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! Keep working at it, and do what you can! It’s all about doing your best ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Giselle
    August 24, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I loved this post!! I can surely relate as I have also struggled with my weight in terms of remaining fit and toned and my weight fluctuates too here and there. I am lazy in this area and love to eat!! Lol….You presented this with a refreshing perspective and it is an important topic for us married women to be mindful of. Just yesterday, I read this from my First5 devotional. God is definitely speaking to me…๐Ÿ˜

    http://www.first5.org/plans/Romans%20-%201%20and%202%20Corinthians/ff_romcor_22

    Looking forward to many more great posts!

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      August 27, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      I am so glad that you enjoyed it, girl! It’s so awesome when God speaks to us like that!

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    This is a slippery slope you are leading many young women on. Please be careful how you present issues like weight and fitness while comparing it to a faith issue.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      August 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Hey! Thanks for taking the time to comment, but I’m not sure what you mean? Care to explain? ๐Ÿ™‚

    What are your thoughts?