I had a talk with a friend of mine this morning. She said something that made me feel like I need to address this issue. She said, “I don’t want you to take this personally, but I can’t imagine working that hard and eating to get my body to a certain weight because it would promote so much vanity.”
There are a lot of people who look on people like me and a close-knit group of friends I have and think that we are fighting for our health because we want a certain body or we are trying to take back our youth. People look at us and remark, “I wouldn’t wear a bikini anyway. Why would I want a bikini body?” So now I will tell you why you want a bikini body.
If your husband isn’t pursuing you the way that you desire to be pursued, take a look at your body. Obtaining the best body that you can, I can guarantee you, will cause your husband to pursue you. The intimacy in your marriage will grow like never before. When a wife stops taking care of her body, the husband may (and should) stay committed and probably doesn’t mind. But remember that your body is the last body your husband man will touch and see naked. He deserves a woman who cares enough about her temple to fine-tune it for him.
I can tell you that my love life has never been hotter, never been steamier. It’s not filthy. It’s a God-honoring relationship. My body is firm. It’s probably the firmest that it has ever been in our marriage. In essence, my husband got a new wife. You can call that vanity all day long. I don’t really care what you call it. But I am laying down my life, my time, and my desire to eat on every impulse so that my husband has access to a wife who cares for her body enough to do this—because it honors him. It honors your husband to take care of your body.
My coach is the bomb. She asked me, “Do you want to be pushing a walker when you are seventy?”
This isn’t about a beach body or a bikini body. It is about health. It is about strength. After I started this program, the Lord spoke to me: “Your bones have been hurting, Sheri. They were not designed to carry the weight of your body. I designed your muscles to carry the weight of your bones and your body. But you have allowed your muscles to become mush. Now your bones have to do the work that I have designed your muscles to do.”
Our muscles are intended to carry weight, to carry strength. But sugar addiction causes us to be overweight, and it causes us to be lethargic. Because we don’t have the energy to use our muscles, we lose our muscles. When we don’t use it, we lose it! And when we lose our muscle, we lose our ability to carry our own weight.
If you do not take care of your body by putting yourself first now, guess what? Other people won’t be able to take care of their bodies later because they will have to put taking care of you first. I personally do not want that to happen. I don’t want someone to have to lay down his or her life to push me around and carry me around just because I am irresponsible in my eating and the use of my muscles.
That is not vanity. That is putting others above me. Even though it may not appear that way to someone who is not in this fight with me, that is exactly what it is. I have made a decision that I am going to fight to maintain my strength so that my kids don’t have to struggle to help me later.
I cannot tell you how many people I have seen in the gym fighting to take their lives back after they have become very sick or grown older and realized that they don’t have their strength or balance anymore. They need help. They need a cane. They need a walker. We have the opportunity to take back our strength today as opposed to waiting until later. We can start now, or we can start later. But eventually we are going to have to start.
Taking back your health is not vanity. It may look like vanity to someone on the outside looking in. It may look like you are selfish, putting yourself above others and everything else you have, but that is not true. It’s actually very difficult to put your health ahead of everything else. There is so much to do, and there are kids to take care of. It’s really difficult to leave a sick child at home and go to the gym and work out. It’s easier to say no to that. But if you do not take care of your temple, it won’t take care of you. I am not of this world, but if I do not take care of my temple, I won’t be in it, either.
Let me end with this: I was blind, but now I see. I did not see how sugar addiction held me in bondage. I did not see how my flesh was controlling everything I put into my mouth. I ate by impulse. I did not see that I had become sluggish and lethargic. Sugar gave me a false high for a short period of time and stole my energy afterwards. I did not see that I was losing muscle mass every day. If I gained two pounds of body fat, I was probably gaining four pounds because I lost muscle. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. I refuse to live there anymore.
Your health and your strength are gifts. God gave you these gifts. You can invest them, or you can bury them. I choose to use them.
If you are not at a place where you have decided to take your health by storm, you will look at me and think I am foolish. Any others who come alongside me to take back their health you will also define as foolish. But you are the fool.
Your eyes are shut. Your ears are closed. You are blind. Health is not vanity. This is about reclaiming and maintaining the physical temple of the living God, who lives in me and wants to use me. He wants me to be strong so I can make the walk—so I can minister by loving the person in front of me because I have the energy and the time to pause and the strength to stand, endure, and breathe alongside that person.
This journey is a journey in the grace of God. I am the prodigal daughter who took off with my inheritance and blew it. I blew it on eating on every impulse. I lost all of my muscle strength. When I turned the corner and decided to take back my health because God is worthy of it, He immediately turned around and ran to me. He met me with a robe and a ring and a banquet full of healthy food that I didn’t even know I loved!
As I renewed my taste buds, the foods that are good for the body became delicious to my tongue and my tummy. I began to crave the things I was designed to crave. Sugar had numbed my cravings for so long that all I could crave was the bad—this was from the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But the thief no longer has me under his thumb. I resist him with everything in me, and he flees from my presence.
Do you want to join me on this journey and stop looking in with a judgmental view, or do you want to continue to stand back and let your health wither? You choose. Before you today are life and death, blessings and curses. Today, choose life.