We all know women who are fanatical runners or joggers. We know ladies who are dedicated to working out every single day. Zumba class, Pilates, jazzercise, yoga! Some of them eat organic, some are vegetarian, vegans or they are on forever diets. Fad diets, Atkins, South beach, Keto, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean Diets, Paleo Diets! These women, of course, are attempting to address their physical well-being.
But we all know fitness goes far beyond the physical, and some of us are simply not wired for the gym. And even if we were, there are so many other factors that affect how we feel about ourselves. Putting the physical aside, think for a moment about your spiritual and mental sides, because these components greatly affect how we feel about our outward physical selves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Though we travel the world in our search for beauty and nobility, we will not find it unless we carry it in ourselves.” To be well-rounded women, we must be willing to become introspective. We have to be willing to take a reflective look inward to scrutinize our own views and emotional states. However, self-questioning and scrutiny can be stressful, painful and fearful.
Each of us have elements starting from childhood that form how we feel about ourselves. Maybe you were a bit over weight as a youngster and someone called you fat. Maybe your parents were divorced, and you yearned for a complete family like everybody else. Maybe you felt alone, afraid, abandoned. Maybe you felt over looked and insignificant. I can remember someone making a nasty comment about my acne and to this day, I am self-conscientious about my face.
Tragically, we push these things down deep inside because we don’t want to face our fears. In truth, we are in pain, and we are afraid to ask the tough questions. We forget that God made each of us in His image. He intended for us to succeed, to thrive and to be happy. We choose self-condemnation, and we put up emotional walls to protect ourselves. Some of us beat ourselves up at the gym while others become emotional eaters. Food brings them comfort. Some women pretend to be happy on the outside when in truth, they are dejected and lack spirit.
My grandma used to say, “Stop making mountains out of mole hills.” We all tend to do that from time to time. We turn the smallest things into absolute tragedies. We forget to have faith, and we choose negativity. We self-judge ourselves … we lose our peace.
For me personally, having been married for so many years, I am starting to realize that I have become complacent; I have lost my own identity and my own voice. I have forgotten that I am responsible for myself and my own happiness. I cannot change someone who does not want to change. I have, in ways I didn’t even recognize, lost my own voice and my own identity. And somewhere along the way, I lost my purpose. And in truth, my body is rebelling.
I imagine there are many women who have lost their purpose. We spend so many years being wives and mothers, and we take care of everyone around us and one day, it hits us that we didn’t take care of ourselves. We didn’t nurture our own bodies, minds and spirits. We have become so emotionally deficient that we have forgotten that love and the Faith of our Father has to be the one guiding light toward our spiritual understanding.
Self-examination isn’t easy. Neither is learning how to stop suppressing your own feelings and needs. Ask God to come into your life and ask Him to help you control your fears and show you the path to peace. Psalms 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Our inward tempests are far more perilous to our souls than the external ones. It is up to each of us to put one foot in front of the other and figure out where we want to go.
To find out more about what you are craving and how to get fit both inside and out, tune into Warrior Divas, Episode 11 at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.