In today’s beauty-conscious world, aesthetics have become something of an obsession. I was dieting and wearing make-up to school at the age of 11, and allowed myself to be fooled into believing that my level of happiness was directly proportionate to the quality of my appearance. I wasted my teens feeling miserable and self-conscious, instead of loving my body and using it as a tool to enjoy life. Interestingly, I didn’t hold other people to the same standards I set for myself. I was able to appreciate the beauty of everyone other than myself.
I want to appeal to all of you who are unhappy with your bodies or faces, who are living a half-life of discontent because you are striving to reach an unattainable goal. It sounds cliché, but beauty comes from within, and until you learn to love yourself as you look right now, no amount of physical change will bring peace.
Does the sunset need to be photoshopped in order to appear beautiful? Of course not. It is intrinsically beautiful because of the nature of what it is – an example of God’s glory and a product of His creativity. The same goes for your body. You are a breathing miracle, created by a living God. That makes you beautiful, regardless of your size, shape or features.
Why do I want to build muscle? To be strong and healthy. Why do I want a good body? To be a good advert for a healthy lifestyle and to have a tangible achievement to keep me motivated. Am I happy with myself throughout every transitional stage of my fitness journey? Absolutely. I am continually in awe of the complex and intricately designed body God has given me. I am past the days of looking in the mirror and saying “I hate my legs”. Instead I think, “Thank You Lord, for giving me a pair of perfectly designed, fully functioning legs. I will do my best to honour the gift by keeping them strong.”
So step back and take a moment to appreciate all of the wonderful things your body is doing for you every day. Thank it by taking care of it, and thank the God who created it.