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  • Emily Ledford

Fitness: Where's the Joy?

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Is "fitness" that dreaded word that instantly brings negative thoughts to your mind? After all, the industry tries to buy us with guilt, shame, rules, and impossible expectations. So how in the world could anyone actually think it could be fun and celebrated? Who are all these crazy people that DO actually ENJOY it?

Because for a lot of us, we've been humiliated if we aren't a bit closer to a body transformation than the last time we apologized for who we were. We've become too paralyzed to start because of information overload. We're told that if we were disciplined "enough" that we would already have the results we've always wanted. And if we don't have that discipline, then something is wrong with us. And it's this very force that pushes people into trying to get in shape and exhausting themselves. It's why fitness becomes burdensome and people give up on even trying. It becomes something that "only certain people" can do.

What if we stopped following the images of "perfection" on our social media news feeds and magazines? What if we no longer spoke negative words about ourselves? And stopped apologizing for our current condition! Those words start to take away your power. You start believing them and acting as if they were true. What if instead, someone told YOU that you deserve GRACE no matter where you are starting from? That you should see yourself as one who has value, one who is deserving of love and good health?

~~Because YOU are all those things... RIGHT now.~~

I'm not sure that would sell gym memberships or training packages-- but I believe you need to focus on those truths before you step towards becoming a healthier version of yourself.

Fitness used to be my everything. If I wasn't fit, I did not have value. If I wasn't physically strong, then I was a weak person. I felt that my fitness was a necessary evil. I needed it in order to be worthy. Oh, yes I had the discipline. A discipline that hardened me and gave me less compassion for others who weren't on a similar journey. I let fitness suck the life right out of me. No matter what goal I met or surpassed, I was always arriving at Empty. I'm so glad that God has shown me more. He's shown me how he fills those empty spaces in a way that no level of fitness could ever fill.

Don't get me wrong. Fitness is a good and healthy thing to have. And I sure do love a good bicep flex here and there. But we can't allow it to become a "god" in our lives. Fitness can be fun, entertaining and gains of strength can be celebrated.... but it will never be your everything. Even the strongest human on earth can have it all taken away in an instant. With a desire to become more "bulletproof", don't miss out on the blessings around you. Be as strong and as capable as God needs you to be to accomplish His purpose in and around you. It is enough. You already have value and nothing you can do in the gym will or can add to that. Thank God for your strength that He has gifted you with. But know that He needs you to be available and ready to work-- outside of the gym. So, save some of that energy. :)

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