I’m linking up with Amanda to think out loud about that popular phrase, ‘Just do it’ or pushing yourself to the limits.’
Exercise is fun, right? At least it’s supposed to be fun, but the one thing I missed when I began exercising is that ‘You Shouldn’t Always Push Yourself.’ I thought I was making myself a really good athlete by always exercising, very rarely resting, and pushing myself to each new level. It was definitely a huge mix of pride and a desire to impress people. I didn’t really think that much about honoring God with my body, about taking care of my body for His glory, and that resulted in me treating my body in a careless, nonchalant way.
Yet, my sin had consequences. I’m thankful that God gave us His Word, the Bible, because the people remind me of myself. God redeems them, brings them to Himself, and they rebel. They run away from God to other idols, and God punishes them because God is just and God also cares for His children. It’s like a parent who loves their child and disciplines them because they care for their child.
God cared for me, way more than I cared for myself. He wanted me to give Him glory, and I was missing it. Instead I wanted to ‘push, push, push push it.’
It hurt my body.
It made my body suffer and took my eyes off of what really mattered. It took away the joy of focusing on and worshipping God and rejoicing that God had redeemed a sinner like me and put my name in His book.
It all started to change only about …. 6 months ago.
My mentality started to change.
I started to see food as dissociated from exercise.
It was definitely God opening my eyes. It wasn’t me.
‘This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest ofd] the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.’ (Ephesians 4:17-14)
This passage stuck out to me last night, because I thought, ‘This is me. I was still walking like a person in darkness. I was blind; I was greedy for being thin and strong and an athlete that impressed everybody.
It was God’s grace that brought me to repentance especially on this issue.
Now I’m not perfected . . . like I say so often . . . because we’re not in that perfect new heavens and new earth yet.
It reminds me of how much I need Jesus on this journey, because I’m still often very tempted to push myself for the sake of pride. I’m tempted to go on that run . . (Running is not wrong) for the sake of making myself ‘look good.’
Then there are those AMAZING times which come more and more; they are those times when I just MOVE because I can, because I feel wonderful. More and more each workout that I do feels like that.
Rest feels better too, and it enables me to enjoy those days when my body wants a harder workout.
I’m learning that intuitive eating and intuitive workouts do come back slowly to someone who has struggled with an eating disorder for so long, but they do come back, because God heals. God does restore. God is good.
Some days I will push it, but it’s not for the same reasons I would push it 6 months ago. I’m thankful that I’m still on this journey too; one of my best runner friends and sisters in Christ Ellie totally reminded me of the value of pushing it and resting in her most recent blog post. It sparked the idea for me to write this blog post. Thanks Ellie!
Do you always push it?
What have you learned about pushing it and resting? What’s your balance?