Point to Ponder:
When it comes to your body, are your thoughts, words and actions routinely critical and destructive or do you operate from a place of gratitude and give thanks for your health and everything your body allows you to do?
Like all iGnite Escapes, they are filled with unplanned and unexpected unique moments that make for the best memories. Some are laughable and life-changing, while others–well, not-so-much. For example, during this summer’s Escape in Banff, Canada, there were a few moments that landed in the “not-so-much” category. The first involved a mouse that invaded one of our condo’s kitchens during the night, while the other was out-of-control and irresponsible downstairs tenants who thought it was a good idea to leave their condo at 4:00 in the morning, after they lit a fire in the fireplace. Without going into too much detail, the short of the story is that at 2:00 a.m. they began their rambunctious party and at 4:00 a.m the fire alarm went off, which meant it was a sleepless night for three of our members.
Despite the inconveniences, there were many more inspiring and contemplative experiences, all of which I’ll eventually detail in future journals. However, for the purpose of today’s journal, one of the most memorable moments that spontaneously occurred was in the hot tub (pictured above), where we relaxed, soaked our tired bodies and reminisced about the day’s adventures. This is where, on the final evening of our trip, we met The Rubyz, an all girls Christian pop band from Nashville.
Their names are Addy, Tanner and Jessica and their ages range from fourteen to seventeen, but despite their youth, they were incredibly mature and bold. We engaged in great conversation and they even serenaded us (a cappella!), and shared their newest song, Breathtakingly Beautiful, which was breathtakingly beautiful!
As we spent more time with them we learned that their record label is iShine. This is when we knew it was not coincidence that we met. These girls were iGnite kind of girls!
Since meeting The Rubyz, I have sent them our iGnite Shine Bright tanks and even though their target market are tweens and teens, I have listened to Breathtakingly Beautiful over and over again. While I am not necessarily their audience of choice, the song’s uplifting message is powerful. And, even though at some point in our lives we have all preached confidence, value or self-worth to another female or have been preached to, this is a song that every woman, at every age and stage of her life should listen to every day. I think that even the most self-assured woman is fighting an uphill confidence battle, which is why it is imperative that we counter all of the destructive falsehoods that surround us with only positive messages and encouraging affirmations.
As it relates to our health, our confidence, self-worth and value is connected to our health, because they are what drive our behaviors and decisions. Health is much broader than the numbers on the scale and the size of our clothes. Sure, numbers are important because they provide valuable information, however health is also claiming your worth and loving yourself more than the numbers on the scale. Health is multidimensional too. It’s a delicate balance and dance between our body, mind and spirit. If we are fixated on exercise, obsessed with our weight, how we look and every calorie that we consume, we will never be satisfied or reach our goals because we are operating from a place of deprivation and judgement rather than gratitude. One way to counter the hyper-focus on the physical is to start each day by saying, “I am a breathtakingly beautiful creation by God!”
I can speak to this because I have lived this life. Looking back, I was miserably focused on the way I looked. I was always asking or wondering, “Do I look fat?, do I look skinny?, how do I look?” Any chance to catch a glance of myself in a reflection or mirror was the perfect opportunity to give myself either an A or an F. Ugh! That is all so gross! And, because I was working in the health and fitness industry, I quickly realized that I was a first rate fraud. I was not representing health and I dang sure wasn’t a good role model. All I did was look the part but I didn’t love myself. My confidence was wrapped up in my physique and I was instead representing the worst of the fitness world, which is the lie that our physical appearance defines us and gives us our value. I believe this is also what keeps women in a perpetual tailspin. It wasn’t until I stopped judging myself, gave myself a break from being perfect and began appreciating my body for allowing me to live a full life that my body started responding better than ever.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I do think being at a healthy weight is important, but it cannot control your life. A healthy diet and regular exercise is critical to living your best life, but it cannot control your thoughts, your worth or your life. Eating perfect, looking perfect and exercising perfectly can never be the goal because it’s unachievable. Instead, the vital action is waking up everyday and saying “thank you for my breathtakingly beautiful body and life”. The second step is to exercise and eat well because you love yourself and you want to honor the body and life that has been given to you.
Finally, because valuing your mind and spirit as much as your body is the key to having the greatest health and most satisfying life, I also encourage you to commit to protecting your mind and heart by not reading or listening to things that don’t serve your life or are not in alignment with how you want to think or live your life. I may sound like a prude, but last January I gave up E!, the Entertainment channel. I chose this because even though my values do not align with E!, my excuse was that at end of the day I needed brainless television. There’s do doubt that it was indeed brainless, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t absorbing what I saw, which was unconsciously impacting my thoughts about myself and my life. It makes me think of Proverbs 22: “Above all else, guard your heart because everything you do flows through it”. The things we read, listen to and watch are all absorbed by our heart which effects our overall health.
Curves, no curves, long torso, short torso, long legs or short legs, you are His masterpiece, you are breathtakingly beautiful, part of His perfect plan and created to do great things! Listen to Breathtakingly Beautiful (shown below) now and throughout the week. Wake up every morning and give thanks for your health and being breathtakingly beautiful!