Body Inspiration & Pinterest

So, yeah, if you’re tracking, this is the second blog post that has been inspired by something on Pinterest, but bear with me: I’m a visual person, but I try not to forget the substance found within an image, or behind it, or whatever. And some modes of “inspiration” can be damaging if you’re not careful. You get what my drift, right? Moving on.

So! I get that a lot of us ladies use it for inspiration in any number of realms – decorating, cooking, style/fashion, etc. But a lot of us use it to get workout ideas, or just to remind ourselves why we trudge to the gym, run, etc. And let me be clear here: I’m not ranting because I’m mad about something, I’m just saying something emphatically and with deep conviction because I need for people I care about to hear this. Especially my teenage nieces, who I pray for daily because they just deserve the best things in this world, and oh my GOD, this is a tough, mean, yucky world with crappy people and crappy standards in it. And I wish I could protect them from it. Them, and all the little girls I see at church or Publix or the gym who don’t know what’s out there to trip them up in this world. They deserve to be told how beautiful they are, and how amazing they are, and that it won’t matter if they look like models or fatties or something in between, because they are so much more than that. So much more.

When it comes to working out, here’s why I do what I do. And I’m not trying to judge anyone based simply upon body size, because that’s not cool. Women range naturally across all sizes. I truly do believe that women could all eat the same things and do the same things and have completely different bodies – all beautiful in their own way, all distinctive and unusual and mysterious in their formation. Really, C.S. Lewis nailed it when he said this:

You do not have a soul.
You are a soul.
You have a body.

I gotta ask this, about bodies: What the hell does it matter? I don’t care if my body is a size 4 or a size 14, anymore. That used to matter to me, and it was sad that it did. As long as I’m healthy, who the hell cares? You know what I want from my body? I don’t want it to get cancer – and that’s something I know is beyond the control of me or my body, which is scary to me. I don’t want my body to fall apart from something like arthritis, or for my heart to explode in my chest because I smoked my entire life (I don’t smoke, I’m just using hypotheticals here) or ate bacon at every meal (though, bacon at every meal sounds like a fun process). I mean, really, I enjoy life and I have learned that I will never look back when I’m on my death bed and wish I’d counted more calories or done a few more lunges. I just want to keep my body healthy because it is a vessel, a vehicle, with which my soul glances throughout this world and makes tangible connections to those my soul holds closest. Without this body, my soul is an invisible force in an invisible world which I don’t have the privilege of knowing much about. And yes, one day I’ll die. And this thing will be dust. So I don’t care if it has cellulite. Or if the butt on it is a little rounder and bigger than perhaps some people would like. It’s like worrying about how that car you drove off the lot looks – what is it? A mode of transportation? A stylized vessel to carry you from one place to another? The most I’d worry about purchasing a car is if the thing was safe (Hello, Pinto). I’m not a Ford. Or a Chevy. I’m a person, and frankly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with my body, because it has recently given me such a beautiful gift: my son.

I just want to put this out there: I’m 10 pounds below what I weighed when I got pregnant with Russ. And honestly, it’s been a pain in the butt, because I’ve had to go shopping for clothes that aren’t so enormous on me. I would’ve been just as happy to be my 10-pounds-heavier self and not have had to go shopping. Honest to God. I like where I am. I like where I was. But you know what? I really, really loved my 196-pounds, 39-weeks-pregnant body. If there’s a body of mine that I miss, it’s that one. The whole thing was pretty amazing. I look forward to putting away these “skinny jeans” in the future and going back to being that, because that was something awesome.

You do not have a soul.
You are a soul.
You have a body.
I thank God for that.

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