I was interviewed this weekend, and I was asked an interesting question:
What does it mean to you to be strong? What images come to mind?
This question stumped me for a moment, because I don’t think of strength the way you might assume.
In the beginning of my journey to health, strong meant looking lean, so my initial goals were centered on weight loss and the way I looked. Not knowing what I was doing, I researched magazines and books to find the answer. I was looking for a secret – any solution to find the way to cheat the system and get results quick.
After trying the high protein/low carb diets, and juice fasts, I realized there wasn’t a quick answer for the permanent solution I was looking for.
No! I realized I was actually going to have to work. I figured out how to eat and how to exercise, but the problem I keep coming back to was I based a lot of how I felt about myself on what the scale said.
Eating right and working out all week and then standing on the scale only to see a number that makes a wave of self-loathing wash over you is awful!
One day in church, I had finally had it with the torture of gaining and losing weight and trying to be lean all the time, so I started praying for an answer.And I got one! I needed a mind shift. Being strong doesn’t translate to a look; it’s how you feel. My ideas of strength got a necessary makeover from chiseled abs and perfect bodies to a power of self-assurance through faith.
I now view strength as the ability to have control over your body rather than it controlling you. I no longer focus on the numbers, or try to cheat the system, strong to me means you’re tougher than your excuses, and the outside doesn’t define you, No! Your strength comes from the inside out.
The Proverbs 31 woman is a great example of how and why we should pursue strength and fitness in our daily lives. My favorite characteristic of the Proverbs 31 woman is her strength:
“She Dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”
To dress means to clothe one’s self or to put on a covering of some sort. Putting on our identity in Christ, therefore, is how we dress ourselves with internal strength—affecting the mind and spirit.
So, if your still making your Christmas wish list or trying to figure out what you want to get for best friend, your mom, your sister, or anyone who is strong in your life, I love these shirts from SheIsClothing. The water bottle above is also from this same Etsy store. Check them out here.
You can get it here.
Stay tuned for the rest of the week for more ideas for your Christmas shopping list.