I didn’t realize that an exercise app I use still had my old weight from this January… I’m 180lbs today, not 170lbs. And as of July 2017, I have gained 25 pounds in one year.
I have always struggled with my body image being tall and skinny, even though I had been at a healthy weight. I was cut from sports teams because I didn’t “have the size” to play against guys bigger than me, even though I was truthfully told by the coaches I was the hardest working guy in the gym every day, working harder than guys 2 and 3 grades above me.
I decided to finally commit to gaining weight last fall when I left the country on study abroad. Since then, I have gained more than I ever imagined. 25 pounds in a year, and it’s all muscle. I’ve been working diligently on balancing cardio and weightlifting, eating more than I sometimes want to.
Seeing the results in both the number on the scale and in the transformation of my body are extremely gratifying. I feel a confidence in my body image that I’ve never had before, and it’s liberating! I don’t feel as insecure about my body anymore. Listen to me when I say this: right now, I am the happiest I have ever been with how I look.
But I’m not satisfied just yet, I’m still trying to be the best athlete I can be. Training hard in the weight room, riding my bike, and playing basketball have led me to substantial gains in my fitness and athletic ability. This isn’t the end, only a small step on the lifelong journey to glorifying God with my body [1 Corinthians 6:20]. I know that all these positive outcomes are because of a God who I want to honor with my body, but the true growth needs to be spiritual. I am reminded of 1 Timothy 4:8 when I write this, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” My heart is, and has always been, on pursuing Jesus and nothing else. I may crash on my bike tomorrow and never exercise again, but I have hope in a God that loves me and it’s my love for Him that motivates me to physically flourish. It’s a spiritual motivation over anything else, because my body does not belong to me. I will continue to love the Lord with my body, attributing every success to Him and surrendering every failure to the unending grace He shows those who believe in Him.