Ever find yourself looking in the mirror and not liking what you see? Ever step onto the scale and gasp at the bigger number? Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and thought ‘I look fat’?
I know I have. And it completely changed my mood for the entire day. Like instantly I’d think, “I need to lose weight”, and ironically, I’d find myself scrolling through social media thinking everyone looked better than me. Subconsciously, I might even think I’m not good enough.
The problem is, we’ve had it so ingrained into our culture that looking good means looking thin, it’s hard to be content. The world looks at you and decides—in an instant—who you are: fat, thin, strong, muscular, pear-shaped, apple-shaped, chunky or skinny.
Every diet promises a thinner you. A healthier you. A more confident you. But none of them promise a deep, everlasting view of yourself that never changes no matter how much you weigh or what angle a certain pic was taken.
Only Christ can do that.
The Keys to Godly Health
The only healthy way to actually get healthy is to focus on an inside-out approach that targets your spiritual health first. Because how we view ourselves is shaped by what we think of ourselves. And what we think of ourselves must never be based on world views and opinions, but rather on the foundation of Christ and our identity in Him. When we understand who we are in Christ, we can use that confidence to aim for the physical goals we want to achieve.
Diets will tell you what to eat and what not to eat and promise you, ‘if you follow all the rules, you’ll get that perfect body’. But God designed us uniquely and we don’t all fit into one same mold. We don’t all burn calories or process nutrients in the same way.
But we can stand firm on God’s promises because they don’t come with rules. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and the love of God within us, that has the power to make everything new.
When we trust God’s Word, we can feel confident that though we may not look like the best version of ourselves, with Him we can aim to be the best version of ourselves. And when we know who we are in Christ, we can kiss those diets good-bye.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Here are 5 things you can do to avoid the trap of the diet culture:
1. Recognize your inner critic voice.
“I’m fat, not thin enough, not attractive enough” etc. Replace that critical voice with biblical affirmations that will remind you of your identity in Christ; who you truly are. Say these scriptures out loud over and over again until that inner critic disappears.
Ephesians 2:10: ‘For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Psalm 139:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Genesis 1:27: So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2. Find a healthy balance by avoiding extremes.
Diets focus on restriction and deprivation. They create more weight problems in the long run because they sabotage your relationship with food and your body. Mindfully recognize that you have the power of choice when it comes to choosing what to eat, how often to exercise or even how much sleep to get. Look for balance instead of swinging from one extreme to another.
Scripture says, “All things are permitted but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted, but not all things build people up.” 2 Corinthians 10:23 (NASB)
3. Choose getting healthy as a form of spiritual worship.
Whether you choose food that will honor your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit or exercise as a way to keep your body strong and limber. When we take care of ourselves as an act of worship, it brings a whole new dimension to the choices we make.
3 John 1:2 (ESV): “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
4. Understand your getting-healthy intentions.
Why do you want to get healthy or lose weight? Write down all of the reasons and analyze your intentions. Go deeper than just writing, “I want to lose weight to get healthy.” By analyzing your reasons, you’ll be able to recognize your true intentions and avoid superficial goals that won’t last. Ask God to help you in this process.
James 1:5 (ESV): “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
5. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for your body.
Yes—even if you don’t like the way you look in the mirror right now, remember, how you look on the outside is not who you are on the inside. If we anchor our self-worth to Christ, we can feel confident in ourselves even if we don’t like the reflection we see. And if we cultivate an attitude of gratitude for what we do have, it’ll help us care for ourselves in a way that supports those getting-healthy intentions.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV): “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.” The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Bianca Schaefer is a health consultant, writer and life coach. Her mission is to shine the light on Christ through nourishing foods, an active lifestyle and the belief that anything is possible through Christ. She is putting the finishing touches on her first book, which intersects physical and spiritual health.
Find out more about Bianca at: