A few months ago I was crying over a bowl of spinach. As much as I stared at the bowl of healthy dark leafy greens it wasn’t going to miraculously turn into a bowl of ice cream, even though I was hoping it would. At the time I felt this feeling of frustration over eating healthy and exercising. I know all there is to know about what’s healthy and what’s not, how to lose weight and keep it off, moderation vs. overeating and the list of what I should do to be active and fit. I felt frustrated over my fitness to-do list. The list was full of goals; goals to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date, goals to run a race by a certain date, goals to eat a certain amount of calories daily and goals to give up certain foods to get to other goals I set. I would look at my list and feel frustrated because I have had the same list for years now.
One day as I was reading a book on eating healthy the author asked me to write down a list of my motives of why I wanted to reach all these health and fitness goals. I wrote down a list and as I looked over the list I was shocked to see that the majority of my motives were so shallow and all about MY image and what others thought of ME. In that moment it dawned on me that my choice and all my motives, even my motives for being healthy had to be about drawing closer to God, and about becoming a godly woman. I finally realized that I was frustrated with my to-do list of fitness goals because I was taking God out of that part of my life and wanting the achievement of my goals to be about my glory, image, and sufficiency. I was trying to build up my outward appearance but neglecting building up that inner part of me that should desire to give all the honor and glory back to God, even if it is giving him glory for helping me run a 5k, or giving him the glory that when I accepted Christ into my heart he gave me the fruit of the spirit and with that he gave me self-control!
I began to see that yes being healthy is important, but IT IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! The most important thing in my life should be my walk with God. I can desire a healthy lifestyle and set goals, there is nothing wrong with that. I can lose weight and feel free that my life isn’t about looking a certain way and if I never lose a pound in all my life or if I gain weight my identity is still in Christ. I can realize instead that my life is about acting like Christ daily and giving him glory for all of my achievements. I can enjoy my life with God at the center. I can cry out for his help when I don’t know if I can make the last mile of a run. I can eat a cookie and praise him for chocolate! In every breath that I take I can worship him. I can worship the way he created vitamins in vegetables, even spinach, and I can worship the way he created ice cream to taste so sweet! But beyond anything I can worship that God cares about every detail of my life and that he desire a relationship with me!
Hope McCleary graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Mass Communications. After graduating she spent two years working in local news at KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Co. She decided to give up her career in the media to share the message of Christ full-time. She joined full-time staff with Master Plan Ministries the summer of 2012 and got married to Forrest McCleary in September of 2012. Through her own personal ups and downs in college Hope has a heart for college women understand their worth as God’s daughters, to see them grow in their faith, to grow in the unique gifts God has given them, and to stand firm in their faith even with the pressures of the world all around them. Hope’s interests include world and local missions, photography, singing, playing guitar and writing music, reading, meeting new people, coffee, and hiking.
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