Thursday, January 14, 2016

Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper {guest post}

Welcome to the first Thursday Guest Post of 2016 here at Unapologetically You! This week I bring you Marsha-- A Christian blogger, runner and cardio junkie. Marsha is a true inspiration in her quest to empower women to be fit and free. 

Thank you so much, Marsha, for being part of Unapologetically You!


Hi, I'm Marsha! I'm a Christian wife and mom. I'm a runner and cyclist. Just call me a cardio junkie. I have over 50 half marathon finishes recorded and over a dozen full marathons. I have put thousands of miles on my bike, including more than a half dozen centuries. I have a Master's Degree in Counseling. I'm a certified group instructor with Fitour. 

I've let the noise of society drown out what I know to be true about my weight and body image, and that's that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made". I now want to help women find their fit and be free from the noise. How to keep my eyes on my own paper and not buy into all the lies and gimmicks. 

No, this doesn't have anything to do with being in a classroom and giving a test. I'm referring to health and fitness plans and body image. We have such a tendency to look at and compare ourselves with others. 

"She lost weight. I wonder how she did it?"
"Look at her. I wish I looked like that."

The Bible tells us we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". No two fingerprints are alike. We each have a unique DNA. So why would my plan for a healthy body look like your plan? And why would my uniquely and carefully crafted body look like yours? Why would I want it to?

Let's take a look at a key passage in scripture:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me. When as yet there were none of them. How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Psal 139:13-17 {italics mine}

There are some key points in this verse that really jump out at me.

1. "fearfully and wonderfully made" - Do you see those words? You, I, we were fearfully and wonderfully made! This is with awe and excellence.

2. "made in secret" - I like to think that I was His own special secret. Before anyone knew that life had been created, before a test could show a positive result, He knew I was there, because He already started forming me.

3. "skillfully" - This again refers to excellence, to something done well.

4. "precious are your thoughts about me" - And then He steps back and has only good thoughts of me. Precious refers to something highly valued. You and I are highly valued by our Creator.

Who are we to look in the mirror and judge what we see? Yes, we should be good stewards of what we've been given. Yes, we need to "eat to live, not live to eat" as Lysa Terkeurst writes. 

But health and fitness looks different on and for everyone. This is why I plead with you "Keep your eyes on your own paper!" Stop looking! Stop trying to do something that'll never work for you because you're not her-- you are wonderful you! Take the time to be a detective of your own body. If you need help, find a coach that can come alongside you and help you find a plan that will work for you.

Doesn't it feel so much better when you turn in that assignment and know you can be confident in what's on your own paper? You don't even have to look at someone else's because you already know you got it right! 

"Keep your eyes on your own paper. Stop the #bodyimage comparison! #sweatpink #fitness"

Wow-- That was powerful. Oh, how often we find ourselves in the trap of comparison. I challenge you to take Marsha's advice-- let's focus on ourselves, our current fitness level, our goals. Let's not buy into the lies and gimmicks society pushes on us. We have been fearfully and wonderfully made-- let's treat ourselves that way.

Thanks again, Marsha, for joining us today!

Make sure to head on over to Marsha's website or one of her social media channels to say hi!

Your turn! Do you ever find yourself buying into the comparison lies? After reading Marsha's advice, how will your approach your body image differently?


This post is linked up with Jill for Fitness Friday and Fitful Focus for Fit & Fashionable Friday. Make sure to stop by and check them out!