Reason for the Season
So often we find ourselves caught up in the middle of the things we do on a regular basis and forget why we’re even doing it in the first place. We reach a point where, all of a sudden, we have no idea how we got here and question whether or not we want to keep going. It’s almost like a mid-life crisis but with our hobbies, jobs, passions, relationships, etc. I’m pretty sure this happens all-too often in everyone’s health + fitness journeys. There’s people that have been consistent in eating healthy and training hard only to find themselves during the holidays wondering if it’s still worth it. You indulge in one-too-many Christmas cookies that keep showing up on the counter somehow and wonder if the hard work is worth more than all of the Christmas treats you’re tempted with at every single holiday party. We work hard, but during the holidays we indulge more than normal (and that’s okay). But as we feed those cravings and remember how good the junk tastes and how nice it is to not have to sweat so much, we question whether or not we want to go back to that healthy lifestyle when the New Year is over. Is it still worth it when this tastes so good? This is when we have to remember our reason for our healthy season.
Christmas is only two days away! I know, I can’t believe it’s here already either, but as we sit in the middle of the holidays, we hear the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” on the regular. I think it can become a cliché saying that people just throw around without truly understanding its weight, but it truly is a powerful reminder. The holidays are stressful, busy, and sad for some. We often forget that the reason for celebrating Christmas is God sending His perfect Son to be born a human. To be like us. To know us more deeply. To be present. I mean think about it, a GOD sent His SON to become a tiny, helpless baby, born of a young, seemingly unaccomplished girl. A GOD sent His SON to become dependent upon a nobody mother and father. They had no experience in raising kids and they didn’t have much material possessions to prove themselves worthy of raising the Savior of the World. Yet, Jesus was born to them to be fed, protected, raised, and nurtured. So as a little reminder with the holidays swirling around us, the real reason it was ever celebrated at all was because God’s Son came to be like us, to know us more deeply and rescue the restlessness of our weary hearts. That’s a real reason to celebrate.
I haven’t shared too much on my faith here or on my @kenziemfitness instagram, but you should know I passionately pursue Jesus before I pursue any kind of health + fitness. I believe Jesus was born to know us more personally. I believe He died to give us a reason for hope, life, and eternal purpose, and I believe He’s still worthy of my life and everything I have to give. Call me crazy, but that’s what I live for. Being healthy is a way that I honor God, but it’s not what I’d live and die for. With that being said, if you think what I’m talking about is completely stupid, you don’t have to keep reading. But I challenge you to, because I believe that my “reason for the season” is what gives sanity in a completely judgmental and impossible industry. The health + fitness field is all about the way you look. We compare ourselves to everyone at the gym to see how our abs and butt measure up. We compete to see who can have the lowest body composition. We live to look better than person A and person B and it’s miserable. I’ve struggled with it and I work in it, so I know that it can tear you to shreds. Which is why I know how important it is to have a “why” that’s different from, “I want my body fat to be below 15% so I can have abs and better legs”. Let’s be real, when our “why” is for an image, we’re never happy because once we get there, someone else’s body fat is going to be at 13%, their butt will be bigger, and we’ll never feel good enough. It’s a comparison trap, and I don’t live like that. I won’t. So just like “Jesus is the reason for the season,” He’s also the reason I want to be fit and healthy, not because I want a lower PBF.
So- my “why?” It’s found in the Bible. I believe it to be the Word of God. It’s truth to live by. So this is it:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT).
Boom. What a statement, right? The Bible talks about how our bodies are a place where God can dwell, where He can speak, love, and guide us. They were created and given to us by Him, and Jesus’ death was the high price paid for them. As humans, we suck. We fall short. We get angry. We say things we shouldn’t. We do things we shouldn’t. That’s life, and that’s sin. Because we’re so messed up, our initial location where we should be spending eternity after death is hell. Think about it, if we’re so imperfect and terrible then our eternity is probably supposed to be spent somewhere imperfect and terrible. BUT, that’s not the end of the story. In Christ’s death, He made a way to defeat our terrible eternities. He died a painful death so we wouldn't have to. That was the price. After that death, the Bible says all we have to do is admit that we’re wrongful people and believe He died so we can spend eternity with Him, not separated from Him. Now, if someone’s life was used to give me freedom, then you bet I owe them everything. God says I’m to honor Him with my body, so that’s why I stay healthy. I can’t honor Him with it when I’m weak, eat terribly, don’t sleep enough, have a weak cardiovascular system, have an unhealthy relationship with food, and compare my body to someone else’s to the point where I don’t think it’s good enough. I hate to burst your bubble, but if your body is a gift to you from someone that died for you, then you better think it’s the bee’s knees- not fatter than that girl in the gym you’ve never talked to. That’s a sure way to waste a gift- by thinking that another gift is better. I get so passionate about this because almost everyone I talk to in this industry works out and eats a certain way to look differently. Believe me, it’s great to have goals! But if the goals you have take the place of why you should be doing it in the first place, you’re going to end up disappointed. I’ve been disappointed in my body. I’ve felt fatter than the trainers I follow on instagram. But do you want to know why those thoughts creep in? It’s because I chose to forget that my body is a gift that was bought for me, and that being fit and healthy is a way to honor the Giver of the gift. This is why my KMF slogan is “chasing health, not a body image.” Because my “why” goes beyond losing a few pounds or lifting a little heavier. My “why” is the whole “reason for the season.”
I know some of you reading this might not be able to get behind the “Jesus thing”. Or maybe you just think it’s a part of the story of Christmas and that’s it. I encourage you to study it a little more. This is a great article I’ve been reading through this month that’s helped me to understand why Christmas is truly worth celebrating. I’m not forcing you to believe anything you don’t want to believe in, but I think it’s worth checking into. To be honest, the fitness industry would’ve torn me apart already if I wasn’t rooted in the “why” I explained to you above. This industry is all about image, comparison, and having a lower body fat percentage than someone else. It’s about the way your body looks. It sucks out all of your feelings of self-esteem if you let it. Trust me, when I forget that being healthy, strong, and fit is all in honor of God, I begin to hate my body because my focus shifts from honoring God to measuring my body up to everyone else. It’s a mess. Don’t let your motivation for your health be to look differently. My whole purpose in starting KMF was to “chase health, not a body image,” which is the exact opposite of everything the fitness industry is about. In order to focus on the health part, I have to remember why I do this, and that’s to honor the Lord in how I treat the body He gifted to me. Just like Jesus was a gift to us, so are our bodies. So as we remember that “Jesus is the reason for the season” this Christmas, let’s also remember that He’s the reason we should give our bodies life as we workout and eat right, not because someone else looks good so we should try to look better.
***If you have any question about anything I’ve shared or just want to talk more about it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org OR DM me on instagram @kenziemfitness.