Why fixing your core won’t save you

“Thinking that because you are good person, hard times won’t come is like thinking that because you are a vegetarian, the bull won’t charge at you.” After reading this pivotal article on GNOWFGLINS many moons ago about how eating real food didn’t stop severe illness in two families, I began pondering the same truth about fitness and what we do here: Fit2B endeavors to help you build a stronger, healthier core and body – not solely for looks and lean muscles which are lovely side effects – but so you’re “fit to be” serving with strength, mothering with mojo, and volunteering with vivaciousness within your family, community and world!

Okay, OKAY, okay! I admit it: I love alliterations!

However, while I find immense joy in helping y’all get stronger starting with strengthening your deepest core muscles and watching your newfound strength radiate out into the energy you expend with your loved ones, I have felt very convicted lately to scream a loud ‘NO’ to all those selling the pursuit of perfection, and an equally loud ‘WAIT’ to those buying into the falsehood that fixing your core can save you – that having a perfect body or perfect health is the key to happiness, contentment, and a guarantee of long life.

First, my confession

I confess my personal paradoxical fight against the peer pressure of the modern fitness industry to diet and exercise myself into a frenzy in order to look a certain way. With me being in front of a camera a lot, it’s so tempting to fixate on my body, and I know all too well how self-image can become master. So please bear with me while I try to shine some light and hope into the darkness that body-image has become for so many.

 

Right here on our fitness website, I want to remind you, sweet friend, that the tone of your tummy doesn’t define you. Great health and fitness are neither the journey nor the destination, nor are they singular goals you reach. Your physical self is just a vehicle carrying your essence – your soul – your spirit, and you can have a great life full of purpose and impact whether you’re driving a Porsche, Pinto or Pontiac.

Hard Times Are Hard

We will all have hard times despite all the good we do and all the faith we have and all the workouts we complete. Even if we do fix our diastasis recti, even if we do eat clean all the time, even if we do believe in “something bigger than ourselves,” we aren’t promised a good life. The Bible itself says the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Neither faith or fitness will save us from hard times, and anything can become a crutch or an idol when we treat it like a fast food drive thru lane where we say what we want, pay the price listed, and hold out a hand. Neither fitness nor faith work like that.

The question is, what {or Who} do we focus on when those hard times come? If we focus on ourselves – doing more, being more, exercising more, eating more/less – chances are we will let ourselves down.

If we focus on the grace and forgiveness and peace that come from knowing we were made to love and be loved, then we can start to learn and grow and grasp how temporary this world’s trials and troubles are in light of the ONE we can trust to see so much further than we can… And then we see that our bodies are just a vehicle on this journey of life, and our health and fitness aren’t the real destinations… unless you count car washes and fuel pumps as destinations, and while car washes are exciting for my kids, I want more out of life for them than just a pretty polish.

We get so worried about being pretty. Let's be pretty kind. Pretty funny. Pretty smart. Pretty strong. Fit2B.com

This is partly why Fit2B doesn’t advertise with stock images of a perfectly sculpted goddess holding a smiling child on her hip. It would be a lie, because in 9 years of motherhood I’ve only ever accumulated approximately 27 total seconds of that perfect hair, clean baby, clean house, got my body back this week before my kid gets sick next week and I enter survival mode in which I halt all cardio and weight lifting and stay home for 7 days straight while I eat whatever is within easy reach because I’m buried in laundry thanks to perpetual vomit and diarrhea.

I said partly. It’s mostly because my identity – YOUR IDENTITY – our identity is not and CANNOT be rooted in those air-brushed images that are really just opportunities for compare, obsess, idolize and that leads to failure BECAUSE I WILL NEVER BE HER. I am me, and I will always fail at being who I am not. Thus, images of real moms, of me, of you our members here on Fit2B. No fakery.

I think we can all agree that life is short and precious. 

So why do any of it? Why bother getting and staying in shape if it doesn’t really matter in the grander and more divine scheme of things? Why bother narrowing your diastasis recti if fixing your core won’t save you?

Truth: Fixing your core won’t keep you from earthly tragedy or guarantee you any bliss, either earthly or heavenly BUT it sure can increase the quality of your life here on earth, leading to more happy moments, better energy, quicker healing from birth, better digestion, etc.

Truth: Eating nutritious foods and exercising every day doesn’t merit you anything beyond a healthier body, better mood {which could improve relationships} and better quality of life WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE.

Truth: When we do the above two things solely for the sake of our appearance or increasing our longevity, we lose sight of the real “Why” and the real goal, and we buy into two lies:

1. That we have control over the length of our lives

2. That your “looks” have lasting value

Please, dear ones, fix your main “why” upon something deeper than looks, length of life, or even your kids… because both your looks and your kids will fly the nest one day, and you are not in charge of the driver in the other lane. You are not in charge of falling tree branches. And you cannot control your genetics.

The world is topsy turvy isn’t it? We think we know everything, and we believe we’ve grabbed a guarantee of longer life when we choose broccoli and bicep curls. But being out of shape doesn’t guarantee you a death by heart attack any more than doing yoga to supposedly ward off anxiety can save you from the same.

So why bother taking care of ourselves at all? 

So that we can take better care of others. So that we can make our Maker happy with the way we’re using this one body, this one spine, this one set of legs we were given. So that we are full enough to pour out our lives into other lives. So that we can be stronger members of a larger body within our families, churches, communities, and this whole world!

And pouring out requires filling

You see, it has to go beyond things that turn to dust. And we can’t let the workout itself break us, or that defeats the whole purpose! The food and the good alignment and the loving motions that build better muscles and bones should all be applied with eternal returns in mind.

So I ask you this …

Comment below and answer: Why are you working out today? Why are your narrowing your diastasis recti – even knowing it can’t “save” you – but knowing it helps with so many other things – What will you do with this one wild and crazy life you’ve been given? What could you do to SERVE with a body that felt better? Moved better?

Stop reading here if you don’t want to read my “religious” beliefs

When our motivation switches to one of eternal love and joy, then we exercise because we love our kids and find joy in carrying them when they’re hurt. We eat healthier foods because we enjoy the way we feel and function when we do, and we do not love how we feel when we eat garbage. We choose moves that bless NOT beat up our bodies because we understand that we are loved and that our Maker’s face radiates with joy because of us (Numbers 6:24-26) and we pray because we enjoy talking to our Creator, not just because we’re laying out our daily gimme-this list.

Fit2B endeavors to help you build a stronger, healthier core and body.

After all, fitness is a huge part of of my work, ministry, mission, purpose, etc 😉 But it’s not me. Me – I’m a daughter of the King of the Universe who loved me enough to send Emmanuel, God in the flesh born into a manger, who would lay down his own life while I was yet a sinner. I believe the same power that raised Jesus from death is mine through the gift of the Holy Spirit and I can be victorious and do all the things I’m called to do through Christ who strengthens me … Can I get an amen?

We pray Fit2B blesses you and helps you get stronger and regain function. May our labors on this website not be in vain, and may all those who stumble across this website of ours be affected in eternal ways from deep within their cores on outward, yes! But this ain’t all there is, people.

Our routines are great {if I do say so myself} and they will help you if you follow them consistently, but my words are NOT gospel. I am not the light at the end of your tunnel, and finally fixing your core isn’t that light either. I want to point you to One who has been my light:

Jesus is my light. Jesus is my healer. Jesus wants to replace all your idols and give you a peace that passes all understanding. He was a real man who said some really cool things, and if you find a Bible, I think you should start with the book of John {click} and go from there.

I’m here if you have questions, both about your faith and fitness. For me, they are firmly intertwined. I respect that all of my members come from different backgrounds and faiths, and I’m so thankful that you took the time to read my perspective. I’m working on a “Core Devotions” book that will have several weeks of lessons that help people explore the role of fitness in their faith, so stay tuned for that in a couple years 😉

Blessings,

Beth

Wait, there's such a thing as a perfect body? Fit2b.com

 

13 thoughts on “Why fixing your core won’t save you

  1. Melissa says:

    Blessing to you, Beth! Your light shines bright and I appreciate the reminder to keep our eyes focused on the real important things, not just how flat I wish my stomach was. I so appreciate how you encourage us to be gentle and patient with ourselves as we heal.

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Thanks, Melissa! What’s interesting is that I didn’t feel very bright when I hit publish. I felt a little nervous and embarassed too that I’d waited this long to tidy up this blog and publish it, but this morning it all came together, and I’m glad I trusted that Still, Small Voice that said today was the day for it.

  2. Ann S. says:

    Amen, sister. I love when our work flows with our faith. I’m my prayer to be a light where the Lord leads me. Even when I’m not feeling very bright.

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      And I pray that too, Ann! In my head, fitness and faith have never been separate. I dream of getting to lead all of Heaven in corporate total-body worship of Jesus one day 🙂

  3. Kathi Baillie says:

    Beth,
    Thanks so much for this heartfelt, gospel centered post. I LOVE your site’ for the reasons you outlined above and I admit, it is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to change the way I look for MY satisfaction, rather than doing it to please the ONE who created me in His image.
    Thanks so much for this helpful reminder…I appreciate how you care more about our souls than our core 🙂
    Blessings to you and your team as you seek to honor God through Fit2B… it really is a gift and I am very grateful for it!

  4. Pingback: Bare Naked Gratitude - Fit2B studio

  5. Pingback: 1 Scar Story + 2 Tummy Massage Videos - Fit2B Studio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *