Let me just start off by saying that this post is probably one of the hardest I've ever written. The thought of sharing this subject with you has caused me a lot of anxiety. I'm literally biting my nails off as I write this. Why?? Well, I'm about to share a few photos of myself...in a sports bra. Showing my pregnancy stretch marks...from twins...and a c-section. (I wouldn't blame you at all if you ran screaming from this site right now.)
Okay though, let's back up. Why exactly am I sharing a post of my half naked body with you on a SUNDAY DEVOTION? It's kind of a long story so let's start at the beginning.
I've always been athletic. All through high school and college I played sports. After college I continued running and lifting weights and started doing some yoga. I never worked out or exercised because I was trying to attain the "perfect body" or anything. I just really enjoy how my body feels after I exercise. But any girl who spends a decade playing on sports teams spends their fair share in a locker room with other girls. It's no surprise I have a few hang ups about how my body looks. It sure hasn't helped either that my stomach has gone through some trauma. My first pregnancy I carried twins full term (and gained 60 pounds) and my second ended with an emergency c-section. Fun scars abound!!
Earlier in the year I found a website that I have absolutely fell in love with, Bodyrock. A few times a week the Bodyrock site posts 12 minute workouts (alternating rounds of 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) along with a video on how to do each move. Twelve minutes may not sound like a lot but these workouts are HARD!! I'm always sweating like a pig when I'm done and there's lots of times I can't make it through an exercise without a break. It's awesome that the workouts are only 12 minutes too, no excuses! Bodyrock encourages those working out with them to take a photo of themselves once a month or so to really see the difference Bodyrocking can make. Some Bodyrockers even end up sharing those photos on Facebook as inspiration for others.
I'd thought about sharing my photos but couldn't bear the thought of showing my stretched out stomach to 50,000+ Facebook followers! AAACCCKKK!!
But I have taken photos along the way. This is me on May 1st, 2012. I am so insecure I couldn't even bear to get my head in the image!
So back to Bodyrock. One of the hosts, who does AWESOME workouts by the way, has shared a couple of plastic surgeries that she's had on the site; a breast enhancement and a nose job. And she's caught a lot of criticism for doing so. Lots of people say she was beautiful to begin with and she didn't need to get the plastic surgeries and that now that she's had two she won't be able to stop. I had to agree, she didn't need that work done. She had an awesome body...BUT I also thought it shared a LOT of courage a bravery to share her insecurities with others . After that I got to thinking a bit more of sharing my photos but STILL couldn't bear to do so.
Until I was reading my Bible this week and came across this passage;
1 Corinthians 15:38-44 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
God created my body in splendor!! He created it to do wonderful things. I had 3 babies and dang, those stretch marks are a sign of the strength my body had while bringing life into this world! Okay, can you just say "WOW". God doesn't create mistakes. He gave me this body for a specific purpose, he created stretch marks for a reason too, and who am I to question that he's made a mistake. According to God my body is grand! Why shouldn't I be proud of it?
So here's me after about 5 months of Bodyrocking on October 4, 2012
There's not a huge change but I can certainly tell a difference in my love handles and I DEFINITELY feel stronger with more energy. It's amazing the workouts I can do now, with no problems, that I couldn't do 5 months ago. It's also amazing how much more energy I have to spend on my family!
Look, I have a head in this one!! Ha, ha!
The previous photos were really hard for me to share on my blog. (All my fingernails are gone now!) But the next image is by far the hardest to share.
My Twin Skin.
Yep that's my belly. Gross isn't it?
No, no it's NOT GROSS. (I have to keep reminding myself of that!)
My stretched out tummy did wonderful things, it brought three glorious children into this world. God is more than happy with how I look and I should be too.
In this world we get so wrapped up in how we look that we forget that this earthly body is fleeting. This will not be the body we inhabit in heaven, that body will be glorious! But this earthly body and earthly life and world holds its own splendor. God doesn't make mistakes, we don't need to "fix" anything he's created.
Embrace it. Be proud. Our bodies, our lives are gifts. If we feel the need to strive for a "perfect" body though the earthly one shouldn't be our focus. Rather we should strive for perfection in spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the strength of my body. Thank You for stretching out my tummy because it reminds me of just how glorious this earthly body You created is!! It can do fabulous things! Help me find perfection in spirit and not worry about this short lived earthly body. There are definitely more important things to worry about than that. Amen!