May 27, 2022
Written by Heather Salvia, Associate Director of Fitness and Programming
The gym is supposed to be a place where people can go to improve their physical fitness, develop friendships and community with others, and have access to a variety of equipment to meet their needs that they wouldn’t otherwise have at home. But there is one fact about coming to the gym that reigns true over time — going to the gym makes us more aware of how we look, for better or for worse.
In an ideal world, everyone would humbly see their unique beauty; there would be no false standard to hold themselves to. Physical fitness would not be dependent on aesthetics but rather strength, mobility, and metabolic function. We would see our inherent value, apart from appearance, and God’s intentionality in discussing the status of our hearts, not our glutes or biceps.
In our real, fallen world, this may not always be how we feel. In the 12 years I have been working within a gym setting, I can understand the highs and lows of this reality and have been there myself. This is why I want to drop some encouragement to anyone coming into the gym who needs a reminder of how they should see themselves today. Read these. Let them sink in. Repeat as needed.
I won’t apologize nor believe it is cliché to include scripture here, because what God says about us is the single most important thing, not what man says. Let’s break it down:
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Your intention matters. What you think and say to yourself affects every aspect of your health. What you think and say about others affects your relationships. Below are some affirmations that you can choose to say to yourself and others as image bearers:
Use this list or create your own list of affirmations. Equip yourself with truth when the temptation to feel insecure and down on yourself comes up. Whether you are at the gym or anywhere else, you are stronger than the deceit and the lies because you have the power and authority given by Christ Jesus over the enemy. Step into that and feel the freedom and assurance that follows!