Three Alternatives to the Summer Swimsuit Diet
Every May, I feel the stress of trying to slim down for summer. All the ads that grace my television seem to feature beautiful women in bikinis, shirtless guys barbequing, and subliminal messaging that if you don't fit this mold... something's wrong with you. Pinterest is full of helpful links and tips to slim down quickly and be bikini-ready in 10 days or less.
The hardest thing about this is that as the stress grows, so do fears.
"What if I don't lose weight and then no boy wants to be in a relationship with me?"
"What if I don't slim down and then I can't go to the beach?"
"If I'm not skinny, I probably will never get married."
These sentences look ridiculous, even as I type them. However, I have to admit (with a little chagrin) that I have thought all of them at one point.
In honor of this annual panicked season of losing weight in the unhealthiest and fastest means possible, I thought I'd provide three Godly alternatives to the insecurity you feel at not looking like the women on the covers of the magazines (or even in your Instagram news feed):
1. Remember, your worth cannot be defined with a numerical value.
Your weight, GPA, the number of dollars in your bank account all have one important thing in common: while the world tells us that these things define us, create us, and give us worth, we know that only God gives us worth.
We are blessed to be loved by a God who gave us new life by dying on the cross for us. He lovingly created our idiosyncrasies, personalities, and looks just the way He wanted them. You were bought with the blood of Jesus Christ and that is priceless. God's love is the only thing that gives you worth, no matter how many numbers try to tell you otherwise.
2. Look for new ways to be healthy.
Instead of obsessing over calories or trying to fad diet your way to skinny, try new healthy recipes, new workouts (Zumba is a personal favorite), or go swimming with friends. Don't try to starve yourself or pressure yourself that you need to loose twenty pounds in two weeks - instead, enjoying feeding your body good food and remembering that Christ calls us to worship Him with our bodies as temples. Treat your body well, but don't starve it.
3. Delve into your Bible.
Read your Bible in the mornings - start your day with spiritual nourishment: read scripture. Pray. Seek Christ with joy and determination. When you begin your day with Jesus, it colors your entire day with faith, joy and a realization that there is so much more to you and to life than losing weight and the way you look.
You are enough. In fact, you are more than enough. When a swimsuit, a model, or even your own inner critic tries to tell you that losing weight will fix everything, remember that Christ is the only thing necessary for joy and fulfillment.
No matter how much weight you lose or how many swimsuits you rock on the beach, Jesus Christ is the the beginning, the middle and the end of a full and wonder-filled life. Seek Him and everything else will fall into place just the way it was always meant to be.