As I sit next to my window, listening to the hail/snow/rain/whatever it is, my first thought is- man, I could use some chocolate right about now. Sitting out is a box of Fun Dip… my heart yearns for it. This can only be the mindset of someone on a diet or, in my case, fasting.

This year I decided to take a different approach to fasting. I have decided to fast the foods that feel indulgent and to highly prioritize my time with Jesus. I’m only one week through (out of three), but this has actually been the easiest and most peaceful fast I’ve ever done. Not because I’m “taking it easy” but because it’s more about what’s in my heart than in my stomach this time. For years I have struggled with my own body image. My junior year in high school, I used the fast as a test to see how little I could eat. I took it to such extremes that I lost over 30 pounds in the course of two months as I continued to “test” myself.

This past year, I essentially gained all that weight back but in all of the “wrong” places. I slowly began to feel myself crawling towards my old self, pushing food off of my plate more and more, eventually only eating 1,250 calories or less a day (junior year I was eating under 800). I began to feel weak and feeble. God stopped me in my tracks. “My daughter, you are beautiful. If you would just spend time with Me, you would know this.”

We all hear Psalm 139:14 all the time, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” I have it written on a sticky note on my mirror that I use to get ready in the morning. That doesn’t mean you don’t forget that, or say “yeah, whatever,” or even think “well my friend must of been more fearfully and wonderfully made because she’s got better skin than I do.”

Comparison sucks. It is no doubt the reason for all of my insecurities. Ladies, everywhere you go there will be a picture of a model that looks “better” than you do. But guess what!? That image isn’t real! They don’t show you how the model works out multiple times a day and doesn’t enjoy any good food. They don’t show you how that is sometimes not enough and they have to go in and Photoshop her (guys, the same applies for you). Also, these models are usually over 6 feet with naturally GREAT metabolisms.

It was not until I got off Instagram and put my eyes on Scripture that I have truly begun to understand my identity in Christ. I have (slowly) began to draw away from the bumps on my thighs and look at the content of my heart. The questions are finally beginning to switch from, “can everyone see my acne?” to “can everyone see my love of God?” I would take all the acne scars if it meant that every time I walked into a room, people would immediately feel His presence.

I know it’s not simple. Every stinkin’ day I have to wake up and choose to say, “God has created you for a destiny beyond your wildest imagination.” And the same applies to you.

The best you can do is work out and eat good foods. But, sometimes I want wings instead of salad, ya know? My body is my body. I will treat it well. But my mind is also a part of my body. I will treat it well. So if treating my body “well” means I have to sacrifice a wonderful mental state- I won’t do it. And vice versa.

You are you your whole life. Love Jesus deeper and He will begin to reveal things to you that mean more than stomach rolls. Dig into the Word- even for just 15 minutes. Spend time in prayer and listen for His voice. Worship. Worship. Worship. Giving God 5 minutes of your day does more than any detox juice ever will. Love God and He will show you how to love yourself.

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