The Skinny on Abs: why “getting abs” shouldn’t be your new year’s resolution

Welcome to that weird week between Christmas and New Years when you’re filled with cheese, confusion, and booze!

Most of us are feeling fuller than normal due to your grandma’s delicious chocolate pie, your uncle’s family famous cheesey potatoes, and of course, sugar cookies piled high with frosting. The consumption of these wonderful goodies we were able to enjoy with family can lead to believe that they should kick off a few extra pounds, after the new year of course. That thought and the millions of salespeople and advertisement bombarding social media and television will convince you that you should make a “new year, new me” resolution.

I’d like to convince you otherwise.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for good health. I love eating my veggies and lifting weights. I encourage others to also eat foods and move in ways that make them feel good. That’s good. That’s healthy.

But it is unhealthy to assume that dropping some weight, “getting abs,” or looking like your favorite celebrity will make you feel better about yourself.

A few years ago, realizing I had become comfortable in my relationship, I realized I was no longer comfortable in my body. I didn’t have the body I did when I started dating this guy nor did I ever have the confidence to wear a bikini at the beach. After a fair bit of self loathing, I decided to exercise and reduce what I ate. I joined a program that appeared to give me what I needed to get the confidence I wanted. I got abs! But you know what? I was still very intimidated to wear a bikini. I still felt just a bit too big. I still didn’t feel comfortable in my body. I kept thinking, “just another couple pounds more to go and I’ll have my full six-pack! Then I’ll finally feel confident!” Another couple pounds came and went, but yet again it wasn’t enough. I began skipping time with friends to workout. I refused to eat with others if it didn’t fit my meal plan. I deprived myself on date nights and every night.

I gained my abs, but I began to lose my life.

And out of all that, I wasn’t more confident. People didn’t like me more. I didn’t like me more. It wasn’t fulfilling. Plus, I sabotaged my mental and physical health. I had to recover from “getting abs.” It was long and hard and frankly, from time to time, I still struggle with it. For the past year, I’ve always had two, if not four, of my six-pack remaining. But it is no longer where I assume I can draw my confidence from.

From the girl with abs to the girl wanting abs, I can tell you with confidence, it is not worth it.

The phrase “getting abs” is quite flawed anyway. We all have abdominal muscles to begin with! Do you can just see from the outside better than others. Though that in no way make one body more worthy than the next.

We were not put on this Earth to diet so we can be skinny, suck air, and die. We were created for so much more. We are masterpieces created to do good works! (Ephesians 2:10) No where in our design was it placed upon us to yearly put ourselves through hell so that we may be more worthy because of our physical appearance. We are more than simply pretty shells that house our souls.

In this crazy week of uncertainty, please don’t give into the lie that you are worth more by there being less of you.

If you want to commit to being healthy, please do so. But be sure that you’re committing to whole body (physical, spiritual, mental, emotional) health. To be truly healthy, you need to address every area, not just your midsection.

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