Sleeping with the Enemy

I find myself torn these days. Finding Beachbody and the body positivity community has saved me in so many ways, and rounded out my passion for health in such a beautiful way. I love helping people find the beauty they've always had and never been able to see. I love coming alongside people and inspiring them to accept parts of themselves that the world has deemed unacceptable. But I also love seeing people take charge of their own health and helping people find and harness their power. I want to tell everyone what I know to be true, that they are beautiful, worthy, and loved. I also want to tell them to be healthy, but how do I do that without sounding suspiciously like the million other voices telling them that they aren't good enough as they are? How do I tell someone that what food they consistently feed their body significantly affects their well-being without creating or triggering food anxieties? How do I help encourage people to exercise without making them feel like "skinny" is the goal? How do help people fight health issues caused by obesity without perpetuating the horrible fatphobia created by society? I'm a nurse, I can't pretend I haven't seen people lose legs to diabetes related complications, become wheelchair-bound after multiple knee replacements because the joints failed under the excess weight, and have their chest cracked open to clear arteries in the heart clogged by years of fatty diet and sedentary lifestyle. But I also can't pretend I haven't cried on the scale, squeezing my stomach and wishing it away. I can't pretend I haven't felt unworthy of love because I didn't fit every aspect of the American standard of beauty. I'm caught in the middle and I feel a little lost. Being a part of both the fitness movement and the self-love movement creates such a frustrating dichotomy. The best I can do is just engage. I pray constantly for the Lord to bring me women to invest in. Some, I can use my fitness training and help them take control of their health, and I adore that role. But others just need an ear, a friend, a different voice than the critical ones they are constantly exposed to, and I feel fulfilled in that as well. I'm realizing that fitness isn't the answer for everyone, but neither is anti-fitness. Everyone is different, and everyone's struggles are different. The more people I meet and talk to, the more I learn about the wide variety of needs and struggles that exist. I doubt I will every 100% figure it out, but in the meantime I will continue to try and learn, and seek out people to love in whatever way they need.


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