How the fitness industry blinds us from our true purpose

The fitness industry is very self centered. It puts the focus solely on ourselves. We do this workout to look like that. We take this supplement to look like that. We do this and that to gain this much strength or build this amount of muscle. We end up thinking and living in terms of when we need to get in our training, our meals, our meal prep, our sleep. We get focused on self centered pursuits and agendas. We schedule our lives around training and at the gym, our focus is on our session, how much weight we lift, how we look in the mirror, how we performed, how our scores compared to others, when we need to eat, sleep, wake up. Many of the articles probably read, how to increase your strength, how to get 6 pack abs, how to lose 10 lbs, how to tone your glutes putting the focus on how we look, aesthetics and our body image.


Competing in bodybuilding for 3 years, my life was consumed and focused around myself. 


While fitness and health are important in the context of taking care of ourselves and our bodies, the fitness industry takes it to a whole new level. It’s all about me, myself and I. This also makes me think about the self help industry. This is another industry that puts the focus on taking care of number one and making oneself the center of all things. It encourages us to be self sufficient and independent, which is the opposite of the Christian lifestyle. I will say it is important to have some sort of personal development, being self aware of the areas that we can improve on to make ourselves better. I believe in taking ownership of ourselves, our actions and our lives but not to the point that it becomes just about ourselves. 


Where does the fitness industry help us to become better? Not just for self centered, narcissistic agendas, but to make the world a better place? 


The fitness industry blinds us, because it places our identity, worth, and value in our bodies, in our looks. Most importantly, through putting the focus entirely on ourselves and our own little world the fitness industry blinds us to the true purpose. 


It’s not about us. Life is not about spending our entire life seeking personal fulfillment, going after and focusing on what we want, on what will make us happy, on what we think will fill us. The true purpose is to live for Christ. To surrender our lives to Him to be used for his purpose and plan, to serve others using our gifts, to tell the lost about him and encourage the saved. 


We are made to live forever, so our true purpose is not to seek earthly betterment in this life, but to focus on our eternal life and invest in that which will last forever. Our true purpose is to expand the kingdom. 


I invite you to consider these questions for yourself in your life and ask yourself what it means for you.


What are you investing all your time and energy into? Are they only helping you or are they helping God and others? Where you spend all your time reveals your priorities. 


What purpose drives your life? Fill in this blank….


For me to live is ___________.


Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.


Colossians 2:6-7 Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in that faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness. 


John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 


2 Corinthians 5:9 So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 


Colossians 1:16 The Message For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.


-Charissa

Charissa Sutliff is an Online Fitness & Nutrition Development Coach, a Competition Prep Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and holds a B.S. in Kinesiology. She also holds an M.A. in Higher Education Administration. She is enthusiastic about faith, working out, healthy nutrition, meditating, learning, growing and coffee!


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