Apr 9, 2013

Posted by in Featured, Good Living, Spiritual | 56 Comments

“Eat Right. Exercise Daily. Die Anyway”: Why I Do What I Do.

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Have you seen this phrase floating around?

I chuckle every time I see it because it kind of makes folks like me in the fitness world spin their heads a bit. I mean, honestly. Why are we spending all this time on our bodies if we are going to die anyway? Well, the point of this post is not to address that issue (because that will take another 1000 words!) but instead to address a bigger point.

I’ve struggled with my whole place in the blogging world ever since day 1. For 3 years, I’ve considered changing my message, watering down my message, or even shutting down. I feel like I tow this very interesting line in the fitness world. Christians may be put off by me because I urge them to push further in how they steward their body and energy and I don’t exactly go around wearing capri’s or long sleeve t shirts when I exercise. :) Non-christians don’t get me because I get all “Jesus” on them as I incorporate Scripture and a spiritual focused view of health. I have struggled for a while to figure out exactly where I fall!

But God has been very good to me over the past 3 years as He’s helped me sort out who I was and exactly WHAT my message is.

I am a fearfully and wonderfully made daughter of the King created with a unique talent, skill, and bend towards physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  I am doing exactly what I was created to do! I may be one of the few Christian fitness bloggers out there, but I’ve had a renewed energy this past year to really use the message that God has placed so passionately on my heart with vigor to those who God brings to me!

I am tired of the fitness name being marred and the priority of health to be viewed as shallow or vain.

I am tired of women treating their bodies like trash cans or like another god.

I am tired of satan chaining my dear sisters in Christ to guilt or a negative self -image.

I, so badly, want to represent a fresh way of thinking to the Believers in this world and any others who may find it intriguing.

But I also have another message. I want us to be ready for the REAL life.

♥♥♥

I read an article recently by Dr. Russell Moore in which he referred to our current life now as the “pre-life” and eternity as our REAL life!

“Your eternity is no more about looking back to this span of time than your life now is about reflecting on kindergarten. The moment you burst through the mud above your grave, you will begin an exciting new mission—one you couldn’t comprehend if someone told you. And those things that seem so important now—whether you’re attractive or wealthy or famous or cancer-free—will be utterly irrelevant in the face of an exhilarating new purpose, one that you were prepared for in this era but one that is far more than a mere sequel to your best life now.

Let’s talk about eternity. But it’s no mere “afterlife.” Instead let’s start thinking of this little puff of time, the next eighty or so years, as what it is: the pre-life.” Dr. Russell Moore

This is why I do what I do! Yes–God has given us these vessels called bodies to “do life”. We eat, walk, talk, and sleep with them,  but there’s a big trump card here that we all get to. Death. And because we are only on earth here for a short period in comparison to eternity, I want you ready for eternity!

This post has been processing in my mind for some time, but what clinched it for me was this total God moment. I am going through a Bible Study now by Beth Moore, “To Live is Christ”. We talked a few weeks ago about spiritual gifts. As we were watching Beth Moore speak on the video, a gal next to me wrote me this note.

 

It brought me to tears because I was like, YES! This is it. My gift is not wasted. I should not feel ashamed that I am not a super conservative blogger, or a self focusing fitness nut. I am just…ME! Beth Moore says, “Your spiritual gifts are given TO you but not primarily FOR you. Gifts are a way for God to be seen in you.” It gives me so much purpose to come alongside you and encourage you in these areas.

I realize that I am not going to appeal to everyone and that’s ok. I constantly tell myself to feed the people that God has brought to “my table”. For those of you who come to it every day–sometimes multiple times a day–I cannot tell you what it means to serve you. Thank you. If you ever think of it, please pray for me. I am a flawed, imperfect woman. I do not take what I do lightly and I can use all the spiritual support that I can get!

So that’s my heart. Do I want you to have a full, energetic life (that can run races, hold bags of groceries, and walk in full inner and outer confidence) — um–YES! But I also want you to get you ready for the real life because you are going to spend it somewhere for a long, long, long, long time and I want you fit for our King and a heavenly kingdom more than any 90 year kingdom on earth!

 

 

  1. ……and I LOVE how God made YOU!!!!

  2. charity says:

    Yes! God does use you! You are fabulous and I think your encouragement and mission glows with His light shining through you! You rock like tube socks girl.

  3. I appreciate your realness, and that I am encouraged to take care of my earthly body, bc it is a temple of the Holy Spirit… and I read your blog for BOTH, the health help, and the spiritual help!! keep the fight girl!

  4. Brooklyn says:

    Keep doing what you are called to do! God is using you to lead, teach, and encourage more than you will ever know!

  5. Clare
    I so appreciate what you are doing!!!
    You are inspiring me!!!
    I want to be able to carry my groceries enjoy life and just breathe!!!
    Because of your gift and your faithfulness in sharing it with us I know I am going to be a stronger and better woman for the Lord and for my son!! And for me!!!
    We heard in our Beth Moore study today—To Press On!!!
    So dear Clare—keep pressing on—we love you and need you!!!!!!!

  6. I love your blog! I enjoy trying your exercises and new recipes that you post, but most of all I respect your faith. As a fellow Christian, fitness blogger I understand the negative feedback, but trust that you are doing God’s work. “All for the glory of the cross” Thank you for the inspiration every day!

  7. Vicki Crowe says:

    Ypur post made me think, or did God give me this– that my struggles with my weight are not about my weight, but about perserverience, self-discipline, and faith that God can and will bring this to pass. That all things are possible with Him, and perhaps He is using this struggle for me to see this in action. I must lean completely on Him to see this through.

  8. I too want to be fit to be used now and for eternity to glorify my King.

  9. Right on! Be YOU… that’s what He intended! To not be is an insult (full of fear and or pride) to His perfect design and plan! By the way .. you do a pretty awesome job at displaying His amazing creativity, strength, and (In Christ) confidence!!!!

  10. I enjoy your blog a good bit and follow you on facebook as well. The reason I enjoy your blog so much is because you are approachable in both of your missions with this blog, the fitness side and the Christian mission side. I would have been turned off a long time ago if either was too hard core, especially the second one. As someone who has been (and continues to deal with) a major life transition over the last couple of years fitness has come to mean a lot to mean as a coping strategy. Faith is something I am still working on figuring out where it fits in. I appreciate your blog very much because you have a good balance between the Christian and the Fitness. Keep on keeping on. People like what you do.

  11. This spoke DIRECTLY to me!! God has given me the passion/gift of health/fitness/nutrition. He first spoke it to me in 2003 and ever since then, I’ve “fought” it by questioning its truth and its “why”. I still don’t have it all figured out but I believe last week He told me to start blogging. I don’t have any idea where to begin, but I’m finally going to trust Him and step out in faith. Thank you!

  12. I will pray for you Clare! You have something special to offer. Your only responsibility is to reflect what you feel God laying on your heart. Be bold and courageous! :)

  13. So glad that you are working in your gifting. More Christian fitness encouragers are needed. Your blog really spurs me to be the best that I can be physically so I can be the best I can be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Thanks for all that you do through this blog!

  14. Ginger Harvey says:

    Also, if we are healthy, have peace, and try to manage our stress our mission will be more effective. God has given us everything we need to be an effective witness. If we don’t take care of what He has given us we can’t use our God given gifts to their full effectiveness.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    “The better you become, the better God can use you” BBG

  15. Amazing and inspired! Thank you!

  16. Clare- thank you for being so brave to share your heart! Your daily walk with the Lord is SUCH an encouragement for me! I always look forward to your posts.

  17. You are AMAZING! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! My first thought when I stumbled upon your site was “This is an awesome fitness blog AND it’s about Jesus!” I was so super excited because most fitness and health blogs I followed before yours was so focused on just the outside and didn’t focus on the spiritual side. I had started reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Made to Crave” and began associating my spiritual walk with my weightloss journey. My workout buddy and I were discussing how just like exercise and diet have to go hand in hand for a healthy lifestyle (and weightloss), studying God’s word AND living it out must go hand in hand as well. We were incorporating and inviting God into our fitness plan. Then I found your site and was super excited!! I think I shared it with everyone! You’re right, that not everyone might like you’re blog but you are reaching the people who need it most and are encouraging them daily. You are a blessing and I pray for God’s wisdom and blessing to be upon you as you lead and guide us to glorify Him through our bodies and lifestyles. Thank you!

  18. I recently found your blog and am so thankful that you are using your gift to encourage others.

  19. Clare I wish I could tell you how amazing it is that you posted this today and what a blessing it is to me. You see I have been a certified personal trainer for 10 years. I have went in and out of teaching classes and struggling where I fit in being a Christian and having a passion for fitness. I was so lost! I prayed for God to take it away from me if I was not meant to do anything with it. Well the more I prayed and tried to take my focus off of fitness (besides doing my own workouts) the more it was put in front of me. I struggled. Just three days ago I felt that God confirmed me to move forward with this journey and start my own personal training business. I am moving slowly and started a Facebook page and a blog page. Amazingly enough yesterday a lady asked me on my page-”Is fitness biblical?” That is the question I struggled with this whole time. I thanked her because she inspired my blog post for the day. As I wrote it I had so much peace and was thankful that God put her in my life to ask me that question when she did. It confirmed that yes this is what I am to do. And your friends note to you put the cherry on top! “Exercise is the talent that God gave me to exercise my spiritual gift of encouragement and discipleship.” Hugs and Blessings my friend

  20. Thank you :) You are awesome and I am so grateful for your voice and how you shine HIS light into this area of my life. You have been a HUGE blessing to me :)

  21. Thank you so much for this post. My wife follows you and forwarded it to me at work, only saying “You will resonate with this one.” Yes, I do! The note your friend passed to you in Bible study hit home for me. I, too, have a blog…a very little read blog but my blog/words/thoughts, nonetheless. I am a Christian, I love to run (a lot!), and I wear my faith on my sleeve. “Christian fitness life blogger” would sum me up well and it certainly isn’t the most popular thing on the streets!

    Know this: you are not alone! Keep doing what you’re doing for the glory of God and never stop. He knows your heart and you intimately well. Thank you and be encouraged today!

  22. Lucy Martin says:

    Hi Claire, my first time commenting here…but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your workouts and YOU…I stumbled upon you by accident(?)and am so glad I did! your transparency and energy inspire me. God bless you.

  23. Thanks for this post. God made us all the way he wants us, sometimes we just get in the way. I really like you viewpoints and follow your blog daily. I too fall into the catergories you described. But I don’t really ever “fit in” and I think that tells me I am on the right track.

  24. Hi! I just wanted to drop in and say that this post was an encouragement for me. I am also a part of the fitness industry and as a Christian woman, I’ve always thought about this too. I now see my purpose and gift doing what I do, it’s not all about vanity. Thank you for articulating this! I will be stopping by more often :)

  25. Clare, spot on as usual!! You know i love you girl! But i have to tell you a funny story, because i struggle with my purpose and call, much like you, as you know. But one night at church i actually got a “word” that the Lord uses me at shopping malls!! You know I agreed with that sister!! But here is the key, the Lord has made us all so individually and preciously that he uses every part of us. We don’t need to be ashamed of any of our gifts/desires/talents because he is redeeming all of it for his glory!! I say bring on the encounters at the shopping mall! I will even make extra trips if i need to! ;-)

  26. I just love everything about this post!! As I’ve been journeying down this weight loss/health gain road, I have also struggled with the idea of wanting to be fit being seen as some kind of vanity. But I’ve come to the conclusion that God would rather I look in the mirror every day and be PROUD of how I look, rather than facing a reflection that makes me feel terrible. I’ve done it through His strength, and that should be celebrated!

    Keep doing what you’re doing – I love it!!! :)

  27. My Daughter has a shirt that says “EVERYONE DIES BUT NOT EVERYONE LIVES” We are called to live. God didn’t tell us to hide in the bushes until He returns He commanded us to go out to the world. Thank you Clare for giving us the strength to be reflective and start that journey. We ahve to fit to run the race including the race God gave us.
    Thank you for your honesty we all need to know we are not alone in our stuggles in life!

  28. love it! I stop by often for workouts and eating tips, but don’t always comment, sorry! But I want to let you know that I love what you do!! I do think it must be hard, there is a fine line between wanting to be healthy and using your body as an idol. But you are helping me figure out where that line is and how to walk it well.
    I love your blog! Keep it up!!

  29. I’m so glad that God confirmed in your heart that this is what He has for you and that you have been obedient to follow. I have been one of those women who use the excuse of “what’s the point?” far too often. Not only does it sound all self-righteous {at least, it does in my case}, it’s wrong! I need to be taking care of my body because I’m going to have it for a really long time {like, forever}!

    Grace-Full Intentions – pursuing grace, not perfection
    http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com

  30. What a beautiful post! I just recently found your blog and love the mix of fitness and Christ focus. I have been refocusing my diet and exercise routine and I must say that when my life is balanced and centered on the Lord, so is my health. It is so easy to get caught up in myself and that is when my time with God goes out the door as well as when I start stuffing my face. I think you have an amazing and unique ministry. I have recently been wanting to incorporate health and fitness into my home decor blog but, like you, fear what people will think of me. No one needs to see me in my sports bra and shorty shorts! lol! But I honestly can say that feeling good about myself physically can do so much for me as a person to better go out and do what God calls me to do without the weight of unbalanced health. And it almost feels like a lie to not be sharing about my own struggles and successes when it comes to my health. I feel like I am not doing my readers justice by keeping this one and only area private. I will need to pray about that. :) Praying for you this morning. xo Ashley

  31. Oh, thank you. I really needed to hear this. I REEEEEAAALLLY NEEDED TO HEAR THIS!!!!!
    *sigh*
    I feel better already.

  32. Thank you so much for this post Clare. Very well said!
    Just recently, I started thinking more about my poor eating habits and lack of constant fitness. Your site has encouraged me to keep pressing on. I’ve truly enjoyed viewing the exercise videos you’ve made available as well.

    Thanks for your Godly encouragement in the fitness world!

    All the blessings from the Lord to you & your family today!
    In Christ,
    Mary Eubanks
    Psalm 103:2-5

  33. I receive such grace, encouragement and Truth when I come here and I am thankful. I NEED this place that prioritizes the spiritual over the physical. I NEED the encouragement, accountability, and inspiration I find here. Thank you for being YOU, Clare! Thank you for being faithful and not burying your talent beneath the dirt, but using it, multiplying it by sharing it with others, so we all can grow closer to Christ as we journey to live healthier and stronger lives so we can serve Him better in this “pre-life.” (Mt. 25:14-30).

  34. Awesome post, thank you! Loved the note… Revelation from his heart is so wonderful! Just think, the Creator of the universe cares to write us notes! Love your writing, am always encouraged by your words, so yes! That’s your gift for sure:)

  35. God is using you to be an encouragement to me and many others. Thank you for the time you spend and the passion you show in health and godliness. This article was well said.

  36. This was a great post… I think every woman, believer or not, struggles with self image and self worth. As a Christian there is so much guilt on either side of that fine line of dishonoring God because we are His creation and we should love all that He has made us to be and being vain and prideful. I’ve been wrestling through this… am I a health and fitness nut because I’m selfish or selfless? I did a lot of soul searching and heart checks and have come to the conclusion that it is ALL for His glory!! When I eat healthy, workout and take care of my body I am worshipping Him with ALL that I am. YES, working out is an act of worship! By being at my utmost (strong, healthy, energetic) I can do any and all things that God (our Utmost) calls me to do. I can only give Him my Best when I’m at my best!!
    Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20 MSG)

    I love your blog and am proud of you for doing what you do unashamed!! Keep it up good and faithful servant!! You are a beautiful and strong woman fulfilling your purpose and inspiring many along the way!! Thank you!!

  37. Kim Hamilton says:

    Clare,

    What do I say that hasn’t already been said, except “Thank You” for serving our Lord faithfully and fearlessly.
    I absolutely love all things fitness and nutrition related. I have wanted to encourage women in health and wellness, caring for their temples and serving the Lord…so when I found your blog, I thought, “WOW! This is what I want to do in my own little world”. This post has hit the nail on the head for me and confirmed the path God has placed me on.
    Again…Thank You and Keep it Up!!
    Kim

  38. We simply must do what we are called to do or we will be miserable!! And oh how terrible to have that calling given to someone else who is willing. I appreciate your service!!

  39. Hooray – already 37 comments saying EXACTLY what I’ve been telling you for YEARS!!! Oh friend! I believe in you and I have from day 1 – actually pre-days lol!!! :)

    God has given you ten talents – use them girlfriend! I love how you shine!!!
    Courtney

  40. ann gardner says:

    You have no idea how much of a blessing it is to not only know you through this blog, but to know you in real life! I feel so lucky! Your encouragement on (and off) the blog to myself and many others is something I’ll cherish forever! Jesus shines so much through you! Keep doing what you do to bring glory to His name!

    xoxo
    ann

  41. As I get older I appreciate how precious life can be. We all have a choice in how we can live it. I choose to live it to the best of my ability and to do that I also choose to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Our health is Gods greatest gift to us and we should treasure it.

  42. Elisabeth says:

    Claire, I love this read and what has revealed to you! Keep pressing on. It is easy to allow doubt about things we have been gifted with that seem meaningless sometimes but really are important! God gifts us all uniquely and that is what is beautiful about the body of Christ. I have always loved how you incorporate Jesus and fitness together. Actually, that is what attracted me to your blog! Thank you and Keep going!
    Enjoy this day!
    Love,
    Beth Neill

  43. I love this post! I have come into my healthy lifestyle very gradually my weight loss success and finding your blog was a HUGE part of my healthy living puzzle. I am a Christian woman as well and tying in healthy living and fitness with my faith just completely clicked. Thank you for your always inspiring messages.

  44. You have inspired me in so many ways. I enjoy your blog and look for an update each day. Fitness is so important ~ spiritual and physical. They go hand in hand. One thing that I love to do is to encourage others to take care of themselves because they are so worth it! So thank you, thank you for encouraging me and showing me that this journey of healthy living can be and should be a God centered journey.

  45. Thanks for sharing your heart!! It is a struggle to be balanced and you so it well. Your blog is so vital to those of us who are believers and value fitness as an important part of a balanced life.

  46. Love your blog! I am also a Christian “health” blogger! I just starting in the blogging world, but I have been in the fitness/wellness world since 2000, maybe even more if you count my interest in the topic since high school. :)

    I would love to link to this post! Thanks for the encouragement and focus on the truth!

  47. I have recently found this blog and I have been reading it faithfully ever since! I love the exercises that you share, the Bible verses, recipes, and the encouragement. As a Christian, I love that I can go to a place about fitness and know that the writer is not only concerned about physical health but spiritual health as well. Thank you for all that you do, and remember many of us Christians work out in actual work out clothes too! ;)

  48. Wow! What an awesome post – I feel like I’ve been struggling with finding that balance between fitness being some sort of vanity idol worship and ignoring my physical health at all. Your post just really put it in perspective for me, and reminded me that God is not some boring God that binds people in boxes. He created us to flourish. Thanks for using your gift to minister to hearts and prepare us in this pre-life!

  49. I don’t respond to blog usually, but I want to let you know that I appreciate the time and effort you make in blogging to help me. It encourages me and I am glad that you are God centered. Thank you.

  50. So refreshing! Be who God has made you to be. Your newest subscriber

  51. Thank you for blogging and for living your life as God called you to. My husband and I had our daughter June 2012. We decided I’d be a stay at home mom and while I have loved being home with her, it has been hard to adjust to this life still. I used to work out everyday sometimes twice a day and to go from that to maybe getting in a work out 3 days a week, I’ve become sad. I’ve wanted to find some sort of fitness encouragement for myself since friends who’d be willing to be workout buddies are only available in the evenings which doesn’t really work for me right now. I’m so excited to have found your blog. God is using you through this and I’m thankful that he brought me to this site. I look forward to following you from here on out. Thank you.

  52. yes! Thank you for sharing your gifts. I am blessed. And inspired.

  53. ellene mcclay says:

    I feel like for years I’ve been searching for an answer to this physical issue, and there are so many bible studies, small groups, sermons, etc. that focus on all sorts of problems we face in life and sin that we struggle with, but none of them focused on this.
    I found Candace Cameron Bure randomly (or not-so-randomly :) on Pinterest, and that led me to see all that she has done in this area, and then I found you through her.
    God has answered my prayer when I asked Him for help in this area that I’ve struggled with most of my life, and it’s awesome to see you use your gift, and I know He has given us all gifts to bless others.
    I look forward to learning and growing physically and spiritually through your ministry. Thank you :)

  54. I so greatly appreciate your blog posts as well as your Facebook posts. They are so encouraging to me. I am training for my first 5k now. I had gastric sleeve surgery in March after a life time of being overweight. So far, I’m down 86lbs and in the best shape I’ve ever been in. Keep doing what you’re doing! God definitely speaks through you! God bless.

  55. Amen! I thank God for you! Standing firm in your faith and in your want to live healthy!

  56. I get your encouragement daily & I can tell U … God gave u a great talent & I’m grateful he sent me your way. Thanks for being U :)

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