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Embrace God’s Purpose, Desire, and Design

Early in my fitness career, Karen, a more seasoned female trainer, told me that my body had great symmetry. She had quite the following among our clients, so I respected her opinion. Karen suggested that, with a little bit of effort and training, I could be a strong competitor in fitness shows. I was so hungry for meaning, validation, and approval that her words “You could be a real contender” were enough to make me look into what it would take to bring home a trophy from a competition.

For the next four months, I lost myself in the gym and spent hours in grocery stores looking for food to support my new goal of becoming a fitness champion. I read all the bodybuilding magazines and watched numerous fitness competition videos. I even enrolled in a beginners’ gymnastics class filled with eight-year-olds so I could learn to do a back handspring– a necessary skill in the routine of any top-placing contestant. (Confession: I never learned how to do one. There’s something about flipping backward that my twenty-one-year-old mind could not fearlessly approach. I even prayed that God would help me learn so I could place higher in all my shows, and then, of course, I would give Him some credit. God knew better.)