We live in a culture where being skinny and flawless is thought to be normal. From the covers of magazines to the characters cast in our favorite television shows and movies, the images portrayed are “perfect.” In reality, the average American woman is 5’4”, 140 pounds and wears a size 14, which is a drastic difference from the runway models we see. Brooke Griffin was a former NFL Cheerleader and Fitness Universe Champion. She and her husband had just had their son, when her life fell apart. She got divorced from her husband, lost her home and was suffering from depression and anxiety. She moved into her parent’s basement and out of desperation cried out to God. It was during this time that not only was her faith restored, but she started Skinny Mom, a website that gives people tips on healthy living. We interviewed Griffin in 2016 and talked to her about her insight into the world of eating disorders and how she came back to her relationship with God after her world fell apart.
Griffin shares her wisdom on how to live amongst a culture of eating disorders and perfectionism.
“Before I found Christ, and being the Fitness Universe Champion and NFL cheerleader, this was something that was very prevalent in the industry. I think anytime that we put so much focus on our outside appearance we have the opportunity to lose focus on what is important. Those things [eating disorders and perfectionism] can come as a result of that. We need to have more of a focus on the inside and the reason why we are trying to be physically fit. I believe that each of our bodies is a temple and we should do it to glorify God and put Him first. By eating healthy it enables us to be healthy to do His work, which is what He has called us to do. It is also about balance. The philosophy and recipes I live by are not about fad diets or rapid weight loss. It is about each day making healthy decisions that eventually become a lifestyle.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Griffin opens up about how her world came crashing down and how that experience drew her back into her relationship with God and encourages others who might be going through a tough period.
“I was in this place of brokenness. I felt like I had failed at everything. I was going through a divorce. I was a new mom and had gained 70 pounds. I moved back in with my parents and was really suffering from depression and anxiety. I had no idea what my future looked like. I remember crying out to God, ‘God if you are real I need you!’ I am so thankful that His grace and mercy met me at that moment and radically changed my life from that point on. In the days and weeks that followed, I felt like I had hope and He had a future for me. I started making changes and overcame depression and anxiety and in the weeks that followed would start the career path that I am on today…Trust in God and trust that He has a plan for your life. Even if you are in your darkest place or questioning your financial situation and what your future looks like, He is not surprised by that. He knows what you are going through. I truly believe that if you trust in Him and trust His plan for your life, you will discover the bright future He has for you.”
View your body as a temple. From working out to eating healthy and even getting more rest, each of us has an area that we can improve in on taking better care of our bodies. Take time this week to reflect on 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. It is important to have the foundation of how God sees us and our bodies as the basis for motivation. It is more than just losing weight.
We need to see the importance of living healthy so that we can be healthy to do the work that God has called us to do.
Encourage others. There are people all around us that are going through difficult seasons in life. Ask God to show you someone this week that you can encourage. Write them a note, take them to coffee, or ask them if there is a way that you can help. It can be a friend, someone in your small group or a co-worker. Be willing and open to help however God leads you. From making a meal to offering to watch someone’s kids so they can go to an appointment, there are so many ways we can serve one another when we are going through difficult times.
Live in His grace. It is too easy to get caught up in the perfectionism of our society and the standards other people have. Take a step back and evaluate whose standards you are striving towards. Give yourself grace to realize that you don’t have to be perfect. God wants us to be like His son and gives us power through His Holy Spirit to live the life He has called us to. When we mess up, we can go to him and ask for forgiveness.
To read our entire interview with Brooke Griffin, click here.