by Jackie Dixon, creator of the Body Stewardship Course
Military spouse life can be a demanding one. Physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
Sometimes the only thing that can make it feel harder is … when you’re also wrestling with your body.
Church culture often pits our physical bodies and our spirits against each other, but there is a trilogy of Biblical events that suggest to me that these imperfect physical shells we live in are anything but unimportant.
- God created both and said they were both very good
- The first effect of sin was shame in our bodies
- Christ’s death and resurrection was BODILY, and purchased our bodies, and this is the cornerstone of our faith and how we are asked to live it out
I think the importance of our bodies to our faith and life is why they so often feel like the focus of attack — whether it’s abuse from others, abuse or self-loathing from ourselves, or simple poor health habits and neglect.
I often teach my clients how the female body’s representation of salvation is a reason why it is so attacked. But without going off on a long tangent, just know: our physical form, and its created abilities and beauty, is one of Satan’s top targets.
With that in mind, and knowing that military life means we need to be ‘fit to serve’ even more than most, here are five ways to reclaim our bodies and care for them biblically:
Stop Trash Talking Something That Belongs to God
This is body stewardship: the reality that God created our bodies, and bought them back for His purposes and use when Christ died for us on the cross (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
This truth insists that we stop bashing and mistreating the bodies that have been placed in our care, and figure out how to think of them and treat them in a way that honors God.
Know That We Are Designed to Crave Glorified Bodies, and Reset Your Vision
Our bodies will be redeemed and perfected when Christ comes to make everything as it should be (Philippians 3:20-21).
Somewhere, deep down in our design, we know this, and even nonbelievers long for this glorification and are drawn to tastes of it in culture.
If you’ve ever wondered why there is such an obsession with perfected, literally airbrushed bodies, I believe it is this: we have this unquenchable hope and craving for the way things should be, and will be.
But when you feel miles away from the body you long for, having a vision — perhaps for the next few months, perhaps for your ultimate goals, or perhaps a mix of both - of what you want and feel called to create with your body can keep you going.
Whether it’s pictures of fit and joyful women on your vision board, or following some wellness gurus on your Instagram, find specific things that will motivate you when discouragement or complacency hit.
Purify Your Foods
Pure eating is an art form, and consists of transitioning to natural sweeteners like stevia that don’t throw off our hunger hormones, and eating God-created foods in single-ingredient form as close to the way they were made as we can.
This can actually be shockingly tasty, and the energy, weight loss, and stable hunger and moods it creates only makes the process easier as you go along.
I lead a group of women through month-long ‘Pure Eating Challenges’ because we have been so trained to avoid fats, count calories, and eat in a restrict-then-binge cycle that it’s hard to know what to eat at all!
If you’re interested in joining us for one of our pure eating challenges, let me know, and I’ll send you all the details.
Move in a Way You Love
Like food, when we start to workout as part of a body stewardship plan, we can throw ourselves into an aggressive, all-or-nothing plan based on someone else’s suggestions that don’t suit our body. The result? We rarely maintain it.
The solution? Figure out what kind of movement you love, and that suits your body’s current needs, and ease it into your life in a way that doesn’t so disrupt your schedule that it gets pushed aside.
Get in a Positive Community
When you’re trying to make positive, and perhaps new-to-you health habit changes, being surrounded by people who tell you that you can rather than confirming why you can’t makes all the difference. The problem with military life is that you need this community to follow you around as you move!
I teach military spouses how to create this community online, so that it is always available and can provide constant accountability and encouragement.
Let’s put it all together…
I would love to chat with you more to personalize these health tips to your situation — please feel free to reach out to me! And please know, God deeply loves and cares about your body!
Jackie Dixon is a health and intimacy coach and the creator of the Body Stewardship course. She and her husband David, an active duty pilot in the military, and their daughter Juliette, are currently based in New Orleans. Find her online at JackieDixon.org, and grab her free full wellness video training at healthyholyhot.com.