What would you do differently if you didn't care what others thought about your choices?
We spent the summer house hunting. It was laborious. Tedious. Discouraging. We mostly walked through fixer uppers that were either way too tiny or way too "fixer upper", if you catch my drift.
I remember walking through one of the early ones, and feeling like I didn't like it. I wasn't excited, it was easy to find things to criticize, and I just wasn't feeling it. As we drove away, God smacked me upside the head with a realization. I was looking at the house through the eyes of a guest, not my own eyes and certainly not His. Every room, every color, every view, every doorknob was analyzed based on whether or not I thought all the other people in my life would like it.
What would they think? Would they be pleased?
Then God asked me this: "What choices would you make if you stopped caring about what other people thought?"
That was a humbling moment that shoved perspective down my throat.
Sadly, I think this is how many of us approach our fitness and nutrition. Without realizing it, our routines can be completely others-driven. We go about it hoping to gain approval from someone, anyone.
If I do this program, would that person approve?
If I changed this about my body, would so-and-so compliment me?
I’m afraid to let someone down, so I don’t even want to commit.
What would my trainer think if I gave up?
Or it might be positive opinions that are driving us. I remember somebody complimenting me on my toned legs one time. The comment came unexpectedly...it caught me off guard. And it made me feel pretty good. "Thanks!" It could have stopped there, but it didn't. The next time I worked out, I made sure to do more leg exercises to "keep what I got!" Man, it would be horrible to lose the one thing that somebody else noticed, right?!
Too often, we are driven by what we think others think.
Let me ask you the big question again: “What would you do differently if you stopped caring about what other people thought about your choices?”
Workout and eat right for your body. Follow a program because it’s the good, disciplined, and responsible thing to do. Be a steward of your body, not so others will notice, but so God will notice. Think twice about your audience, and do what you know you need to do for you. That's what matters.
So, at the end of the day, we bought an ugly house.
It's a brown and orange 70's split level that needs a lot of work. I'm sure we'll make it nice over time, but I'm actually pretty excited about this ugly thing. I have to catch myself when I'm justifying it to imaginary people, or making hypothetical changes so a certain person might like it more. “If I paint the walls this color, will they think it’s too blue?” Come on, Megan, knock it off. God put us in this house, and that's all that matters.
Don't bow to the opinions of others, my friend. There is only One audience that really matters.