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Inspired Living

Fitness Friday (A Jane in Each of Us)

Sarah Stanley

Each Friday, we feature a real-life person who has embraced a healthy lifestyle from a former sedentary life. We hope their story inspires you to start living and breathing a healthy life! Today we're taking a different road and talking about a fictional girl named Jane. (If you're a guy, it's Joe.)

Jane remembers what it was like. To be made fun of, teased, bullied, told she was stupid and that she wouldn't amount to anything. Where was the love? The nice people? Why was everyone so cruel? She decided to turn to athletics because maybe if she showed other kids that she could kick a goal to win a soccer game, they would accept her. But sadly, they picked on her for the winning goal.

No matter what Jane did - throwing a perfect pitch, running Cross Country, swimming laps - they still hated her. As the school years progressed, Jane had had enough. She stopped trying to be accepted and started eating. If athletics weren't going to cut it, then food must surely help, right? But if food didn't accept her and if athletics didn't either, what would?

Jane finally came to the realization that she had to accept herself and realize that God loved her and that is what matters. She had to accept and love herself as well and forgive those who had hurt her. Finally, Jane saw that she had the power to live a free life. It didn't really matter if no liked her. She was happy and had God's forever love.

See, fitness, food, love, acceptance, forgiveness - they all play a part in our health. We get hung up on trying to find love in athletics or love with food ("comfort food") or acceptance by controlling the food we eat, working out for hours a day. None of that matters if we don't have love and acceptance of ourself. 

We all have a Jane or Joe inside of that wants to be loved, cared for and accepted. You might be a 45 year old Jane or a 12 year old Joe. No matter what the age, you have to wrestle with loving yourself and win the match by believing it. Accepting it. 

Are you a Jane or Joe? May today you know, feel, and accept God's love. That is where healthy living begins.