Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A healthy dose of vanity

Some of us avoid the gym or other means of exercise, or will only exercise so often, in part because we have convinced ourselves that you have to be vain and self-centered to exercise regularly. Only someone who was vain would pay that much attention to their body is the thinking. No. 1, that’s not the case. Many if not most gym goers are primarily motivated by health, fitness and/or athletic goals. And No. 2, what if people who go to the gym regularly do take pride in their appearance and want to look their best? What if they do love themselves as well as their neighbor? Is a healthy dose of vanity so bad? Don’t we each deserve to be our best selves? Isn't that what our creator intended.

Okay, I agree some folks are obsessed with the way they look and spend far too much time on their appearance, and that’s not good. But don’t make their problem your problem by trying so hard to go to the opposite extreme. Do you avoid church because some people are hypocrites? Do you avoid alcohol because some folks are alcoholics? You’re right, some of you do avoid those things because of those reasons. So this may be a better example: Do you avoid making money because some people are greedy? Not many of us would answer “yes” to that, as making money, like pursuing fitness, is in large part a good thing.
You know, I used not to put very much emphasis on how fit I looked, or even felt. I think I didn’t want to focus on myself too much. I believed I didn’t need to use too much my time exercising, because I could be doing something more productive. But now, having faced a health scare, lost weight because of it, and gotten fit, I see things differently. I believe I deserve to be fit, as healthy as I can be, as well as look my best. All those things make me a more productive human being, and actually able to serve others better than ever before. When I am at my best, it’s easier to put my best efforts forward. I’m also taken more seriously because people see that I respect myself. So call me a little vain for being fit and trim, but I'm healthier because of it.