Inspiration, Motivation, Perspiration: How Pinterest is Fueling Fitness

A month or so ago, I signed up for yet another dangerously fun, wondrously addicting social network. Anyone who’s been on Pinterest at least a day knows that what begins harmlessly as a quick visit to a “Food and Drink” board to find a simple 20-minute dinner recipe easily morphs into a one-hour click fest covering alluring summery outfits replete with accessories and complementary nail colors, trendy hairstyles, creative ways to decorate your bedroom and organize your office, and of course, those darned ecards. Case in point:

 

Alongside pictures of delicious-looking cupcakes, fascinating low-calorie dishes that substitute cauliflower for potatoes and zucchini for pasta, and “ivory ruffled corsage court shoes” (not lying!) are non-food-related photos of gorgeous fitness models, ripped athletes, and everyday women with incredible physiques won by disciplined lifestyles of healthy eating and physical training. Often accompanying these ladies’ hard-earned muscles are catchy captions such as, “Suck it up, and one day you won’t have to suck it in,” and “A sore body today is a strong body tomorrow.”

These and other “Fitness” pins are ubiquitous nowadays on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Female pinners post perky and positive comments in response to the six-packs abs, toned triceps, and well-sculpted quads popping up all over the place; they say such posters are “inspiring,” “empowering,” “motivating.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find anything particularly abhorrent or even distasteful with these posters and their popularity. I personally pin them on my “Fitness” and “CrossFit” boards; like countless others, I find these women incredibly inspiring! My only concern stems from my conviction that, as Christian women, we should be motivated to be fit for reasons that far transcend bikini-ready bodies and Daisy Duke derrieres. 

1st Corinthians 10:31 exhorts us to do everything, even “eating or drinking,” for the glory of God. In our society, it is extremely easy to be sucked into selfishness by looking to workouts and fitness gurus to help us achieve our ideal figure. Looking good in short shorts and feeling confident in tank tops are by no means goals to sneer at, but I believe the outward results of our hard work should be secondary to the primary purpose driving our fitness motivation, namely being fit to serve others and stand out as strong, vivacious, persevering “soldiers” and “athletes” in a world that’s largely weak, fragile, and sickly (2 Timothy 2:4-5).

I’m excited by the possibility of soon seeing a pin that, instead of a motivational slogan, features an invigorating verse as its caption:

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” -1 Timothy 4:8

Can you picture it?

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di

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