5 Things To Seek More Than A Bikini Body

5 Things To Seek More Than A Bikini Body

The "perfect body" isn't bad, but a beautiful soul is better.
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It's finally summer! And guess what that means? Watermelon, beach days and sleeping late. But it also means something that many dread: swimsuit season.

The world puts two pressures women during swimsuit season. The first pressure urges girls to attain an unhealthy, impossible ideal of "beauty" as displayed by magazines and catalogs. The second pressure urges them not to care at all about what they look like but make up for it with confidence and "real beauty."

I don't believe in either.

I believe that pursuing a healthy and fit body is good and rewarding, but it is only skin deep. More than a bikini body, I want a beautiful soul. I want to take the focus that the world urges me to spend on either attaining or rebuking the "perfect body" and refocus it on building loveliness in my heart.

Because "real beauty" doesn't look like a fruit basket of figures confidently wearing bikinis. "Real beauty" is beauty of the soul, independent of the body. It is found in the beauty of the God who created all of humanity. It isn't avoiding looking nice, but it is rather seeking something more important than the outward appearance, and if looking nice can happen too, great!

But how can you achieve such a balance?

1. Count moments more than calories.

Here's the thing about counting calories, the people that do this always think about their calorie intake. It's a rhythm that ingrains itself into their daily lives. But what if you counted your moments like people count calories? What if you regularly stopped to enjoy life and appreciate the opportunities given to you? Write down the little things that make up your day. Let them add up and overflow to create a beautiful soul. Pour out thanksgiving to God, the giver of all good things (James 1:17).

2. Build friendships more than a six-pack.

I've wanted a six-pack for the longest time, but let me tell you something: that takes work! Just so, friendships take work, but they are far more worthy than a six-pack. Friendships last lifetimes, bring joy and challenge you in ways you could never image. A six-pack just gives your pride a pat on the back. So maybe instead of hitting the gym time and time again, go out to coffee with a friend. Better yet, bring your friend with you to the gym. Double tasking.

3. Focus on your passions more than your weight.

I struggle with my thoughts on my weight. It easily becomes something that defines me, but do I want to be defined by something so shallow and so easily destroyed by a dozen donuts? No! I want to be defined by Jesus Christ. I want to be defined by the personality and passions that He has given me.

Rather than thinking about your weight and letting it define you, what if you focused on the passions that God gave you? Instead of going one more lap, next time you might just sit down and write something, create music or learn something new. Don't let a number define you, let Jesus define you.

4. Have glowing smiles more than glowing legs.

No, I am not suggesting that you invest in teeth-whitening strips more than self-tanner. I just remember one summer when I visited a long-distance friend at the beach. We hardly ever saw each other during the year, and I looked forward to talking and laughing with her for hours. She, on the other hand, just wanted to quietly work on her tan all afternoon. Those tan skins cells left her body quickly, but that potentially laughter-filled conversation could have lasted in our memories forever.

5. Get rid of selfishness more than fat.

When you look down to the root of your desires for a bikini body, you often meet something ugly: selfishness. This drive for a slim, fit, tan look doesn't benefit others unless they just want to feast their eyes on your body, and I don't know about you, but I don't want to give that person anything. This selfishness deteriorates your soul so that you miss out on the moments, the friendships, the passions and the laughter. You miss out on growing in the beauty of Christ. This selfishness takes something good, a fit, healthy body and turns it into something that you worship.

Let me tell you, beauty makes an ugly god.

So instead either worshipping a bikini body or avoiding it like the plague, pursue a beautiful soul. Change your focus off of selfishness and insecurity and you will see more clearly that the most important things in life can't be seen.

Take Audrey Hepburn's words to heart:

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

For we are never alone. God, the Creator of beauty, is with us.

Cover Image Credit: Artsfon

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Just Because I Check My Boyfriend's Location Every Hour Doesn't Make Me A 'Psycho Girlfriend'

No, checking his location every hour does not make me psycho.
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My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for a few months now. He has come up with describing my actions sometimes as “psycho girlfriend.” As much as this bothered me at first I started to realize there is nothing wrong with my “psycho” actions.

I don’t monitor who my boyfriend hangs out with and I don’t care who he texts, I trust him, but I do watch other things he does.

I probably check his location about once an hour, maybe more if he isn’t texting me back.

This isn’t some way for me to find out if he is with another girl, it’s so I can ensure he isn’t dead in a ditch somewhere. If he was on Snapchat five minutes ago but hasn’t texted me back in 45 minutes, yeah I’ll call him out on it but I'm not actually mad. If he is with friends and not answering me, it’s cool. I just want to be able to make sure I know where he is and that he is alive on a regular basis.

I make him keep his read receipts on for me.

I don’t care if he leaves me on read, I just need to know he is seeing what I’m saying. Half the time, I text him random facts or thoughts I have throughout my day, those don’t always need a response back. However, I do want to know he is acknowledging me through reading my texts.

Yes, from time to time I will spam him and make him respond to my messages so we can make plans or I can know what he is doing with his day but it’s not like I plan out his every move for him or care if he is getting drunk with the boys on a Wednesday, not my issue.

I don’t ask for all of his time or anything. I know he is a busy person. All I ask for him to text me back on a regular basis (once an hour to be exact), for him to allow for me to know where he is at all times and to get one night a week with him.

I don’t plan to show up where he is or anything, I simply just like to know information and get a weekly time with him. I don’t care if I only see him that one night a week, I just want one night with a movie or dinner or snuggles so I can get my boyfriend time.

The rest of the time he is his own person, and I couldn’t really care less about what he does in that time.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Wilkowski

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'So, What Are We?' And 10 Other Harsh Realities Of Dating In 2018

"What are we?"
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It seems like we've got it all. We've got texting for when you don't want to call, FaceTiming when you want to see someone face-to-face, endless possibilities of dates on dating apps, and Social Media to put our best selves forward. Yet, modern dating is rarely easy. Those who haven't found love yet know some of the struggles of our generation's dating age.

1. Social Media has ruined our expectations of romance.

We only see what people choose to post of their relationship, which is usually lots of roses and extravagant trips to exotic locations. Rarely do we see the darker or more boring side and of the couple that seems to be #RelationshipGoals on our feeds. So when we get into a relationship, we're expecting an unreal level of happiness that no one has, including those couples.

2. Dating apps can be the worst.

Okay, many people have found love with online dating. But with every couple who finds each other on a dating app and lives happily ever after, there's a hundred other people going on an awful date, being catfished, or meeting someone who has 3 other Tinder dates that night.

3. Everyone is really vague.

It's a rare thing to actually ask someone out on a "date" in the modern dating world. More likely, someone will ask you to "hang out" or "chill," leaving you wondering if they want to go on an actual date, hook-up at their apartment, or just be friends.

4. Texting makes things complicated.

In our modern age, we have an incredible addition to dating: texting. Now we can talk to our loved ones all the time, not just when we can call or see them face-to-face. No generation before ours had this ability to talk to another person all day long.

But, they also didn't have to deal with the more complicated part of texting in a relationship. There are texting rules that we feel we have to follow and games we feel we have to play in the early stages of a relationship, and can literally make or break a potential couple. If someone texts too much, it's bad.

If someone texts too little, they're flaky. What is the proper time to wait to text someone back? How many y's do we put after "hey"? Do we say "hey" at all? Texts are often interpreted incorrectly, which can cause some serious issues.

5. Mind games.

Whether you mean to or not, you'll be involved in some mind games when you start dating someone. It might be waiting 20 minutes to reply to a text or tweeting a really vague song lyric that you know you're directing at the other person. In our digital world, it's easier than ever to play mind games.

6. There are "endless" possibilities.

Dating apps give you endless possibilities that are literally at your fingertips. It's hard for people to settle down because they are constantly seeing what seems like endless possibilities of potential dates, whether it's on social media, or through online dating.

7. No one wants to define anything.

There are people looking for a real connection. But in an age of swiping from one person to the next, it's easy to be very noncommittal. A lot of the time, it seems like people just want hook-ups and no one wants a real relationship.

8. Finding conversation is difficult.

Because you're always texting, FaceTiming, or seeing each other's posts on Social Media, you always know what the other person is up to. This means it's hard to find things to tell each other that you haven't already talked about over text or haven't seen on their Instagram.

9. Ghosting.

Ah, ghosting, the fear of every modern dater. It's inevitable that at some point in your dating adventures, you'll be ghosted or will ghost someone else, and it's something that's become almost accepted in our culture.

10. You can end a relationship without feeling that face-to-face guilt.

You can send a nicely crafted lengthy text, if you're generous, or just stop talking to the other person, if you're more inclined to be a jerk about it. Breaking up with someone or just avoiding them has never been easier, or more careless.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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