Can I Love My Body? With Jennifer Taylor Wagner [Episode 199]

Love My Body Jennifer Taylor Wagner

When you look in the mirror, do you love the skin you’re in? For many of us, that seems almost impossible. And even if we do accept our bodies, does that mean we’re abandoning any effort to improve?

Oh, girl, this thought process is enough to drive anyone crazy. It’s confusing and takes up way too much space in our heads and hearts. So today, we are going to make this a non-issue!

Author Jennifer Taylor Wagner joins me on the 4:13 Podcast and will show you how to overcome the negative feelings about your body. And it starts with your mind—realizing you have a good body because it’s the one God gave you. You’ll be challenged in the way you think about health and wellness, and you’ll learn that your worth and value aren’t tied to your size.

Jennifer knows firsthand what a struggle this is for so many women because she used to weigh 336 pounds. She lived 16 years with shame, striving, and despair … until she discovered that pursuing the healthiest version of herself meant learning to love the reflection in the mirror. That’s when she began to fill her head and heart space with grace instead of obsessive thoughts about her body.

Now, Jennifer is a certified fitness instructor and successful blogger. She’s passionate about challenging the way we think about health and wellness, and she regularly writes on the topics of healthy living and body positivity. Whether it’s hosting online webinars or speaking in churches, she’s committed to helping others find hope in their journey. Jennifer lives in Virginia with her husband, Phil, and their two kids.

Today we talk about Jennifer’s book, Your Good Body: Embracing a Body-Positive Mindset in a Perfection-Focused World. And I just know you’ll appreciate her raw honesty in this conversation. She’ll help change how you view your body as she answers questions like…

  • What makes my body “good,” and will it ever be good enough?
  • Am I equating my worth and value with my size?
  • Are dieting and weight loss most important to my overall health and wellness?
  • How do I go from loathing to loving my body?
  • Is it possible to be at peace with my body?
  • How should my faith inform the way I view my body?

You’ll find her perspective to be so refreshing and freeing, so let’s get to it!

Remember, 4:13ers, love God, love each other, and—believe it or not—you can love your good body that God gave you because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Love My Body? With Jennifer Taylor Wagner [Episode 199]

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: You are going to forever be chasing this good enough in terms of your body, and it's because it's out of alignment, it's out of priority. And so you're placing so much emphasis on your body and what you think your body should be that it's taking up all this space in your mind and in your heart and in your life to where it's overshadowing everything else. And I had to get this revelation that I would be chasing that forever until I stopped right now, today, and looked in the mirror and realize that my body is good, but also realize that there is so much more to me than my body.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, glad to be back with you. I'm Jennifer Rothschild and I'm sitting out here on the porch with K.C. Wright, my seeing-eye guy.

K.C. Wright: Hey.

Jennifer Rothschild: Y'all, we told you it's summer.

K.C. Wright: It's beautiful.

Jennifer Rothschild: And we're out of the closet.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my gosh, your grass is so green and beautiful.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, the birds have been -- the birds have been singing, but it's like when we pressed record, they stopped.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm sure they'll start up again.

K.C. Wright: Yes. But your yard's beautiful, and your fountains, your --

Jennifer Rothschild: It's beautiful out.

K.C. Wright: Oh, it's glorious.

Jennifer Rothschild: And it's not too hot yet.

So I don't know where you're listening from today, but we are so grateful that we are with you. So thanks for letting us join you on your day, and I hope it's a beautiful day for you. We're talking today about a really great topic, and it's something that K.C. and I have talked about before on the podcast. It's about kind of figuring out how to deal with our bodies, like, love our body, be okay with our body. You know what I mean? Because we look in the mirror and we want to be okay with the skin we're in, but most days it's just not happening.

K.C. Wright: I know. We are a spirit, we possess a soul, and we live in this body, this earth suit.

Jennifer Rothschild: And we got to deal with this body, right?

K.C. Wright: I wish mine looked like Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom or -- pick someone else. Not this earth suit.

Jennifer Rothschild: But, see, here's the thing. We want to accept the body that we're in, because God didn't give you Brad Pitt's body.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: But then we think, well, if I just accept it, am I settling, right?

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: So like, oh, my gosh, this is enough to drive a human crazy. So we got to figure this out. And it takes up way too much space in our heads and heart. So today we are going to make this a non-issue, you 4:13'ers. This is what's going to be happening. So I hope you will go on a walk or sit on your back porch or be out in the sunshine like me and K.C., because today we've got somebody with us. She's not on the front porch. She's been in the studio with us. But author Jennifer Wagner is going to be here to help you overcome these negative feelings in your body by starting with your mind. Because here's the thing, you have a good body because it's the one God gave you.

So, K.C., today we're going to get this fresh approach to moving, fueling, and loving our bodies. All right? So I hope you've had your water today. Or have you?

K.C. Wright: I have not. I --

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Well --

K.C. Wright: I need to, but -- just coffee.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Well, we won't tell our guest, Jennifer. Okay?

K.C. Wright: No. No.

Jennifer Rothschild: Because I think that's going to be part of how we start to love our body well, is by hydrating it. And we're only going to be sitting out here a few minutes today, and I can guarantee you we're going to need a big glass of water.

So let's introduce Jennifer Wagner.

K.C. Wright: Well, before I introduce her, I think it's important to tell our 4:13'ers, Jennifer knows what she's talking about. She used to weigh 336 pounds.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, she did. Isn't that amazing?

K.C. Wright: And it's been 16 years of dealing with shame, striving, despair. So you're going to love her honesty in this conversation.

So Jennifer Taylor Wagner is a certified fitness instructor, and a successful blogger. She is passionate about challenging the way you think about health, wellness, and she writes on the topics of healthy living and body positivity. So whether it's hosting online webinars or speaking in churches, she is committed to helping others find hope in their journey. Jennifer lives in Virginia with her husband, Phil. What?

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right?

K.C. Wright: This is crazy.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know.

K.C. Wright: And their two kids?

Jennifer Rothschild: I know.

K.C. Wright: You have a Phil with two kids.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my gosh. Okay, our people, this is so cool. You're about to get stereo Jennifers. Left and right channel, here we go.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, Jennifer, it's so fun to talk to another Jennifer. I think that is a winning combination, as I told you --

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- before we went on the air. But we're going to start with something that might not feel like such a winning combination. Okay, these three words, the title of your book, "Your Good Body." Now, here's why I say that. Because that can conjure up a boatload of emotions for a woman, right?

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Because we don't often feel that way, we're not sure what that means. It can be like, Aaah, good body, what in the world? So I know what your message is, and it is a winning combination of words, so I want you to unpack what you mean. What would you define a good body as?

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: That is such a great question. And I think that one of the reasons that we get nervous around even those words when we hear them initially, "your good body," is because we typically are tied to some form of beliefs about our bodies that we have developed over the span of time. Right? So we have our own definition of what a good body is. And because we live in a world where there's a strong message of diet, culture, and standards for what our bodies should, in air quotes, be and those sorts of things, we have adapted to what the expectations should be for our bodies, or at least what we think that everyone is expecting of us and that sort of thing. So we get to this place where we feel so inadequate with our bodies because we're very critical of them because they've never seemed to measure up to the standard of beauty that we see or hear about all the time, and we feel sort of hopeless, helpless when it comes to our bodies ever being good enough. And that's sort of where we pivot. Because if we are looking for our bodies to be good enough, because that's such a fluid term, they'll never be good enough until we start to see them as good right now.

So it's learning to sort of shift our mentality about our bodies so that we can start to see them in a more positive light. Getting away from the messages that tell us that our bodies are not good, there's something wrong, they need to be fixed, we need to work on them, we need to make them smaller. All of those things that we hear all the time, untying our value from those things and even untying our belief of what our bodies -- of the value of our bodies and what our bodies are made for from those types of things and just starting to see them as good right now, exactly as they are.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Okay, and I'm loving this because there's some shackles starting to fall, some chains breaking I can hear right now in women's hearts. And in a few minutes, I am going to ask you a little bit about your faith and how that plays into it. But I don't want to go there yet, but I do believe that there is a core of your belief about God and how it helps you believe the truth about your body. So that's your tease right here for our audience, because we are going to go there, and I think that's going to be such an anchoring truth.

But before we get there, I also know that if someone's listening, they're thinking, oh, I bet she is this little tiny aerobic instructor who's never fought weight, and so it's easy to talk about a good body because she has one. And so I want us to get honest and real about your story, because I know you have lost a lot of weight and you've maintained that weight loss. But I also know, according to you, you've been every size from 6 to size 28.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: But even when you are at your smallest, that didn't necessarily mean you were at your happiest. So would you give us a picture of your journey with your own body.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: I would absolutely love to. And I think giving some backstory would really help. I actually have struggled with body stuff for as long as I can remember. I can even remember all the way in kindergarten when a little boy said I had chipmunk cheeks and I assumed he was classifying me as chubby. That was my assumption, even though I don't really think he meant anything by it. But that was my assumption and that was that first sting of not being at peace with my body.

And then just growing up and getting into elementary school, middle school, high school, and realizing that my body was larger than the majority of the bodies around me. And unfortunately, everyone was relentless in reminding me that my body was too big, I needed to lose weight, I needed to make myself smaller. And when you hear that for so, so, so long, it gets rooted really deeply in your heart, and so I definitely over time began to equate my worth and my value with my size. And because I couldn't seem to master this thing that the whole world was telling me to do, which was to lose weight and to make myself smaller, I assumed there was something wrong with me. And so when I graduated high school at 336 pounds, absolutely tired from all that I have already lived in this body, and just broken on the inside from all of the harsh words that had been spewed at me, I just felt like there was, again, something wrong with me because I did not fit the mold that the whole world felt like they were telling me that I needed to fit.

And so eventually, yes, I did that thing that so many of us want to do, I lost the weight, right? I dropped 150 pounds. And here I was, though -- and this is the thing. I dropped all of that weight, I was sitting there half my size, and, Jennifer, would you believe it, I was still -- I was actually more critical of my body than I had ever been. Here I was at my smallest and I still just felt like it just wasn't good enough, it just wasn't quite right, I still needed to work on my body, I still needed to make it better or tone it more, and now I had loose skin from weight loss and just all of these things. And so I finally got to this point where I realized, Jennifer, you -- speaking to me myself Jennifer --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: -- you are going to forever be chasing this good enough in terms of your body, and it's because it's out of alignment, it's out of priority. And so you're placing so much emphasis on your body and what you think your body should be, that it's taking up all this space in your mind and in your heart and in your life to where it's overshadowing everything else. And I had to get this revelation that I would be chasing that forever until I stopped right now, today, and looked in the mirror and realize that my body is good, but also realize that there is so much more to me than my body. And while the whole world -- I always say it felt like they were all just reducing me to the size of my body. Whether my body was large or small, it was always about my body, reducing myself to that. When you hear that for so long, that's why I was doing that, that's why I was reducing myself down to the size of my body. And I got to this place where I realized, Jennifer, there is more to you than your body. Your body is good, amazing, strong, capable, resilient, but also there is so much more to you than your body.

Jennifer Rothschild: So I'm wondering how you -- okay, how do you make that mental shift? Because that's hard to just -- you can make the determination like you're turning on a light switch, but it might be a slow-growing light for it to really take hold. So how'd you do that? That's hard.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: That is so true. I always tell people it wasn't just this thing where it was like, "Oh." Well, the first thing that happened was a realization. That was the first part, which I really just kind of talked about. The first thing I realized was how much of my mind and heart were filled with thoughts -- negative thoughts about my body.

And from there, I started getting curious about how things would look if I wasn't so consumed with thoughts about my body. And so I started to notice, just notice, the thoughts. Because you can't stop the thoughts from popping into your brain and popping into your heart, you can't stop them from popping up, but you can take them captive and you can align them with what the Word of God says about you and about your body and about all the things that make you you. And so that's what I started to do, is I started to equip myself for when those thoughts arose, the negative thoughts about my body, how can I take that and will I go down that same thought path that I've always gone down? So when I think something negative, let's say about the size of my legs, will I go down that thought where I just go further and further and further into self-loathing or will I notice that thought and begin to shift and take that thought in a different direction so that I can rewrite the narrative in my heart, right in my heart? By that point, I'm already thinking there's something wrong with me, I'm not -- I don't fit the mold. I need to work on it more. I'm thinking those things, but I'm rewriting now the narrative in my heart, because now I'm really determined that I want to be free in my body journey. I want to be totally and completely free.

And when I realized five years ago that I could -- or six or seven years ago that I could be in this body, this mid-sized body that I live in, and I could actually be confident and accept my body and care for my body in a positive way, from a good, loving place and not from a loathing place, I felt like, oh, my gosh, I'm free, like, I'm free from this. And now I sit here today and I'm like, Girl, you were not free, you know. I am more free today than I was years ago when I first started seeing that, and I'm going to be more free from all of this in five years than I am right now.

And so you're so right, it is not just a light switch that we can turn off and on and just white knuckle it through. It's a journey. And so while I used to call it my health journey, I now call it my body journey, because it's all-encompassing of all of my thought processes, my approach to food and movement and wellness and all of those things. It's this whole journey. And it really starts by noticing what's going on in there? What's going on in your mind and heart? A lot of times we put our focus on what we're eating or what we're doing for exercise, but really let's dig a little deeper than that. What's the why behind all of the things that we do? Are we caring for our body because we love our body and appreciate our body and we want to feel well, or are we doing it because we just need to be fixed, we need to be better, smaller, more toned, whatever? You name it. Fill in the blank for you.

And so it's this whole entire mindset shift that takes time, as you said, the thing that we don't want it to -- we just want it to be -- I wanted it to be, like, a magical fairy flew into the room and sprinkled me with dust and I was fine, but it didn't quite work like that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, the most powerful organ in our body is our minds. And you're right, it's a constant process of renewal. And what you just described, Jennifer, is this -- to me, it's what it looks like to love your body well. You even said the word "appreciate your body" so that it's less about food and it's more about focusing on just the appreciation for your body and how it can serve you, rather than you being enslaved to all the nonsense. And I really appreciate that, but I still want us to get just a little bit technical here. Because often loving your body well does involve choosing certain foods, choosing certain -- you know, sacrificing certain things so that you can exercise or sleep well, whatever. Okay? You're the expert on that.

So how is what you're saying different from, like, the diet culture body positive messages that are everywhere? Like, how can we protect ourselves from falling into that, and how is your message different?

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: We think about diet culture, and it just -- even to simplify it a little more, just a dieting mentality, it is very weight loss centered. So we have this big shiny -- first we feel like our body needs improvement. And then we think that the improvement is automatically weight loss and then everything else will fall in line. So we place weight loss front and center, big shiny words, and everything we do, food and movement, all of those things, it's all reduced down to a scientific equation to lose weight. Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: But what happens in this dieting mentality is we become unattuned with our body's cues and signals for what they need. But the good news is is that we can get back in tune with our bodies. So approaching health and wellness differently. So I'm about to flip everything you know about health and wellness on its head.

Jennifer Rothschild: Good. Good. Do it.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: So we think of health and wellness -- I like to say that the diet industry has sort of taken and stolen the words "health" and "wellness" from us and reduced it all to weight. And there's nothing wrong with weight fluctuations and whatever, all of those things. But when it's completely centered around weight, we lose touch with all of these really incredible things that we could be experiencing in our wellness journey if we will look at wellness in a different way. And so instead of looking at wellness as how can I make myself smaller -- because, believe me, I did that for a long time.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: Instead of looking at it like how can I make myself smaller, I want to get curious about what health and wellness really means to me, really, really means to me. Is it really, truly only that number on the scale, or is there so much more to it? Is there more to it in terms of the energy that I want to experience? Again, like you said, how I want to sleep, how I want to feel. And so I'm going to give you the real practical -- just a quick snapshot. So if we're in a dieting mentality and everything we do is centered around weight loss, as we talked about, if I'm hungry right now and I'm in a dieting mentality and I walk into my kitchen, my thoughts are going to be, does this fit my calories? Does this fit my macros? Did I exercise enough to eat this food? What will make my scale go down? Those are the questions I'm going to ask myself.

However, if I am more in a food freedom mentality and I'm getting attune with my body and what my body specifically and individually needs, and I'm hungry right now and I walk into the kitchen, my questions are going to look very different. It's going to look like, what sounds really good to me right now? What temperature, texture, flavor profile sounds really good? What will energize me for the rest of the things I have to do today? What sets well on my stomach? Those are the types of things that I'm going to ask myself when I'm deciding what I'm going to eat. And so it's looking at wellness from a wider scope than just is this going to make me lose weight? So it is -- again, it's flipping everything.

And the same is true with movement. It's am I doing this exercise because I want to punish myself for something I ate yesterday or something I'm going to eat later today or tomorrow? Am I spending hours and hours in the gym when I really don't love it, I feel like I have to? Or am I finding ways to move my body in enjoyable ways, ways that I enjoy, to feel better and to get those endorphins going and to get the blood flowing and finding ways that work for me and for my body and getting attune with my body that way as well.

So again, it's not exactly what we do; it's why we do it. For example, I could eat avocado toast with a dieting mentality, and I can also eat avocado toast with a food freedom mentality. There are two different mentalities to the same behavior. And so we just want to dig a little deeper to why we're doing what we're doing and making sure that it's health and wellness-centered and not putting our body as this big -- like an idol that we need to constantly, constantly be fixing and polishing and drawing attention to.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's so good. Yeah, because your body can become a project. But what you just described is this valuing yourself and loving your body because God gave you that body, you know. And in your book, you talk about -- and you just alluded to a couple of these. You talk about three guiding principles for your health journey: move your body, fuel your body, and love your body. So you kind of unpacked the first two, so you might want to allude to those a little bit. I really want to hear about the third one.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: Loving our body. And what's really interesting about that is I have learned over time that nurturing our relationship with food and movement actually does help us become more at peace with our body. Really that's the goal. We may not be in a place where we say, I'm ready to just love my body. You know, we talked about the light switch. It's not always that simple. Only you know what you have walked through in your body, the experiences that you've had, the words that you've had spoken over you. Only you know what you've walked through and what you're ready for, and so you may not be in a place where you're saying, okay, I'm ready to just love my body. Okay, I'm just choosing to, you know.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right. Right.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: And so you may need to reevaluate that and validate what you have walked through in your body. If you read through my book, you can see all of these experiences that I walked through in my body that were very, very, very challenging. And so I had to validate those and see that those things that I walked through contributed to how I was feeling about my body. And so honoring your story helps you to become at peace with your body. And again, that is really the biggest goal, is -- yes, we want to love our bodies and be confident and care for them, but just imagine and get curious about what it would look like to truly be at peace in your body, really experiencing the peace that is available to us in our bodies. Like, if this is the body I'm going to live in forever, I want to be at peace with this body. I want to learn what this body needs. I want to nourish my body. I want to nourish this body in the way that this body needs it. I want to move my body in the way that this -- and if this is the body I'm going to live in for the rest of my days on earth, I want to be at peace. I want to be at peace. And I believe as we make our way through the peace of that, we then can journey toward other things, like being more confident and loving our bodies and those sorts of things. But we've got to start where we are. We've got to look at where we are right now and see what that initial goal is, and being at peace with our bodies is a really great place to start.

Jennifer Rothschild: It is a great place. And, you know, I was thinking -- this has been so many years. It was when President Bush the 1st was in office. Okay? So I'm dating myself. But I remember the evening news came on -- I had a little baby at home -- and I just overheard it. Tom Brokaw was the news anchor. And so Barbara Bush evidently had been swimming. Now, we all remember what Barbara Bush looked like. And a lovely woman, but she wouldn't have been described as like super-thin modelesque kind of body. And so she's getting out of the pool, and she's wearing her one-piece swimsuit and she's wearing, like, a swim cap, you know, and she got caught on camera. And Tom Brokaw said something like, "Oh," like a reaction. And then he said, "You know, I admire how comfortable Barbara Bush is with herself." And I, as a young woman, heard that and thought, oh, that's what I want.

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's what you're describing, Jennifer, being at peace with our body, the one that God put us in, regardless. I thought that was such a -- that's been one of the things I admired most about Barbara Bush, she was who she was in her body, very comfortable with it.

And so I think what you're describing is something that all of us want to experience. So I want us to kind of get practical here. And I'm just going to ask you for -- you know, because this is your thing. I'm going to ask you for your top three pieces of advice for someone who's just starting this health and wellness journey. Like, how do they get to this place of loving their body or seeing their body is good? What are three things they can do?

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: I think the first thing that we can do is evaluate what our own expectations are for ourselves and how much weight, if you will -- no pun intended actually -- you're placing on certain expectations that you have of yourself. For example, my expectation for so long was truly just get the number on the scale down, down, down, down, down. And it did not matter how low I could physically get that number, I still felt like I just needed to lose more weight. And so I put so much emphasis and focus on weight that it sort of overshadowed everything else. And so the first thing we need to do is evaluate what am I expecting of myself in this body and how much time am I spending in my mind and heart for this body -- about this body?

Another thing that we need to do is evaluate what our -- the mindset behind what we're doing is. So when you are choosing what to eat, when you're choosing exercise, get curious and ask yourself questions. Even in situations like when you go to the doctor and they weigh you and you're like, Oh, my gosh, that just absolutely set me off for some reason, I'm in a horrible mood now, like, it's terrible, grab your journal and start journaling about why you feel that way. And dig really deep into the feelings that are surrounding that and what is really getting to you about that specifically. So digging in really deep to why you're doing what you're doing when it comes to your health and wellness journey.

And then the third thing that I would say is that it's okay to have some guidance and to have someone who knows what they're doing, and is not talking from the diet gibberish out there that is very, very prevalent, to give some guidance. I know that that has helped me. And I just want to give this little piece of freedom, is you've got to do what works for you. And so if someone is screaming really loudly at you that you need to -- whatever, fill in the blank -- drink a green smoothie every morning, or whatever it might be, you've really got to evaluate that a little bit deeper and find a way to see who can pour into you from not a dieting mentality.

And so when you're looking for some guidance, really think about the overall approach to that guidance. And so if it is -- I always say if it's sustainable over the long haul and if it allows a lot of room for decision making on your own, if it's something that promotes your own attunement with your body, things like honoring your hunger, giving yourself permission to eat foods that you enjoy, honoring your fullness, finding satisfaction in what you eat, those types of things, that's what the goal really is. Because our bodies -- we will build trust -- our bodies will build trust with us, if you will, and our bodies will start to function in a way because they know they're going to be fed, they know they're going to be nourished, they know we're not going to starve them, things like that. And so our bodies will start to give us those clues and signals and we will begin to get more attuned with our bodies. And so as we do that, then we can incorporate some gentle nutrition. So being able to fuel -- nourish our bodies in a way that allows our bodies to feel really, really great.

Jennifer Rothschild: This is so practical. And for many that are listening right now, I know it's a little bit of a paradigm shift. I'm so glad you've written the book, because I think that's going to become a resource. And I know you guys, like me, are just feeling like, oh, Jennifer's our friend. She gets us. And I think that's what you're going to experience in the book also, which I'm very grateful for.

So, Jennifer, this will be our last question. And there's part of me that feels like this is like the most important question. Because I know your wellness, your health journey has included a faith element. So I want to know, what role has God played in your journey? Like, how would this journey you have been on and that you are on be different without God?

Jennifer Taylor Wagner: It is amazing to me how God has, like, a picture for us that he desires for us, a picture of freedom, a picture of peace, a picture of joy, and how he doesn't just push us into those things, he takes us by the hand and walks us on the journey toward those things. And I think about Ephesians 3:20, which we know, which is God is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or think or imagine or dream of in our wildest dreams. We think of that. But then the very next verse is what I always think about when somebody asks me how the Lord has been prevalent in my body journey. And it says that the Spirit of God works within us, deeply, gently within us. I'm not quoting it verbatim. You'll have to look it up. But if you look it up in The Message translation, it talks about how he works deeply within us, his Spirit deeply within us. He doesn't do it by pushing us around, he does it deeply and gently, his Spirit within us.

K.C. Wright: "God can do anything, you know -- far more than you can ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. So glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia!" Oh, yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. That was Ephesians 3:20-21 in The Message --

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- because Jennifer referred to it. And K.C., I love that. I just love it. That was beautiful. Because it's true, the Spirit does work deeply and gently in us. I am so thankful. So we ask, what is the mindset and what is the heart shift that I need?

K.C. Wright: Yeah, because we want our head and heart space to be filled with grace, not obsessive thoughts of our bodies.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right.

K.C. Wright: And this was really good. And, you know, somebody needs this practical encouragement in your life. Like, three or four people came to mind when I was listening to you share. So share this podcast to that person that God's laying on your heart right now. And you can also review Jennifer's great insight on the show notes at Plus we'll have a link to her book called "Your Good Body: Embracing a Body Positive Mindset in a Perfection Focused World."

So until next week, our 4:13'ers, we love you. You're family to us.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: Love God, love each other. And don't forget, you can love your good body that God gave you, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

K.C. Wright: I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right. Now, K.C., you've got to go get your water.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I've got to get some sunscreen.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm liking this sun, but it's a little toasty now.


Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!