What kind of unique shape were you created to be?

“You know this isn’t something you earned, right?”


“I know, mom.”

This dialog is not unusual at my house.  It doesn’t reference grades, exercise, or even athletic ability.

It’s a reminder to my two boys that their height is just one of the 20,000 genes God gave them. Just like they didn’t work for their eyes (one blue, one greenish), hair (one thick, one fine), or ability to raise one eyebrow (one devious looking, one comical), they didn’t do one stinking thing to obtain their height.

(My older one would interject here and say it’s because he eats his green vegetables, just like Spider-Man. Just watch the first 30 seconds):

Nor did they do anything to receive their body frames. One received my muscle mass, the other long and lean one fits in nicely with a long list of my husband’s family members.

Height continues to be a point of family discussion.  Currently my 14-year old is millimeters away from passing his dad.  My 12-year old surpassed me by several inches this past year and appears to be growing two inches a night sometimes.  

I continue to remind them this is nothing they earned.  Had their parents and extended family been shorter, or the age at which they hit puberty differed, their growth chart would look different.

Yet how many of us are still trying to be 6’3” when we have 5’5” parents?

Maybe that’s not the most applicable example.


What’s Your Mold?

How many of us are trying to fit into a body shape mold in which we were not created?  

It took me having more than one child to realize we are born with certain body shapes. Some are more obvious, like height. But others are more subtle.

Some are so imperceptible that we spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to have a God-given feature that God did not give us. Bubble butt? Curvy? Broad-shouldered? Top heavy? Bottom heavy? All heavily influenced by our God-ordained genes.

I’ve mentioned before my high-school bathroom mirror donned a picture of actress Tiffani-Amber Theisson (yes this was long ago before she dropped the Amber). I’ve never met Tiffani, but I can be confident in one thing:

Her body shape is not the same as mine.

Some of our differences are obvious.  As I wrote in this article, we don’t expect Michael Phelps to be able to perform the tumbling feats of the powerful Simone Biles, and vice versa in the swimming pool.  

Embrace your God-given body shape; we were all made differently.  Amy Connell | GracedHealth.com

Often I get asked how I developed the muscles I have.  Group fitness students and friends have kindly complimented my arms and said, “I want those!”  I appreciate the compliments. I really do.  This is the truth:

Part of it is hard work; the other part is genetics.  

A combination of hard work and genetics builds great muscle tone. Amy Connell | GracedHealth.com

I know this because I look at my beautiful mother.  She chooses nutritious foods and moves her body almost daily by using the elliptical machine or swimming.  But she doesn’t lift one weight.  

Despite her lack of strength training, her arms, and specifically deltoids, are perfectly, highly defined. A recent picture showed her leaning over the table blowing out birthday candles, celebrating another year of life and her amazing arms. She just may not have known that was part of the celebration.


Embrace your God-given body shape. Amy Connell | GracedHeath.com

What’s your Comparison Trap?

You may not have Tiffani Theissen hanging in your bathroom, but is there someone else you’re mentally comparing yourself to? Maybe she’s thinner, or stronger with bigger muscles.

Visual inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. It can help push us through that cookie’s temptation or keep us lacing up our running shoes. However:

Don’t let inspiration turn into a declaration of what you need to look like.  

Rejoice in your wonderfully, uniquely made body. The one that:

  • God’s hands made and formed (Psalm 119:73)
  • Is wonderfully and fearfully (to be respected) made. (Psalm 119:13)
  • Was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)

One of the most freeing choices I’ve made is to stop the trap of body comparison. I can appreciate others without wanting to look like them.

Make the decision today to appreciate your own, unique, God-created body.  

What body part can you embrace today as uniquely yours? Comment below!

Inspired by someone? Great. But that doesn't have to be your goal.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash



  • Donna January 22, 2018 Reply

    Amen and Thank You!
    I just finished blogging and decided to check out your latest offering. God always knows who and what we need, when we need. Your words are a beautiful reminder to me as I remember one (of the many) reasons I have unplugged from social media. My word for the year is JOY and comparing my self, my body, my parenting, my hair, and even my running pace to my inspiration tribe on Instagram was stealing my joy. Also, as I settle into myself as a woman, wife, minister, mother, and runner your words remind me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I shouldn’t try to remold God’s handiwork into something I was never meant to be.

    • gracedhealth@gmail.com January 22, 2018 Reply

      Donna that’s a great perspective! Absolutely, comparison and “inspiration” can steal our joy if we aren’t firmly planted in His perfect creation in us. I’m glad we’ve found another way to connect beyond social media! 😉

  • Lanie January 22, 2018 Reply

    Thanks, Amy! What a great message. I needed to hear that. 🙂

    • gracedhealth@gmail.com January 22, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Lanie. 😘

  • Jennifer Lefforge January 22, 2018 Reply

    So beautifully written and SO TRUE, Amy! As they say, dance with the one who brung ya;). And what a great mom you are to those kids to remind them daily (and to remind yourself).

    • gracedhealth@gmail.com January 22, 2018 Reply

      Thank you Jennifer! I almost feel like I need a list of things to remind them daily! (Hmmm, maybe you can write about what’s been the most impactful to your boys as they leave the nest?)

  • Deborah Brooks January 22, 2018 Reply

    This is a great reminder for me! I love how you instill these values into your kids.

  • Heather Lake January 22, 2018 Reply

    So refreshing, Amy! I finally had to embrace my thighs…I will never have skinny stick legs. That’s just not how I’m made! I chose to love my legs because they are mine, and they have taken me so many places fitness-wise and beyond!

    • gracedhealth@gmail.com January 22, 2018 Reply

      Heather, I completely agree. I, too, wished for stick legs. I might as well have wished for a different eye color.

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