Ending the Self-Esteem Battle for Good

When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I won’t give up. Instead, I’ll look to You and Your strength.

Jesus Listens, July 31

For years I struggled with feeling good in my skin. I would go on a diet and do pretty good for a few days, but then life would get busy, my daughter would get sick, or my motivation would fade. I would fall off track, eat my favorite things, and then plan to do better next time.

This cycle caused a negative conversation in my mind: Why did you eat that? Why can’t you stick to a diet? Why didn’t you work out today? If only you could reach your fitness goals. I lived with an ever-present feeling of failure.

Jesus wanted to eat with me

One day at church, I cried out to God. I couldn’t take feeling this way anymore. I needed a breakthrough. We were studying Revelation, so I opened my Bible and landed on Revelation 3:20:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (NIV).

I was in shock. Jesus wanted to eat with me! God spoke to me that day through His Word. I started asking Him to eat with me, to work out with me, and to help me see myself through His eyes, and because He did, everything changed.


As I spent more time with Jesus, He showed me why I overate and what caused my poor self-image. I remembered a time in my childhood when someone I loved told me I was fat. I felt shame and started to accept it as my identity. From that moment on, I saw myself differently, and I needed God to heal me.

Through surrendering this to Him, I learned who I was and where to get my worth. This scripture gave me peace about my body: “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

Handmade by God

Knowing I was handmade and designed by God made me start to see myself in a freeing and powerful way. I also saw how the world tries to put labels on the way we look because the enemy came to kill, steal and destroy us, but Jesus came that we may have life and more abundantly. Spending time with God to consciously pinpoint the moments in our lives that have created a false narrative in our minds is how we expose the lies and wash them in the Word.

Over time, I learned that my attempts to get fit and feel good about myself never worked because I had been trying to answer spiritual issues with worldly answers. He has taught me that the world created a hurtful relationship with food and our bodies that He never intended for us to have. So many of us aren’t eating healthy or taking care of ourselves because we don’t understand our value to God. This is fueled by worldly ideals of how we should look resulting in worth issues like insecurity and perfectionism

Food and Fitness

God took my struggles with food and fitness and worth, and He made them my ministry. It has been twenty years since I cried out to God that day in church, and He has helped me stay healthy and gain the confidence to pursue the calling He placed on my life. He healed me to help others, and He can heal you, too.

I pray you talk to Him about your area of struggle because He is the only one who can truly help you. God is waiting to hear from you, and He can’t wait to help you. When we cry out to God for more of Him, I believe He is saying,  “I’m here. You already have all of Me, but do I have all of you? “Give Him every aspect of life. Nothing is impossible for Him. 

Here are a few simple steps you can take today to start your journey to gaining strength God’s way:

1. Take your struggles to Jesus.

Talk to Him about it. Surrender it to Him, and search for scriptures that tell you the truth about what He says in this area. Let God do a new thing here because He is the only one who can.

2. Pray before every workout.

Dedicate your walking, weightlifting, or class to Him. Listen to Christian music as you work out. When you’re done, thank Him for the amazing gift of your body and ask Him to bless your efforts.

3. Trade rigid rules about dieting for eating God-made, whole foods with peace and joy.

Pray before every meal. Ask Jesus to join you at your table, and pause to invite the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to help you walk in the fruits of the Spirit.

4. Offer your body as a living sacrifice.

This will help you create a healthy and lasting motivation to take the best care of your body, His temple, so that you can serve where He has called you.

5. Find an accountability partner.

The Word tells us we need each other, so open up to a friend and ask them to do this with you.

About The Author

Kim Dolan Leto is the author Fit God’s Way: Your Bible-Based Guide to Food, Fitness, and Wholeness releasing on January 17, 2023. Her previous book,10 Steps to Your, F.I.T. is a national bestseller. Kim is a faith-filled inspirational speaker, creator of the Faith Inspired Transformation, F.I.T. DVD workout series, and the host of the “Strong. Confident. His.” Podcast. She is an ESPN Fitness America Champion. Learn more at

11 thoughts on “Ending the Self-Esteem Battle for Good

  1. I love this so much!!! I need to bring my consistency of working out to God and pray before my workouts!! Thank you for the reminder. We forget to bring God into it all and it can feel overwhelming or defeating. But we know with Him, all things are possible!! Thank you so much!

  2. What a fantastic read! The suggestions are thought-provoking and I felt God reaching out to me through God’s spirit. I’m having a “I don’t feel like it” kind of day today. After reading this, I am now getting my sneakers on and going for my daily walk. Thanks SO much Kim!

  3. Kim you are an Angel sent from God! Your Strong Confident His devotional, pod casts social media posts, private messages have helped me grow confidence and see my worth through Gods word. I look forward in purchasing your new book and seeing God continue to work in your life and others 🙂 God Bless you and your family!

  4. What a great article from a truly inspirational author! Thank you Kim, for your advice and how to’s on getting closer to God! I absorbed every word, and I too will begin praying before each workout and thanking HIM after!

  5. “Over time, I learned that my attempts to get fit and feel good about myself never worked because I had been trying to answer spiritual issues with worldly answers.”

    This hit me right in the gut. The lightbulb has gone off! In Jesus’s name, I claim victory over my health!

  6. This must his differently today. I can’t tell you how much I needed this, right here. Right now! Thank you for a blessing and for pouring into us with what’s been placed on your heart ❤️.

  7. Hope is what I see when I read this!
    Truth about my lifetime struggle,I was so conditioned to a worldly cycle that never ends well:so now I’m going to God daily for help & healing!
    Support through His word & all the encouragement posted on Kim’s Facebook & podcast! Thankful!!

  8. Thank you for sharing Kim. Your vulnerability and transparency are absolutely heartfelt. I can apply the lessons and steps in every facet of my spiritual development. I love that you share your love for God and also eat and exercise with Him. Thank you for helping me set a realistic FIT goal for 2023.

  9. This is amazing. I needed this now and I sent along to 2 of my siblings who are also devoted to Jesus
    And trying to make positive changes in their lives.
    I know He directed me to your passage today. Thank you Jesus

  10. The Lord has had me on a journey with my weight and self image for many years. But about a year and a half ago he spoke to me and said I am giving you a new view of yourself. And I’m taking this food addiction away and you won’t have to deal with it any longer. I thought it would be gone just like that but here I am Still seeking him for complete and total healing and transformation. I am healed. I am whole. It’s just taking me a while to see it for myself but it’s happening. I look forward to getting Kim‘s new book. Thank you for inspiring others to look to Jesus for the way to fitness and health and a healthy self image

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