Lifting weights a sin?

Alright so here’s my dilemma, about a year ago people said that I looked to skinny and the like, so I decided I’d start lifting weights. I have pretty low self esteem when it comes to my body, and am not very confident in what it looks like. And so I usually lift some dumbbells just to keep myself looking ok and I’ve also been eating more along with that. I don’t know if what I’m doing is a sin to be honest. I’m just trying to make my self esteem go up, so I feel better and more comfortable in my own skin.
Thoughts on this?
Gregory V.

It’s not a sin if you’re exercising to be healthy. It could be a venial sin if your main motivation is something vain, like wanting people to like how you look (and that’s making your self-esteem dependent on others, so not really secure).

Lift weights to be strong and healthy, not just to look attractive.

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Why would you think it would be a sin? Improving your self-esteem is a good thing.

I suggest you speak to your Priest about sin, to really understand it.


Ok, I’m trying to change the reason I lift weights, but honestly my only real motivation is to try and gain some confidence in my body. Because right now I just feel really bad about it, too skinny, you know? And I also feel bad because I’m getting all this food for my workout from my mom who is having to pay for it.

This is an honest dilemma? You feel bad about your mom buying you food that eat too grow? Opposed to fasting and never exercising?

That’s not a wrong motivation to have at all.


Ok thanks all, I also just wanted to tell you that I am also very self conscious too, I’m going to start trying to think of how I look to others less. I’ll just try to maintain a good body so I can have some confidence in it.

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Oh and one more thing, is it alright if I wear clothes that make me look decently fit? Cause you know how some clothes make you look a certain way, would that be vain?

I’m concerned that you’re coming off a little scrupulous. Please talk to your Priest about these questions, and ask him to help you discern when something is a sin.


That’s fair, I have been scrupulous for a while now.

Okay. The best thing to do is talk to a Priest about this, who can help you to help yourself. Sometimes CAF can (inadvertently) make scruples worse and take the place of people offline who know you and are placed to advise you.

If you’re ever unsure whether something is a sin, please talk to your Priest first. Don’t lean on CAF. Get an answer from someone qualified to help.


Why would it be a sin? Which of the 10 commandments would it be?

Exercising and eating right are good things to do to stay healthy. A good person and a good Catholic is permitted to have a healthy self esteem.

Remember your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. Lifting weights to improve said temple is not a sin in it’s self. If you find yourself idolizing your body over God, than it is a sin. Like taking roids or skipping church to lift, etc.

Besides, llifting can be a great act of mortification.

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I’ll 2nd what @Lou2U said… talk with a priest.


This is not a scrupulous question.

As far as something like lifting weights goes: it’s largely about your interior disposition. If your intentions are to feel a sense of superiority over other people, then that’s vanity. If it is to improve your overall health & energy, then it is a good thing. I haven’t been to the gym in over a month because of allergy & infection issues but I’m hoping to start up again next week :slight_smile: Have fun with it and enjoy your progress.


Lifting weights is no sin. As a matter of fact, it is good stewardship of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing wrong with wanting to gain self-confidence of one’s body.

Remember that Jesus Himself did some pretty serious “lifting” of His own — first the cross, and then the stone that sealed the tomb.

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