100,000 times. That’s about how many times your heart beats each day.
Your body keeps you alive each and every day. You body is the beautiful vessel that enables you to live your life. Your body allows you to see sunrises, hear the voices of loved ones, feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Your arms allow you to hug those you love, your chest houses your lungs and heart which day after day keeps you alive- second by second. Your stomach houses your internal organs that allow you to digest your food and have the energy for the purposes God has for you. Your legs are so strong, allowing you to stand, get out of bed, and dance. Your feet have carried you so far, for some across the country, and for some across the world.
Your body houses your soul; its the beautiful vessel that enables you to live your life, your body is not a project to be worked on but a masterpiece and a beautiful gift from God to be celebrated.
You are enough just as you are. And you deserve freedom from negative body image no matter what your body shape or size is.
Let’s take time to work towards celebrating our bodies- to respecting our bodies, to treating our bodies with kindness and compassion. Life is too short to spend time hating our appearance, to miss out on events like swimming or getting our picture taken with friends, to spend time staring in the mirror with sadness or disgust. Life is too precious to spend this time at war with yourself, hating or disgusted with the very thing that is keeping you alive. My prayer for you to be freed from negative body image, from disgust or hatred of your body, to move to a place of body respect and kindness, to know that your worth and value is constant and infinite and has nothing to do with your body shape or size, and finally, to be freed to live more fully into the purpose God has planned for you.
“Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good, it’s knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.” -Lindsay and Lexie Kite, PHD, in More Than a Body
How can we move away from negative body image to body acceptance, body neutrality and respecting our bodies?
- Focusing on what our body can do rather than how our body looks
- Practicing intuitive eating– respecting and honoring our bodies hunger and fullness
- Moving our bodies in joyful ways, never using exercise/movement as punishment or to “make up” for what we ate
- Speaking kindly to your body- how would you talk to a friend or a child? Speak that way to yourself
- Being mindful of who we follow on social media and unfollowing accounts that are unhelpful/contributing to negative body image
- Resisting body checking
- Buying clothes that fit and that you are comfortable in; clothes are meant to fit you, not the other way around
- Rejecting diet culture and following an anti-diet approach- there are no good or bad foods and there is no need to count calories
- Making neutral statements about your body when looking in the mirror- instead of shaming statements. “These are my arms, these are my legs, this is my stomach” Rather than using descriptors that may be shaming to yourself.
- Knowing your worth and value are independent from what your body looks like. God created you fearfully and wonderfully in a unique way with purposes for the world that only you can fulfill because you were specially created. God thought of YOU before He even created the world.
- Learning about your identity in Christ, the book of Ephesians in the Bible is a great place to start
- Reading books like- Intuitive Eating, Body Respect, More Than a Body, The Body Image Workbook
- Checking out these social media accounts: @jennifer_rollin, @withmilkandhoney, @wonderfullymade_org, @body.rising, @forkthefoodrules, @recoveredlivingnz, @recoveredliving, @everybodyisbeautiful, @breakingfreefrombodyshame, @jessconnolly, @nofoodrules
- Starting Finding Balance’s free food and body image modules, a Christ centered program
- Throwing out your scale- it only tells you the numercial value of the gravitational pull on your body, it doesn’t tell you your worth, value, or health
Ephesians 1:4-For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Psalm 139:13-14– For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Ephesians 2:10– For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 Samuel 6:7– 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Matthew 6:25– Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Freedom from negative body image is possible. To read about my journey from restriction and body hatred to full recovery from anorexia please read here.