Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Love Your Body (without hating it....) Part 1

I'm writing a few posts on this subject because I feel like it is a really important topic to discuss. It also really hits home for me - I'm opening up my heart and being honest. Note that I'm not a therapist, psychologist, or doctor - this advice is out of my own experiences! (Please) feel free to comment away!

Does this ever happen to anyone else?

I have come across this problem a lot throughout the couple of years that I have been recovering. Sometimes I would just get so wrapped up in trying to force myself to be in love with my body that, in the process, I just sort of gave up.

The goal mindset was: "Jessica, you will love your body immediately and it shall be the most perfect thing you have ever laid eyes on." (see any issues there?)

The actual mindset was: "Jessica, you WILL LOVE YOUR BODY NO MATTER WHAT EVEN THOUGH....etcetcetc....all right. I give up. I guess my gross body isn't worth my energy...." (see any issues there??)

I often felt alone in my problems, which made things a lot harder to cope with. I didn't (and, to be completely honest, still don't) really like to talk about my body image issues. It seems like such a fragile subject to me, and there sometimes are so many wrong things to say - it differs from person to person.

One thing I didn't fully understand until now is that pretty much every.single.woman. on the planet has some sort of body insecurity. Cliche news flash: there is no such thing as a perfect body!!! EVER!! Period.

(If I had a dime for every time I heard that phrase, I'd be backpacking around the Mediterranean right now.....)

 But, muffins, alas it is true. Every body has some sort of flaw. Some common ones that we hear a lot: "My thighs are too big. My arms are too flabby. My tummy is chubby. My hips are too wide. My butt is too round. My boobs are too big. My face is round. I'm fat."

The sad thing is, is these are pretty much the colloquial terms. We also have a lot of pleasant-sounding names for them. Thunder thighs? Bat wings? Muffin tops?

Anyways (rabbit-trailing much?), there are a few major things as to why we, as women, have these so-called "flaws".

1. Women are supposed to have a higher percentage of body fat than men. That's just the way it is. Sorry.

2. Women are supposed to have a higher percentage of body fat than men because we bear children. Babies are fragile - they need cushion. Cushion is a good thing.

3. Women are supposed to have thighs and hips in order to actually give birth. Love them! How hard would it be to push out a baby without muscular (they aren't fat!) thighs??

4. Bodies change all throughout our life. First, we're adorably chubby babies, then scrawny kindergartners, then "fluffy" grade-schoolers (puberty!!), hormones rage in middle school, in high school we start seeing our bodies change into womanly shapes,  we get married and start a family, we grow old. Every season of our lives, our bodies change. We need to celebrate our bodies no matter what!

5. The human body is so incredible. I could go on and on. Think about the things that it does on a daily basis (ex, secretes hormones, metabolizes food into energy, regenerates skin cells daily, keeps your heart beating nonstop for your entire life), our bodies are a gift/blessing from God!

6. There are sooooooooo many different body shapes. What's with all this "pear" and "apple" body shapes? What? No comprendo.

7. Everyone's body is their own. You are completely unique to anyone else on the whole.planet. You are you....out of the 6.5 billion inhabitants on earth. 

You see? Our flaws aren't so bad! God has blessed us with our bodies - they are vessels on the Earth. They allow us to run a mile, taste our favorite ice cream, sing as loud as we want.....celebrate them!

Stay tuned for Part 2.......

Do you ever struggle with body image? 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jessie! I love this post. I know we've talked about this a little before, but I'll share with you the epiphany that really helped me to get through a tough battle with my body image. It occurred to me one day as I was mentally running through the long list of my bodily "flaws" (as I had been doing practically 24/7 for the past year or so) that I was spending all of my time thinking and obsessing about MYSELF. Me. Me me me. It was a warped form of self-centeredness. In fact, obsessively criticizing yourself is perhaps a more crippling sort of selfishness than self-adoration because it keeps you in such bondage! You don't want to go out and live your life because you think you look terrible. You are more inclined to say no when God is leading you to be involved in things because you are insecure about the way you look. Etc, etc.

    Anywho, God spoke to my heart and really convicted me of this. He basically told me, "Look outside of yourself! Live your life! Serve others! Stop being self-centered, and appreciate the lovely body that I have placed you in." It was hard (talk about a mental battle!), but eventually, after aggressively renewing my mind and finding ways to turn my focus outward, I slowly began to forget about my body. I don't mean that in a bad way, like I let myself go, but I just didn't think about it anymore. The chains were cut, and I began to experience the most wonderful liberty!

    Well, that was really long. Lol.
    I love the points that you have made--they are so true, and grounded in reality. God made us exactly the way that we are for a reason. Why not just embrace it and live our lives?

    Can't wait for post #2!