The Never-Ending Body Image Struggle

There are times in life where you realize that you’ve been a hypocrite.

I’ve written blogs before about struggling with insecurities when it comes to my body. 

I’ve published podcasts featuring experts that preach body positivity. 

But still, I struggle.

Recently, I had to face the always-daunting task of shopping for jeans. I knew I needed to go up a size and had finally come to terms with it when a saleswoman sent me into a small spiral.

“Which styles come in a 34 inseam?” I asked.

“Those over there do. And you might want to start with that style. They’re better for curvy girls,” she replied.

Curvy girls.

Her words echoed in my mind as I made my way over to the display. There’s nothing wrong with being a curvy girl, but I wasn’t ready to have that label thrown at me. And the way she said it made me feel like I needed to hide those curves.

In the mall dressing room and for the rest of that shopping trip, I started throwing insults at myself. I felt so defeated by the end of the day that I couldn’t even celebrate the fact that I had successfully found clothes. I just wanted to crawl under the covers and hide from the world.

Since then, I’ve been working hard to get back to being kind to my body with a few truths:

1. This body is good

This is the concept of Jennifer Taylor Wagner’s book. This body that I’m in survived a pandemic. It cares for my sick husband. It loves well. It gets rest when it needs rest. It has love handles. It has cellulite. It is good.

2. Self-loathing is not a virtue

There’s a small part of my brain that somehow thinks that tearing myself down is a part of humility. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I adore this quote from Beth Moore:

Practice not hating yourself. We recognize the perils of inordinate and obsessive self-love, but let us not think for a minute self-loathing cannot destroy us. You were created in the image of God and greatly loved by your Maker. Self hatred is not humility. It’s sabotage.

3. God loves this body

God doesn’t look at us with hatred. He loves the whole person. Full stop. Joy helped me see that in last week’s Holy Mess podcast episode:

Someday, I hope to default to these 3 truths instead of jumping straight to self-hatred. But until then, I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to be gentle with myself. I hope you are, too.

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