“Ugh, you are so fat, I bet everyone notices. Her arms are so much more toned than yours, why don’t you go to the gym more? Your thighs are disgusting!”
If I heard someone say any of these things to someone else, then I would be furious and demand that they apologize. Yet, these are things that have crossed my mind daily!
We are SO HARD on ourselves! I was reading this article called “4 Truths to Remember When You Hate Your Body” by Deb Fileta and I realized that I wasted far too many years of my life hating my body.
We live in a culture of fat shaming and thigh gaps so how are we going to learn to have a healthy body image? The battle begins in our minds with these three things that helped me develop a healthier body image:
1. Stop yourself as soon as the negative commentary begins.
When I took note of the horrible lies swirling in my mind every day, I was able to put an end to them faster. I noticed when they happen most: when looking in the mirror, shopping for clothes, or comparing myself to others. Learn what can send your mind reeling with lies about your body image or self worth and shut it down.
2. Find the root and pull it out.
Sadly, the lies that we believe are not just simple sayings to easily erase from our mind, but rather deeply rooted hurts. Sometimes these issues are so deep and so hard for us to understand on our own that a counselor or friend may be needed to walk through this step with you. I have been seeing a Christian counselor the last year and it has helped me grow so much! I realized that some of the lies I believe about myself stem all the way back to middle school and hurtful things that were said to me. Sometimes those labels and lies from others morph into how we define ourselves and we start to believe them as truth. It’s time to separate truth from the lies, but you have to find the hurtful root of any negative thought about your body image first. It takes work to have a healthier body image, but I promise you that it’s worth it! So pick up the shovel and go to work!
3. Choose truth instead of lies.
It’s not enough to simply uproot the lies we believe about ourselves, but we must replace them with truth. Although the Bible never uses the word “body image,” it does present the truth of how God sees us.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
One of the most powerful weapons I developed against the lies was the understanding that God finds me BEAUTIFUL even with my cellulite, split ends, and tan lines. If the God of the universe finds you perfectly beautiful then who are you to argue?
Dig into what true beauty is and make that a part of your new truth. You are unique, gifted, talented, confident, and more beautiful than you could ever know. Try to filter the lies you think about yourself through the lens of who God says you are. Conquer the battle in your mind and everything else will start to change too. Love yourself well and it will not only change your inner dialogue but also give you a healthier body image!
(photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker )
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