When Jennifer Taylor Wagner finally reached her weight loss goal, she discovered something was wrong. She still felt discontent with her body. That discovery caused her to look inward and realize that so much about her body image had nothing to do with her actual weight, size, or health. Jennifer realized the external changes are not what make someone feel comfortable in their body. She now shares the process of renewing our mind in the way we view the body God gave us.
1. Recognize the negative thoughts we have about our bodies.
“I was walking around super critical but didn’t realize it for years.” Try to notice how much of your time you spend thinking about your body externally. Get curious about your thought life and heart when it comes to your body. I noticed that many of my internal sentences started with the word “should.” “I should have lost the weight by now” or “I should be exercising more.” So many of those thoughts are unkind and not helpful.
2. Make a thought swap.
“We can’t stop these negative things from popping into our minds. Once you notice them, you can begin to grab onto the negative thoughts and swap them with something that is a little more kind, a little more grace giving to yourself, and a little more compassionate.” There are so many Bible verses that address our thoughts about our bodies.
My favorite is Psalm 139: 14 “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
3. Untie our mindset from dieting.
“Instead of everything being an equation for weight loss. Flip the script and look at how we can fuel and nourish our bodies in a way they are craving.” We can practice gentle nutrition and still get all the food groups without being super strict. Diet culture can be defeating. Learn to listen to your body. Discover when you are truly hungry or truly full. Take the rules off of food and exercise so you can actually treat your body well.
Jennifer shares in our latest podcast episode that her motivation is different now. “I am not trying to gain acceptance or worth.” Hear more about how to discover that your body is already good and created in the image of God in our conversation with Jennifer Taylor Wagner on “The Holy Mess Podcast.”