I used to hate my body. Yes, HATE. It’s hard admitting that out loud, but it’s true. I used to hate the way it looked, the way it felt, and I hated what it could not do.
In the past year, the Lord has taught me so much about this area of my life. He’s truly shown me that this is the only body I will ever have and that I needed to embrace it and come to peace with it. I needed to take care of it and stop abusing it. It’s been a though challenge for sure to love my body. I mean, what does it even mean to “love” your body anyway?
We all naturally love ourselves. We are selfish people by nature. The Bible says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. If we hated ourselves, why would Jesus command us to love our neighbor as ourselves? I think what this means is if we are sick, we love ourselves enough to take medicine. If we are hungry, we love ourselves enough to eat. If we are struggling, we love ourselves enough to ask for help. These are just the basics of self-love.
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30 – 31
What I needed to learn was to take care of my body and learn to love my imperfections. All my life I thought, “My boobs are too big, I have a crooked nose, I have chicken legs, my belly spills out of my jeans, my arms are fat, etc”. To a certain degree some of these are facts about my body, but the only difference now is that I no longer think of these as flaws or negative attributes about myself. Ok let’s pause. Could I work out harder to tone my belly? Of course. Could I get a breast reduction? Probably. I am not saying that changing any of these things are wrong or bad or selfish. Trust me, I know that Jesus loves me the way I am but I also believe that he loves me too much to leave me the same. I am always working towards a better version of myself in every area of my life. But this one, God told me to start backwards. Love my body first, then change it rather than change it then love it.
Love your body first, then work towards improving it rather than improve it and then think you’ll love it. If you can love your body right now the way it is and embrace it, you’ve already won the battle.
As women, we are constantly bombarded with images and stereotypes of what we should look like. I don’t have to tell you this, because you already know it, but we compare ourselves and our bodies to everyone! It’s truly sickening. I told myself a year ago that I was going to change this for myself.
I recently ran my second half marathon and everything just clicked for me. It’s amazing what your body can do when you train it, nourish it and take care of it. It was super empowering for me to reach this goal. I can tell you with true honesty, that I love my body more today than I ever have in my 26 years of life.
Please don’t think that I’m conceited or into myself because it’s not that. Trust me, I don’t think I am the hottest thing around! I simply have learned that my body truly is a temple of the Holy Spirit and that it does not belong to me fully. It belongs to God and it belongs to my husband. None will ever abuse it but take care of it and cherish it. Why should I do any different?
Friend, I know at one point or another you have thought, “I hate the way I look”. I have for a very long time thought that about myself, but I am here to tell you that it’s possible to not hate your body. I have made peace with my body and what I have been given even if I wish it was different. That’s the key. I am not saying that I won’t ever think I need to loose weight or anything like that. Loving your body is so much more than the physical. It’s accepting the way you look and loving your body enough to take care of it.
Loving your body is so much more than the physical. It’s accepting the way you look and loving your body enough to take care of it.
I am also not saying that loving your body means that you’ve arrived a certain destination.
- Practicing Body Positivity – To
mebody positivity means accepting your body. It’s the idea that you can live comfortably in your body, as it is right now, or work on treating it right through nourishment and movement and self carewithout punishing yourself for looking the way you do. Practicing positive self-talk and dialogue rather thatusing negative words that only cut down.
- Stop Trying to Get to a Certain Size – This one is hard. Our bodies look
theyway they do because of genetics, culture, food, exercise etc. So many things that areout of our control. I know that I will never be a size 0 and trying to fit into a certain size is like telling my body, “You just don’t fit the mold the world says you should fit. There’s something wrong with you”. Size is truly no longer the reason I take care of myself.
- Comparing My Body – Guilty. Social media is full of women who look different than me. How can I compare apples to oranges? Everyone has something beautiful about themselves that makes them unique. I do, and so do you! Remember comparison is the thief of joy.
- Working Out – I love to work out! I love to sweat and challenge my mind and my body to becam stronger. I especially love running. Running is about endurance, speed and it’s mostly a mental exercise. I also love seeing my body respond to my hard work and commitment. I love to see it change for the better month after month. It’s empowering!
I hope that you are inspired to reach deep and work through these very common issues we face today. I have a little sister that is well, not so little anymore she’s 18. I’m also a leader at my youth group where I help with 15+ girls. I feel called and honestly, burdened with the massive responsibility I have been given to speak into young girls lives. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to love your body and still work towards making it healthier. Look at yourself in the mirror and say all the things you love about the way you look. Instead of saying the things you hate about your body, think of those areas as challenges and things that need improvement. Think of your differences as advantages rather than set backs. Thank you for reading.