Do you have a hard time looking in the mirror and loving your body? Do you give credit to the bad things people say about it? Time to hear some powerful truths and ideas about yourself that will help you learn to love your body (despite what others say)!
I still remember the way he looked at me, disappointed… as if I had committed some type of offensive action towards someone else.
Still looking at me with his eyebrows contracted, he said “Have you been working out? Why don’t you wear clothes that are as elegant as the ones your sister wears? You have to take care of yourself. Your husband is a handsome man. You have to keep up!”
I heard him say that as all the faces at the dining table turned to me. They felt for me. My mom tried defending me, my aunt did too. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m glad they defended me or if I’m still shocked that I needed to be defended from such an accusation like that.
I tried smiling a bit as to not make the scene turn worse than it already was. I answered that I didn’t have time to work out with two children under 3 plus working from home. He told me I should find a way so I could keep my husband still interested in me.
When I remember the whole terrifying 60 seconds this took place on that table, I feel angry. I feel angry that most of us women, have to deal with those types of comments.
Did he even know how hard I was trying to take care of myself and juggle everything else on my plate?
I feel angry that we end up letting these comments bring us down! But how can you not?
How can you not believe these criticisms when they’re told to your face all day long by people you don’t know, and worse yet, by people who should love you exactly the way you are! [That was one of the men in my own family, btw.]
How can you learn to love your body despite what others say?
Loving our bodies exactly the way they look is a hard enough goal to accomplish all on its own. Add that to all the nonsense we have to hear about what people think our body should look like (but it doesn’t), and it just becomes that much harder.
Today, I want to share a few truths about our bodies that will help you start learning to love your body like the precious gift it truly is.
#1. You were created in the image of God
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:27,28
God created us in his own image. He created the plants, the animals, and everything else, but we’re the only creatures He created, who are made in his own image.
He made us special and intelligent, in a way that we can govern over everything else on Earth. Our brains carry a lot more knowledge than any other creature does.
Because we were made in his image, we’re also creators (like He is). Our bodies are able to design, paint, build, draw, exercise, photograph, write, and infinitely more.
Our bodies were made to generate life, to be fruitful and multiply.
Have you ever stopped and gave this fact a little bit of deeper reflection?
Have you ever pictured in your mind, life being formed inside the womb?
Isn’t this alone a wonderful reason to love our bodies?
Our bodies are capable of doing so much. How can we not love it?
[Are you struggling to find your faith and believe in the truth of the scriptures? Here are 5 ways you can grow in your faith as a young Christian woman]
#2. You are fearfully and wonderfully made
I know that this verse is super well known and you have probably heard of it several times in your life, but have you also read the other verses that go with it?
Read this and reflect in each word as you read. Picture in your mind everything that is being said:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Isn’t it such a wonderful thing to imagine that God loves us so much that He watched us being formed in the womb?
A place that is dark and secret. No one else can see it, but him!
Isn’t it special to imagine that God recorded every day of our lives in his book, even though we didn’t exist yet?
If He loves us so much and created us in his image… If he knit together each cell and organs of our bodies in such a perfect way (able to do and create so many incredible things), why should we not love our bodies?
Our bodies are much more than just something to be looked at.
Our bodies are wonderfully complex and fearfully made!
#3. Take care of your body
Part of loving our bodies is taking care of them. If you love your kids, the logical thing to do is to take good care of them. If you love your husband, the logical thing to do is to take good care of him.
If you love your body, then you must take good care of it. But hear me out over here. We also need to be realistic and have our priorities in place. There’s gotta be some sort of balance.
This doesn’t mean that we’re going to leave everything else behind so we can go to the gym every day and start this new diet that takes up all of our time to put the planning and the food together. [Which by the way, here’s a FREE Meal Planning Kit to make this part of your life easier.]
Life also has different seasons and sometimes, you’re just not able to be active in the way that you wanted to be. God knows how much I wanted to be working out when that man asked me if I was going to the gym.
I just had really not found a way to include it in my schedule. I had to make trades and the one thing that suffered was that I was not able to be so active and have time for myself. But I still made sure to eat healthily and take care of my body.
I did what I could and it was a season where my kids really needed me to be there for them. I also worked from home (and still do) so I can reach my professional goals because I still have personal dreams, and I’m working hard to achieve them!
Like I said, it’s a balancing act, isn’t it?
This also doesn’t mean that your goal is to look like a pop star. The goal is to be healthy and to feel good about yourself. The goal is to truly love your body and take care of it like the valuable temple that it is. The temple that God chose to live in!
[In need of some inspiration for healthy snacks that fit your busy lifestyle? Here are 12 different healthy snack ideas for you.]
And… When I say that we need to be realistic, it also means, that each body has a different frame and will look different. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Some people take good care of their bodies, eat healthy food, work out, but will always have a larger frame. Or yet, some people also eat healthily, but can’t manage to gain the weight they want to.
And others… might feed their bodies unhealthy food and still have a smaller frame. Each person is different, and that’s ok.
As long as you’re being honest with yourself and taking care of your body, that’s what matters. If you have a hard time staying active, here are some tips that have helped me always come back to an active lifestyle.
Are you ready to keep these thoughts in mind and learn to love your body (despite what others say)?
I hope these ideas have helped you get a clearer picture of what our bodies truly are and what they’re not.
My hope for you is that you’re ready to honor the season of life that you’re in and take care of yourself in the way that applies to that season. Without feeling guilty or feeling like others know what YOU should be doing.
When people look at you and feel like your body is not good enough for their standards, remember that God is the one who created you and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. And His standards are the only ones that matter.
Remember that if you’re doing your best to take care of your body, you’re on the right path because you’re taking good care of the temple God chose to call his home.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
Share with me in the comments what ideas or actions help you love your body more! I’d love to know.