Kicking Poor Body Image to the Curb

Kicking Poor Body Image to the Curb |Negative Body Image | Worth | Healthy | Weight Issues | Self Worth www.living31.org
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Never satisfied…I stood yet again looking into my full length mirror and I realized I am never satisfied. No matter what clothing I had on or how good my hair looked or if my makeup was on point, I was never satisfied. I never have been. I may look younger than I am, I may get compliments on my hair, my makeup, my clothing…it didn’t matter. I wasn’t satisfied.  It’s an image thing.

I stood yet again looking into my full length mirror and I realized I am never satisfied. Click To Tweet

All my adult life, up until around age 35, I was THAT person. You know, the one…who could eat anything she wanted and never gain an ounce? Yeah, that was me. And oh boy did I eat! I ate everything and anything that was bad for me too because, well…I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to put on weight so why not enjoy it, right? I wasn’t yet at the point where health was a concern so I just ate!

And yet there I was, this time at age 49 and about that many pounds’ overweight. I looked at my body and despised myself. I didn’t just despise the weight…I despised MYSELF! I hated what I had done to myself, I hated my weakness, I hated that I let it define me, I hated that I was so undisciplined that I couldn’t even manage to go on a diet or workout and lose the weight. Oh, I did from time to time, but never stuck with it. It would come back and it would bring friends!!

I didn’t just despise the weight…I despised MYSELF! Click To Tweet

But I had the answer!! Or at least I thought I did at the time! I knew how to finally rid myself of it once and for all! I made the appointment and had lipo!! Yep…I had lipo! I had them remove as much fat as they could possibly medically and legally remove!! And wow…what a difference! I finally had a waist again and I was feeling great! For a time. Then I looked in that mirror and realized…I wasn’t satisfied. After all that…still not satisfied.

Now I was picking apart the loose skin on my abdomen from multiple pregnancies. I was looking at the areas that I didn’t have lipo on and I was beating myself up over the lack of good judgment in deciding not to do them. I lost some weight but not a lot because lipo is for body shaping and not weight loss. I was still miserable with what I saw reflecting back at me in that mirror. I still despised what I saw. I still despised me.

 

I gained weight again…not in the areas where I had lipo but in the areas I didn’t. My inner thighs were growing larger and for the first time EVER, even when I had gained all that weight before, I had no gap. Yep…I had the rub! If you don’t know what I am talking about…then you are fortunate indeed! My arms for the first time got larger..and flappier. The lipo didn’t do a thing for keeping weight off…it only changed where the weight went on. I still had bad habits and I was still…miserable. I was still defining myself by my appearance…by outwardly things.

I was still defining myself by my appearance…by outwardly things. Click To Tweet

Kicking Poor Body Image to the Curb |Negative Body Image | Worth | Healthy | Weight Issues | Self Worth http://www.living31.org/kicking-poor-body-image-curb/

You see…I was looking at myself in the mirror and I was judging myself by the world’s standards. I was constantly measuring myself up against other people. If it wasn’t people around me, it was people on TV, people in magazines, people in my fitness groups. I let other people define for me what happiness was…and I was basing it on my appearance. Too fat, too old, eyes too hooded, hair too curly, clothes not chic enough, teeth too gapped….it went on and on.

And I was miserable because I felt weak. At the very core of my despair was my weakness. I felt like I lacked the drive and determination and self-discipline to eat healthy and exercise. I HATE exercise…I admit it. If you see me running you better run too because something is chasing me! That’s my feeling about exercise in a nutshell.

You see…Christian women are NOT immune to the temptation to judge ourselves by the world’s standards. We are not immune to feeling less than enough. We feel inadequate at times, whether it’s in appearance, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter..or like me, all of the above. As long as I base my worth and my happiness on worldly standards, I am going to be miserable. There is always going to be someone thinner, someone younger, someone prettier, someone with more money, someone with a fancier car, a better handbag or nicer pair of shoes, a more popular blog.. And as long as I base my worth on what I can accomplish on my own power then I am negating God’s ability to work in me and I am trying to take His place!

And as long as I base my worth on what I can accomplish on my own power then I am negating God’s… Click To Tweet

As long as I rely on my own flesh…my own self-discipline, my own will power, my own strength to get me to where I need to be then I will fail and I will be unhappy. And as long as I set my goals based on worldly standards then I will never be happy because as I said, there’s always going to be someone with bigger and better! Or in my case it would be smaller and better!

So I can sit down and write this to you and logically say what I should and shouldn’t do or should or shouldn’t feel…and yet I still look in that mirror and have the same old feelings. It is like Paul…

”For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19)

Paul may have not meant exercise or losing weight but it is the same struggle nonetheless. The struggle to know what you SHOULD do but that you still DON’T do.

We all have our struggles and our imperfections. We all have things we need grace for every single day. Lamentations 3:22-23 says,

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions (Mercy) never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

His mercy is new every morning! Good thing because I am sure I use up a good supply by bedtime!! It is when we can recognize what our sin is, or what our struggle is, or what our temptation is that we can go to Him in prayer about it. It is only when we recognize we are trying to keep up with worldly standards that we can go to His Word and remind ourselves of HIS standards.

My happiness when I walk out the door should not be because I think I look acceptable for the world’s standard. It should not be because I feel that one day I actually managed to work up enough will power to do a workout. It should be because I find my joy, my worth, my acceptance in HIM! It should be because of what HE says about me, not what the world does. I should be happy because I don’t have to rely on my own willpower to eat healthy or exercise…I can go to Him..my ever present help! I can take my struggle and temptation to Him! I don’t need to struggle on my own with these things…HE is there to take the burden from me! And He will take the burden from you, beautiful woman of God.

My happiness when I walk out the door should not be because I think I look acceptable for the… Click To Tweet

So when I look in the mirror now in the morning I don’t just look at my appearance. I look at myself and I tell that woman in the mirror what HE has to say. I give myself affirmations from scripture that tell me who I am in Him. Here are some I can share with you,

Proverbs 31:30 says,

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

1 Peter 3:3-4 says,

“Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

Psalm 139:4 says,

“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

And one of my favorites…1 Samuel 16:7 says,

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. awww..so many of us judge our bodies and looks..It's a disease of the day for sure..I was just doing the same about the changing signs of my body as I age..suddenly at 59 all these weird changes are happening..I never felt old before, but I sense a warning of what's ahead with these striking changes (neck loose skin! the worst)..skin thinner all over..waist thicker..I really get it..but God is our focus and helps to remind us we will all age, and we all look certain ways, imperfect, but perfect for Him. Bless you for your words hear. Will ring true for so many!

    • Oh the neck thing...I just noticed signs of that the other day. I am an esthetician so I pay close attention to that stuff..probably far more than I should. Thank you for your comment Kathy!!

  2. Amen to all of this! I'm thin, but I have struggled with bad body image and disordered eating. God has really helped me through this, and I can see that it is all a distraction by the enemy from what truly matters--loving God and people. This post is truth!

    • Thank you so much Emily. And you're right..it's all a distraction!!

  3. Amen to all of this! I'm thin, but I have struggled with bad body image and disordered eating. God has really helped me through this, and I can see that it is all a distraction by the enemy from what truly matters--loving God and people. This post is truth!

  4. Beautiful message! It is important to remember what is important to God, not just what society teaches us to be important.

    • Thank you Bonnie. It is important we remember to be IN the world and not OF it.

  5. 1 Peter 3:3. Such truth and wisdom. I've found since reaching my late 30s that no matter what I do I will only get older. While I think it's important to take care of yourself and look nice for your husband, it's not the most important thing. God is. Real beauty radiates from the inside.

    • Absolutely!! It is such a struggle between the world's definition of beauty and God's definition and it's important to remember it is His that counts. Thank you so much Natalie <3

  6. I love that you filled this post with tons of scriptures. We have the full armor of God to stand against any negative mindset or lies.

  7. How can I Not feel, even Remotely like such a goon. I once was so pretty. I was voted most beautiful in my senior year. Now at 53, I look like a cross between a man and a woman. Leaning more to the man's side. This Is No exaggeration. I am a single mom of 4 kids. 2 in the military 2 still at home 16 and 21. I was not married when I had my kids and they're from 3 different fathers. None ever wanted me. I was good enough to sleep with but never good enough to commit to. They each told me that they didn't want me nor their unborn child.. I know God is above man, but when no man wanted me. How in this world could God Ever look at me with love??? I've been living this torment for 24 + years. Am I cursed to this for being an unwed mother. I believe this is my punishment for my choices. This is so debilitating. I refuse to go anywhere but the grocery store and even then it's traumatic. I believe that I'm too far gone to recover from this. No man has ever said that I was pretty. They were always looking at every other female and commenting on her beauty, never said anything about me. So is just go along with my head held in shame. There is So Much more to my pathetic life. This is just the beginning.
    Is there any hope for me?
    Thank you for letting me spill so many stifled emotions.
    Ellen
    PS. I apologize for such a long and pathetic letter.

    • Ellen don't apologize!! I appreciate you so much for sharing how you are feeling. First, please know God is not punishing you. He loves you! You are His child and He wouldn't punish you for mistakes you may have made in the past. We all come to Him with baggage. He doesn't love us in spite of it, He loves us BECAUSE of it. He loves you as you are because His child and there isn't a single thing you have done or I have done that He wasn't already aware of! He chooses some of us because of our sins or our mistakes because He can use our experiences to help others who struggle with the same things. I would love to talk to you more. If you'd like, please email me at diane@living31.org. In the meantime I will be praying for you and know..you ARE beautiful...you are a child of God and He created you in His image. He will never keep you down because of things you've done...he will use those things for His glory!! Please email me!! I would love to talk more! Praying for you, Diane

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