One of the topics I’m most passionate about and have enjoyed writing most on Espresso and Cream has been body image. It’s been a while since I talked about anything related to body image, mainly because I find myself in a funny place lately in terms of my body. Joe often says that the things we struggle with the most are the areas in our life that God uses in the biggest ways to help others and connect with those in a similar place. I like to think that there is a lot of truth to that.
I snapped the photo above while trying on the items in my latest Stitch Fix. When I look at that photo a wave of sadness rushes over me. The girl in that photo is absolutely beautiful. She looks healthy and fit, alive and well. But when I snapped that photo, those aren’t the thoughts I had. I examined my body in that dress and evaluated it from every angle. And, I’m sad to say, I picked it apart.
Over the years I’ve come a long way in my journey to body acceptance, but there are still days when I look in the mirror and find flaws, both real and imagined, that prevent me from living and enjoying life to the fullest. One of my prayers lately has been that God would allow me to see myself more clearly and would continue to foster in me a spirit of self confidence. How am I doing this? I don’t have it all figured out, but this is where I’ve started:
1. Seek God and Study His Word: God has a lot to say about His creation! He’s incredibly passionate about His children and the beauty in each one of us. It’s something he talks about a lot in His word. I especially love what is said in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
2. Ask for Prayer: My husband is incredibly loving and supportive and a great resource for me. If I find that I’m starting to think negative thoughts about my body when getting ready for work or a date night, I ask Joe to pray with/over me, that God would protect my thoughts and allow me to live life fully. I’m not always good about doing this, but I’m working on it more and more. It’s amazing how differently I think after taking just a minute or two to bring my thoughts and emotions in front of God.
3. Just Move Forward: This probably sounds a little too simplistic, but sometimes it’s important to just get over myself and move on with my day. We all have those days when things just aren’t working, whether that is hair, makeup, the clothes we’re wearing, etc. But what’s been the most helpful to me in those moments is to say (out loud) “This is as good as it’s going to get today.” I can drive myself crazy obsessing over the imperfection I see, or move on with my day and enjoy it anyway.
There are a lot of women who are writing about a single topic this month, called the 31 Day Challenge. A whole month of posts based around a single topic. I love the idea of taking time each day to really write with thought and intention. Although I don’t have the capacity this month to participate in the full challenge, I hope to spend a little extra time and energy this month writing intentionally about body image and wellness in the spiritual, emotional, and physical sense. I welcome your thoughts, experiences and insights this month as I try my best to be a little bit more transparent and thoughtful in what I write!