The other night on our way home from church, Nick and I were talking about body image, and how often we can get so caught up in wanting to weigh a certain number, or lose that “extra 10 pounds”. Where does that desire come from? Ourselves? Others? Trying to conform to what society says we should look like?
As a woman, I’ve had my share of struggles with my body, and I’m sure it will always be something that I have to work on. However, over the past few years, I’ve come to love my body even if from time to time I get off course and let the negative thoughts creep back in. I’m fueling my body well with the food I choose to eat, and I know that because of those choices my body is getting what it needs. I’m also doing my part to speak up for the animals who are being needlessly tortured everyday, and that I’m trying to make our planet a better place. Do I enjoy vegan cupcakes, french fries, or pizza? You bet! What we eat should be about balance, and what can best fuel our bodies to work at their best.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with “working out”. It seems like it’s about everyone trying to one-up each other with some new workout or diet that will burn the most calories, and help you lose 20 pounds. When I finally released myself from that mindset, I was able to find a way to move my body that I love, and look forward to doing everyday. A sweet friend introduced me to The Balanced Life about six months ago. I dabbled in Pilates years ago, but somehow got out of the habit – or maybe it was because I had all of my workouts on VHS, ha! I’ve consistently done a Pilates routine for the last four months at least 5 days a week. I don’t say that to brag, but to say that I’ve found something that I love to do, that allows me to move my body, and has made me appreciate all that my body is capable of doing!
When Nick and I were talking it reminded me of something I read a few years ago. I can’t remember for the life of me where I read it, but it was profound, and I never forgot it. Basically the author was talking about how we only get one body in this life, and how we treat our bodies is an act of worship. If we’re fueling it well, moving it everyday, and taking care of ourselves, then that’s it. You’ve done it! YOU ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE! If we continue to hate our bodies, and discount the amazing things they’re capable of doing – and it’s awesome it’s different for everyone – then you are basically saying that God messed up when He made you. And that, my friend, is a huge lie.
Bodies come in all shapes, colors, sizes, and they are all beautiful.
I’m so proud of Nick because of what he’s been able to accomplish in the past year or so. He will so soon be running his second half marathon (!!!), and I think that’s amazing! I sometimes think he’s a little insane for running outside in this crazy winter weather 😉 , but he continues to keep at it, and it’s a way for him to work his body and appreciate what it can do. He’s an inspiration to me to be better, and to love myself. I have zero desire to run a half marathon, and I can’t run faster than an 11-minute mile, but he always reminds me that it’s just about taking that first step. It doesn’t matter how fast you are. It’s just about doing it, and loving that your body is capable of moving your forward – however you choose to move it!
I watched a powerful documentary on Netflix called “Embrace”. It’s a beautiful story of Taryn Brumfitt and how she truly learned to love her body for how it is. She traveled all over the world and met with people who shared the same insecurities we all feel time and again, and how they were choosing to love themselves in spite of what society might say the “ideal” body is. I love the tagline on the front page of her website: “My body is not an ornament, it is the vehicle to my dreams.”
What are your dreams? Love yourself, and do what can to make those dreams a reality. It’s not always going to be easy, and there will be days you’ll want to give up. God gave these incredible minds and bodies – let’s treat them well, and leave the world the better place than we found it. It’s about progress. Not perfection. We are all so different, and bring such cool and unique things to this world. Wouldn’t the world be such a different place if we all chose to love ourselves, and everyone around us?