Swimming Against the Tide: Living Out Body Confidence in our World

by Alice Baker

Last month we looked at the truth about our bodies and our true image from God’s perspective:

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

God knit us together in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

imgresYet how do we live this out? We live in a culture obsessed with thinness and body perfection. Models are starved, digitally enhanced and then sold to us as the epitome of beauty.  When women get together it is not only the norm but also an expectation to talk about their need to lose weight, tone up, or eat cleaner.

But this is not God’s heart for us.

Look to him and be radiant; and you will not be ashamed. (Psalm 34:5)

So how do we live with body confidence?

The good news is there are some things we can do.  We must start with what is going on internally for us. We can shift our perspective from “I hate my thighs” to “my thighs allow me to run with my daughter in the park.”

Below are some daily strategies to empower us to live out body confidence:

  • Daily, I can ask myself, “What do I gain from what I believe are defects in my weight and shape aside from anxiety, shame, and self-consciousness? How does this affect my ability to pursue my calling?”
  • On my own or with the help from others, I will come up with 5-10 good qualities I embody, such as empathy, intelligence, creativity. I will repeat these to myself whenever I start thinking, “I am a failure because I am fat.”
  • I will practice viewing others for what they say, feel and do rather than how slender or well put together they appear.
  • I will challenge the media and avoid buying fashion and popular culture magazines in order to protect myself from the seduction of false images and propaganda that have no real meaning or value.
  • I will surround myself as much as possible, with size-friendly people who value the human body and live out body confidence.
  • I will not talk negatively about the appearance of others and will be bold to speak up when others do while always speaking the truth in love, of course.
  • I will consider this: my skin replaces itself once a month, my stomach lining every five days, my liver every six weeks, and my skeleton every three months. My body is fearfully and wonderfully made!
  • I will meditate on the truth’s God has given me about my body. I will diligently seek these out.
  • Even when I am struggling to like my body, I will choose body kindness. I will give myself rest when needed, food when I am hungry, and boundaries when my body needs space.
  • I will pursue inner beauty and be an individual passionately in love with Jesus who gives a light that cannot be duplicated by the best body, clothes, cosmetics or jewelry in the world. A carefully groomed exterior is artificial and cold unless inner beauty is present.

imgres-1Allie Marie Smith says, “Like laughter, how you feel about your body is contagious. If you carry yourself and your body in a way that communicates confidence, security, and contentment, others will get this vibe and reciprocate the respect.”

Let us live out body confidence in our world so we are free to fully pursue what God has called us be while influencing those around us.

 

 

 

References:

Levin, M Body Image Strategies

Maine, M Ways to Love your Body

Smith, AM HEAL: Your diet-free, faith-filled guide to a fabulous life

Categories Article | Tags: | Posted on February 2, 2016

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