I don’t know about you, but there are times that I struggle with body image. It’s a silly thing, really, but it’s so easy to compare ourselves. At times I struggle with comparing myself with those around me, media images, and even to what I used to look like in my early twenties.
For when you or your daughter struggle with body image
Recently, a friend and I had a deep and honest conversation about this very topic. This conversation really got me thinking and really made me realize that I need to make a change.
You see, I’ve always known that I should accept myself the way I am and that I should love myself, in theory. In practice, though, I haven’t really loved myself and the way I look. You see, I’ve wanted to look the way I looked in my 20’s and that just isn’t reality.
The conversation that my friend and I had regarding body image was so, so good. You see, we began to talk about our daughters. Between the two of us, we actually have five daughters and both of us are recognizing the importance of modeling acceptance of our bodies because of them.
Here are the questions I’ve been asking myself:
- What do I portray when I complain about the fact that those pants make me look fat or that I wish I could just lose some weight?
-Does that kind of attitude make her think that if Mom doesn’t think she’s good enough, maybe I’m not either?
- What do I portray when I try dieting over and over again?
- What do I portray when I delete photos of myself because I hate how I look in them?
-Do I teach her to critique herself unnecessarily?
- When I obsess over what the scale says, do I teach her to do the same?
Anyways, these and many more questions have been running through my mind in the last while. Through it all, I’ve been recognizing that this isn’t an overnight change. I’ve been feeding my mind with this negativity so long that it’s gonna take me awhile to change it.
Now you might be nodding your head in agreement and thinking, “Yep, I do all these things.” But now you are wondering exactly what you can do instead.
#1: Develop an attitude of gratitude.
-I’m thankful that I have strong legs that carry me where I need to go.
-I’m thankful that I have strong arms that help me lift my baby.
-I’m thankful that God and my husband love me just the way I am.
-I’m thankful for my (insert favorite asset).
And the list goes on. If it’s hard for you, I encourage you to start looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are beautiful just the way you are.
#2: Instead of yo-yo dieting, perhaps you and your daughter can begin by learning how to eat a healthier diet and include some fun exercise in your life.
-A friend recently told me she had had her daughter study the Canada Food Guide and write a short paper on what a healthy diet it. I thought that was a fun way to start!
#3: When you want to delete that photo, remember that it might be a memory that your kids might one day hang onto.
-Or find your favorite asset and say to yourself, “I like this picture because of ________.”
#4: Instead of obsessing about the scale, maybe it’s time to put it away.
-I, personally, put the scale away in November of last year and I haven’t stepped on it since. It has changed my life, literally. I choose to monitor my weight by making sure my tight pants still fit.
If you’re struggling with accepting yourself, I encourage you to check out what God says about you.
Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT) 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!
Not only that, but Genesis also says that when God created you, he looked at you and he saw you as good. I tell my children often that God doesn’t make junk. The same is true for you.
How about you? Do you or your daughter struggle with body image? How do you work to accept yourself or to help your daughter to do the same?
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Photo Credit: Cindy@Go Gather Grow