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Monday, July 18, 2011

Body Image Issues

This is a sad topic. But, it is also an empowering topic.

How many times a day do you think about your body in a negative way? How many times a day do you express those thoughts aloud? How many times a day do you hear others say negative comments about their bodies?

Since I am in the fitness industry, maybe I hear it more than others, but I think this is a common problem - a problem that I personally struggle with and have for almost as long as I can remember. Sad, I know, but true.

Since, I always try to stay truthful with you all, let me take you on a journey in my mind as I look in the mirror. "Wow, why is that little belly pooch still there? Is that cellulite on the back of my thighs? Will I ever look like I did before I had two children? Are my hips fat?"

For those of you who have seen me in person, you may think, "What in the heck is wrong with her? She is the picture of what I am striving to look like. What does she have to complain about?" I know. Trust me, I know.

Lately, I have been struggling with my body image. I am not sure why. I have also been encountering some nastiness and opposition from several people in my church family. Perhaps, the stress that has caused has crosssed over into the way I think about myself. I honestly don't know. Maybe it goes back to what I talked about a couple weeks ago with personal addictions and my addiction to perfection. All I know is that my insecurity and continuous verbal abuse of my own body has got to stop.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14
This is a constant up and down journey, but I need to stop criticizing my beautiful and wonderful body. Can I walk with two strong legs? Can I see perfectly with both of my eyes? Can I hear the beautiful laughter of my children? Can I feel my husband's strong arms around me? Yes!!!! Can I do 50 pushups in one stretch? Can I run for miles and miles? Yes!!!! I am wonderfully made, and that is the direction I am vowing to turn to when I hear the negative thoughts cropping up.

Start with your own body image and watch the positivity spread. I want to walk down the street and hear, "I love my strong, healthy body!"


  1. It's funny, but I actually go just the other way and think my body looks good when it doesn't. :-)

    In all seriousness though, it is a tough issue. Why wouldn't we strive for perfection? (FYI, I use vulgar language towards myself sometimes)

    When is something too much?

    ...when it starts damaging people, relationships, reputations.

    That would be my question to all of us when being critical. Is my criticism hurting something? Am I becoming negative? Driving away people? Setting a poor example?

    If so, then it's time to scale back. Some self criticism is healthy, but too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

    Thanks for posting this. It's top notch and insightful.

  2. This is such an important topic. My mom and I have been talking alot lately about how people, women in particular, tear each other down too often. Maybe it's because we tear ourselves down so much.

    When I was a pre-teen, I was really sick and lost a bunch of weight. (Not anorexic, though I made friends with a girl who was because we had our dangerously low weight in common.) After I got better, my doctor all but prescribed ice cream to help me gain back weight. Then I gained a little more weight than I liked. Then I started doing yoga regularly and loved my body. Then I got Fibromyalgia, and though I've maintained a healthy weight, it's not the body I loved so much when I was able to exercise more.

    The truth is, our bodies are fragile, perishable things. Wonderful, but impermanent. A constant reminder of our mortality. We should care for them and cherish them, but surrender to the fact that one day they'll be dust. So, we may as well love them while we've got them!

  3. Thanks for your share experience with us, I like this post, not only it has taught me a lot, but also let me continuous learning everyday. I will visit your new blog post every day, my dear friend.

  4. Thank you for sharing. This topic is a similar one and almost universal for women in many countries.

    Other's remarks can be very hurtful, especially when they are family or friends. I remember my cousin looking at an older photo of me, I was at my curviest (not fat but kind of christina hendricks curvy) and she told me how "disturbing" I looked. I've lost a quite a bit of weight due to stress and some extra running but she thought it was ok to say it to me b/c now I looked "normal." If I ever regain my extra curves and flesh, I guess I know what she will think of me.

  5. Ha, Ha, Aaron! I love it! As for how do you know when something is too much - I think that goes back to my post on addiction. The perfection addiction affects this area of life too.

    Thanks for the honesty, Chelsea. I have been there too. I appreciate the reminder that our bodies are temporary. Your body is like a beautiful shiny car that you get as a gift. And you only get one. We have to take care of them while we have them or they will die a lot faster. And you never know when you might get in a car accident either.

    Wow, Vicki! I am saddened to hear that someone would even go there to that place of criticism with you. Words are very powerful, and we need to choose them wisely - that goes for how we talk to ourselves too!

    Thanks for the great thoughts, everyone!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Your thoughts and tips are what make this blog shine!