Body Image…Part 2
Flip the cover of any fashion magazine, watch TV or even walk down the street and your mind will be infiltrated with hundreds if not thousands of messages about appearance. We are constantly and continuously being told what is beautiful. Take a look at this clip…
Every time I watch this video, I’m emotionally impacted. Saddened by the carrot stick society dangles in front of us. If only we were thinner, have perfect skin, younger, or lighter. The list goes on and on. And really, we are to go after these things by whatever means necessary. For years, I bought into this lie – it kept me chasing after an illusion.
Why is it an illusion? Well, for one thing it literally is an illusion. Most of us have seen the images of photoshopped models and celebrities. We see that it isn’t real, but apart of us still yearns to become one of the computer generated images.
More importantly, a healthy body image has nothing to do with weight or appearance. The reality is the more focus you put on your appearance, the lower your body image is likely to be (This is actually based on scientific research…)
So what is a healthy body image?
In the book, Loving Your Body, by Dr. Deborah Newman, she states a body image involves respect, care, and perspective. Lets break down each one:
Respect means acknowledging the many things your body does for you. Whenever I shift my focus from areas I don’t like (like maybe….my stomach) and move my focus to all that my body does for me, like picking up my kids or allowing me go for a walk, I begin to have more respect for my body.
As I have more respect, I begin to care for my body better. This looks like eating well, moderate exercise, listening to body cues. I cannot tell you how many times I would feel a sense of defeat when I felt myself become hungry. Whenever I didn’t listen to these cues, I wasn’t caring for my body.
I’ve also learned to care for my body by disciplining myself to a somewhat regular workout schedule. Please note, life happens. I am not a slave to this schedule, but I do set aside time on a regular basis to care for myself by getting exercise.
Finally, the last component of a healthy body image is perspective. Your physical appearance is only one facet of your identity. We all have a distinct personality, unique talents and abilities, and God has a plan and something in mind when He made each of us.
At the end of the day, I believe that God made each of us well (Psalm 139:14). Take a look around at nature. He knows what he’s doing. I don’t just mean looking at a beautiful sunset, but take a look at the mountains, the beach, even Antarctica. Each place of nature has its own type of beauty.
Join the conversation: How are you going to start respecting, caring and changing the perspective about your body image? I’d love to hear!