Body image: The subjective picture or mental image of one’s own body.
With complete transparency, this has been one of the greatest strongholds in my life. It started when I was 8-years old and mistaken for a boy by a server at Perkins, despite wearing a pink and purple floral dress. (Side note, never let your daughter have a pixie cut until she’s…actually never let her get one. It still boils my blood that I looked like round-faced Justin Bieber til 7th grade.)
Add to those feelings of not being feminine enough a lanky height that made me taller than everyone in the class. A never-ending battle with acne and the late development of features that may add to a womanly figure were the sprinkles on top of this ice cream sundae I wanted no part of.
Only by the grace of God putting mentors and women in my life to encourage and challenge me in this was I able to start the healing process after years of self-criticism and others’ damaging comments.
2016 has been the greatest year in terms of dedicating myself to healthy eating and consistent exercise, leading to such a different mental state. I’ve been realizing lately how many years of my life were wasted feeling uncomfortable in my skin, and even if I don’t achieve some cultural standard of “good enough”, I’ll decide to have a positive, self-encouraging body image.
Remember the definition of body image? The subjective picture of one’s own body. We can literally choose how to view our bodies, so why waste time and emotion on feeling bad about it all the time? That was the habit I was in but am slowly but surely changing.
My inspiration for writing this came the other morning as I realized the thoughts for my body had changed. (Yes, I’ve been eating right and staying active, so the nutrients and endorphins may have played a role in the sudden positivity.) It was truly as if a tangible shift had occurred in my conscious thoughts. I felt empowerment. I felt contentment. Content in the knowledge that I have exactly the body God created my soul to be encapsulated in; the body that He’s equipped for a specific purpose on this world that will ultimately bring Him glory.
When I get outside of myself and remember Who I’m living for, it seems a small thing really to fret over that one problem area…okay, or 3;). I don’t have time to waste my emotional energy on shame and jealousy and embarrassment anymore.
Remember, this is not your practice life. Let’s live it less out of habit and more out of intent.
the tall girl