Okay folks, I’m really putting myself out there in this post so I hope it is some help and a blessing to whomever may read it!
I used to have a very poor relationship with my body. I’ve never been overweight but I definitely had a poor body image…as do many other girls who are pressured by society to look a certain way. I was constantly looking in the mirror and never satisfied with what I saw. I obviously had a distorted body image because others saw me as a very petite person; it’s just the way God made me. But I wasn’t okay with the body gave me and I wanted to change it. So I deprived myself of food (I did not starve myself but I was obsessed with limiting my food intake to only lean foods and exercising an insane amount each day). Looking back, I was on the verge of an eating disorder, specifically, orthoexia nervosa, I newly termed eating disorder which begins by innocently eating more healthy which develops into an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy.
I have come to learn how ridiculous it is that society pushes on girls constantly about how they body “should” look; whatever that means. I have come to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I will admit, I have a sweet tooth and I indulge in sweet things (particularly anything with chocolate, peanut butter or cinnamon) from time to time but I make sure those sweet things are not processed and filled with nasty preservatives.
I have found the closer I get to God, the more confidence I gain in my body imagine.
I was listening to a sermon on the radio the other day and the man that was speaking said, “it’s funny how the closer we get to God, the more loud our sin is.” That is funny isn’t it? The closer I get to God, the more aware I become of the sin in my life. My obsession with the way I looked was a sin in my life…I was putting my body image before God. Once I realized this a few years back, I started to change. Just like any other obsession, it wasn’t a quick process but rather quite slow.
I have done four things over the past couple of years to help remove the obsession with my body image from my life:
- Stop looking in the mirror and picking myself apart. (Note – I have to be mindful of this most of the time).
- Find an exercise routine I enjoy. It took some experimenting but I have finally found an exercise routine that I look forward to. In other words, exercising no longer feels like a chore. Over the past year, Pilates has been my go-to workout routine, using the workout calendar from Blogilates. I needed something that was constantly different because if I’m constantly doing the same thing, or just going to the gym everyday, I get bored. Especially being a student and having a hectic schedule, being able to workout in the comfort of my own home on my own schedule fits my life perfectly. Finding an exercise routine that fits you is key. It takes some experimenting but once you’ve found it, you’ll know, and exercising will be so much more enjoyable.
- Change healthy eating and eating and using natural products as a change in lifestyle. I am very conscious of what enters my body and try my very best to eat natural real foods. As it states in the name of my blog, this is my body and His home so I am going to take the best care I possibly can through exercise and eating well. God has given me the gift of life and He has given me this gift in this body so the least I can do is do my very best to take care of it.
- Coming to realize that God made me in His image. He created my body and it is just the way He wanted it to be. God wants me to enjoy life, and to the fullest and I can enjoy life fully by nourishing my mind, body and spirit. I’ve been experimenting while exercising lately by involving prayer and meditation into my exercise time. While I exercise, I make a point to really feel my muscles moving as I exercise and it somehow connects my spirit to my body. I have also been praying as I exercise (specifically using Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer). As I pray and concentrate on feeling my muscles as they move, it feels as though my mind, body and spirit are working together.
Now, I’m not saying I have this all down to an art. I admit, it is a process but God is walking beside me every step of the way. And if you are struggling with a poor body image, know that God is walking beside you every step of the way. He also wants you to enjoy life but how can we enjoy life is we are so obsessed with how we look? I hope this post will be a blessing to someone out there.