Health Tips, Thoughts and Inspirations
The content of this blog will vary, dependent on the topic I feel led to share with you. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to those who choose to read it.
Loving and Accepting Your Body - NOW!
Have you ever listened to how you talk to yourself? This may seem like a ridiculous thing to consider, but it is important to pay attention to our thoughts and self-talk. Would you say the same things to your friends as you say about yourself? If you are like me, doing such a thing would soon result in very few (if any) friends! Chances are, your family wouldn't want to hang around you either. If we wouldn't talk to people we love and care about this way, why do we think it's acceptable to do it to ourselves? It's time to "think about the things we think about," and decide if they are serving us well or causing us harm.
It seems this is more prevalent among women, although I'm sure men are not immune from it either. Whether we are young, old, or somewhere in-between, we can easily find physical elements that we are not happy with. Perhaps, like me, you look back at old pictures and think, I wish I was that weight again, I wish I could still fit into that size outfit (which is still in the closet), I wish, I wish, I wish. Do we think we would be happier, more content, life would be perfect, if we looked a certain way? The media would like us to think so. Advertising is notorious for featuring "picture perfect" people, which if we actually knew them, we would find out the pictures are edited and their lives are far from ideal.
As if the media wasn't bad enough, we now have social media, where we can portray ourselves and whatever portions of our lives we are willing for others to see. We can easily share all the best moments, giving the impression that life is wonderful and we have it all together. Reality is usually a different story! However, I don't believe it is wise to share our personal lives and issues on such a public platform either!
When it comes to our physical body/appearance, most of us need to have a new frame of mind. The worst thing we can do in any area of our lives is compare ourselves to others. It is always detrimental! We will either end up feeling unworthy, hopeless, and not good enough, or superior and prideful. Neither of these is healthy.
Most people keep a daily inner conversation of our imperfections and what we "could" do if we didn't have them. There is a high price for this, keeping us from the life we were meant to live. It will keep us in bondage, preventing us from living in the joy and peace that our Creator has for us.
What if, when those negative thoughts come, we started replacing them with truthful, positive thoughts? The most powerful and effective way for me to do this is to begin with what God says about me. Does He look at me and say, "oh, I see too much pudge in that middle-aged stomach of yours. And those thighs! Even your calves are huge! You shouldn't buy that...it doesn't hide your gut." No! Of course not! We have a loving, kind, Heavenly Father, who knew us before we were born and knit us in our mother's womb! All of our days were known to Him before we were known to anyone on this Earth!
"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well." (Psalm 139:13-14)
Along with trading the lies of society (and our inner dialogue) for the Truth of God's Word, we can start appreciating all that our bodies are capable of. We have amazing and complicated structures! If you are reading this, you are obviously breathing and your heart is pumping and circulating blood. Do you have to consciously think about any of these things? I certainly hope not! What are the different ways you are able to move? Can you walk, bend, use your hands, your mind? Can you see and/or hear life around you? Were you able to get out of bed this morning, eat a meal, shower, go to work, help someone, serve your family or friends? Granted, many of us may have different limitations, but what CAN you do on a regular basis?
One of my favorite things to do is go for a walk early in the morning. It is peaceful, quiet, and beautiful, The birds are singing, the sky is colorful, and everything is green this time of year. It is a wonderful way to appreciate what my body can do! I may walk faster to get my heart rate up and improve my cardio health, or I might just take it all in and spend the time in prayer, thanking God for everything I am seeing around me, that I can enjoy it, appreciate it, and spend time with Him while exercising and taking care of what He has given me. Am I hoping to lose weight at the same time? Honestly, yes that is a part of it. But I also need to do this for my mental, emotional and spiritual health. While we should accept what our body looks like ALL of the time, we can also take care of it in a responsible way in order to have the energy and stamina to do what we've been called to do in this life. There have been times in my life when I couldn't do the simplest things, like go for a walk. I was having trouble moving at all!! Did I think about my weight or size of my thighs at that point? NO! I just wanted to be able to move with agility and quickly like I had before! We take the everyday things for granted until we can no longer do them. Anyone who has had a health crisis can relate to this, whether it was short or long term. Pay attention to all the little things you can do every day, and be amazed at how easy they may be for you. Your body is a beautiful creation, just as it is!
The truth is, no "body" is perfect. Every single one has imperfections in one way or another. That means that imperfections are normal! We should actually expect them and then accept them.
Think about this: when your time on this earth is through, how do you want to be remembered? What do you want people to say? That you had a washboard stomach and sculpted thighs? That you wore a size ____? Or would you rather be remembered for how you loved others? The joy and compassion you had for your fellow man? The passion with which you lived your life, making the best use of every moment with family and friends? Did you LIVE? Or did you spend hours and hours worried about how you looked in your jeans, the lines forming around your eyes, the curves that weren't where you thought they should be, always concerned about a bad hair day?
Try a bit of self-reflection. Write down what you would really like said about your life, If you could let go of the self-hate and self-rejection, (because that's what hating our body is), what would you do? It might be the spark you need to start thinking about yourself differently.