This phrase can make people cringe. It can make us criticize ourselves and develop thoughts and actions that can sometimes be harmful. In today’s society we have become both accepting and unaccepting of ourselves without really understanding what acceptance is.
While this can be seen as an issue that affects more young girls and women, young boys and men are not immune to body shaming or body hatred. However, thought change starts within – learning to love and appreciate the body God has created and developing a healthy sense of happiness and confidence.
How do you seek acceptance?
Our society’s understanding of positive body image is made up of varying degrees of understanding. “Self-love” and simply “appreciating” the way God created you can be two different things. Everyone seeks to be accepted in some form or another. But how do you seek acceptance? And who do you seek it from? Many view acceptance in how someone looks physically (size, height, looks). But appreciating what you have been given, and taking care of it in a God-honoring way gives us joy – and that’s reflected to those around us.
How to appreciate your body in a healthy way
1. Scale down the scale checking
Water. Muscle. Fat. Shoes. Clothes. Morning. Night. So many factors can contribute to a numerical weight on the scale. We all know muscle weighs more than fat. And sure, when you go to the doctor, they always rely on you getting on the scale. However, focusing on a numerical number a little, flat piece of metal and plastic gives you does not define you. If you are exercising, focus more on the fit of your clothes. Get a measuring tape and take your measurements once a month and see how those number change.
2. Clean out your closet
We all have clothes that haven’t fit for a good period of time. Keeping that pair of pants or that dress from 20 years ago is doing you no good. You might catch a glimpse of it and think, ”One day, I am going to fit in that again”. However, if those “one days” have turned into years, all that piece of clothing is going to do is put little negative reminders in your head.
Our bodies change as we mature, have children, age, etc. We can and should still take care of them, but it doesn’t mean we should live in the past
3. Practice self-care
Often, when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we can “let ourselves go”. But taking care of our body is much more beneficial than “loving” our physical form. This doesn’t mean we have to become “high-maintainence”, but it does mean that we should take care of ourselves. Sleep. Water. Exercise. Spending time with loved ones. And ultimately keeping mindful that God has creates us in His image, and that’s not something to take lightly.
There’s so much more to life than body parts, calorie counting, and numbers on the scale. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your family.