** This is a re-post from last year's blog. It's definitely worth reading and posting again. **
I'm not pretty enough.
I’m not thin enough.
I’m not enough.
I wish I had bigger boobs.
I wish my butt was smaller (bigger, perkier, fill in the blank with your word of choice).
Ugh. Look at my love handles. And check out my saddle bags!
I’m never going to lose this weight.
I’m never going to look like her! ↓↓
I know thoughts like these have gone through every single woman’s mind *at least* once in her life; but truthfully, these are probably thoughts that have gone through your mind over and over again, often sounding like a broken record on repeat.
You know how I know? Because I’ve had these thoughts…over and over again. I see pictures like the one above in magazines or on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (you name the social media and you’ve seen pictures) and those thoughts pop in my head. I see other women who look like that in the gym, walking down the street, at the mall, pretty much anywhere, and I think, “Dang, I wish I looked like that (or had her arms, legs, abs, boobs, etc).”
Are you guilty of this too? How often do you beat yourself up, put yourself down, long for some other body part to replace the one you hate? Has this become a daily habit that almost happens without thinking?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every single woman out there – yes, Every. Single. One. – even the gorgeous one that you think is perfect, is insecure about some part of her body! She looks at you and thinks, “Oh my gosh, I wish I had her (fill in the blank)!” How crazy is that??
In magazines and on social media, we *only* post the absolute best pictures of ourselves; many of these are photo-shopped and air-brushed so the end product isn’t really what that woman looks like. We think that’s what we’re supposed to look like, so we buy all the expensive products that promise us the world – clear skin, smooth skin (i.e., no cellulite), six-pack abs, no love handles, no saddle bags! So instead of enjoying our lives, we are killing ourselves to reach this unrealistic dream of being someone other than ourselves!
But what’s wrong with who we are, exactly as we are?? I know that I struggle with comparing myself and my body to the fitness models, as well as the everyday woman in my gym (there are some pretty bad a$$ women at my gym, FYI). But I also know that my body is different from everyone else’s. I may not *ever* be able to look like any of those women because it would be physically impossible for my body to do that!!
And you know what the real kicker is? My body may not be perfect, but it is perfect for me…it has carried me through a lot of mishaps, but it has also carried me through many more glorious times! My legs have carried me through more runs than I can count; my body has lifted more weight than I ever thought possible; and my arms have carried the most precious gifts of all – my nieces and nephews and godchildren.
For all you moms out there, your bodies have done the most glorious thing ever – you created and carried another life in your body!! How amazingly beautiful is that?! That is truly a miracle! And you should be thankful to your body for being able to do that!
I know it doesn’t happen overnight – believe me, it took me *years* to get to the point where I am comfortable in my skin and with my body – but you too can get to that point! The first step is to erase those negative thoughts in your mind. Stop talking to yourself so negatively and hatefully. Love your body for what it has done for you…what it can do for you…what it will continue doing for you. Talk to yourself with kindness and love!
Wake up and look in the mirror and say, “I love my legs. They have crossed the finish line of too many races to count!” Say, “Look at my beautiful arms! They have carried and nurtured beautiful babies (whether your own or someone else’s!).” Say, “Wow – look at my stomach. I carried my baby(ies) there…I grew another life in there!” Say, “Check out my butt! It is H-O-T!”
Another way to get more in tune with your body and what it can do for you is to start taking note of what your body does for you on a daily basis. And don’t leave any part of your body out! What have your hands done for you today? Mine are typing this message to you lovely ladies! What have your feet done for you today? What has your back done for you? What about your toes? And your fingers?
One last way is to stop looking at other women and wishing you looked like them or had their boobs or their abs or their legs (whatever it is you want). Instead, look at other women and admire them. Compliment them. Build them up! Because in this crazy world, we all need a little help in building each other’s self-esteem and being the reason another woman smiles!
Think about it – isn’t it nice to be complimented? To know that someone else notices your efforts? Why wouldn’t you want to pass that along?? And believe me, you’d be amazed at how this will turn around on you! You’ll start noticing your own efforts and start complimenting yourself!
I promise you – you are *enough* exactly the way you are. You are beautiful, and your body has served you well time after time, and it will continue to do so. Every. Single. Day.
Our bodies are beautiful and amazing and are capable of so much more than we often give them credit for! Here are a few bible verses that help me when I’m battling some body insecurities.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Yes, I realize that how you view your body isn’t going to change overnight. But make one small change today so you can change this view over time. Love yourself. Love your body. Speak kindly to yourself and about yourself. What you tell yourself is what you believe, and what you believe is what you become. So why not tell yourself you are beautiful and wonderfully made and capable of anything you put your mind to? Tell yourself; believe it; become it. Because you already are!
Have a fabulous week. And know you are beautifully and wonderfully made and you are loved!!
With love and wellness (and lots of bumps and bruises and imperfections),