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Body Image: Fight the Battles before Winning the War

Body Image: Fight the Battles before Winning the War

 
By:  Amazing Nation Guest Writer May 15, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Anxiety, #Live, #Suffering, #youreamazing

 

I don’t know about you, but most of my life I’ve been caught in what seems like a never-ending war with negative body image. Since I was an early adolescent, my mind automatically compared, spewed harsh internal talk, and left me feeling hopeless, consumed and totally hating the way I looked.

 This transferred into an eating disorder, and a long series of battles for me to fight. I am still working through each battle in the effort to win the war, and some days are still really hard. But the great thing about God is that he wins our wars for us, and in our weakness, He is strongest.

 

Recently, I went on vacation to the beach. As I basked in the sunshine, I noticed a family sitting near me. They had a small girl, who was about 2 years old, and an autistic boy who was digging in the sand. The boy was building castles that immediately crumbled when he built them. The boy was peaceful and content and didn’t have a worry in the world. The little girl was beautiful - she had a bright yellow swimsuit, she was tan, and her bronze curls glistened in the sunshine and reflected off of the waves. And she chased every bird that came near her, laughing and running towards them until they flew away.

Battle the fear.

I watched this girl and teenage boy for a while and was so struck by the scene. For a while I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop observing them, but then it hit me. They were fearless. The little girl had no thought of the birds hurting her, 


(fun fact: I am terrified of birds, so this was mega impressive to me!) she even found joy in startling them and chasing them away. The young boy kept building sandcastles that would crumble a few minutes after he built them. Fear of losing his castle never consumed him or caused him worry. He found joy in the momentary beauty of the castle.

 

I think this exactly correlates with the body image war. Fear, comparison, and lies trap our minds, and cause so much worry that we miss the priceless moments that await us. Instead of enjoying our “castles”, which could be quality time with friends and family, we are consumed by negative thoughts like “I shouldn’t have eaten that, I’m going to look so fat tomorrow”. So we don’t build castles. Instead of chasing the “birds”, which could be our dreams or desires, we get lost in “If I do that, people will see me and my ugly body”. So we don’t chase the birds. Rejecting our fears through carefree childlikeness is something to seek out daily.

Battle the Culture.

Why are we in this war? Unfortunately our culture places so much value in what we look like, not who we are. Conversations with friends and family generally include fat talk, the newest diets, jokes about weight, and comments about others weight or our own. This obsession can be so detrimental to a person’s body image. 

This call to battle the culture is tough, but one that we don’t have to get into. Being careful to never shame or mention someone’s weight or appearance is important. Making sure to encourage the heart and qualities you see in someone and celebrating who they are is how we can do our part in changing the culture.

 

 

Battle the Lies.

So when we are intentional about rejecting our fears, and working to reflect change in a culture, does that mean we are free of body image struggles? Friend, let me tell you - not in the least. For me, every single day is a battle with the lies in my head that I hear. It’s hard for me to constantly remember that the perception that I have of myself isn’t real and it isn’t what others see. I am probably the only one thinking these things about myself, yet they are so real to me.

The lies don’t belong to me, they belong to God, the One who can cast them back where they belong. Whenever I recognize myself listening to or living in the lies about my body image, it’s a reminder for me to be weak so that God can be strong.

I’ve found that specific prayer helps me to not dwell on the lies. When I know I will be with people or in situations that may cause me to struggle with body image, I pray ahead of time for the grace to remain present in the truth. This has helped me immensely. To know that I don’t go into the battle solo, but with the most perfect and capable companion.

Jesus always wins, and He will help me win the war with body image.

Photo Credits:
https://unsplash.com/photos/oJ1rEzC2bH4
https://unsplash.com/photos/TzVN0xQhWaQ
https://unsplash.com/photos/u4bZQUeo2Q8
https://unsplash.com/photos/TyQ-0lPp6e4
https://unsplash.com/photos/uitl6xyi3Cg
https://unsplash.com/photos/IyArmegWzDo
https://unsplash.com/photos/C44h1ZmlFF0



About the Author Amazing Nation Guest WriterAmazing Nation Guest Writers have submitted their blogs to us in hopes of encouraging others who may have had similar life experiences. They want to share hope and wisdom with every person who read their blogs.  


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