Growing up, my relationship with my body was turbulent. My thoughts surrounding my body were far from positive; I was too big, too pale, my hair was too frizzy, I was too curvy, too tall, and too different to other girls. I felt like I was too much and, at the same time, not enough.
As a teenager these thoughts became a fixation for me, I continually compared myself to other girls and often found myself coming up short. When it came to my looks, I never felt like I was enough.
Sadly, I know I’m not alone in having felt this way, but God has graciously changed my mindset and emotions surrounding my body. There are still times when I slip back into my old way of thinking, and when that happens, I have to take a step back and realign my mindset with the word of God.
There are three things that I try to remember, that help me to refocus my mindset on God.
Remember Whose You Are
God created you as his daughter and He has made you in His own image. As young women it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others: whether it’s friends, classmates, or people on social media. But God has made each of us unique and different according to His design and purpose. The body He has given you is the vessel through which His Holy Spirit lives and your soul resides. He knows the number of hairs on your head, freckles on your skin, and every little line and scar that makes up who you are. You are a child of the King and He carefully and lovingly crafted you.
Remember to Take Care
When we learn how to take care of our bodies, we begin to feel care for our bodies. Taking the time to learn how to listen to our bodies allows us to know what our body needs and when (movement/exercise, nutrition, rest etc). An example of this for me is when I started learning how to take care of my hair. I used to really hate my hair, it was frizzy/wavy, and I constantly straightened it which led to a lot of damage. But for the past couple of years I’ve been learning how to properly take care of curly hair and it has helped me to feel more positively about my hair and taking time to look after it.
Remember to Show Yourself Grace
We can be so quick to point out our flaws and hold onto negativity that we feel towards ourselves. It’s so important to learn how to show ourselves grace and forgiveness, just as Jesus does. We can take all the emotions that we feel and bring them before God. He wants to listen to you, comfort you and take care of you. And when we show ourselves the grace that God shows us, it allows Him to work in us and through us as His daughters.
I hope that these three reminders are helpful and encouraging for you as you learn to accept and care for your body, the body that God has so lovingly crafted.
Before I wrap up, here are some places you can go to if this topic has hit home for you:
I Am So Many Things (Christian declarations to remind us of who we are in Jesus)
BEAT (Help with body image struggles regarding food and eating disorders)
Girl Got Faith YouTube Channel (Video discussing Body Image)