How many of you like your body?
Go ahead, hold up a hand if you like your body.
I’m gonna wager a guess that none of you are holding up your hands. Okay, so there’s always one.
Now, tell me what you think when you hear the term “body image.”
Generally we associate the words “body image” with our feelings about how we look. And have you noticed? Most women do not have a positive body image. Whether it’s due to the media, men, or our own mothers, it makes me sad to think that so many of us are walking around feeling unhappy in our own skin.
I admit, I’m not always delighted with the way my body looks, but over the past few years as my body has failed me in physical capacities, I’ve started to think about my body a bit differently. After overcoming a myriad of intestinal issues and running-induced knee problems, I’ve started to appreciate my body — even those parts I used to detest.
Rather than valuing it for how it looks (or berating it for how it does NOT look) I started to value it for what it DOES.
Our bodies are amazing machines with the power to run great distances, carry heavy children, build muscle, reproduce offspring, and heal from injury and abuse. As anyone who has lived with fatigue or chronic pain or infertility can tell you, there is so much we take for granted every day. Once your body stops performing some of its basic functions, you realize what an amazing computer it truly is.
I’m living proof that with moderate diet and lifestyle changes, the gut can heal. Anyone who has had a broken bone or a bad laceration can attest to the healing powers of the human body. Any woman who has born a child will tell you what a miraculous process that is. Think about it — our bodies can actually sustain another human being, inside AND outside the womb.
There are times when our bodies do not function as they should; we live in a fallen world. But there is so much our bodies can do. Even those of us who have been disappointed with the way our bodies have failed us in one way or another can find other amazing things that our bodies do every day.
I propose we change the meaning of the term “body image.” Let’s not allow ourselves to belittle our bodies for how they look for we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
The next time you start to disparage the cellulite on your thighs or the pimples on your chin or the extra dough around your middle, remind yourself what your body does for you every. single. day.
Right now. Tell me one thing you love about your body — no, not your pretty eyes or your slender wrists (don’t you love how women find the silliest things to love about themselves when they are forced to name something?)
Tell me something that your body does that is fabulous. Go ahead!