Normal body image. For a long time, I didn’t know what it felt like. I would look at the person in the mirror. I would criticize the way my legs looked, the way my stomach looked, the way I didn’t have a six pack. But in the past year, the words in Psalm 139 about being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, about God knowing me and forming me in the womb, have really come to me in such a deeper way. They’ve made body image feel normal again. They’ve made me look in the mirror and just think, ‘That’s me. That’s the body God gave me. I’m grateful for it. It’s not the center of my life anymore, but I’m grateful for all God made it to do.’
Robyn at the Real Life Rd talked about normal eating vs. intuitive eating the other day on her ‘5 Thoughts’ post. And that’s what made me think about the body image journey I’ve had.
Here’s the timeline that has kind of gone along with recovery.
2007(ish) – I started to notice my body image changing. I didn’t like it. I wanted to change it. I wanted to remain the way I looked before puberty.
2008 – 2017(ish) – An UPPP and downnn of appreciating my body image, hating it, wanting to manipulate my body size, wishing I looked like the people I would see on Instagram, that I thought were the essence of fitness; instead of appreciating the unique way God designed me.
2018 – Freedom. I have experienced so much freedom this year. I thank God that I’m able to get in front of a mirror and feel neutral about my body image. I don’t just sit there and adore my body, because God deserve the adoration for making my body, but I also don’t sit there and criticize and hate on different parts of me.
God does ALL things well, including the way He designs us.
I’m a short gal.
I’m not tall and thin and slight.
I’m small. I’m 5’3″, and I’ve been called stocky before.
Now, I like that. I like being stocky and strong and healthy again, mentally, emotionally, physically, and growing spiritually.
What does recovery body image look like?
1. Intentionally telling yourself what you appreciate about your body especially when the negative thoughts FLOOD in.
2. Intentionally not following or looking at other people who might cause you to be negative about your body image. It’s nothing personal against them, but right now, you have tunnel vision as you work on a more healthy relationship with the body God so lovingly and amazingly designed and formed for His glory!
3. Getting rid of old clothes that make you feel bad about your body.
What does normal body image like?
1. Appreciating your body, but you aren’t as focused on the negative thoughts, because they are less frequent or almost non existent.
2. Listening to your body’s signals, buying clothes that you love and not even thinking about size, just buying clothes for fun, having sizes of small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, or whatever they are, and feeling neutral about it.
I want to again share with you some of my favorite sweet ladies who promote that normal body image, that healthy recovery body image journey:
Sarah – Bucket List Tummy
Cora – My Little Tablespoon
Robyn – The Real Life RD
Haley – Hungry Haley
Kylie – Imma Eat That
Meg – Root For Food
Victoria – Victoria Myers
Kat – Katalyst Health
I’ve taken away different things from each one of these ladies. They each have something to offer about food freedom, normal body image, appreciating our bodies, and it reminds me of just how awesome and worthy of praise God is for all His wondrous works, His image in each human being you see, no matter what height, size, color, shape, or age.
Psalm 50:1-2, ‘The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.’
Isn’t that incredible? The Mighty God of the whole earth; He made you in His image. And Jesus Christ came to recreate us as new creatures that love Him, that know Him, and that know His love for sinners, His forgiveness, His kindness towards sinners in rescuing us.
What would you say about normal body image vs. recovery body image? Do they differ?