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Are you in the 5% .... I'm not! Being Body Image Positive

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

One study says only 5% of women naturally possess the body type portrayed by the American media, but 91% of women diet and exercise to look like that 5%. Another study says that only 2% of women feel comfortable as we begin swimsuit season. It's a never-ending struggle to create that perfect physique, without diminishing our body image and self-esteem.

We see ourselves through such a narrow lens of perfection, looking at every wrinkle and every dimple (not the cute ones) under a microscope. It can wreck us and lead us into all kinds of issues -- social isolation, depression, relationship problems, eating disorders, and unhealthy weight control efforts.

Maybe you were told negative things about how you look. Maybe you felt slighted because of your appearance. Maybe you just feel you can't live up to society's standards. All of that baggage can weigh you down and make you feel self-conscious.

Add going through an emotionally-draining, self-esteem-stealing, life-changing event such as divorce, and often those feelings of self-worth are only magnified.

So what do we do? How do we regain control? How do we begin to love our own bodies?

What if we could break the cycle of our self-esteem tanking because we aren't some arbitrary "perfect" size or body type.

What if we could believe that we are enough just as we are.

What if we could love ourselves for the body that we have.

David knew that he was perfectly made. He says so in Psalms. "I praise you, I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalm 139:14)

What if we could rely on that knowledge that God intentionally designed as we are. That we are exactly how we are meant to be. That we are precious in His sight. (Isaiah 43:4) That we serve an amazing purpose in the body and with the mind that we have been given.

We weren't meant to be cookie-cutter images of each other. We are all unique and have different bodies, looks, hair, backgrounds, education, and experiences. How boring would the world be if we were all the same! We were meant to live our lives and fulfill our own personal calling to have a specific impact. We all bring something extraordinary and special to the table and we need to embrace that as our superpower.

Could you learn to love yourself as you are? To internally and externally say beautiful things about how you look?

Try this....

Mirror Exposure Exercise:

While wearing just your birthday suit (or a bathing suit if you feel more comfortable), stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Really look at yourself! Admire all of your beautiful lines and curves. There are no flaws or ugliness, nothing inadequate or "less than" about you! Notice what you see. Notice how you feel. Is there tension or reluctance? That's okay....breathe and relax. Begin to speak positive words about yourself. Say them out loud. Whisper them...Scream them....Sing them! Listen to your voice speak love and kindness over your body. Your mind is fertile ground and the more you water that ground with positive words, the more the positive words will spread and positive feelings will grow.

Speak love to yourself. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are uniquely YOU!

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