For as long as I can remember, I have struggled to accept and love my body as it is.

  • My body has never been anywhere close to model thin.
  • I have hairs that grow where I don’t want them.
  • I have scars, bumps, and marks from a life-time of living.

Yet through my weight loss journey, I’ve learned the importance of body acceptance. Rather than waiting until I get my body the way I want it, it’s time to accept the beautiful ME I am right now.5 Ways for the Christian Woman to Improve Her Body Image|The Holy Mess

As a Christian, I know I am a forgiven child of God. He created me and does not want me continually putting myself down.

Here are 5 ways a Christian woman can improve her body image.

Focus on these, and then read below for a helpful book written by my friend, Heather.

5 Ways for a Christian Woman to Improve Her Body Image

 

  1. Focus on what your body can do. Instead of focusing on what you cannot do (“I can’t run a marathon,” focus on what you can do. Can you pick up your grand kids? Enjoy a hobby? Praise God for these abilities.
  2. Read Bible verses that support a healthy body image. I highly encourage you to check out my post, 7 Christian Healthy Eating affirmations for Bible verses – and free printable cards – that will encourage you to treat your body well.
  3. Love the ways God created you unique. You are unique. What’s different about you? Instead of hiding it, celebrate it! Those are the features that make you stand out from the crowd.
  4. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. My husband has always told me I am beautiful, no matter my weight or size. This kind of loving encouragement goes so far in helping me feel amazing about myself.
  5. Treat yourself as you deserve to be treated. Think of how you treat your best friend and give yourself the same kind of love and attention. Don’t beat yourself down with words. Treasure small pleasures. Take time to shop, nap, or Bible journal. Enjoy what refreshes your spirit.

 

Compared to Who?

My friend Heather Creekmore has written a book that provides hope (plus a good dose of humor) for those of us who struggle with body image.

Heather writes:

I’ve read lots of books on body image, insecurity, self-esteem–with lovely Christian authors who attack these issues and encourage women who desperately crave healing in this area.

Most of them helped me a little. Some, helped a lot. Others, didn’t help at all. But, generally, I never found answers satisfying enough to actually change my thinking. I still longed for more beauty and didn’t know how to stop that longing.

That’s why I wrote Compared to Who? 

I believe God showed me some different–dare I say, meatier–answers than those I read other places. Here’s what you’ll find in Compared to Who?Compared to Who

1. Compared to Who Will Shock You With Its (Humorous) Honesty.

How many times have you read an author confess that she struggles not to walk into a room and assess who’s thinner than she is? Yep. I’m not proud of it, but I share it! Oh, there are some embarrassing stories in there too. Like the time I got a seaweed wrap and really thought it had made my thighs two inches thinner in 55 minutes. That one may make you laugh. (Maybe you’ve tried something similar?)

Or, maybe you can relate to the fact that I have about four hundred bottles of inferior, clearance-rack hair products, but refuse to spend the $17 on the one bottle that would probably control my frizz appropriately. {Sigh.}

If you are looking for a book by an author who doesn’t claim to have it all together or have a perfect history of always remembering her value is in Christ, the blunt honesty of this book (as well as the humor) may interest you.

2. Compared to Who Won’t Teach You To Love Yourself More.

There are lots of books out there that will teach you to love yourself. This isn’t one of them. Why? Two reasons. First, I don’t believe anyone who struggles with body image issues can just flip an internal switch and suddenly go from shame and self-despairing to body love. It just doesn’t happen like that for most. Second, I don’t believe body love is the way out. I explain more on that here. But, I promise you, this book will not tell you, “Just love your body. Love your cellulite. Appreciate what you’ve got.” That’s not the premise of this book.

3. Compared to Who Won’t Leave you With the Responsibility to Change Yourself!

One of the biggest challenges I find after reading a “self-help” type book is feeling overwhelmed with trying to change myself. I can’t do it. If I could do it, I would have already done it. You can give me steps, plans, programs, and diets and I can stick with them for a few days – maybe two weeks even. But, I have no power to change myself. I always fall back to my old habits. Compared to Who? doesn’t ask you to change yourself. Rather, it assumes the opposite, that we are powerless to change without the power of the Holy Spirit–It’s Christ who has to do the work in us if we ever want to see our issues differently. The book doesn’t leave you hanging, but it certainly won’t overwhelm you with all you “have to do” to get better.

4. Compared to Who Offers No Diet or Exercise Tips!

Speaking of diet and exercise tips, you won’t find any in Compared to Who? Why? Because there are lots of other books out there if that’s what you are looking for. Instead, Compared to Who? aims to help you get off the “more beauty needed” treadmill. Though there’s nothing wrong with healthy habits, Compared to Who? isn’t going to give you tips to eat cleaner and strategies for sneaking in exercise. Instead, it’s going to look at your heart and help you analyze the root of your struggle with comparison and/or body image issues.

5. Compared to Who Will Give you Practical Advice and Even Questions for Group or Individual Study.

Don’t you hate it when you read a good book that’s all theory and no practical application? Just like a good Sunday morning sermon, we all need to hear truth and then see how it could directly apply to our lives. Compared to Who? gives you some truth bombs, but then takes the next step and shows you how you can start applying them to your life in the pursuit of freedom in and through Jesus Christ.

Compared to Who|The Holy Mess

Check out Heather’s book today and get in-depth, practical advice you can use starting now.

What will you do today to improve your body image as a loved daughter of God?

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7 Christian Healthy Eating Affirmations

5 Ways for the Christian Woman to Improve Her Body Image|The Holy Mess