As a woman, fitting rooms are tough. We have a love/hate relationship with them, don’t we? I admit, I reluctantly try on clothes but I have to be in a good mood to go shopping AND to try on clothes. If I’m not in that good mood, forget it. I don’t know about you, but I have such a love/hate relationship with fitting rooms. When I feel good about my body, I’m good. When I feel bad, it’s baaaaad.
On the one hand, I’m excited to be shopping…I’m excited to spoil myself and look for new clothes. On the other hand, I am absolutely terrified about trying clothes on and them not fitting. If they don’t fit – I spiral down into a hole of negative self-talk. Do you do the same thing?
Body image is tough. Body confidence is tough. But it’s something I’m learning to embrace with a hopeful heart. It’s something I’ve had to ask God to help me with. It starts with the mind, y’all.
As a woman, I often hear body-shaming in it’s most hateful form – turned towards oneself. Why do we do this to ourselves? We let society tell us how thin, toned, and perfect we need to look. We should really let God tell us how perfect we are.
Isaiah 43: 1 “…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine!”
Isaiah 43: 4 “Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you…”
We are precious to God.
We should be delighted in the fact that God saw this world, and thought it needed you.
Think about that for just a moment.
God saw this world, and chose to create you. He didn’t have to do that. But He saw that the world needed you. So He created you.
Do you think He created you just so you can hate your body? Would you be upset if you gave someone a gift and they just bashed it the entire time? God delights in us, we are precious to Him – why do we keep shaming our bodies as if they are not a gift from God?
I want you to know that you are perfect just the way you are.
If you’re a mommy, rejoice in the fact that your body literally grew and produced a human being. You did that. God saw that the world needed a mom like you and babies like yours. You grew a freaking human. I have two babies and it stills BLOWS MY MIND that my body did that. I want you to know that your babies don’t care what size dress you wear – they don’t care how skinny or toned you are, they don’t care if you could or couldn’t lose those pesky few pounds before your wedding, they don’t care if you couldn’t lose the “baby weight” that you gained for them…they just want you present.
If you’re called to motherhood through adoption, for whatever reason, rejoice in the fact that God is entrusting this child to you. God knows this world needs a mommy like you and He chose to bless you in the most abundant way – through life.
Maybe you’re a young professional, not married, not sure if motherhood is your vocation. That’s okay, that doesn’t make you any less of a woman – rejoice in the fact that God saw that this world needed you – so He created you.
Do you get my point?
God chose to create you. God delights in you.
Body image is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. And I know it’s going to be a long journey towards self-love and a healthy body image for myself, and for others. But I also put in the work to get towards a healthy body image.
Here are two examples of how I can use what society tells me is “undesirable” on my body and turn them into a blessing.
FACT: I have large thighs – I can sit here and berate myself and my thighs, or I can see them for what they really are. A Gift. These legs/thighs have carried me through life, through many half marathons, through sports as an adolescent, through walks with my babies, through so much. And I’m so blessed that they are big – because I have a lot of life left to live and I’m going to need to them to be BIG so I can accomplish all I left to accomplish! My perceivably “large thighs” have carried me through life and I’ve been so blessed by their size.
FACT: I have stretchmarks – I can sit here and hate my stretchmarks and blame my children for them – or I can see them for what they really are. A Gift. These stretchmarks mean that I was able to grow TWO babies. God gave me these babies to grow and labor for. These stretchmarks mean that my body had to grow so that my babies could grow too. These stretchmarks are my baby’s first drawings and I choose to delight in them.
Now I don’t say all this so you can not take care of your body and blame God on your love for pizza and chicken nuggets (guilty).
God gave us these bodies as a gift – which means he entrusted these bodies to us. If someone were to give you a car would you trash it immediately? Would you talk about how much you hate it? Or would you truly take care of it – I’m talking regular maintenance, oil changes, and fuel. I’m talking checking on the tires and breaks, fueling it with good fuel.
I want you to think of your body as the same. God gave you this gift – not so you can hate it and trash it – but so you can fuel it with His word and with goodness. He gave you this body so that you can carry out His Will – but you must also take care of it. (Spoiler alert: pizza and chicken nuggets aren’t the best fuel – again, guilty!)
So I think it’s okay if we still love/hate fitting rooms. But I want to challenge you to begin to see your body and yourself as God sees you. God delights in you and God chose to create you. The next time you want to shame your body and spiral down in negative self-talk, I want you to try to see yourself as God sees you.
Our bodies are truly a gift from God. Let’s begin to see them as such.
God thinks you are precious, He delights in you.
Catholic wife and mom. This blog is my attempt to trust the Holy Spirit and write what’s on my heart.