Let me be clear about what I mean by the title “Learning to Love Your Body.” I am not referring to the self-proclaimed self-love lie. Learning to love the body you have comes from loving the Father who created it. The more we know about God, the more we know about ourselves. Apart from Him, we can not learn to be kind and loving toward ourselves.
Understanding the Importance of Learning to Love Your Body
Key points to take note of when listening to the truth talk on learning to love your body:
- Our identity in Christ goes hand in hand with how we view and treat our bodies.
- Learning to believe that you have a good body is knowing that you have a good Father.
- How we view our bodies stems from our view of ourselves, which stems from our relationship with the Father.
- Your body is the temple now. Living in your good body is where a good God dwells. You are in an intimate relationship with Him within your body.
- Your desire to love your body is a longing to truly love and know the Father who created it and said it was good.
- Christ is the object of our affection, not our bodies.
Questions for Building a Positive Body Image and Boosting Self-Esteem
- Are you worshipping your body or the One who made your body?
2. Why do you think you desire to love your body? Where does this idea come from? What do you think it will solve?
3. Is there an end? Do you get to a place where it’s not about your body but what you and your body do with Christ?
4. Many women are searching to find the answers to love their bodies – but is it an illusion or distraction?
5. What does loving your body mean and look like in everyday life?
Are you ready to begin to love your body and ditch the diets? Learn more in my Biblical Framework to Overcome Emotional Eating Course.
Scriptures on Learning To Love Your Body
Scriptures are important to learn to love your body because they provide guidance and encouragement for cultivating a healthy and positive relationship with your body. Here are a few reasons why:
- Scriptures affirm the inherent worth and value of our bodies. As human beings created in God’s image, our bodies are a reflection of his goodness and beauty. Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” This verse reminds us that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and we can praise him for that.
- Scriptures provide a foundation for treating our bodies with respect and care. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” This verse reminds us that our bodies are not our own, but rather they belong to God. As such, we should honor him by treating our bodies with respect and care.
- Scriptures offer hope and healing for those who struggle with body image issues. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This verse reminds us that we don’t have to conform to the negative messages and standards of the world when it comes to body image.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:17-20
I’ve got a tough question for you in this truth talk: Is being skinny really worth it, or is there something deeper that needs an answer? In my quest to challenge the narrative and why we do things, I wondered why and when the idea of skinny became the focus. When did the idea of skinny become the object of affection for so many of us? What does “skinny” even mean? Will being skinny help me to learn to love my body? The truth is this.
Our body is the external force driving a feeling we hope to experience internally. It’s who and what we honor our body with that matters the most. Learning to love our bodies requires us to learn to define love.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Embrace Your God-Given Beauty
- We are called to steward our bodies well. It’s a spiritual discipline as much as a physical discipline. Therefore, losing weight or having goals of losing weight is not bad. Wanting to care for our bodies isn’t being self-righteous. Learning to love our bodies is also not self-righteous.
- There is always something deeper that drives us to make our choices, leading us to think that our actions will change us.
- Our hearts should be focused on finding freedom and love that come through sustained spiritual disciplines rather than our physical appearance.
- The enemy would love for you to be focused on your body more than the mission God has called you to. With your body being the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, the attacks will come.
- How you view yourself will always come down to how you view the Father.
The Role of Self-Care in Learning to Love Your Body
The questions below will help determine how to maintain spiritual and physical discipline with our bodies without focusing on our body’s appearance:
- Identify the reward you think you will have when you meet the “skinny” goal. Does it glorify God or glorify you?
2. Do you invite God into your workouts? Have your faith and fitness collided?
3. Why do you think you are so bad, wrong, or not good?
4. How do you see the Father?
5. How has your spiritual journey been changing your physical journey? Is your relationship with God changing how you show up in your physical body?
Learn to love your body and not turn to food or diets to do so in my Biblical Framework to Overcome Emotional Eating Course.
Developing Healthy Habits to Love Your Body
One is the word of God. It is to the point where I make sure I surround myself with Bible studies and devotionals with all kinds of things that are going to point me back to His truth. Those lies from the enemy will come creeping in about your body. Little things like starting my day being in the Word of God and listening to music. The other thing I’ll say too is to watch the company that you keep.
Making sure I’m not having someone calling me on the phone with all kinds of toxic information and news and gossip and everything else. Then eventually, that path is going to lead me right back into indulgence.
I keep scriptures and reminders up on my mirror when I’m brushing my teeth. All practical, simple things, but they will help you to shift your focus and your perspective. It helps remind me that in those times, when I’m feeling I’m going back in that direction, to ask God to help me stay focused and do what I need to do. For those of you who want a very practical kitchen tip or food tip, don’t keep unhealthy things in the kitchen.
If I want ice cream, I go out, buy it, and eat it. It’s done and over. It’s not constantly there. Give yourself some grace. You’re gonna have some days where they’re tough. Beating yourself up is not a good motivational tool. It also doesn’t help you to learn to love your body.
Don’t compare. It doesn’t matter what someone else is doing. Just get out. It helps you mentally, spiritually, emotionally by just moving your feet and, getting out in nature, and seeing God’s beauty. If it’s only to the stop sign and back, do it. Then maybe tomorrow it’s a little further than the stop sign the day before. You’re not in a race with somebody else. You’re not in a competition. Just do what you can and be consistent in that, and know that the Lord will partner with you even in your wellness journey. Not just spiritual, but your wellness journey.
This is something that I have been passionate about because if you’re anything like me, maybe you’ve let your emotions take the wheel, and you don’t know what is true or what is a lie. Maybe you’ve heard people say, “You just need to renew your mind and change your thoughts,” but you don’t really know how to do that. Maybe you just feel too busy to slow down. Or, maybe you believe you’re not worth the time, the effort, or the fight.
Maybe you feel so overwhelmed that you just don’t even know where to start. I think sometimes we get so overwhelmed by hearing the phrase, “renew your mind, take your thoughts captive.”
My book is really a step-by-step to heal the tender places of our souls. It really teaches you how worthy you are of love and healing because of the good Father in heaven. Pick up your copy today because of everything in this series and even moving forward. I cannot wait for you to hear about the series coming in the new year. Really, God wants you well, and your feelings matter because you matter to God.
How to Overcome Body Image Issues and Questions to Ask Regarding Your Body
Struggling with a negative body image can be a challenging and isolating experience, but you don’t have to face it alone. With God’s help, you can find healing, acceptance, and a newfound appreciation for your body. In this blog post, we’ll explore five steps to overcoming body image issues with God’s help.
- Seek God’s perspective. One of the first steps to overcoming body image issues is seeking God’s perspective on your body. Rather than focusing on external appearances or societal standards, focus on the fact that God created your body as a unique and valuable vessel for His purposes. Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom in seeing yourself as He sees you.
- Replace negative self-talk with the truth. Negative self-talk can be a powerful force in perpetuating body image issues. To counteract this, replace negative thoughts with scripture based on God’s truth. Memorize verses that speak to your worth and value in God’s eyes, and use them to combat negative thoughts as they arise.
- Practice gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful tool for shifting your mindset and finding contentment in the present moment. Take time each day to reflect on the things you appreciate about your body, whether it’s the way it enables you to move, the way it looks in a certain outfit, or something else entirely. Thank God for the unique qualities and capabilities of your body.
Now, as you learn to overcome body image issues and learn to love your body. Start to ask yourself these three questions:
- Where does being unhappy with your body come from?
- What do body image issues cause?
- What are a negative body image and a positive body image?
Then we’re going to talk about how to have a healthy body image. It’s important to me that we lay a foundation first. That’s why we’re answering those questions. We need to understand why we are doing what we’re doing. We can’t continue to change the fruit without ever addressing the root.
Understanding How You Feel About Your Body
Where does being unhappy with our body come from?
1. From the fall of Adam and Eve.
They were exposed, and they got a new set of eyes. They didn’t know they were naked until she ate the apple, and Adam ate the apple. I think it’s important that they got a new set of eyes. They hid in shame. They were now aware that they were naked. So I think there’s this attack and there’s this fight against your body because of the fall, but also because of the Holy Spirit. Now God dwells inside of you, the temple, which is your body. So of course there are going to be attacked. Of course, there are going to be thoughts that come in from the enemy that make us unhappy with our bodies.
2. Comparing our bodies.
Our unhappiness with our bodies comes from comparing. Learning to love your body will not come when we compare our bodies. This is really just a distorted view of a good body versus a bad body. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with someone who commends themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves. They are not wise.” I love the second sentence in this scripture, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” When we go into comparison, we become not wise. There’s a different translation that calls us fools.
It’s not to shame us or put us in a corner. It’s the reality that comparison is not healthy for hearts. And I know that you know that. We talk about it often when we think of body image because we’re comparing what a good body is versus a bad body, to what society deems is good and bad.
3. When our bodies don’t do what we want them to do.
We believe that effort should equal our results. Whatever you eat or don’t eat, whatever workout you do, whatever workout you don’t do – you kind of go into this performance-based view. I want my effort to equal my results. And when it doesn’t, you become unhappy with your body, you become frustrated with your body, and you almost make your body the enemy.
Identifying Your Strengths and Celebrating Your Progress
Last year, I walked into our local sporting goods store, and I just knew I needed some new workout pants. I picked up the size that I thought I was. When I tried them on I did “the dance,” but I didn’t get to shake and shimmy too long, because they did not really go up past my thighs. And I was like, “Okay, well, maybe the clothing industry just changed sizes. Maybe the size that I had was not the size that I’m used to. Or maybe they just changed how they made them.”
My mind went to, “Oh my gosh, what have I done? I’ve gained this weight, my thighs are bigger, this size doesn’t fit me – I almost immediately wanted to go into the extreme. I need to start working out more, I need to stop eating XYZ. This is terrible.” I had a momentary lapse of that fear that going into the extreme which is kind of my nature.
I spent the rest of the time in the store when my husband looked around and did his thing fighting in my head saying, “Jess, what does this really mean about you – the size, in reality? I was having to disconnect from reality and my feelings. The reality was nothing about the size indicated who I was. But my feelings were attached to, “Jess, you’ve let yourself go. What is wrong with you? I can’t believe you’ve done this. How could you do this?”
Again, I don’t think it matters the size of your body or the shape of your body. These thoughts are going to come for you. I walked out of the store that day with the bigger size pants. The reality is this – I went through 3 years of intense healing. Before that, I lived a life of exhaustion and hustling and being tired all the time and snapping at people. (All of which fed my distorted body image.) I’m on the other side. I might be bigger than I was. However, the fruit of that of where I am – I wouldn’t trade it for a smaller number.
I think the first thing when it comes to being healthy and having a healthy body image is this – we have to know the image we bear.
Learn to love your body and establish a healthy relationship with food in my Biblcal Framework to Overcome Emotional Eating Course.
Embracing Your Personal Journey of Learning to Love Your Body
Are you dieting and trying to do everything you can to lose weight?
Are diets leaving you feeling more like a failure?
Have you thought to yourself, “What’s the point? Everything I try never seems to work.”
I remember vividly how much I tried to control the way my body looked because it brought confidence, well, false confidence. I thought if I could change the way I looked on the outside, it would change the way I felt on the inside. (Control does not help you to feel confident in your body. It keeps you trapped in thinking you have to do more.)
We are nothing apart from him.
If we are left to our ways, we lead ourselves into frustration, dead ends, and more pain.
However, he provides a way out of the pit and into freedom.
I’m not for you if you are looking for a quick fix. Quick fixes take you as far as you can stick with them.
However, I am for you if you are tired and exhausted trying to do it your way.
Or if you are overwhelmed with trying to do “all the right” things.
With everything in our lives, we must have a Biblical foundation to experience fruit in our lives that lead to life. Weight loss is a byproduct of healing. I’m not here to tell you how many pounds you will physically lose, but I can guarantee you will lose some “weight.”
Therefore, we can’t change our outer world without changing our inner world.
In my Biblical Framework to Overcome Emotional Eating course, I talk about the power of both/and and how we often feel like we have to choose as if everything we experience is pinned against each other. Learning how to process your situations and feelings through both/and (which I teach) helps you to feel confident in your body and change the way you stress eat.
You must lay a different foundation to feel confident in your body. One that trains your heart in truth.
Celebrating Your Body: Why Gratitude and Self-Love Go Hand in Hand
Three biblical truth to feel confident in your body as you learn to love your body.
- “Our outer man is passing away, but our inner man is renewing day by day” 2 Corinthians 4:16
Our walk with Christ on this earth will not come without pain, suffering, and frustrations. As believers, I think we want to live a life that has no cares because we know God is good – so when we hear good, we don’t expect anything bad.
The other day I was standing in front of the mirror getting ready to work out, and I thought about how much my body had changed—comparing it to what it used to look like. How it had more muscle and smaller thighs, but then I started to think about who I was as a person when I had smaller thighs and more muscle – I didn’t like who I was.
This led me to this question: Would I want my “old body back” if it came with who I was then? Therefore, am I only concerned with how I look versus who I am becoming.
It’s not to say you can’t care about how you look – it’s a question that keeps us from making our bodies the idol in our lives and the most important thing.
Our confidence doesn’t come when our bodies look a certain way. Paul is clear in this scripture our bodies will change and are changing. To be confident in your body is to be confident in the Lord and what he has done for you.
When we have confidence in God and who He is, we have confidence in our bodies. Because we trust and know he has made our bodies good. Just like my client Renee needed in my 21-day diet detox coaching group. She needed permission to be who God created her to be instead of what someone else told her she had to be.
- God has given you a body that no one else has. He doesn’t take from you to give to her.
In Deuteronomy 2, Moses recounts the Israelite’s times in the wilderness because they were about to cross over into the promised land. In Deuteronomy 2, we read specific instructions about how the Israelites are supposed to go through specific lands but will not possess any of them because God has already promised those lands to other people. He never went back on his word to the people he had already promised that land to.
God reminded me that he keeps his promises. He doesn’t take something from me to give to you. Your body is yours. He’s not “helping her lose weight,” and ignoring you. We all have the same access to God. However, our bodies are not all the same. When you strive to be confident in your body, you miss the rest he died for us to have.
He doesn’t withhold from you. Sometimes our lack of confidence in our bodies is because we have other bodies around us to compare them to.
Think about it. If you never saw anyone else for the rest of your life, you would have nothing to compare yourself to. Therefore, you wouldn’t be able to deem your body good or bad because there was no comparison. God created man and called him good.
I always believed that if my body looked a certain way then other would accept and love me. Therefore, I thought she took away from me what I didn’t have.
- Your body is not your enemy.
When you start to recognize that your body is not your enemy or something you need to fix constantly, you can begin to feel confident in your body.
We often look at our bodies as something that is there. Maybe as an outsider and an enemy intruding on our daily lives.
Yet our bodies are with us everywhere we go and are always communicating with us.
You have a good body because the Creator who created your body is good. Our physical bodies live in a fallen world, but our spirits live within our bodies and are sealed until the day Jesus returns.
It’s hard to change what we hate. To feel confident in your body the way you speak about your body has to change as well.
We can’t hate something into change.