"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Self Image..

Song of Solomon 4:7                    
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

It doesn't matter if you are 14 or like me 40. Us woman are always insecure about our looks.
We see ourselves the way most do not. And we think people are looking when often they are not. We worry about the things no one else cares about and we care about the things that we shouldn't.


Today with the slow go at dropping the boys off at school I had a limited time at the gym to run. It was like social hour to boot. I saw everyone this morning. Paula, Heather, Jeff, and Beth. Most of them wanted to catch up and chat but I needed to run my legs more than my mouth.
I jumped on the TM in hopes to burning lungs and turning over legs. But I didn't see the insecurity of body image in the picture.

I was wearing my Brooks Running shorts. These are a 3 inch inseam. They are a little short, however they are my most comfortable shorts for running fast. They do not gather or make me hot.

The problem is I was never born with beautiful sculptured legs. The faster I ran the faster insecurity seeped out my pores. I could feel my legs moving fast but I could also feel these ridiculous self image issues burning with my lungs.
As I pounded on the TM I could see (in my mind) the back of my legs gathering together. We are all born with cellulite except it isn't as cute as adults. I knew that with my blood pumping my varicose vein was most likely pulsing like a pipe down my quad.
One of the trainers walked in front of me preparing for her Incline class. She was about my age. She had beautiful solid legs. Perfectly smooth.
The woman on the elliptical was probably 7-10 years older than me with my build only she had rock solid sculpted legs.
Then I began to worry about if people were looking at my legs..."Oh NO".. I thought. I decided to run faster to hurry up and get out of there.
Why do we worry about this stuff?
Why do I even care what people think?
I wasn't looking at anyone else's' body in a negative matter so why did I look at mine this way?
So what if I have cellulite.
So what if I have varicose veins.
So what....
I heard this scripture:
"You are fearfully and Wonderfully Made."
I heard Gods words speak to my heart. He Made Me. I do not take this body for granted. I take care of the body He gave me in every way to honor and bring glory to him. I do not take ANY part of my body for granted giving God constant thanks. He loaned me it and one day I will have a new Body but for now I live in the skin He gave me.
I am NOT defined by my body. I am defined by my heart.

As I drove Austin to school this morning there was a woman smoking a cigarette in her car. Austin said "Ugh, mom she is puffing on the cigarette."  I have never smoked. But I had a mother who smoked 3 packs a day. Nicotine is very addictive. I am thankful I could never inhale without coughing up a lung.
I did reply "Austin isn't it funny how we will take better care of THINGS that collect dust but most of us take our bodies for granted and not take care of them."

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  Psalms 139:14 

We are made in HIS image. Love the body He gave you. Thank him for the imperfections that you see that HE saw in you as Perfect.
Take the time to Train Your Heart. Find Confidence in His love for YOU and the way He sees you.

Knobby knees, varicose veins and cellulite. Fearfully and wonderfully made.
So Michigan is beginning to warm up a bit. But I had to laugh at a picture my wonderful sister in law sent me. "Leeanne" sent me a picture of herself in the new long sleeve running shirt I bought her for Christmas. It wasn't the picture that made me chuckle it was the caption that had me laughing.
"Thanks for the long sleeves 54 degrees out and windy!
 Felt like 40! But great running weather! Miss Ya"
Leeanne lives in Florida with my brother. I would be in shorts running if it was 54 degrees in Michigan!
I have never ran with my sister in law! I would love to now only in Florida not Michigan!
Distance: 5.25
Is it only woman that suffer from Body Image Issues? I would love to hear a mans thought here..
I know that as soon as we loose our focus we start comparing ourselves to others...It is always down hill from here.
Just keeping it real here. I hope you have been following me long enough to know my heart. As woman I believe we need to love one another and hold each other up. We need to stop comparing ourselves to one another. Rather compliment and edify each other.


  1. Goodness, you hit a nerve!

    I won't go into all my body image problems, but I will share a moment of victory.
    I was in the Gym once, deadlifting 160 lbs or so, and this was during one of those times (like now) when I had put on a few pounds and was feeling hugely fat and disgusted with myself.

    As I was doing my reps, I was looking in the mirror thinking how horribly fat my legs were and out of nowhere this thought came flying in and hit me square in the face:
    "Girl, you are deadlifting 160 freaking pounds! Your body is amazing! It's working FOR you! Stop badmouthing it!"

    I actually stopped and cried (it's a 24 hour gym in a rural area so I was alone)

    Whenever I catch myself complaining about my "disgusting" body, I take myself back to that moment, and I start counting my blessings instead - all the things my wonderful body allows me to do!

    Ok, I haven't perfected this. But I'm working on it!

  2. Flaming June, Thank you for your openness. It is a hard topic for me to discuss being 105 lbs. I get insecure about people judging me. . But I try to remind people that the battle is truly in our MIND. We all battle with how we look.
    And like you said It your strength comes from the inside. I remind myself that everything we have been givin we can use to help and encourage others. The bad stuff especially.

    We all have bad stuff. But we only like to share the good stuff. I think that most of the "disgusting" stuff as you put it is beautiful because it made someone else more comfortable. It gave someone else a hug of encouragement.

    Thank you for being so honest and open. Your words encouraged me.

  3. Once again you have written wonderfully Anita. Women, WE are our harshest critics. Yes, it has quite a bit to do with media and the portrayal of "the perfect body". But you are so right Anita - it is in our minds. We have control over what we think and how we respond. Flaming June is right too - we can all get mad or disgusted with some part of our body - but I love the fact that she goes back to one memory to remind her of what her body actually was doing!! holy cow -that's STRONG!!! Whether you bench 160 pounds, or run a marathon under 3:30, or manage to squeak out 3 miles before picking up kids from school/practice/scouts, etc. YOU are doing SOMETHING to stay healthy. Your body is grateful for it. Do I wish I had abs like Anita - duh, yeah ;) but I don't and won't and I am ok with that (most days - let's be honest - we all have those days). I am grateful that I can walk, let alone run. I work with too many people with disabilities to not realize how lucky I am to function at all. As I write this though, i convict myself - I don't always think this way and realize that I should. I will be mindful of what both you Anita and Flaming June have said.. All we can do is be role models, and educate our daughters/nieces/friends and the public that REAL women are not airbrushed or surgically enhanced. WE WORK for what we have in order to maintain a lifestyle that allows us to ENJOY our families and our lives. My favorite thing to hear is my husband tell me how beautiful I am when I am at the end of the day in my sweats and ponytail :) when I think I look my worst, he often thinks I look my best....funny how that works isn't it??

    1. Danielle How do you do it? Your responses are always so eloquent. Everything you said brings up more positive branches coming off the topic. Very well said.
      I love how you wrote :I don't always think the way I should."
      That is one of the biggest reasons for writing this. That crazy thinking. The thinking YOU know isn't right but you just cant get off the train.
      So Thankful for our Husbands..They are a bit Crazy on their own ways too!