Tuesday, October 7, 2014

the body image dilemma

I've been thinking about health and body image for a while. Savannah and I both have struggled with our weight most of our lives. I don't ever remember a time being content with the way my body looks. I know beyond of shadow of doubt that I have to accept myself and my body no matter what it looks like. I know that God designed me perfectly and that He thinks I'm beautiful. However, the fact is that I have been doing everything I can to be healthy. I know that I must treat my body like a temple of the Lord and drinking Diet Coke and processed foods doesn't really glorify God. 

I think women can use the "I'm choosing to love my body at any shape" thought process as a crutch and a justification for an unhealthy lifestyle. Yes, you have to accept yourself but that doesn't mean it's ok to be overweight and unhealthy. On the flip side, there are people who work out obsessively and over think every morsel of food they put into their mouths. In both cases, there isn't balance and self-worship is happening. 

So somewhere between the two is balance and God. I've never been able to find that balance. I know the problem is that I have never consistently turned this problem over to God. I'll pray about it for a period of time, but then I stop. This has been a life long problem, so I can't expect that everything will improve after praying for two weeks.  I just want to see food as nourishment for my body and to be able to enjoy food but not worship it. I've been fighting with food my whole life and I'm tired of it.

Then there is exercising. For me, I know I need to change my attitude towards exercising. Instead of focusing on having a body that will look good in a bikini, I need to focus on being healthy no matter what my body looks like. I'm not sure that spending hours in the gym to have a ripped body makes you more healthy than someone who is simply active. I really don't know the answer to that. 

Whether it's food or exercising, worship has to be the focus no matter what. Everything I do must be an act of worship and my every breath should aim to glorify God. Whew. That's easier said than done. However, with God as my focus, everything else doesn't seem to matter as much. But I can't let my guard down and I have to pick up that cross everyday. 

Love,
Casey

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2 comments:

  1. Ugh. I had a nice and thoughtful comment then the internets ate it.

    Sorry.

    I've struggled all my life with my body image. I have an "all or nothing" type of personality so I have to be careful with my eating and exercising habits or I become super obsessive or super lazy. Depends on my mood.

    I know I should pray about it... but I tend to try to fix things myself before offering them before God. I know better but it's hard for me to release control, even though it's obvious I can't do it on my own.

    You're not alone.

    PS. If you're looking for some motivation, I found Spark People to be a really helpful website. I first found it about 10 years ago and was successful in losing 30 lbs. It's tougher now, but I still like their program/community. Don't worry, I don't get anything if you sign up and it's free.

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  2. Hello!
    I accidentaly bumped in your page through a diy tutorial. Never been here before, but I'm liking it a lot.
    I'm trying to undestand your line of thoughts here. I agree that you should pray, I'm religious myself. But pray to be happy and strong and remember that praying doesn't mean things will be easier, it means things will be possible. About our body as a tool to glorify God, I believe that as long as we respect it (not cut it, not use it wrongfully or as means to obtain money and so on) then, we mostly glorify God with our mind and daily thoughts. I see this like getting a car from your parents, they want you to enjoy it and respect it, not to cause you mostly suffer and anxiety with it. I hope this doesn't seem like just a silly analogy. Glorify God with your daily thoughts and worry less about the other stuff. That's all.
    About the bad eating habit: information is really what can help you and I mean really doing some research about how our body processes bad food. I'll give you the 2 examples that helped me. Reading the introduction chapters of 2 diets: the zone by barry sears (but the 1st edition, since the latest have more trash about buying their branded foods) and The liver cleansing diet by dr. Cabot (it's also kind of old). I'm not trying to convince you to do these diets. I hardly convinced myself because I had never done a diet before, NEVER. I hate to count calories, hate to be limited (in this case the zone diet was pretty good for me) and I did these two years apart because they seamed the most healthy diets out there at the moment, since they allow you to eat everything or almost everything (the liver cleanse diet, does limit you more). So, I tried them and I failed after 3 months or so. However, I noticed that my eating habits had changed a lot after my "failed" attempt and I kept eating healthier. Let's say I was "eating healthy level-6" before the zone diet, during it I was on a level 8.5. After my failed attempt I didn't fall all the way back to level 6, I stayed in level 8. Both books are great explaining you how the glucose level works, how it changes after some food or how our liver unfolds toxins or fats... it's a very informative read. My mother language is not english and I understood everything. Even if you are not following the diet afterwards, the mere explanation is an eye opener about how our body works. If you like to try the diets do it with the "seek of an adjustment" in mind, not the seek of total success. I'm still against diets that limit group foods (like the liver cleanse diet that doesn't allow dairy) but I tried it because a friend of mine lost like 12 kilos with it and you only do the diet 2 months. Café with soy milk doesn't taste good... I'm weak about cheese too! But I do have some very healthy muffin recipes from the book, eat more wholewheat products and more veggies. I don't care now that I "failed" following through because I'm healthier. It's always a process.
    And about sport, you have to find what you hate less. I hate gyms, I don't enjoy sweating like a pig in front of well trained people, or how it sometimes smell, neither do people staring at me in funny poses. I'm weird about a gym. So, I trained at home. I tried spinning at home but for that you definitely need more people and motivation, so I changed to kettlebells. I'm loving it because you don't need a lot of movement to burn a lot of fat. So, there are always options out there that better fit your wishes. Maybe you like running, I hate that too (hehehe). Believe me, just do your homework and follow some healthy magazines on pinterest and stuff. Nowadays to obtain information is really easy. Find what you like and need.
    I hope my huge comment can help you a little bit with your strugle.

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