Love Your Body Part 4

Here is a big issue that I still struggle with and that is body image. First I want to be clear that I am not talking about how much a weigh. That is another post down the road. What I am talking about is the way my body looks in the mirror compared to everyone else.

We live in a society that pushes big on body image and how a person should look. There are millions of makeup tips and designer clothes out there to help make us have a better self image. But what about what is already there?

God made you beautiful the way you are right now. We are not born with makeup plastered all over our face or the next hottest thing in style. We are born naked as stated in Ecclesiastes 5:15, “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand”. So really the whole issue with body image is in vain. Then why do we fall into it all the time? I know I do. I constantly am finding myself comparing my look to the looks of other women.

I know for me body image is the worst when I go shopping. I personally dread it which isn’t a fun way to spend your time. I want to be able to just to go pick something off the rack, try it on, and walk out of the store with it because I know it looks perfect on me. Reality? Walk into the store, scrap around for anything my size, go the dressing room, try it on, hate most of it, walk out of the store with maybe one thing I somewhat liked. Does that sound at all familiar?

Now if you are one of those women or men that can just strut in and out of stores and find what you want, that’s awesome. But I know you have your own issues and insecurities about body image. You might feel like since you are already what society wants you to look like you have to stay that way. You trouble yourself into a frenzy trying to keep up appearances. I have seen my friends have issues with that and it is just as unhealthy as my body issues.

What do you say to yourself when you look at the mirror? Do you really even look at the mirror? If all you say is negative talk to yourself, all that is going to come out is negative. My husband can always tell when I am in funk about my body image. He hates being around my negativity and says “What’s your problem? You are beautiful”. I feel like that is what God says to me as well but it takes my husband’s voice for Him to be heard.

And God says you are beautiful or handsome too all the time. For men it is all about muscles or the lack thereof. It is OK to be just as you are. In my previous post about being built the way you are meant to be I said that some extra weight for women might be good. It goes the same for men and the way they think they should look. Not every man is meant to look like Channing Tatum and not everyone should. Channing Tatum is meant to look like Channing Tatum and you are meant to look like you Mr. Reader. Please don’t be discouraged.

I know it is easy to want something you don’t have, but maybe God hasn’t given it to you yet because you are not ready. Give it time and learn to love yourself as you are now. Only then can God give us what He wants to give us. But one wise woman, who is now with the Lord, once told me that “God cannot give you something if your hands are full. Once we are content and set things to the side then He can bless us with more”.

Eek. I know I have forgotten those words many times. It’s when I calm down about my body image and think that I am a beautiful woman and that God created me for a purpose that those words come back to mind. Even though the conversation we were having that day concerned relationships, it’s true for everything. Learning to see past the negativity is the only way to see who we really are.

Joyce Meyer said in one of her teachings that she was listening to a preacher talk about looking good and feeling and she said that this preacher challenged the crowd to get up in the morning and say “Good morning you good looking thing”. What might happen if we all did that on a daily basis? Would we actually like what we saw in the mirror? Would the bonds of negativity and hatred for the way our bodies look in the mirror? Only one way to find out. So join me and every morning look in the mirror and say “Good morning you good looking thing”.

Love Your Body Part 3

Health. It is a huge buzz word it seems like these days. I grew up with a Mom who was big into health and doing all the anti hydrogenated oils and trans fats and stuff. We were the crazy nut family who didn’t have soda and ice cream in the house because of all the chemicals that were made to make the food. Now we are normal which I find funny. All the things that my Mom was saying twenty years ago is finally mainstream terminology but back when I was a kid was considered crazy and overreacting.

Now I am not a health care provider or counselor, all I am going to say is the importance health has to loving our bodies. If you need to get professional help, then do.

How does health affect your love for your body? It has everything to do with it. If you don’t live a healthy lifestyle then there is no foundation for you to stand on to love or even make you hate your body. But the sad part is that it is self induced. I had to figure that out on my own even though I am pretty sure my Mom told me that some time ago as a kid.

Would eating a doughnut or apple show more love to your body? Well of course the apple would (even though I am sure the doughnut would be yummy it would only hurt your body). So that is where choices come in. Here in America, we have the ability to have choices in what we eat. We don’t (yet) have the government forcing us to eat a certain way. We go into the grocery store and have ten different peanut butters to choose from. They all have pretty labels and pretty much all say the same thing like 100% made from peanuts. But we turn each one over and there a million different ingredients in each bottle. Which one is better? According to The Daniel Plan “if it has more than 5 ingredients throw it out (paraphrased)”.

The only thing is that peanut butter that is really only made with peanuts and water is twice the price as the one that has the ingredients I can’t pronounce. So what do you do? How much is your health worth to you? Which one will build up your body better or tare it down? These are all important questions to ask when it comes to your health and loving your body.

Notice as well that I did not mention anything about weight here. So many people associate health with weight but they are very much different. Let me give you an example. There are two women standing in line for coffee at the local coffee shop. One is skinny and a size 2 while the other is heavier and size 14. Both are about the same age and look like they have similar jobs by their suits.

Now the question is – who is healthier? The size 2 girl looks like she should be but she hasn’t stepped inside a gym or eaten a salad in years. She has high blood sugar and is on watch for Type 2 Diabetes and her overall bodily health is weak since she doesn’t think twice about what she eats since she never gains any weight. She has the DNA setup that allows her to stay thin, but that does not mean is healthy. Now to the lady who is a size 14. She goes to the gym three times a week, eats right, and she has the thumbs up at doctor check ups (or lack of since her body is strong and she never gets sick) because her blood pressure is good, her blood tests are clean and there is nothing to show concern. The only difference is that her DNA or other factors in her body that she has no control of makes it so that losing weight is harder. But it doesn’t mean she is any less healthier.

So how do you start getting healthy? Like I said, if you need professional help please get it. Everyone needs the right support team to help them get on the right course. But these are just simple everyday ways you can get healthier and in turn love your body better.

Eat the rainbow – Eating all sorts of fruits and veggies is the best way to get healthy.

Buy some books – I found a great book on going Paleo (for example) called Part Time Paleo How to Go Paleo Without Going Crazy Check it out on Amazon and it was very helpful. I am not saying to go Paleo but I know for me it helped me learn to be even more healthy and to love my body since I have a guide on how to cook the veggies (like cauliflower) that are not as easy to love.

Get support – My husband is the biggest supporter for us being healthy. He loves the meals that I cook and now rides a bike to work to get his exercise in. I take our daughter for walks in her stroller and we are there at the end of the day asking how each of exercises went that day over a healthy meal. I couldn’t do it without him and vise versa. So I would really suggest you find a friend or family member to help you get a game plan on getting healthy and to stick to it.

No diets – There is nothing worse than a diet. They are not fun and they are not useful from my experience. I have done so many diets and they failed because there was no way I was going to stick to it. It had to be a lifestyle choice and change. The first three letters in diet is die and I feel that is all a diet does. Once it is over it dies and so does all your hard work.

Have fun – Do stuff you enjoy. I have been told “the best exercise is the one you will do” and it is so true. I hate running so going out for a jog is no fun for me, but walking and yoga are so much fun for me. My husband would rather have a tooth pulled than do yoga with me but he loves his bike. find something that fits you and go for it. It is all about having fun in life.

So I hope that was helpful and I will see you next type for part 3! 🙂

Love Your Body Part 2

Here’s a fun topic when it comes to loving our bodies and that is being in the kitchen. Random at first but it is true. How we learn to love our bodies is how much effort we put into what we make. Notice I didn’t anything about health, I said effort.

How does that make any sense? Well think about it. If all I did was throw a microwave dinner in the microwave every night, then I am showing that I don’t really care or want to do anything in the kitchen. Now you might work full time and don’t have the brain power or will to cook a five course meal every night which is totally fine and that’s not what I am suggesting. I am just saying that the effort you put into your body when it comes to food preparation will show in other areas of your life.

I can say this from experience since there was a time in my life where I did nothing but eat fast food and binge eat with a boyfriend. I hardly cooked for myself and just relied on the next drive through window to supply what I wanted to eat.

It was horrible and now looking back at how little I did to make the right food in order to fuel my body to love it makes me ill. Now, do I still enjoy eating out sometimes, yes, but not like I used to. The closest thing to fast food my family eats now is Panda Express and my daughter’s favorite dish is the mushroom chicken and rice. I was no where near wanting to eat zucchini and mushrooms with my chicken back then. All I wanted was to have it fired with lots of gravy poured over it.

After that relationship ended, I took a look in the mirror and was horrified. I was unhappy with how I looked and felt at that point therefore I didn’t love my body any more. I thought I was ugly and unworthy of love again like any young woman after a break up but I knew my feelings about my body were self induced.

So I began my journey to getting back to basics. I started cooking for myself and found that I really liked cooking and preparing meals for my family. I would use them as test dummies on my latest food adventure and my parents sometimes loved my experiments but other times it wouldn’t work out so well. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that I was trying.

I got a few cook books that most of the time seemed to be written in latin and I worked through a lot of trial and error. But in the end, I love cooking and now make many things from scratch. It works out since I mostly eat Paleo now and there is hardly anything that is prepackaged and ready to go. If I didn’t start back then, I wouldn’t have dared to try the Paleo lifestyle now. But that is not the topic of this post.

This post is simply about loving our bodies through cooking. The more that I cook and see the creation of my hands and what goes in my body, makes me feel more loving and compassionate to my body. Because it is important what goes in and in the next post well will touch on health. But for now – let’s get cooking! 🙂