Love Your Body Wrap UP

Wow! What a series 🙂 I think for my first one it wasn’t too bad. Thank you so much for joining me on it. You have been wonderful readers and I hope that my posts have been helpful. I am not an expert on everything but I was always told to write honestly and what I know.

So I look forward to more posts and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I appreciate the support and happy that we can all love our bodies a little better. Don’t give up and don’t surrender 😉

Love Your Body Part 8

To me, social pressures are the worst part of life but they are the things that can make us grow the most. How? Because when things are good and you fit into society’s circle, there is little room for you to grow since there is nothing to push you to be better. On the other hand, if you are not in the circle, you have two choices. Yay! Choices.

  1. You can make yourself to fit into the circle
  2. You can grow and better the circle around you or be really picky who with the circle you are around

The first choice is one that is easy and most commonly done but where does that leave us? I know when I did this to fit in with the girls growing up it felt horrible. They had none of the same interests or goals as me and I felt stifled. I wanted to grow but there was this type of barrier that was keeping me from growing into who I was meant to be. That was because who I was meant to be was not in line with how that certain social circle was going. What happened? They rejected me and I moved on to find better circles and to have a happy life.

Which leads into the second choice and that is to make yourself better to make the social circle around you better. In my case I had a lot of growing up to do and I had to go through a lot circles after that first one before I was able to learn anything God was trying to teach me. He wanted to go one way and I wanted to go another. I wanted to be with the popular girls in my circle but He wanted me somewhere else.

Don’t get me wrong, some of my closest friends came out of the social circles that I am no longer a part of, but still, I had to leave the majority to grow in the direction God wanted me to be.

Would I go back to those social circles now and try to be friends with them? Probably not because they weren’t healthy for then and I am not sure if they would healthy for me now. Any type of stress to your body isn’t healthy for it. Memories can bring on stress and in that state, there is little good to come out of it. But if you really want to go back to circle from your past and be friends with them, by all means give it a try. People change as they grow and mature so things might be different. Just don’t get yourself in a situation where things have not changed.

If they haven’t changed and you fill the same feelings you did as before, I say pray for them and move on. You never know why God might be saying “no” to that group or even single person, but He has a reason.

Because words do make a difference. Have you ever been in a group where you are the center of the jokes or you know for a fact that you can’t say anything because it will be gossiped behind your back? I know I have. I am comforted by God’s Word that these don’t go unnoticed by Him in Matthew 12:36 “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak”. Since, as stated in previous posts, friends make up a lot about how we think of ourselves and the ability to love who we are. That is why it is important to hang around the right social circles.

Now that is just talking about personal social circles, but what about societal circles in like the media and the big picture? What about if we don’t fit into those circles?

I know that I don’t fit into the media’s “perfect woman”. I don’t wear a size 4 jean, or do my hair in the latest trends, or spend tons of money on make up and keep the perfect house. These are all unrealistic expectations that can’t be met. Even is we tried our whole lives, we couldn’t match to what society says we as women should be.

I am not going to restate things that I have already said since the design of these posts were to build on each other, but I think you as my wonderful readers know what I mean by not giving into society and its lies. We don’t have to be a size 4, we don’t have to have the perfect look in order to be beautiful. Life happens and some days the house just doesn’t get cleaned. And some days, the last thing you might want to do it apply make up in the morning. Those are all OK. Of course for me the clean house is an area actually I am working on to not be so up tight about since I can be a little OCD about it. Just ask my husband.

Any way that is not the point. The point is, we are beautiful and wonderfully made. I hope you can see how God loves us and He has created us to be the people we are right now. We are to love our bodies since He made them. He is the one who actually owns them and we are His temples. Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body”. So no matter what society, your friends, the doctors, your family or anyone else in the world says; you are God’s child and He loves you so much more than you can ever imagine. As long as we remember that it is the Holy Spirit living inside us (which is part of the trinity) then we remember that God is there too.

He wants us to go about our day know that we are loved. Maybe we don’t look how we would want to, and that is OK. It is good to try to make ourselves look and feel better for the glory of God. He wants us to have those moments of happiness and contentment but as long as they don’t replace Him. Because society’s opinion changes with the seasons on what is in and what isn’t but God doesn’t change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” Hebrews 13:8. So no matter what size you are today or in six months, God will love you. And when you know that then you will be able to love your body too.

Love Your Body Part 7

Loving others. It seems so hard to do at times. I know it is for me when someone cuts me off on the freeway or gives me a dirty look in the store for no reason. All I want to do is ask them “what’s your problem?” What did I do to deserve such treatment? Answer – nothing. It is a hard world we live in and no matter what we are supposed to love others.

Ok. Now I have really gone off the deep end right? Loving others to love my body. This had nothing to do with each other. Or so I thought.

I am human. just thought I would let you know. I am human and many times the last thing I want to do is love other people around me. I don’t mean my friends as I mentioned in my last post, but more those who are strangers. The people you don’t know. Maybe they are the crazy neighbor who lets their dog bark all day or the cashier who just charged you double for an item, but no matter we are to show them love.

Even those who are not Christians can agree with that. But I hold my authority higher according to Jesus’ words in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” We are to show patience, kindness, and love to all those who rub us the wrong way. Why? Because it will benefit us more if we do rather than them. Like in Romans 12:20 “To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’” I know sort of morbid but it’s true. The more we don’t hold a grudge against someone (stranger or not) the more it hurts them if we forgive instead of us.

Because I know that I want others to do the same to me as I do to them. Luke 6:31 “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” So I think twice when it comes to my actions more often.

This goes now to helping others less fortunate than you too. If you see that someone needs help then it is expected that you will help them. We are the hands and feet of Jesus and we are to show everyone with respect and love no matter their circumstances. And when we show them kindness and love, we are showing ourselves kindness and love by putting ourselves in their shoes for just a couple of seconds.

To love others is a selfless act and showing them that they matter to us. Even those people who drive us crazy or the homeless person on the street. We are to love others always and doing so will show we love ourselves. It’s not an act of selfishness but the opposite. We want to give our time in order to show them love and in doing they might be able to take what we have given and give it to someone else.

Love Your Body Part 6

One area that is important to loving our bodies believe it or not is – Friends. I couldn’t believe it either until I read “The Daniel Plan” by Rick Warren Buy it here and one of the chapters was full about how the right kind of friends can be good for you and are necessary.

I know when I was a kid, I was not that great at making friends. All my friends had four legs and ate a lot of hay. (I grew up riding horses in case that didn’t make any sense.) They were great friends too, as long as I kept the fed and watered, I could talk to them for hours and they would agree with me every time. Of course that is not a real friendship. Building a real friendship takes talking back and forth creating a lasting bond.

I have to laugh at myself really because my daughter is watching My Little Pony right now and the theme is all about being a good friend and the bond of friendship. She thinks the ponies are funny and the colors are nice and bright but the message is what I hope will stick. I didn’t have time for things like that and, even though it is a cartoon and the controversy of letting children watch TV is there, I know I couldn’t come up with the cute ways they do about being a good friend. The show covers, honesty, loyalty, kindness, generosity, and laughter throughout the episodes. All of which are needed to be a good friend. Magic is there too and I’ll have to have a conversation with her later but in some ways friendship is magic. Just not the kind that they use in the show.

Any way, I thought I would just share that little tid bit. Even a purple pony can teach me a thing or two. But how do friends effect you loving your body? If you surround yourself with the right friends, they will only make you feel better about yourself with just their presence. I know I feel good whenever I hang out with my friends and I have some really great ones. It gives me a sense of worth and balance.

Now if you pick the wrong friends and just hang out with a crowd to be accepted then that is the bad way to go. Good friends will help your well being but bad friends will only suck the life out of you. I have had some pretty bad friends growing up and the only reason I hung out with them was because I wanted to belong. I didn’t want to put the effort into making a good friend and my body suffered a lot from stress and anxiety being around them.

Bad friends will judge you, talk behind your back and bring you down instead of building you up. Good friends do the opposite obviously. As Proverbs 27:17 states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” and Proverbs 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Are your friends sharpening you or dulling you? Are you surrounding yourself with people just to belong somewhere or are your relationships solid and true?

Of course there is a friend that we can all have. He will never let us down and will always be there when we need Him. Psalm 25:14 says, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant”. God wants to be your friend no matter what circle you run in. He wants to have that connection that you will run to Him for advice and worry and the good times as well.

Many times God was my only friend since I hadn’t taken the time to make many and I am so glad He was there. He gave me the courage to go out and make more friends. He was the one that opened my heart when it wasn’t very open. He was the one that showed me to the people I needed to be with and those from my childhood that I had let slip through the cracks. He showed me through His word and through His people how to be a good friend. Or at least I am trying to be. I have to admit that I can still be very lazy and not a good friend by not speaking to my friends for weeks at a time but I still love every single one of them. Many of them live across the country so that is why there is such a silence, but I know that I can just call them up and it would be like we have never been apart.

I am thankful for all my friends. Without many of them, I don’t know where I would be. Is that the same for you? What friendships maybe have been slipping through the cracks? Are the friends you have now being a good example of how to treat yourself with love or are they being harmful to you? One way to show your body love is by surrounding yourself with people who care about and who respect you for who you are. Don’t let your good friends get away.

Here is a little song that I love that talks about having good friends   🙂

Circle of Friends – Point of Grace

Love Your Body Part 5

Weight. Ugh. I hate hearing about weight and all the issues that come with it. I hate going to the doctor and being judged because I am over weight and don’t fit into their box even though they have no idea what kind of lifestyle I have. All because the numbers don’t fit, I am a slob who doesn’t take care of herself right? Wrong.

I wish I could blow up the BMI scale and try to explain to modern medicine that we are not all suppose to fit in a box. We are all shapes and sizes and, like stated previously, being big doesn’t mean that I am any less healthy than a a tiny girl. It is unbelievable how small they say I should be.

Below is the scale. Look at your height and weight and see where you fit.

bmi-chart

My BMI scale is 37. Obese. Yuck. Here is a picture of me from daughter’s first birthday. Pardon the ears and tail. Her theme was My Little Pony 🙂

IMG_20150404_135639074_HDR

Now I know that I can lose about 40 pounds and be 180, but what I should be according the BMI scale is 145 pounds max! That’s 75 pound for me to lose. You can see that there is no way I could ever get to be that small. If I had to be that small then I would just say “I give up!” That is unrealistic and probably why most of us hate our bodies because they don’t fit in the little box that we are so called “Supposed” to fit in. I want to love my body as it is now. Not when I am at my goal weight.

I remember being pregnant with my daughter and being tested up the wazoo for things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other things just because I was a heavier mom-to-be. You know what happened? My blood was so good that they had never seen it stay so level and low in a long time with any mother. I never came close to having diabetes either. Why? Because even though my weight said one thing, my health said another.

So my readers, if you are having issues with weight don’t give up. It is not always your fault that you are the size you are. I know quite a few heavier people who love the way they are and don’t plan on changing their ways. They like the fast food and the ice cream and I say good for them. I am not talking about that kind of life style. I am talking to those who are living healthy lifestyles who are discouraged because they work so hard but the scale doesn’t show it.

I am right there with you. I know I work really hard and most of the time the scale doesn’t move. It’s horrible and disheartening but I keep going. I have to. And I encourage you to do the same. Because even though the scale isn’t moving, other things are happening. As we are cooking for us and our families meals that are heathly, they will effect how we see ourselves in the mirror and will help with our weight. But most importantly what goes inside our bodies are also getting better. Our blood is getting cleaner, our lungs are able to breathe easier, and our heart is pumping happier. It is all worth the work. It is all worth the sweat and tears.

Because our bodies deserve to be loved now. Not when we get to where we going but on the journey to get there. Because we are perfect in the sight of God. I am comforted by the verse below when I am down about my weight.

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

I hope this encourages you too and maybe some day the BMI scale and I will be friends. Until then, I will just keep working and striving for my goal weight while loving my body in the process.

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! 🙂