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Even though it’s been easy for me to be kind and compassionate with my clients who struggle with their body image, in the past I always held myself to an impossibly high standard.
Isn’t it the truth that we’re all our own worst critics?
But the fact of the matter is, the change I’ve experienced over the past few years in my self-image has been nothing short of miraculous.
So what did I do to move from a state of anxiety, self-consciousness, and dissatisfaction with my body, to one of acceptance, self-love, and contentment?
I submitted myself to God.
While you might have wanted me to share the perfect diet and lifestyle program that I found that finally solved my relationship with food and my body…
I can tell you with 100% certainty that this program does not exist.
There is no diet or workout routine that will change the way you view your body if you live in a state of low self-worth, not rooted in your inherent worth as a human. And I don’t believe any of us would have inherent self-worth were it not for a loving God who created us.
After all, without God, what makes our lives any more valuable than the animals and plants we eat, the ants we step on, or even the bacteria in our guts? For me, it doesn’t make sense that humans have inherent value unless you consider the fact that we were created in God’s image.
We are God’s children, and that fact alone gives you and me more self-worth than we can even imagine.
I understand this post can be challenging to read for people who question the existence of God, or who have had terrible experiences with religion in the past.
It can even be challenging for those who believe in God but question their own self-worth, or believe they can achieve greater self-worth by improving their body, sticking to a rigid diet with enviable self-control, or posting selfies at the gym after a tough workout.
None of those behaviors give us any self-worth, and to chase worthiness through your diet and exercise choices is not only a waste of time, but it’s incredibly damaging to your emotional and spiritual health.
I learned this the hard way after years of trying to manipulate and control my body and my appearance in order to receive praise and attention from my peers, especially members of the opposite sex.
I was never thin enough, never pretty enough, never attractive enough, and was constantly driven by the next stage in my physical development.
Whatever size I was, I needed to be a size smaller. Even though my stomach was flat, I couldn’t see ab definition and that wasn’t good enough. Thighs that rubbed together when I walked? Unacceptable.
It was exhausting and completely demoralizing to live life this way.
I was in constant anxiety about my appearance and my value in the eyes of others.
And when I started my grad school nutrition program, suddenly my body became not only a way to attract others to me, but it also became evidence of my knowledge as an against-the-grain nutrition student.
I believed if I wasn’t in perfect shape, no one would take my controversial nutrition opinions seriously.
I put so much stock in my body that it started to become my identity. Thank God I had enough wherewithal to not do anything dangerous to my body, but it could have easily gone in that direction had I continued the path I was on.
Fortunately, before anything could get too serious with my poor body image and disordered relationship with food and exercise, I got to a place where I decided I didn’t want to live this way anymore. That there had to be something better for me than chasing perfection and trying to live up to others’ (and especially my own) expectations.
That was when I began to seek God and His truth for my life, not the lies I was being told by the world and the society around me.
It’s been a multi-year process at this point, and I still struggle all the time to live a life of complete submission to God. But the heart change that has come from putting God first in my life has completely altered the way I treat my body, and has provided me a sincere, deeply rooted belief in my self-worth, even in those moments I feel critical of my body.
(Especially in those moments.)
I now understand that Jesus didn’t die so that I could live a life of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt, but one of freedom, boldness, and self-love.
Anchoring myself in that truth has been the only thing that has actually allowed me to permanently change the way I approach my diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.
Want to let God help you change your approach to health too?
This is some pretty heavy stuff, but I promise it will be life-changing if you open yourself up to the possibility of God changing your heart.
That’s why I’ve created this FREE training for you: The 5 Secrets of Fearlessly Healthy Women of Faith
This eye-opening video covers the 5 most important shifts you must make in order to become truly healthy and free from fear around your health decisions.
Listen, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were created for so much more than fear and frustration around food and fitness. Let me show you how you can experience true freedom in your health, and incredible purpose for your life.
If you’re ready to experience true peace and freedom in your health, here’s what I want you to do.
To watch this free training, go to fedandfearless.com/free and set aside one hour of your time to commit to your personal growth.
You’ll get instant access to this free training, and you’ll walk away with a brand new perspective on how to approach health from a faith-based perspective, so you can live the purpose-driven life you were created for.
Once you watch the training, share in the comments below what your big takeaways were!