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The emphasis on our physical body has never been more pronounced than it is today. Because of this, many women now root their self worth and value in their physical bodies.
We’re constantly bombarded with Instagram influencers, television commercials, and even our next door neighbors telling us how we can lose weight and finally get six-pack abs.
Or bragging about how they’re killing themselves at the gym for their trip to Mexico this summer.
Or how their new juice cleanse is getting rid of their love handles.
It’s maddening keeping up with everyone’s latest and greatest trends to modify their physical bodies into something that society tells them is more desirable than what they are now.
All of this attention on the physical has told us that the most valuable thing about us is our appearance. (And women really do take the brunt of this emphasis on appearances.)
When our self worth and value as a human being is tied to how our physical body looks, we’re headed down a long road of dissatisfaction.
Don’t get me wrong. Feeling good in your body is important. But it shouldn’t be where you determine your worth.
Being able to captivate others with how you look, how you dress, or how you did your makeup is empowering. It’s a tempting trap to fall into. One that many women, myself included, have succumbed to far too many times.
And I can tell you from experience, what you find at the other end is empty. While you may be getting more attention, it’s mostly meaningless, fleeting admiration.
All of the second glances, compliments, and praises feel great at first. But they can’t truly satisfy the longing of our hearts to be known, heard, and understood.
Beauty is Fleeting
The body that you’ve worked (or are trying to work) so hard to achieve will not be here forever.
You will age, things will start to wrinkle and sag, and the self-worth you sweated and dieted over will fade as well.
And when our value and worth is tied to something that isn’t guaranteed tomorrow, we’re setting ourselves up for a lifetime of telling ourselves we’re not good enough.
So, don’t let that snare of influence based on your looks determine your worth as a human.
You ARE good enough. You’re more than enough. Just because God made you this way.
If you can root your self-worth, confidence, and acceptance in something other than your physical body, it will stand the test of time.
Rooting Your Worth in Something That Lasts
Our physical bodies don’t last, period.
There’s no amount of dieting or training or plastic surgery that can keep us looking like we did in high school.
Finding your self worth in a body that was made to change and succumb to the effects of gravity and aging isn’t a formula for long-term contentment.
Which is why rooting your self-worth in something that is unchanging is so important in shifting your mindset around this topic.
For me, that unchanging source of my worthiness is in my relationship with God.
Believing that God accepts me because of Jesus’ sacrifice… no matter what I do or don’t do… was a huge game changer in how I viewed my own worth.
When I think about how God loves me and has chosen me as a daughter, I can’t help but feel valued and accepted. Even when I have a rough day, or get rejected by a potential client, or receive a mean comment on Instagram.
Before I was even born, God knew me and loved me. He knew exactly how many hairs were going to be on my head, how tall I was going to be, and who I was going to marry. He knows how many children I’ll have, where my career is headed, and when I’ll be coming home to Him.
His acceptance of me is not based on the physical. It never was and it never will be.
This gives me the power to not let my looks determine if I’m worthy.
When my value as a person taking up space on this planet is rooted in how God sees me, it cannot be shaken by things as easily changing as my appearance or beauty.
God Chooses David
David was a shepherd. And in his day, people were chosen to be shepherds because they were small, unassuming, and not physically fit enough to do much else.
It certainly wasn’t the most glamorous or sought after career. And David definitely wouldn’t be on Instagram today showing off his toned physique.
But, when God chose the next king from David and his seven older brothers (who were warriors and very physically fit, by the way) He gives us a glimpse into what He truly values.
God passed over each of David’s older brothers, who, by society’s standards would have made ideal kings.
Because, the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
David certainly didn’t look like the next king of Israel.
But God called him worthy. Worthy to lead a nation… to be in the lineage of Jesus… to pen an entire book of the Bible and influence a countless number of people.
Not at all based on his appearance, but based on his heart and who God created him to be.
You Are Worthy
And the same can be said for me and you today.
God calls you worthy not because of how you look, but because you are simply you.
So much thought and intentionality went into creating you. There is no one else like you.
And even if you don’t look like the next Instagram model or the girl on the cover of the fitness magazine, God is still calling you into greatness. Just like David.
So don’t count yourself out if your body doesn’t look or even function exactly the way you want it to. You are so much more than a body. You are a soul that loves and serves and provides.
And it’s time that you started viewing yourself that way!
Ways to Cultivate A Sense of Worthiness
When we’ve put our self worth in our physical bodies or appearance for most of our lives, we have to make a conscious effort to change that mindset.
Just because we KNOW that our worth can be rooted in places other than how we look, this mindset shift won’t happen overnight. This is why we need to make a conscious, daily effort to shift our thinking.
I’m going to show you five methods you can use to begin making that mindset shift in your own life.
These aren’t five magic steps to no longer caring about your physical appearance. This change will not happen overnight. But like anything else in life that’s worth doing, shifting your mindset around where your worth lies will take time and effort.
And in my life, this change wouldn’t have been possible without my faith in God and His ability to change me from the inside out.
Just believing in God is not going to enable you to make this change either. He gives us the ability to change, but we have to put effort into receiving that change!
At times it will be a struggle. You will backslide and fall back into your old pattern of thinking.
But if you’re able to keep coming back to these ideas, I’m confident you can begin to make the necessary mindset shifts that will free you from basing your worth on how you look.
Mindset Shift #1: Start Journaling
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to begin making mindset shifts.
Writing down your thoughts and beliefs about yourself forces you to face these insecurities head on. There’s no room for keeping those thoughts in the dark when they’re now words on a page.
Start by writing down all of the things about yourself that are positive. Things that have NOTHING to do with your physical body.
At first, this process might be pretty difficult. When we’re stuck in the pattern of finding value mainly in our appearance, finding things to be grateful for outside of that can be challenging.
But with practice, you’ll more easily be able to find the value and the beauty in things outside your body.
Are you proud of how you handled a certain situation at work?
Did you take extra time to help a friend with a problem she was having?
Were you able to fuel and nourish your body with healthy foods today?
Did you make your husband feel extra loved and appreciated after work?
Noticing and recording all of these small wins in your life – wins that have absolutely nothing to do with your looks – can really help to shift your perspective about yourself.
So get yourself a journal, and start writing!
Mindset Shift #2: Find the Root of Your Worthiness
The root of my worthiness is in God and who he says I am. My self worth has nothing to do with my physical body and how I look.
And if you’re a Christian, studying God’s word and how he has called you to a higher purpose, without regard for your appearance, is the best way to begin finding your worth in Him.
I also understand not everyone has that same relationship with God. But that doesn’t mean you can just skip this step.
You still need to find something to root your worthiness and value in that is NOT how you look.
What about yourself makes you proud to be you?
What in your life makes you feel like you’re worth taking up space?
Maybe it’s your role as a loving mother and wife. Or your ability to be a supportive, encouraging friend. Or the work you do that helps others thrive.
You are so much more than a body. So, faith in God or not, it’s time to dig deep and really think about what makes you worthy.
Mindset Shift #3: Discover Your Purpose
Discovering a purpose for this season of life you’re in is an important step in finding worth outside of how you look.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we weren’t created to just get skinny and die.
You were with a set of gifts and callings that can benefit the world as only you can.
You are so much more than your outward appearance. This shell of a body is not what gives your life meaning and purpose.
So I challenge you to really search your heart to find the reason behind the season of life you’re in.
Lean into discovering why God has you where you are right now.
And in finding that greater purpose, you will begin to shift your mindset away from valuing your appearance above all else.
I believe the purpose of my life in this season is to help high-achieving, purpose-driven women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s discover their best diet and lifestyle to reach their physical, mental, and spiritual health goals.
Through this journey, these women become the expert in their own bodies and use their health as a tool to pursue their bigger purpose and make a meaningful impact in the world.
I am especially passionate about teaching women how to use functional medicine, food, and fitness to optimize hormone health, fertility, gut health, and physical strength and performance.
My coaching programs help women develop what I call a “Fed and Fearless” mindset, where they are able to approach their health goals from a self-care perspective, and become fearless in their pursuit of a healthy, meaningful life.
And I didn’t just come up with that vision statement overnight. It took a lot of prayer and searching my heart to discover my own purpose.
Finding your purpose in life is such a freeing thing. It lifts the burden of carrying what you’re not meant to carry. Allowing you to focus on what truly matters.
And, speaking as someone who’s been there, your appearance and your physical body is NOT what really matters, and is NOT what determines your worth.
Mindset Shift #4: Surround Yourself with People Who Value You for You
The people we surround ourselves with influence how we view our self-worth more than you make think.
If our group of friends (or even who we follow on Instagram) are constantly expressing that their value is in their body, it’s going to start to make us think the same about ours.
Which can be especially damaging if we have a different body type than those who are influencing us.
And this is one area where the health and fitness industry has begun to go very wrong.
Instead of inspiring women to take care of and be the healthiest versions of themselves, we’re constantly bombarded with messages that tell us our bodies aren’t good enough.
That if we don’t look like the Instagram model we’re following, we’re doing health and fitness wrong.
I challenge you to evaluate your group of friends and who you’re following on social media.
Are these people seeing your inner worth and value? Or are they sending you the message that you’re only worthy if you’re at the gym six days a week?
Those messages might be subtle. But when you make an effort to look for them, they’ll show up in more places than you’d think.
Surrounding yourself with people who value you for YOU, not for how you look, is instrumental in making this mindset shift.
Find a tribe that is more concerned with how they treat the homeless man on the corner than how they look in a sports bra and leggings.
Those are the people who will lift you up and encourage you to value yourself for who you are. Not for what you look like.
Mindset Shift #5: Determine What Real Health Means to You
I’ve seen so many women (myself included) who only determine health by the number on the scale.
When in reality that number is just a number.
Health is a combination of so many factors, like the food you eat, how much you exercise, and the relationships you have.
I used to be so driven by the desire to be physically fit and attractive. My main marker of health was whether or not I was happy with what I saw in the mirror.
Thankfully, after years of working to find my worth outside of my appearance, I can say that real health has taken on a whole new meaning for me.
I wrote a blog post a while ago sharing my top 10 indicators of true health and wellbeing that now guide my day-to-day life.
This practice was so influential in the transforming of my own mindset around health. And I challenge you to do the same.
Numbers, measurements, and scales aside… Think of what actually makes you feel healthy.
Is it that you have enough energy to play with your kids all day?
Or that you can enjoy going out to eat and not have to worry about how it will affect your digestion?
Health is so much more than what we look like or how much we weigh. And determining these markers in your own life will be transformative in how you view your self-worth.
The Bottom Line
You are so much more than a body. And your worth and value as a human being have nothing to do with what you see in the mirror.
And while feeling good in your body is important, it’s not where you should be finding your worth.
You are worthy because you’re a child of God. And have been called to live a life that is uniquely yours.
You have gifts and talents to share with this world that have absolutely nothing to do with your physical appearance.
This is not an easy mindset shift to make. Years of culture, friends, and our own inner dialogue telling us that our self-worth is tied to our physical body is not easy to undo.
But I encourage you to start taking steps today, no matter how small, to begin shifting that mindset.
There is so much freedom found in a life that no longer ties self-worth to a physical body. This all can come when you realize you are worthy because God made you uniquely and beautifully you.
And if you’re struggling with this I’d love to walk with you through this mindset shift. You can sign up for a strategy session with me here.
Do you struggle with rooting your self-worth in your physical body? How has this post helped to shift any of your thoughts and feelings about this? Let me know in the comments below!