When it comes to body image, remember this: God loves every inch of us!
Posted in , May 31, 2015
Recently while traveling from Asheville, NC, to Indianapolis, I was perusing a copy of a women’s magazine to pass the flight time when I came across a picture of Jennifer Aniston.
She looks amazing, I thought.
Then I read her age—she’s exactly my age!
No way! How can this be? She looks like she could be in her mid-20s! Look at those abs!
Not only that, she has perfect skin and gorgeous hair, and she seems like the ‘girl next door’ that you’d actually want to be friends with… (Insert sigh of hopelessness and discontent here).
It was at that moment, I fell smack dab into the Comparison Trap.
Nothing against Jen—I am actually a big fan—but here’s the reality: she is paid to look gorgeous. My good friend said it best, “Look, if I had a personal trainer to motivate me and help me get into shape and a personal chef to prepare healthy yet yummy meals for me every day, I could look amazing, too!”
Here’s another dose of reality. I once helped a former lingerie model write her memoir, and she told me that even famous models are airbrushed and enhanced for magazines and catalogues.
Think about that for a moment. If these 5’10", 108-pound models are being photo-shopped to improve their “imperfections,” when we see the final product in the pages of our favorite fashion magazines, their images are truly perfect … as well as perfectly unattainable.
In other words, we’re being set up to fail. We look at their “perfect 10” bodies, and then we study our own physiques and think, “Well, forget this! I can never look like that, so I think I’ll just drown my sorrows in a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream.”
It doesn’t have to be a celebrity comparison that causes us to stumble on our journey to a fabulous, fit and healthy version of ourselves. It might be a best friend who just lost 30 pounds and meets you for coffee wearing hot, skinny jeans, causing you to feel like “frumpy friend.”
Don’t be jealous; instead, celebrate her transformation. Be inspired, not envious. And, don’t waste any energy comparing your backside to hers—it’s a futile activity that will only end with another pint of ice cream.
That’s why this comparison trap is so damaging. It can totally derail us. One discouragement detour leads to another, and before you know it, you’ve given up. So, ladies, stop comparing yourself to your BC (before children) self; stop comparing yourself to celebrities; and stop comparing yourself to your friends.
You are an original! You are uniquely wonderful! You are valuable! And, though you may not be the exact weight you wish to be, or have the backside you once had at 22, that doesn’t make you any less valuable.
It’s okay to have weight loss goals—realistic, non-photoshopped goals—and push forward to achieve a healthy, fit body, but comparing yourself to others will only make that journey less enjoyable.
It’s time we start loving ourselves again. It’s time we see ourselves through the eyes of our Heavenly Father. It’s time we celebrate every inch of ourselves—even if there are more inches there than we’d like. It’s time we strive for progress, not perfection.
Praise God that you have another day to live this amazing life. Praise God that you have the gift of eternal life because He sent His Son. Praise God that even though you’re not perfect, you are perfectly loved by Him!
It’s a great day to be alive, so go out and live it—free from self-loathing and the fear of judgment—and determine you’ll never fall victim to the comparison trap again.
Pray this with me:
Father, thank You for creating me exactly the way that You did. Help me to love myself and see myself the way that You see me, Lord. And, Father, help me to include you in every step of this journey to a healthy, fit body—a body that will be better able to serve You and fulfill the calling that You have on my life. Thank You for another day. I love You. In the Mighty Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.