Of loving your body
“Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!”
– Song of Solomon 4:1
I’ve been constantly bugged by my officemate and seatmate V, because of her weight issues and unhealthy self-image that it makes me ponder for the last few days how substantially important for women to acquire that perfect body and look. Taking these words from the book “Reclaim Your Beauty” of a former America’s Next Top Model and now a Catholic speaker and author Leah Darrow:
“The sad reality is that only 4% of women worldwide believe they are beautiful. To put it more dramatically, 96% of women do not believe they are beautiful (http://www.dove.us/Our-Mission/Girls-Self-Esteem/Our-Research/default.aspx). This staggering percentage of women who do not feel beautiful is probably connected to our culture’s deficient definition of beauty. When we buy into the idea that beauty is about a certain size, shiny hair or a sexy look, we have bought into the culture’s idea of beauty. We have only to look at the staggering number of selfies taken every single day (93 million) to see that we have totally bought into the culture’s idea of beauty as a certain “look”. Sadly, the culture’s idea of beauty rarely, if ever, touches upon what is truly beautiful about a woman.”
It also speaks a lot of what I’m facing these times as I’ve gained a lot of pounds and belly fats during the latter part of last year that I’m certain I was at my fattest state. There came a time I wrote a pitiful letter to the Lord and told him how ugly I felt, how unworthy I believed I was with tears streaming down my face as I asked and begged Him to reveal to me the beauty that He sees in me.
Not helping in this struggle is receiving a lot of snide and uncaring remarks regarding my weight and as much as I want to not put a damn on their comments, I know I must do something for myself. There are some people with well-meaning remarks but there are those whose words put your already low self-esteem down the drain.
So I promised to give compassion on myself as I venture into my fitness journey as much as I would give compassion to those who don’t love their bodies. This whole concept of loving yourself is a looonnggg and lifetime journey I guess and it starts with appreciating how infinitely beautiful you are because God designed you. And it continues every single day as you pick up yourself when you fail. When you binge eat and indulge in sweets, when you are too lazy for workout or when you compare yourself with other perfectly figured women. It’s okay to admire and be inspired by these women but when it results to self-loathing, it does more harm than good. Most of the time, comparison really kills our ability to appreciate the beauty in our bodies. Just like my officemate V, she never appreciated her tall figure and voluptuous body but compared hers with Victoria Secret models. I always have to tell her I find her sexy and sultry but she looked at herself as fat and as a result is now in an operation to lose weight. Losing weight is not bad, it leads to a healthier and more fit you. But I also know that sometimes it means starving yourself to death then eating like a hungry monster then punishing yourself to a strenuous workout. And because it felt so arduous, you quit and loathed yourself some more. That’s what happened to me before. But as any battle scars, it equips you to be better.
Now I’m into this lifetime fitness journey, not to gain admiring looks from other people but because choosing good health is one way of loving myself and a way to love the body God gifted me.
To you who struggle to have the perfect body and look (and to remind myself too), your beauty is not defined by this world but by God. Focus on the words He is whispering to you as He reveals how “beautiful, wonderful, glorious, and matchless in every way” you are because you are made in His image. More beautiful than the most beautiful sunset you’ve witnessed, more wonderful than the blue skies above and more loved that you’ve ever thought possible. And you don’t have to try too hard because your beauty is a gift.
You are beautiful.