I hate talking about this. I hate admitting that I don't always feel like I am enough, I don't always feel beautiful, and often I'm not pleased with the way I look. My whole life, I have worn the chains of being hyper-aware of my size and constantly worrying about if my thighs are too big, if my stomach protrudes a little too much, and if I can wear this or that or if I'll look "too fat." I know these doubts and questions are not from the Lord and not how he designed me to feel or to think, but rather it is a reflection of the society and culture that I have bought into.
Maybe you're like me, and so here are five things I've begun to tell myself whenever I feel those self-doubts creep in.
1. I Am Beautiful
If you're like me, these are words that you struggle to believe no matter how many times you've heard it. But, I've realized that the person who probably says these words the least is yourself. So even though this will feel abnormal and probably a little silly try this: look into the mirror, look at the part of your body that you hate the most and say these words: Wow, I'm beautiful. Speak the truths into your life that you struggle to believe the most. You are beautiful, you are gorgeous, wow you are a whole snack. It seems silly, but you can't wait for people to validate you if you don't validate yourself. Even when you don't believe the words you're saying, keep saying them.
2. I Am The Size I Need To Be: My Body Knows Itself
We live in a diet culture. Meaning our culture is absorbed with the next weight loss regime and constantly telling us that we need to lose five more pounds to be fiv times happier or something like that. But here's the thing. Our bodies are smart, they do things that we don't even understand. They know how to keep breathing without us telling them to, they are constantly moving our blood around to keep us oxygenated and we literally have white blood cells that fight diseases to keep us healthy.
Our bodies do so much more than we give them credit for and do things we never stop and consider. Yes, take care of yourself and don't just give up on living healthy, but also know that your body knows what it needs. When your body is hungry, feed it. And when you're not hungry, stop eating. Listen to your body and treat it with respect. And know that right now at this very moment, you are the size you need to be.
3. Health is More Important Than Looks
In our society, we weigh good looks by how thin a person is and in some twisted way have distributed more "worth" to someone who can fit into a smaller pant size. But the truth is that what matters most is health. You can be a size 0 and unhealthy, and you can be a size 16 and healthy. There is no one ideal body, the ideal goal should be health. Some people are thin and healthy, and others are a little more round and still healthy. It is unhealthy to constantly be on diets, and mentally unhealthy to obsess over ideal weight.
4. I Am More Than My Outward Appearance
While it is true that the outside is what people see most clearly, it is the inside that people get to know most dearly and what matters most. Remind yourself that you are talented, you are funny, you have hidden strengths nobody knows, and you have amazing qualities that anybody would be lucky to know. Our bodies fluctuate and change, and one day they will dissipate and nobody will remember what you looked like.
But people will remember the type of person you were. They will remember what you did, what you said, and how you made them feel. Remember that everyone has insecurities and struggles. And instead of focusing on your own struggles, look at how you can encourage other people during their time of struggle.
5. I Am Loved
I am a person whose love language is words of affirmation, and sometimes I feel that I don't get enough words of affirmation from the people in my life and feel run down. Which is when I need to remind myself to give myself my own words of affirmation. Not only does my family and friends love me, but more than that I love myself. Love yourself, and when you feel like you are not enough in any way, tell yourself you are and love yourself through it. Also, remember that there is One out there who loves you infinitely. He is the creator who made you and who calls you beautiful, He is the one who satisfies and the one who is Enough.
I am not a finished product. There are still days when I don't believe these words above, and there are moments when I just would do anything to look different. It is hard. But you are not alone. And it is hard to be vulnerable and admit that you struggle, but in my weakness, Jesus is strong. So I'm here with you, friend. We are not finished products, but we are loved always.