Have you ever been on a diet? How many times? If you’re like most of us the answer is probably, “I start a new one every morning!”
One study found that 86% of Americans want to lose weight. (i) Really? 86% of us are not happy with our shape?
With 66% of Americans fighting overweight issues (ii), it does make sense that many are struggling to lose those extra pounds. Of course we want to be healthy, but do we really have to look like a model?
As Christians we are blessed to know that we are children of God and He loves us. That alone should be enough to make us feel good about ourselves. He wants us to be happy and I believe He also wants us to be healthy so we can accomplish all that we can during our sojourn on earth.
But to be healthy and accomplish our work we also have to stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s take charge of our health and love the body we're in. The really cool thing about embracing your shape and unique beauty is if you feel good about yourself it will be easier to improve your health and lose weight.
Ideas to help you love your shape and size:
1. Bury the scale under your laundry pile - try to focus more on how your clothes are fitting and how you feel. If you want a true indicator of improvement try a fat percentage test or measure yourself regularly with a tape measure.
2. Lift weights in front of a mirror (it’s okay to do this in a sports bra, at least if you’re in your bedroom without your teenagers laughing at you) - watch how your muscles contract and realize that you are strong and beautiful.
3. Don't compare yourself - Everyone has their own strengths. It might be easy for your friend to stay thin, but maybe she couldn't lift her 95-pound ten-year old and carry him to the doctor when he broke his arm (that was a proud moment). Try to compliment and be happy for other people instead of letting that darn jealousy take over. Looking for the best in others will help you feel better about yourself too.
4. Pray – We’ve been instructed to pray over our fields, flocks, homes, etc. I think it is also important to pray about overcoming food addictions, to pray for help in finding the time and energy to exercise and improve our health, and to pray for confidence. The Lord wants us to be happy. Turn to him and He will fulfill those needs.
5. Exercise - whenever you allow negativity to creep in, go on a walk or bike ride, turn on some music and dance, drop and do twenty pushups, try some yoga moves. Make yourself move. The endorphins will start dancing with you and you really will feel better. (iii)
6. Fake it until you make it. I know this seems, well, fake. But I promise if you put a smile on your face and pretend you love your body, you can change your attitude and eventually the smile will feel more natural than the frown.
7. Be grateful for the health you've got. Whenever I'm on a run and want to quit I tell myself, "Some people would give anything to be able to run and they can't." Focus on the blessings of being able to move, breathe, and serve your family, neighbors, and those in need with your healthy body.
8. Write down the things you love about your body. If you get a bit depressed about the dimples on your thighs (please tell me someone else has those too) focus instead on how toned your calves look or the fact that your biceps are really responding to all those curls.
Focus on taking care of your body and I promise your body will love you back.
Cami Checketts is a wife, mother, author, and exercise scientist. For exercise routines, please refer to her blog – fitmommas.blogster.com. Her latest novel, The Sister Pact, will be released in July 2009.
i. Addressing Body Image in Eating Disorder Treatment
Author: Meghan Vivo
An Interview with Anna Treacy, MPH, NCHES
ii. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
iii. The Most Important Exercise Tip By Robin Lloyd, Special to LiveScience
Link to this post - http://fitnessformom.blogspot.com/2009/05/love-body-youre-in.html