I’m sure we can all agree that we dread hearing or seeing things about swimsuit season coming up. Many people are intimidated to take off their t-shirts or cover-ups when the time comes to attend that fun pool party. I think that, we as young women, get this thought in our heads that we need to look like our friends, people you follow on Instagram, Sport Illustrated women/girls or a model in a Victoria Secret magazine. We think that our bodies need to be in that form to feel comfortable or confident in our swimwear. Feeling confident comes from being content with your own body, but you know that’s easier said than done!
To be honest, this isn’t the easiest thing to talk about…. there are many reasons why I started this blog, one of those being able to talk about my struggles such as my health and body image. I’ve been told that I look stubby (people called me “stubs”), that I carry my weight in my legs, I look like a softball player (which are probably from all of those years of playing softball) and many more. I had heard this all through my adolescence and some during my adult life. So it is safe to say I HAVE MANY INSECURITIES ABOUT MY BODY. But I know that I’m not the only one- we all deal with insecurities. We have things that we dislike about ourselves that make us question our worthiness.
When we deal with insecurities in our bodies the first thing we target is what we put in our mouths. I know that fully well because I’ve had a complicated relationship with food since I can remember. Holidays and parties (which seem to always be happening) are especially hard for people who have complicated food relationships. The lack of control over a menu would/give me anxiety, thinking about what I’m going to eat and how am I going to work it off the next day. Going through this struggle (that I sometimes still deal with today) isn’t the easiest thing to go through, especially when you feel alone.
When I went off to college, it sort of “rocked my world.” *Side note- I dealt with many challenges in my college life which I will tell you all eventually ;)….. It made me feel like I needed to constantly fit in with everyone, go to all the parties or go anywhere anytime I was invited, be thin and overcommit myself in order to be liked by everyone. I started doing things that I wouldn’t normally do which made me realize that when I ran it would make my mind be at ease. After realizing that I could control my world by running why not become thinner by not eating as much. I started getting compliments that only made me feel better about myself, which made me think that I was actually fitting in because people were noticing me. This was such a LIE that I kept telling myself, but I continued to do it because that is what I considered success at the time.
As I continued to lose weight and eat in this weird way that seemed healthy, I became the center of attention in any room. My friends and family praised my discipline and what appeared to be -“healthy” habits, - but I knew I wasn’t feeding my body what it needed after running. Each time I ate less and less, I had so much pride in my control. Many people targeted their desires for thinness and working out upon my thin body which resulted in them wanting my advice.
Before I knew it, my mom was starting to worry about me and even had tears at times, which still didn’t make me want to change the way I lived. It made me think a little bit, but it truly never changed me. After graduating college and going through a hard break up (which didn’t make the eating problem any better), something in my head sort of hit me. I wasn’t being the healthy person I wanted to be, nor was I enjoying life. At this point I knew that I needed to talk to someone about this it helped me not only with that problem, but many more things that I had delayed dealing with.
Being more open about issues and knowing that you aren’t alone is a way to fight Satan away. He wants us to keep all of our struggles bottled up. He doesn’t want us to speak about our problems to others and God. Satan knows that when we confess our sins or shortcomings that we are being set free from God.
So if you are struggling with body imaging or an eating disorder remember that it’s ok to talk to someone. And if you find yourself getting stressed or anxious about food, remember God created food for you to enjoy! Don’t give Satan the power of keeping everything to yourself. Here are a couple of verses to help:
- Instead everything that God has created all of those foods are a gift for you to savor and enjoy. (Genesis 9:3)
- When you call to the Lord he will answer which help deliver me from all fears of being afraid. (Psalms 34:4)
- I praise God, everyday knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are his works and my soul knows it. (Psalm 137:14)
- Food is meant for your stomach and the stomach for the food-so whether you eat or drink you should always do it all to glorify God. (1 Corinthians 6:13 & 10:31)