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5 Ways to Encourage a Positive Body Image (so you learn to love what’s looking back in the mirror)

5 ways to encourage a positive body image

Having a positive body image actually doesn’t start with self love. (here’s a Confidently She podcast episode about that)

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That’s like saying having a birthday cake starts with lighting the candles.

Sure, that’s technically what makes a regular cake into a birthday cake, but the process of making a cake started way before.

Body image is like that.

If you want to love your body, you can’t start with the finishing touches.

Body positivity isn’t some fluff idea for Pinterest and Instagram. It’s a serious life change that brings you freedom from the judgement of others (and, let’s be honest, yourself)

So where do you start?

Let’s keep thing birthday cake example going. I’m guessing you’d think the place to start when making a cake is preheating the oven, greasing the pan, and mixing ingredients.

That’s where most people start with body image, too. I did this for years. Problem with how your body looks? Let’s fix that body! Get new gym clothes, find a new exercise program, switch up your eating habits!

But that isn’t the beginning, that’s the middle.

What’s the actual beginning of making a cake? buying ingredients, sure…but we miss a crucial first step.

Figuring out the purpose for the cake.

Who’s birthday is it for? How many people will be there? When does it need to be ready? What flavor do they like? Would they actually prefer cookies?

Skipping this first step leads to frustration along the way, and even if you make the most delicious round little red velvet cake, if you should up to the party and everyone wanted funfetti – you’ll feel like you failed.

How relatable is this to body image?!

So here are 5 ways to encourage a positive body image.

This is different from EVERYTHING else you see online, because it actually starts at the beginning (not the middle or end)

Why is this important? Well, because you’ll feel REAL change in the way you see yourself without changing a dang thing – or lying to yourself.

  1. Write down 2 daily functions of a body (walking, lifting, creating, talking, singing, etc) now imagine losing those functions.
  2. Write down 2 daily needs of a body (rest, food, water, movement, laughter, etc) now imagine a body’s response to depriving it of those needs.
  3. Ask yourself, “who is my body created for and why?” (myself? God? my husband? other people?)
  4. If everyone on the planet looked exactly the same, how would people identify you from someone else?
  5. Start asking yourself questions in the 3rd person now and then (what does Rebekah need? What is Rebekah’s body trying to tell her?)

These 5 prompts challenge you to think of yourself in a more objective way. You start treating yourself as you would another person coming to you for advice.

We are so much nicer to other people than we are to ourselves.

It’s easier to give grace to someone else than forgive ourselves or accept our own flaws.

So if you’re trying to develop body confidence and a positive body image, start by seeing yourself the way you see others.

Better yet, see yourself the way God sees you. He didn’t create you to criticize your flaws. He designed you exactly to be who you are – flaws included.

We will never have perfect bodies until we are in heaven! So I stopped buying into the lie that I have to give all my energy toward “fixing” a body that isn’t meant to last forever anyway.

Do I care for my body? Absolutely. I actually care for it more now that I’ve stopped putting all my worth and value in my appearance.

It’s a crazy thing that happens.

The more freedom I feel in my body, the more motivated I am to care for it – because I’m no longer afraid of doing it “wrong”

For more encouragement and resources on body image, confidence, and faith based living – download my Faith Over Fear Flashcards!

You’ll be added to my email list, Confidently She – where I send my absolute best advice and ideas for freely living in the awesome body God created for you.

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April 25, 2019

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