Dethroning my idol of thinness

13 May

My mom mailed me a couple new books this past weekend. I’ve already almost finished one. It was about making peace with your body image from a Christian perspective. It was good. It’s main premise is that once you understand who you are–God’s beloved child, chosen before the foundation of the world and redeemed by Christ on the cross–you will be able to embrace and respect your body as a gift from God. That respect will in turn enable you to care for your body through eating right and exercising instead of punishing and starving it.

It made me realize that Christ died to free me from the world and its unrealistic expectations. Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Only by the transformation of my mind through the power of the Gospel will I be able to discover what is good, acceptable, and perfect. It’s not chiseled abs, a small waist, the latest fashions. For a godly woman, it is “the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). The key to accepting my body and respecting it is seeing myself the way God sees me and letting His opinion be the only one that matters.

I am also reading another book that isn’t Christian but I think it will also help me stop obsessing about food, weight, and body image. It’s called Intuitive Eating. The authors pretty much say that by listening to your body’s hunger cues (not bingeing or starving but feeding it when it’s hungry and stopping when it’s full) your body will reach its natural equilibrium. And the best part–you can still eat all your favorite foods!

I have been “practicing” intuitive eating since last fall–except for my month-long detour into calorie counting. It is an amazing feeling to eat dinner, enjoy it, and yet not eat so much that you feel like all you can do afterwards is go lie down. Like last night, after dinner (tacos), I cleaned our apartment. I literally put my dishes in the sink and grabbed the vaccuum. After being a frequent overeater for many years, being able to do this feels great.

I still have a ways to go. I still sometimes tally calories in my head, steer clear of certain “bad” foods, or feel guilty if I eat a decadent dessert. I want to get to a place where eating what my body needs and stopping when I’m full is second-nature and I don’t even have to think about it. I don’t want to obsess about my weight and food for the rest of my life. So much wasted energy!! 

Last night, as I was praying, I asked God to help change my mentality regarding weight and food. I asked Him to make me thankful for all the things that my body can do (like run a half marathon!) and to believe that I am perfect in His eyes–He personally sewed me together in my mother’s womb and hand-chose everything about me. I know that I need His help to change and to stop worshipping the idol of thinness. I’m excited to see His faithfulness at work!

One Response to “Dethroning my idol of thinness”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Food. « - February 21, 2009

    […] I felt like I couldn’t do it without my body and weight becoming idols. I even blogged about this very thing a little less than a year […]

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