Ladies, Love the Body You Are In
By Cami Checketts
How many times have you been on a diet? If you’re like most women the answer is probably, “I start a new one every Monday!” One study found that 86% of women want to lose weight. (i) With 66% of Americans overweight (ii), it makes sense that many are struggling to lose those extra pounds. Of course we want to be healthy, but do we really have to be perfect?
As Christian women 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. It's time to stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s take charge of our health and love the body we're in. The really cool thing is if you feel good about yourself, it will be easier to improve your health and lose weight.
Here's my list of ideas to help:
1. Throw away the scale. 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.
2. Lift weights in front of a mirror. Watch how your muscles contract and realize that you are a strong, beautiful woman.
3. Don't compare yourself. All of us have our own strengths. It might be easy for your friend to stay thin, but maybe she couldn't do things like lifting her 95-pound ten-year old to carry him to the doctor when he broke his arm (That was a proud moment for me!). Try to compliment others and be happy for them instead of letting that darn jealousy take over. Looking for the best in other people will help you feel better about yourself too.
4. Exercise. Whenever you're getting down, 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 kick in and you really will feel better. (iii)
5. 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.
6. 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 help others with your healthy body.
7. 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.
i. Addressing Body Image in Eating Disorder Treatment, by Meghan Vivo, March 11, 2009, An Interview with Anna Treacy, MPH, NCHES
ii. Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm
iii. The Most Important Exercise Tip, by Robin Lloyd, Special to LiveScience
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. © 2009