Body Image. What in the World??

 LegsYesterday morning I was sitting around on Facebook, drinking my coffee waiting on the kids to wake up, when I came across this article.  It is written by Vanessa Bennington who basically confessed that she is a female athlete with cellulite.  She says no matter how thin she gets or how hard she works she always has the dimples.  Then she goes on to explain how most women have it, what it is, that it’s genetic and basically we need to give ourselves a break.  I liked the article so I shared it.  Boy did I open a can of worms.

I got a lot of comments from my beautiful, strong, independent, athletic buddies who have firm opinions on their own body image, but I also opened a can of worms in my own head.  Haha that’s a funny picture…anyway…the article and their comments got me thinking.

WHAT IN THE HECK IS WRONG WITH US??

As women, we get up every morning, take on the day and do extraordinary things…simultaneously!  We work, we raise kids (remember how we had to be pregnant with them as well), we care for our families, we run households, we manage money, some of us work out until we think we might die, we cook, we nurse, we care for each other, and on and on.  All the while we look in the mirror and hate what we see.

Now let me say, I don’t hate myself.  I feel like I’m generally pretty dang happy.  However, I think about my body insecurities every. single. day.  Especially my bottom half and that dang cellulite.  Let me give you a great example…

I love this picture.  It shows how awesome my bearded husband is.

This picture.  You’ve all seen it.  This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.  It really captures the spirit of finishing a marathon.  The raw emotion, the struggle, the pain, the satisfaction of completion, the support and sacrifice of my husband, it’s all there.  Guess what I also saw immediately?  Any guesses?? 

I THINK MY LEG LOOKS BIG.

What in the hell is wrong with me??  That leg that carried me hours and hours of training.  That leg that just spent a lot of time and ALL of its energy getting me across 26.2 miles.  That’s what I see?  That it looks big?  Hmmm something doesn’t seem right with that…

Why are we like this?  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  Did my grandmothers generation beat themselves up everyday?  I wish I could answer those questions definitively. 

I said it in my Facebook comments and I’ll say it here.  Of course I’m speaking from my own experience, but I feel like my fellow female athletes will agree with me.  It’s not that we are vain and outside beauty is all that matters.  The issue is, we work very, very hard training our bodies.  We also read lots of articles on our particular sports and follow the professionals and their photos.  We put all of this work in, why don’t we look like them?  Because we are NOT them and were NOT made to be them.

Look at 1 Timothy 4:8, it says “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Maybe going forward we can try to switch our mindsets just a little?  I know this is something that isn’t going away.  But, just maybe we can try to remember that God made us perfect just the way we are.  Maybe we can try to remember to thank Him for all of our accomplishments and the incredible strengths He has given us?  Maybe be thankful for the journey and the days that we are able to get up, move and do all of those incredible things in His glory?

I’m going to try.  I’m going to try to forgive my body for it’s imperfections and teach my kids to be comfortable in their own skin.

Ok.  I feel like we all need a big group hug!  Or, maybe we need a booty bump since we’re learning to love those things huh? 

You girls have a great day and go take on the world!  Ok, ok you boys too…