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I am probably like the least qualified person in the entire world to talk about loving your body. I have had some times where I really actually loathe my body, what it looks like and even other parts of myself, which I’m pretty ashamed of. It’s taken me awhile to even realize how harmful just those thoughts are. Growing up I hated my ears, my stomach, my nose, my stomach, hands, at some point I’ve disliked almost every part of myself. I was always a kid who leaned toward the self-conscious side and didn’t stay involved in athletics because of it. In high school, I began a six year long relationship with someone who thrived off of attention from other girls and often times gave into the affection he received, leaving me feeling like I was never quite enough in any way. I also never had a strong relationship with God and wasn’t plugged into a church.

Fast forward to Jon, the most loyal and truly loving person I’ve ever met. Jon is the type of guy that can see people completely; their flaws, strengths, their past and mistakes and love them through it. [girls, find a guy like this] I really completely believe he embodies the love God intended for us to have for others, and what Christianity is all about. I’ll talk in a completely separate post about this quality in Jon, but I’ll try to keep it pertaining to this subject 🙂 Because of this I’ve been able to talk to him comfortably about my not so great opinions about myself over the years, and he’s really helped me overcome A TON of my negative thoughts of myself.

Since we’ve been dating, and especially being married, we’ve talked a lot about my body image. This has come up a lot because as a couple that are both photographers, we take photos of each other a lot and I usually haaaate myself in photos. I’ll think I’m fat, unproportional, weird shaped, and really just the ugliest person alive at times. I’ve genuinely hated my appearance which is so, so sad. I never really thought that having a negative body image could hurt yourself so much, or especially hurt your relationship with your spouse (or future spouse). I think that when you’re entering into a marriage, you’re kind giving/gifting your body and mind to the other person by saying that you will spend your entire life with them. The greatest gift Jon could ever give me is himself-so I would hope that he treats himself well, if that makes sense. And I know he wants the same for me. Disliking my body and myself has led to reluctancy in sharing my real and whole self with him which is the opposite of what we vowed to do. Disliking myself takes away both from me, and our relationship.

How do you stop the voice in your head saying you aren’t fit/pretty/healthy/happy enough? I want to be someone who is confident in their own skin and is proud of themselves. I definitely don’t have this down at all, but I have been working on it the past few weeks and this is what I have so far.

  1. Stop the negative thoughts right when they come into your brain. For me, the best way to do this I learned from a counselor last year. When you think of something that is not positive or encouraging about yourself, imagine a stop sign popping into your head that basically kicks out the negative thought. Imagine the stop sign, then replace it with something positive. Over time, this will become a habit.
  2. Dont compare. This is probably the most commonly said phrase in relation to body image and modern social media. To not compare your body to another, because your genetics, build, environment, and angles are alllll different from someone else’s. If you can’t grasp this you may need to unfollow certain accounts or people.
  3. Find your security and happiness in God; not yourself, your spouse, or other’s opinions of you. It’s so easy to receive affirmation of others by posting a picture or wearing something new or flattering, but true self-love comes from receiving love from Him. Ground yourself in God’s Word, and no one elses. This is where I slack the most, and what I hope to be better at this year.

Comment below any devotionals for young women that you love or a verse or quote that is inspiring to you ❤️

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