Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Body Image - It's All About that Health

Arguments over body image, body positivity, and even body shaming have been all over the media lately. Personally, I don't have a big problem with Megan Trainor's curvy girl cry of empowerment. Sure, it's a little out of balance, and it focuses on some of the wrong issues, but clearly it has struck a chord with our culture.

These girls all look pretty fit and healthy to me!
On the other hand, I must confess, I think sometimes people go too far, because let's face it, being overly fat is not healthy.

To me that's the real issue. Health. A certain body shape becomes the latest trend, and girls are willing to go to unhealthy lengths to try to achieve that supposed ideal, whether it means starvation or plastic surgery. And that is not okay. For that reason, we all need to learn body positivity and to love ourselves for who we are on the inside.

But if you constantly stuff your face with big macs, fries, sugary sodas, and hostess cakes, and end up falling into the obese weight category with unhealthy side effects like high cholesterol, high blood pressures, or diabetes--please don't try to tell me that God made you that way and it's beautiful. You know what I mean? It's no more beautiful than the girl who takes laxatives and starves herself to try to be a size 0.

Here's what I think. One, gluttony is a sin. Two, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Those issues should guide all we do concerning our bodies, and health should come first. 

If God made you with tiny bones and a high metabolism, then rock your skinny look and be happy. If He made you with big bones and curves, then rock that look and be happy. If He made you kind of squarish and athletic, then rock that too. It's when we try to look like someone else, or ignore basic health issues, that we get ourselves in trouble. For example, I had to accept that while I was basically tall and thin, I would never have model proportions without starving myself. So I gave up my modeling aspirations and learned to be happy with myself.

The truth is, you might be skinny and be perfectly healthy, but you might be destroying your body by starving it from nutrients, by overstrenuous exercise, or even by an eating disorder. Or you might be skinny but gorging on junk food and lazing on the couch. You might be on the heavy side but eat healthy and exercise regularly. Or you might be on the heavy side while eating horribly, being sedate, or even while having bulimia. In the meantime many athletes and performers, who we might assume to be in the ultimate health, are destroying their bodies in their quest for perfection.

No one really knows. And for that reason we do need to stop the body shaming and learn to love ourselves as well as a wide variety of others. But I think we can do that without accepting poor health habits. Here's what we should all be doing, no matter our body type.

1) Eat a balanced, moderate, mostly natural diet.
2) Exercise regularly, but not excessively or destructively.
3) Take good care of your body and put your health first.
4) Accept and love the person God has made you to be.

Let's be women of valor, even in how we think about our bodies. In the end, it shouldn't actually be about your body at all. Your body is just a temporary shell for the real you. It should be about pleasing God and living a holy lifestyle. You don't need for every guy to be lusting after your perfect shape. You just need for one right guy to find you beautiful in his eyes. And that right guy will care far more about your physical and emotional well-being than about the specifics of your form. Most of all remember, God loves you no matter what, even when you're unhealthy, even when you mess up. But He wants the best for you. He wants you to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.

And so do I!


  1. Thank you for posting this! It has made my day! :)

    1. Aw, and now you made my day :) I'm so glad it blessed you.