There was a time in my life I was thankful for the negative thoughts I had about my body. They were motivating, they helped me set goals. I thought if I ever let myself be happy with my body, that would lead to me “letting myself go”.
I know I’m not alone here, and that is both incredibly scary and comforting. I’ve battled these negative thoughts for 10 years, 5 of those have included some intentional work to find a healthy space of loving my body to health.
When I thought of starting a family, my changing body was one of the things I was most anxious about. In my first trimester, I struggled a bit. I had fearful thoughts that I hadn’t had in so long. I shared these thoughts and fears with women in my life and prayed against this familiar desire to manage my weight or my new desire to dread the ninth month.
As the pregnancy progressed, I started the process of reframing the way I spoke to myself, and reframing the meaning of celebration. Never in my life had I experienced genuine joy and celebration for looking bigger in the morning than the day before. And yet, here I was, tearing up as I watched myself grow day after day. What I have loved about this journey is that the growth happening physically was a picture to me of the renewal happening in my heart. A healing that could only come from letting go… letting myself go. Funny isn’t it?
When my biggest fear was brought to life, my biggest fear BROUGHT LIFE.
By letting myself go, and accepting that this was not about me, I found a new wave of freedom. This season has offered me a new lens through which to see myself and my body. Letting myself go didn’t mean what fear had told me it would all those years.
Letting yourself go means reframing the self-focus to others focus- you can’t celebrate others if you can’t celebrate yourself.
Letting yourself go means releasing the negative thoughts (the ones you wrote for yourself) and accepting the ones God wrote for you.
Letting yourself go means letting yourself GROW.
I know this is not everyone’s story, and this is not an all-call for pregnancy. There is growth ready to happen in all of us, in every season.
Those of us who struggle here tend to think that there’s a finish line. I’ll tell you right now, your negative self views will NOT go away with the right job, the right weight, the right house, the right man, or the right friends. That thought of : “once I reach ____, I will start speaking kind words to myself”... that’s a tomorrow mentality. It’s dangerous, and it is a roadblock in accepting love and pursuing true health. If you’re eating clean and exercising, but you’re saying ugly things to yourself in the mirror… there may be some space for a more holistic view of health.
If you can’t hear loving words about your body from your own mouth, I promise you, you’re not accepting them when they come from the One who created you.
So TODAY, how are you loving yourself in a way that reflects how God loves you?
Are you afraid to let yourself go?
Who are you telling when your self-talk crosses the line into self-hate?
What are to doing to catalyze internal growth?
How are you loving yourself to life?
Happy stories, sad stories, dramatic, sorrowful, and joyous stories- every story is a love story... and here are some of mine.