Body Image and Negative Self-Talk

And having put on a new self you are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your creator

Colossians 3:10

Body-image and the horrible ways I can talk to myself has been my biggest distraction and has been for the past 15 years, if not longer. Thoughts about myself, my body, and the time I spend thinking about food has kept me from living fully more times and in more ways than I can count. 

I’ve been so distracted by my overwhelming low self-esteem and subconscious belief that my identity and worth is based on my outward appearance (even though I know in my soul that isn’t true). I strive, agonize, cry and abuse my body all to achieve a number on the scale that somehow I came to believe is the number that would define my me, that would signify my ‘arrival’. (my arrival to what, I’m not quite sure)

Honestly, even when it did reach what I wanted weight, It stressed me out more because I’d ended up so afraid of gaining it back that I continued the abuse of my body and my mind so that I wouldn’t fail. It sure is hard to win a race when the finish line keeps moving, isn’t it?!

Culture’s definition of beauty is wrong

Our culture is a clear indication that it’s not only me that struggles with this ‘distraction’. As fitness magazine sales increase, diet supplements become a multi billion-dollar business and we all become deceived by the edited bodies of the woman on the covers of magazines and its adds. Each perfectly and computer adapted body screams at us “having this body is the only place you’ll find happiness”. I think it’s time we take back our power over these negative thought patterns and change the way we see and talk about ourselves. 

How much time do you think you think about what to eat? What not to eat, how fat or thin you are? Or what kind of shape you think you’re in?

Our body-image and negative self-talk is one of the most destructive to our ability to live life with purpose because without truth in our identity we become so consumed and blinded by fear, doubt and insecurity that it seeps into all areas of our life. 

Negative thoughts and a lack of self-love keep us away from knowing what love is, receiving love and giving love to others. We will end up living with the believe that we aren’t worthy of any thing good and so every situation is filled with an increase of self-hate and a further decrease of love. This mentality to self-loath is completely against scripture. Matthew 22:37 says that we are to Love God and to love others as we love ourselves. This way of thinking negatively about ourselves is a trap without an ending if we don’t recognize it and change our thinking. Even Satan knows your value and worth more than you do, why do you think he is attacking you all the time? 

I’ve grown so much in this area, but it continues to be one place in my life that the LORD will continue to work with me in. The roots of these lies are so deep and with His power alone they will be healed. I use to get frustrated that I had to keep repeating this battle. I’d make progress and think I was healed from there lies, but a few days later I’d be back in the exact same batter. Let me reassure you, life is a cycle and each time we repeat a battle we can’t get discouraged, we’re repeating the battle because the LORD is taking us deeper and healing us deeper and bringing us closer to HIM.

Life is a cycle and each time we repeat a battle we can’t get discouraged, we’re repeating the battle because the LORD is taking us deeper and healing us deeper and bringing us closer to HIM.

When I realized that each repeat of this strong hold was an opportunity for the LORD to take me deeper into healing and closer to Him the quicker I was able to stop allowing my negative thoughts about myself take me into a distraction that would keep me from loving and leading my daughters and those around me.

I’m learning how to take my thoughts captive quicker so that my thoughts don’t cause a toxic downward spiral, but instead quickly come in and quickly leave. When the negative thoughts come in, I am able to grab them and recognize them as lies before they take me captive under their heavy burden and that’s what I’m encouraging you to work on now.

True Beauty

Beauty, it comes from within, I’m sure you’ve heard and said this hundreds of times, but it is truer than you can imagine. Nothing we do on the outside can offset the negative thoughts we have on the inside.

In a recent lecture I listened to, a woman spoke about how important focusing on our inner beauty matters to our external beauty. Scientifically when we fill our bodies with food and drink that aren’t worthy of our body and when we fill our minds with toxic thoughts, it literally transforms our outward appearance. Negative thoughts and poor treatment of our bodies cause wrinkles, premature aging and many other health issues. (cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue ) and as we know, with poor thoughts comes poor food choices. 

Our inner ‘beauty’ literally manifests itself in our outer beauty. The ‘ugliness’ we are believing inside, shows on the outside but the opposite is also true, when we treat ourselves like the beautiful temple we are, when we believe we’re loved by our creator and fill our minds with thoughts that are righteous, pure, honorable…. it transforms our outward appearance and the world around us.

Finally, Brothers and Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things. 

Philippians 4:8

Our life is much more than what we eat and where we put our trust and value will determine the state of our health, not just our physical appearance but, also, our immune system. Each area of life that isn’t anchored in Christ is a choice to not allow His provisions to lead, guide, support and teach us how to live in the abundant life He has promised. Every word of the Bible is God breathed and profitable for correction and direction. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

Since this is truth, we need to apply every word to our daily lives and live out the alive and active Word of our Father, our Creator, and our Savior. If we choose to ignore this truth, we are just asking to be devoured by the enemy. 

Spirit Mind Body Connection

The reason that our thought life is directly linked to other parts of our body and our outward beauty is because we are more than physical beings, we are a spirit – mind body beings, completely interconnected. Each part makes up the whole of who we are. When we only focus on the external, we’re wasting our time with a less than worthy distraction. 

Our physical body is wasting away, but our spiritual body is where life is – it’s where we find the Holy Spirit, where we anchor our roots deep into the character of God and are transformed into His way of thinking and living. (2 Corinthians 4:16) 

When we are consumed by body-image we are meditating on things that aren’t from ABBA. He wants you to value and see yourself as He has created you. You are a temple for the Holy Spirit and the way He created you is unbelievably amazing, we need to treat it that way by what we put into it, starting first with our thought life. 

Each aspect of life requires from us only a little, yet very intentional way of living. We must spend time with God, repent (confess and turn away from our sins), renew our minds to make ourselves in line with God and His Word, and to forgive. Without these things we will have blocks between ourselves and God, we won’t get to hear Him speak to us, we’ll be stuck in insecurities, in self-loathing, in hate/bitterness toward others… We need to stop the blocks that keep us from an intimate relationship with God and it all starts with our thoughts

And thoughts are exactly what we’ll cover next time. Don’t forget to follow the blog for updates and if you’d like 1:1 encouragement – don’t hesitate to reach out.

Scripture to Support your Mind Renewal

Ephesians 6:12 – for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Psalm 139:14 – I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

1 Peter 3:3-4 – Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person
of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.

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