Body image isn’t really about your body. It’s not about your size, your weight, or dimensions. No, it’s about your brain and your heart. Although many popular psychologists would only acknowledge poor thinking as the problem, poor patterns of belief are just as much to blame.
We’re neck deep in swimsuit season–the end is in sight! But this is a great time to stop and reflect on what we believe about our bodies and our value.
Here are 20 quick body image boosters! These are great ways to feel lighter before this summer ends:
20. Break-up with your mirror. You can still be friends, spending a few minutes with each other every day to check for random stray hairs, mascara foibles, or obvious wardrobe blunders, but don’t obsess. No amount of mirror staring is going to free you from your body image struggles. Stay away from the looking glass and feel freer.
19. Read Genesis 29. Rachel was hot and Leah was not. This truth should free us. Leah’s son, Judah, is a great grandfather to Jesus. Her purpose was determined not by her physical appearance, but by God. Your’s was too. You have everything you need, physically, to accomplish God’s purpose for your life. Believe it.
18. Ditch your scales. There are other ways to tell if you are gaining or losing weight than looking at that little box. In many cases, it’s read out doesn’t give the full story. If you are obsessing over it, if it holds control over you, then put it away for a while and see if it makes a difference.
17. Wear a modest swimsuit with humility. I know, everyone else is telling you to flaunt your body with pride. I say the opposite. Now, don’t hear be wrong. Don’t be ashamed, you are made in the image of God. We are his handiwork, yes! But we are to bring glory to him, not to ourselves, no matter what our condition. As much as our bodies show the craftsmanship of God they also show the impact of sin in this fallen world. You don’t have to love cellulite or saggy skin or belly flab. You just have to love Jesus. (Is a bikini modest enough? Maybe – but read this.)
16. Clean out your closet. If you have summer clothes hanging in there that haven’t seen the outside of your bedroom since your glory days, give them away. Say goodbye to the shame hanging in your closet. If you are trying to lose weight, purchase a few basic items that fit you from a place like Target or Ross to get you by.
15. Take the pressure off. God didn’t ask you to be the perfect wife, parent, sibling or daughter. Nor did he ask you to be the perfect employee, cook, housekeeper or volunteer. Relieve yourself from perfection’s death grip. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Perfection is fear not love. Release it.
14. Drink Deeply of God’s love. How much do you love your own children? Do you know that God’s love for you is so much greater than that? Every morning this summer wake up and remind yourself of this truth, “I am loved more deeply than I can even imagine, no matter what I look like today.”
13. Drink More Water. Did you know that most people are dehydrated all of the time? Drinking water helps you think better and feel better. Aim to drink ten glasses a day when the weather is hot. Here’s how to really quench your thirst.
12. Sweat on Purpose. Yes, it’s so hot you may sweat on your trip from the front door to your car. Although exercise won’t solve your body image problems, no matter how much of it you do, some intentional sweating will help you feel better on the inside, clear your head, and help your body produce happiness hormones. Try to sweat on purpose a few times each week.
11. Have One Comfortable Summer Dress. Every woman should own at least one item that she can feel both comfortable and feminine wearing. Long, short, sleeved or without–this is a wardrobe staple, ladies.
10. Do Your Toe Nails. There’s nothing biblical here. I just find a little coral on the tips of my toes makes me happier every time I look down.
9. Turn off the TV. Television will kill your contentment while making you feel sluggish. Get some vitamin D outside and skip the media’s messages of how much “better” you should look.
8. Shut Down Comparison. Repeat this to yourself every time you see someone with whom you want to compare yourself, “She struggles too. She struggles too.” The woman who wears the size 4 does not have an easier life than the woman who wears a size 24. Believe that it’s true.
7. Take Books to the Pool Not Magazines. Magazines make you think about your body . . .Books will feed your soul. Here’s my list.
6. Wear Comfortable Shoes. Limping isn’t pretty and it makes you hurt. Be reasonable ladies, just wear shoes that you can walk in.
5. Spend Money on a Cover Up You Love. You may never love your bathing suit. And, that’s okay. But, if you are like me, you’ll spend more time in your cover up anyway. So, find one that you like and spend your money there.
4. Smile. Studies show that smiling makes you feel happier. And, hey, let’s face it, you are a lot less likely to notice the thighs on a woman who’s smiling than on the one who’s frowning.
3. Savor Summer. Enjoy the smell and taste of that grilled hamburger. Eat the sweet and juicy center of the watermelon, feel the warm sand in your toes. Get out of your head and use your senses to appreciate all that’s around you. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is not only healthy but it’ll help you feel better too!
2. Take a Nap. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to just rest. Take at least one day per week and find an hour or two to catch up on some sleep. Make your room dark, cold, and quiet. This works really well after an hour or two in the sun!
1. Believe the Gospel. Want to feel better about your body this summer without losing a single ounce or getting anything tucked, sucked or lifted? Then just believe the Gospel. Believe that God loves you no matter what your size or shape and that he has a great purpose for your life. God’s got a much greater vision for your life and your future than just looking good in a tankini!