The Love Your Body Series: Treating Your Body as a Friend, Not an Enemy

by | Feb 3, 2020 | Uncategorized | 43 comments

Treating Your Body as Your Friend: The Love Your Body Series
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Can you truly believe that your body is your friend?

How many of you look in the mirror and feel like weeping? You hate shopping for jeans because nothing ever fits right. You do your best not to think about anything below the neck throughout the day. When you sit down on the toilet (it’s okay to mention it, we all do it!), all you see is the rolls of fat.

You’re angry at all the jiggling. You wish you could remove all the mirrors from the bathroom.

When making love, it’s hard to enjoy it when you know your body looks nothing like the pictures of the old you in the wedding photos. 

You’ve tried starving yourself (that didn’t last long). Every few years you use Lent as an excuse to quit chocolate, but you ended up raiding Haagen Dazs vanilla instead.

If that’s you, I’d say you’re the typical woman. You beat yourself up over your body.

But isn’t that the mindset of someone who sees her body as her enemy?

If your body is your enemy, then your goal is to conquer it. You’ll always be at war–with yourself.

That sets you up for a lifetime of hatred, failure, and even ingratitude. And hatred of self rarely led to a successful weight loss strategy.

What if there were another way? What if God wants us to see our bodies as precious and wonderful–as our friends?

That’s what I want to talk about for our series this month: How we can get more in touch with our bodies, and stop feeling as if our bodies are enemies who have betrayed us. I want to help us look at how to embrace our bodies as friends.

After all, if we were to treat our body as our friend, what would we do?

First, we wouldn’t hide from it. We’d be thankful for what it could give us without expecting more than it can give. We wouldn’t berate and lecture our friend; we’d encourage and cheer it on! We’d want the best for it, which means that we would feed it well, give it what it really needs, and exercise it.

We’d want others to enjoy our friend, too, so we would show off our friend in the best possible light. We would dress it well, not drown it in oversized, baggy clothes. We would be proud to be seen with our friend.

And we’d enjoy living life with our friend! We’d kick the soccer ball around with our kids. We’d stretch and lift stuff and be amazed at how awesome our friend is. We’d cheer her on to get even better! If she’s only a beginner when it comes to what she can do, we’d encourage her to keep going, and we’d celebrate every small success.

And we wouldn’t condemn our friend to have no sex life until our friend shaped up; we would want our friend to live life to the fullest that she can, right now, where she was.

If your body is your enemy, then your goal is to conquer it. You’ll always be at war–with yourself. 

But what if you find it hard to accept your body?

It can be difficult when we’re just not happy with our bodies, or we feel as if they’re going downhill. One woman I know was either pregnant or breast-feeding for about eight years straight. Then one summer she was finally done, and the family headed to the beach. Thankful to be without a child hanging off of her, she lay down, face up, on a towel, only to find that one boob had migrated under one armpit, and the other under the other. Everything was sliding where it was not supposed to. How do you love your body when that happens?

But what if we could reframe it? What if we could celebrate what our body had done–give birth and give nourishment–and consider some of the sagging to be battle wounds that we could be proud of?

Or what if you grew up seeing your body always as they enemy?

Maybe you were told that your body would cause boys to sin and boys to lust, and so you had to cover up. Maybe you heard this message, and then you were ALSO sexually abused, making you feel that there was something inherently wrong with you?

When I wrote about how the “your body is a stumbling block to boys” message was so unhelpful, one woman left this comment:

When I was a teacher at a Christian school in my 20s I ended up on the “dress code committee” in charge of revisions to the existing dress code. Because the building was not air conditioned, they had decided to allow shorts in warm weather months (early fall and late spring). We had to determine an appropriate length. In the course of the discussions, I was forced to stand up and be the example of why longer shorts were better. The administrator in the group explained to the room that I was a good example of the problem with shorts as my legs were “just too long” and no matter what I wore, unless it was a long baggy skirt, I would be a “stumbling block for men” and my body was “really just a problem”.

I can’t tell you how damaging it is to be told BY YOUR BOSS that God made you wrong and your existence is essentially a “problem” for every male person you ever meet.

And many, many girls experienced sexual bullying and sexual jokes at their expense when they simply matured fast, and had a large chest.


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Of course, sometimes our bodies do betray us, and we develop chronic conditions that make life painful, or we develop illnesses that make life far too short.

That is the reality of life in a fallen world. But let’s not lose sight of the good things that God intended for us through our bodies.

God made sex to be AWESOME!

It’s supposed to be great physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Feel like something’s missing?

​We have so many negative messages about our body in this society.

In the wider society, we hear that we’re not good enough and we don’t measure up. In our marriages, we may feel as if our body isn’t good enough because our husbands struggle with pornography (or your husband uses porn). In the church, we may feel as if our bodies are bad because we’ve grown up hearing that they are the cause of sin.

But this isn’t the message that God gives to us. When He made us–and that included our bodies–He said that it was good.

And it is with your body that you experience life. You smell the wonderful, comforting aroma of a stew in a crockpot. You smell a beautiful bouquet of flowers. You appreciate Carrie Underwood singing How Great Thou Art, or a baby chortling when his mommy tickles his tummy. You feel the sand in your toes; the sun on your face. You experience that lovely sensation when you receive a massage; when you stretch out a muscle; when your husband kisses your ear.

And your body can do so much! It can bear and nourish children, yes, but it is also the vehicle through which you do everything else. Whatever purpose God has for you on earth, you will use your body to do it.

God does not hate your body and value your soul; He values all of you, and your body matters. Think of how many miracles Jesus did that involved bodies. Certainly there are the healings, but there are also the miracles of the feeding of the 5000 and the feeding of the 4000. He cared about our bodily needs.

And we’re going to have resurrection bodies, too! Our physical selves matter, so much so that God created us to feel pleasure and to act our marriage in a very physical way.


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Can you do it? Can you put aside negative messages and see your body as a friend, and not an enemy?

Your body is an intrinsic part of you, and I truly believe that the more you can be grateful for and embrace your body in a healthy way, the more you can start living life to the fullest. And that’s what God wants for us!

So this month, join me on a journey where we look at how to understand our bodies better; how to develop sexual confidence; how to handle postpartum recovery; and even how to understand the way that trauma affects the body.

What do you think? Do you see your body as a friend or as an enemy? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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43 Comments

  1. Becky

    I know this comment is going to be kind of niche, but I’m going to say it anyway. I’m fairly active in the online sewing community, and one of the messages I hear over and over there is how empowering and helpful to one’s body image it is to learn to make your own clothes. The problem isn’t our bodies, it’s that the fashion industry uses pattern blocks that are supposedly based on average bodies, but really only fit a very small segment of the population well. Even with sewing patterns, we learn what adjustments we generally need to make every time, because it’s rare to find one that fits perfectly right out of the envelope. Since I grew up learning to make my own clothes, it has been much easier for me to accept that the problem isn’t my backside is too big, it’s that the patterns that store bought clothing are made from generally don’t have the right proportions for my particular set of curves, and then I can just make my own skirts or jeans that don’t have that annoying gap in the back of the waistband. It’s helped me a lot during my current postpartum season in particular, since this is the one I’ve been struggling the most with how my stomach looks afterwards. But I know that clothes that flatter are within reach, even if they take a little more effort because of the time involved in making them. So for readers that are inclined towards craftiness at all, it really is worth a try!
    Also, I’m curious to see if this series is going to cover when the barrier is less body image and more body difficulties, since my dysfunction has been much more of a sex barrier for me than being concerned with how it looks. That, more than anything (except for maybe pregnancy difficulties), has made me feel like my body is working against me.

    Reply
  2. Gemma

    I’m really excited for this series. I have a relatively healthy relationship with my body, and have been lucky not to have had to deal with many challenges in that relationship so far. But I’m eager to cement that further, in preparation for my body to change in the future.
    This year I wanted to exercise more (what a novel idea! I know!) and decided to sign myself up for a dance class instead of the gym. I know it’s pricier and not always an option for everyone but it felt like me choosing to love my body and not try and beat it and myself into something I’m not. To be clear, nothing against going to the gym but dance is just a form of exercise I know I’m gonna enjoy more. And it’s ok if it’s not several times a week or not as focussed a form of exercise.

    Reply
  3. Ruth

    Thank you for writing about this–I’m so excited to read through it over the coming weeks. It’s so easy to be hard on our bodies–seeing them as our friends takes such intentionality. A couple years ago, I had to make some drastic lifestyle and diet changes in order to deal with PCOS. My body just doesn’t respond to life the way I wish it did, or the way it was designed to. I had spent a lot of years being very frustrated by it–by the symptoms I wasn’t able to control, by how difficult it was to lose weight because of hormone imbalances, by how difficult it would likely be to have kids later on. In a lot of ways, I saw my body as the enemy, and I was really hard on it and angry with how I felt it had betrayed me.
    But when I started approaching my health from a more natural perspective, that forced me to care more about what I was putting in my body, what I was putting on my skin, what I was putting in my hair. Somewhere in that journey, I heard someone say, “your body is doing the best it can with what you’re giving it.”
    I’m not advocating a certain way of approaching health by any means, but over time, this shift in my perspective helped me learn to give my body grace and to care for it. To like it. Sometimes I even tell it that it’s doing a really good job. 🙂 It’s not perfect, but it’s strong, and it’s getting healthier, and we’re friends now. 🙂

    Reply
    • Meghan

      I have PCOS too, and I had to decide a long time ago to focus more on overall health and how I feel rather than how I look. Taking up running and weightlifting has helped a lot in changing my relationship with my body. I see how strong I am and how I’m getting faster and running further and it’s really empowering.

      Reply
      • Susanna Musser

        YES!!! Running and weightlifting and other fitness activities have had that positive impact on me as well!!!

        Reply
  4. Carrie

    This is one of the hardest t topics I’ve had to deal with in my life. Over and over I’ve lost weight, only to have it come back.
    2 years ago I went to a retreat. I thought it would be about losing weight, but it was more focused on accepting yourself. It was amazing! It was also a turning point for me. I realized that it was ok to like myself and my body.
    Now, whenever I find myself saying something negative about myself I reframe it and say something positive 3 times. I’ve also told people I’m around that they aren’t allowed to say negative things about themselves. Some accept it more than others.
    A few months ago I decided to lose weight again. But this time feels so different. Instead of losing weight to help me feel better about myself, I’m loosing weight to help my body be able to do more fun things and feel better. I love myself!

    Reply
  5. Kristina G

    Are you intending to touch on HOW to think about your body when you are ill with a chronic illness or condition? Especially an autoimmune one?

    Reply
  6. In Debt

    I know I’m a dude so I don’t face the same problems women do(specially when it comes to the modesty thing) but I am going to follow this series because I hate my body. I know as a man I don’t know how it is for women but I feel more and more how my body is not good enough anymore. Even to the point that sex becomes difficult. There are days where I would like to have sex but I feel so much shame for my body that I both wish for it to happen and at the same don’t want to because of my belly. And I know it’s easy to say that I should just start working out but with job, taking care of the kids and our home takes up so much time.
    In a world where more and more men are shown with big abs and perfect bodies it’s hard not to be scared that my wife will start to look for those things elsewhere.
    I know the things I feel are so little compared with all the lies that women hear so I really suffer when I think about what women have to go through. That’s why I make sure to compliment my wife all the time because I love her body. But it really sucks when you look on your own body and often feel disgust.
    So I hope I can learn something from this too.

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      In Debt,
      Your struggles and pain are not small compared to the things that others suffer – they are the same horrible feelings with which I, as an overweight woman, struggle. Your feelings matter. I am so sorry – it is such a difficult load to carry.
      Please know that you have value regardless of how you look. I know it can be hard to believe. I would truly never judge someone else’s value on their looks, but I struggle to judge myself by anything else.
      I don’t have the solution, but I do feel your pain, and I can sympathize. Hopefully we can both learn from this series.

      Reply
      • In debt

        Thank you for your kind words. It’s difficult when one is being so harsh with oneself. I think this message about loving or bodies and therefor take care of it is important. Yes I hope this series will help

        Reply
    • Natalie

      Not sure if I’m replying to my own husband or not. 😉 But I’d like to encourage you & tell you you’re not alone!! Many MANY men deal with these feelings. You are not less of a person or less worthy of love because of your weight. Even if your current body isn’t your wife’s ideal male body, she still loves you very very much and very deeply. She loves you for who you are, not just how you look. But on the flip side, part of loving yourself is also about taking care of your body. Distractions and excuses will always come up, & there will always be more options to excuses on why you couldn’t be healthier as life goes on. You don’t have to be “perfect” every day when it comes to taking care of your body. But as long as you are putting in the effort daily to progress and be better and are moving towards living a healthier lifestyle, that’s what matters.

      Reply
      • In Debt

        Thank you for your kind words!
        Yes you are right about accepting myself but still take care of my body. Reading your comment it made me realize that one reason this is difficult for me is shame and feeling pretty worthless and not having hope. I feel kind of ashamed exercising, don’t know why but it’s like I’m too fat to ever change and that there is no hope. I even feel ashamed to exercise in front of my wife because it feels like “what is it good for you will never change”. My wife doesn’t say that but it feels like that. Like it’s too much now and it makes me lose hope. I hate feeling like that but it’s really difficult to take time with all the things that I have to do and then feel like I will never make it anyway. I guess I have to work on that.

        Reply
        • Meghan

          Aw hon, I feel you. I used to be the same way. Like, why bother exercising when you don’t see any change come of it? But then I started walking my dog on a local trail. And I joined a local running club. And they inspired me to do my first 5k. And then my first 10k. Before I knew it I was training for a half marathon and cross training by lifting weights. And you know what? I haven’t lost a single pound. Not one. But it doesn’t even matter to me any more because the confidence I’ve gained through my years of running means so much more to me. There’s something so empowering about moving your body for the sheer joy of it, watching yourself get stronger or run farther or get faster, and just letting yourself forget about what you look like while you move and just BE.

          Reply
        • Lea

          I feel like you have a huge amount of anxiety and therapy might be useful here.

          Reply
    • K

      Do exercise with your children. That is how I keep fit. When they were young I would push them in the pram for walks, then they would ride bikes with me. We live in a quiet area, our rather long street has little traffic. We would play tag with the children on our walks once they were school age, great intermittent training. You can also do exercise vids with them. Small children love to imitate and they love you using them as weights! It can be a fun time together.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        I used to use my kids as weights, too! When they got bigger we got one of those bike things with the extra wheel and extra set of pedals that can go on the back of my bike and that was fun, too!

        Reply
      • Meghan

        My favorite move: the baby bicep curl. I basically curl her up to my chest and give her a raspberry on her tummy. She’s almost 30 pounds now so it’s quite the workout!

        Reply
    • Blessed Wife

      In Debt, your situation is very hard and painful, but it’s common and definitely not gender-specific. Please don’t belittle yourself and your feelings by comparing them to what you assume other people feel or deal with. You are you, and you are valuable as yourself because God created you to be who you are.
      A wife who loves you will never cheat on you. If a person cheats because some other person has better abs ( or bigger breasts, or whatever) than their spouse, please believe that says more about their character than your body or worth.
      I can’t really fit the gym into my life either, so I have to work fitness into how I live at home. Playing with kids is great. So is working in stretches and squats when you pick up around the house or fold the laundry, doing yoga and ab exercises while you watch TV at night, etc. A very rewarding way to get more exercise at home is by gardening, especially without mechanical tools. I move more and work my muscles more, while growing more of my own healthy produce at home. When you can run outside and pick yourself a tasty salad, or make a side dish for dinner with stuff on your porch, it makes eating healthfully easier and faster than eating junk food you have to drive to the store for. Like Sheila said recently, it’s all about making good habits easier than bad habits!
      I’ve been following your comments here on the blog, so I know you have a lot of hurt and unhappiness in your life. I hope to hear soon that you are in a better place in your mind and marriage, but until then, know that you are not alone in the emotional hole you’re in; and that you can get out with God’s help and good habits!

      Reply
  7. Meghan

    I cannot emphasize enough how much of a game changer exercise is when you do it not to lose weight but for the sheer joy of moving your body. There’s nothing like the feeling of adding more weight to your dead lift, crossing the finish line of your first half marathon, or just hitting a new personal best. It’s so much easier to love your body when you can start to view it as an instrument and not an ornament.

    Reply
  8. Jane Eyre

    Athletics really helped me to have a good relationship with my body: I appreciate what my body and mind, working together, can accomplish. Endorphins are also good for my mood.
    The non-sexual body issues I have are largely from other people. My own mother has fat-shamed me since I was a teenager. (When she started doing it, I was a size 2. She’s… very overweight.) The first thing she did when she saw me for dinner a year and a half ago was to insult my complexion, then segue into how young everyone tells her she looks. (Yes, she actually tries to compete with her daughter on youth and attractiveness.) In my late teens and twenties, I was subjected to a barrage of comments about my body, my attractiveness, my breasts, my weight, you name it. Complimentary or rude, men or women, it was *always* objectifying.
    That doesn’t do wonders for me in my relationship with my husband. It makes it really hard to work through the pain and lack of pleasure from intercourse, because it’s really hard to believe that my body exists for me and not for other people to use.
    In my more Zen moments, I can ask myself where I heard the negative body talk and if I actually like or respect the people doing it. (Answer: no.) But that takes a lot of mental energy.

    Reply
    • Natalie

      I had a similar experience, Jane. It started at a young age for me too. Even while on sports teams, it was never good enough. That stuff stays with you!!!

      Reply
  9. Ina

    This is a huge struggle right now for me. Since having my 3rd baby three months ago I’ve not lost any of the weight despite our healthy lifestyle and regular exercising. But I find the biggest struggle is that my body does seem to betray me. Everytime we have sex and I just can’t get aroused, everytime that it hurts, everytime I get no where near orgasm or even pleasure is like a betrayal. And I hate my body for that most of all.

    Reply
    • Blessed Wife

      That’s really hard!
      Can I just say that three months after giving birth is really early to expect your body and spirits to be back to “normal”? Especially if you are breastfeeding, which increases your “baby first” hormones and can really decrease your “get busy with hubby on a new baby” hormones. Or losing a lot of sleep caring for the baby, which decreases nearly every area of function. With the birth of my first child, my ability for arousal and orgasm went from very high to virtually non-existent. The effect was so profound that I have wondered many times since if the C-section may have damaged something inside me. Regaining full sexual function for me has been a very slow and ongoing process, but it is achievable. Take your time. Take care of yourself, take care of your new baby, and put in the effort to love and stay tightly bonded with your husband, even when it’s a lot of work and doesn’t feel like you wish it did. Ask him to help you, and tell him how best he can, but don’t put pressure on either of you for a swift recovery. Everyone recovers from childbirth at their own pace. Look at sexual recovery as a long-term goal that you reach as a team effort with your husband, and focus for now on the amazing thing your body just did, the tiny person that came from it, and the more immediate needs you both have. Be patient with yourself.
      Side note: the right actions and attitude in your partner can have a huge effect here. If he behaves lovingly toward you, is patient with the process, doesn’t pressure you for sex or hang his ego on whether or not you make a big splashy show of your pleasure, etc…I won’t say your recovery will be faster, but it will definitely be more relaxed and enjoyable. Conversely, if he’s resentful and behaving as if his sexual release should be a primary concern of yours right now, that’s going to create a lot of bad feelings in you towards both him and yourself. So be aware of what’s going on in your life right now and the likely effects on your body and brain chemistry. Seeing things in their true light and understanding the relevant causes and effects really helped me cope with the emotions and stresses of childbirth and recovery.
      Best of luck, and enjoy your precious little one!

      Reply
      • Ina

        Thanks for the encouragement! I hope you’re right, but am so scared that this might just be how I am. This has been a struggle since we got married almost five years ago. To be fair, I got pregnant 6 months in and have been pregnant/nursing (often both at the same time) ever since. I truly hope that once I wean this last time we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the result but am terrified it will be more of the same. Your words give me some hope though!

        Reply
        • RNmom

          I was the same way after my last kiddo. It was a full yr before anything about sex felt good. Then it slowly returned to a new normal and by 2 yrs old and being weaned my sex life surpassed normal and are actually better than before I had kids. Praying for you during this adjustment phase. Concentrate on being with your husband and lean on his love for you and your body while you heal.

          Reply
  10. Trucker Dave

    In Debt, I feel for you brother. I’m somewhat on the large size myself.(6’3” 290#) I’ ve also been eating truckstop food for 36 years. The doctors did their best to fat shame me when I would go for the annual physical, had me wondering if I would keel over in the parking lot. Finally got a decent, common sense doc who told me “Hey, you’re german & russian, you’re a big guy.” I came to the realization that I had to accept me for whatever I look like. My wife and friends do. On a totally unrelated topic, I have a ? What is gaslighting, I never heard the term before. I assume it has nothing to do with grills& steaks. Thanks, Trucker Dave

    Reply
    • Andrea

      I want to be the one to answer your question because “I assume it has nothing to do with grillls&steaks” made me laugh so hard! You can read A LOT about it online if you google it, but briefly, this fairly new term means psychologically manipulating somebody into questioning their own sanity. Now you’ve got me wondering why that specific term was chosen…

      Reply
      • Meghan

        It was chosen because of a movie where the antagonist convinced his wife she was going crazy by slightly dimming the gas powered lights a little bit at a time and insisting everything was the same. Thus, gaslighting.

        Reply
      • Anon

        I think I read somewhere it came from a film?

        Reply
      • Trucker Dave

        Thanks Andrea, I learned something today. I have a hunch if I google it, my SIL’s face will pop up. She’s a master of this, a truly toxic person. Oh well….

        Reply
  11. Danielle

    I just wanted to note that the nonprofit BeautyRedfined.net has a wonderful message on this topic. They help me stay grounded! One of their mantras is: Your body is an instrument, not an ornament. We are all so much more than our looks!

    Reply
    • Meghan

      I love them!!! I have that blog post saved to my shortcuts to link in conversations like this.

      Reply
  12. Ashley

    Okay, I’m not sure how much this will relate to your series, but it’s about my body and my self-worth, so I kind of feel like it’s revenant. God has been dealing with me in this area lately. It’s like I have felt like my pain doesn’t matter, and I shouldn’t waste people’s time. I have had some issues with chronic pain, and started seeing a chiropractor in November. I’ve had to go pretty regularly, because my neck is pretty messed up. At several of my appointments I have made comments about being a pest, or apologizing for calling so often, etc. A few weeks ago, my chiropractor kept telling me that I’m not a pest. If I’m in pain he wants to see me. I don’t need to worry about calling too often. He just wants me to be pain-free. While that message was from him, I think it was from God too. Why do I feel like I should just go through life minimizing pain and other physical symptoms and not getting the help I need? Why do I think I don’t matter? That’s not the abundant life God has for me. So I play this kind man’s words over and over in my mind, hoping they will somehow stick somewhere in my soul. My pain matters. It’s really OK to take care of myself.

    Reply
  13. Anon

    What a beautiful post. So helpful. I am going to keep rereading, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of the series. This is an area I’m working on, but it is SOOOOOOOOOO hard sometimes.
    I grew up with the message that it’s women’s dress & behaviour that makes men ‘stumble’. I remember listening to how single women were a ‘threat’ to the preacher’s marriage (brother, I was never a threat to your marriage – your attitude to me might have been, but that’s not my problem). And then the men – including those in church – who felt they had the right to grab whatever and wherever they liked, and it was my fault for ‘tempting them’ (even wearing baggy jeans, baggy jumpers when the only bits of me showing were my hands and face, apparently, my body was still the problem)
    So I hated my body because I was told it made men sin and because it ‘justified’ them treating me in ways that made me sick. And I hated it because hormone imbalance means I carry weight round my middle that won’t shift, even when the rest of me is really skinny, so I look early-stage pregnancy on a permanent basis (I’ve been asked more than once when my baby is due) And I hated it because it is covered in psoriasis too (and I’ve had total strangers in the street point to my arms and legs and say ‘urgh, that’s disgusting’.) And now I’m middle aged, I’m also starting to ‘sag’ in all the wrong places!
    My biggest anxiety about my forthcoming marriage is that my fiance will get to see my body – there’ll be no way of hiding all those bits I hate. I’ve learned to thank him when he tells me I’m beautiful, instead of making jokes about his poor eyesight like I used to, but inside, I’m still thinking ‘are you blind?’ We’ve talked about it and prayed about it together, but I still have such a long way to go, and I think it will be one of my biggest battles. So bring on the rest of your series. I need all the help I can get!

    Reply
  14. Trucker Dave

    Thanks to all who helped me understand gaslighting. I sure have learned a lot on this blog. To Anon, I’m sure your fiancé loves you just the way you are.next time he tells you how beautiful you are agree with him. When you look in the mirror, just say “I’m beautiful!” Nothing like positive reinforcement. A coast to coast trip starts with the 1st mile. Best of luck! Dave

    Reply
    • Anon

      “A coast to coast trip starts with the 1st mile.”
      I love this! Thanks for the encouragement.

      Reply
  15. Natalie

    I’m looking forward to this month’s topic!! I’ve had such a difficult relationship with my body since as long as I can remember. My mom had/has a difficult relationship with her body too, so I’m sure some of that is a learned behaviour for me. I think another thing that particularly affects women is living in a culture like ours that values youth and beauty so highly. Even when you consciously know your value is in Christ, it’s hard to not let that cultural idea affect you to at least some extent. Turning 30 last year was a big one for me mentally. Getting older forces you to have a different relationship with your body, and I think that goes for women who both have and have not had children.

    Reply
  16. Lenny

    I’m excited for this series. I have a disability and I’ve been grappling with how to appreciate my body when I’ve felt for the last 3 years it lets me down or betrays me. So maybe not the same angle as beauty or weight loss, but I think God is using the perspective you’re talking about to help me!

    Reply
  17. This is a Pseudonym

    Wow, I really need this series right now. Something I really hope you’ll speak to: What if your husband has actually criticized how your body looks? My husband had a porn addiction, and he would regularly criticize what I was wearing, or how I would do my hair or makeup, and he even suggested I get plastic surgery after I was done having kids. He now claims that he has changed his mind about all of that and loves the way I look. But I can’t get those words out of my head. I have the head knowledge that my worth is in Christ, not how I look, and I feel pretty for myself. But I just can’t believe that he doesn’t still criticize me in his head. I don’t want him to see certain parts of me. It’s exhausting and heart wrenching, but I don’t know how to believe what he says.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Oh I’m so sorry, that is heart breaking. If your husband has truly repented of the pornography and dealt with his addiction, then give him time to re-build the confidence he tore down. It sounds like that is what he is trying to do, but it takes time. I would also consider seeing a counsellor about the effects that his porn addiction had and still has on your marriage, your confidence, and how to move forward in earned trust and respect.
      It can be so hard to learn to trust again, and give yourself the time that you need to heal. That is a real wound that was caused, and giving yourself time to mourn and process can be a very helpful and important step.

      Reply
      • This is a Pseudonym

        Thank you, Rebecca. Thank you for your support. I think you’re right: time is really going to be a big factor. It’s been years of feeling rotten about my body, so it’s not going to change overnight. That and him proving to me that he has changed. It’s difficult for me to trust what he says since he’s lied to me in the past.

        Reply
  18. Sandy

    I had a really hard time after my third child was born with self loathing regarding my body. I felt unattractive and inadequate as a woman. I couldn’t really enjoy intimacy with my husband and told him he couldn’t look at me naked anymore. It’s taken years, actually decades to get over that. My husband loved me beautifully throughout those times and slowly I began to believe that he actually did find me attractive and loved me for who I was instead of believing the lies I had told myself. We have a wonderful relationship and our intimacy is amazing. It had EVERYTHING to do with his affirmation of me and him telling me how important it was to him that we bond emotionally and physically. I agree that husbands have that power to make the difference between insecurity or confidence in their wives. Thank you for doing this series to help and encourage women to appreciate the good aspects of their bodies and to be thankful for what we DO have!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Wow, Sandy, that’s absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

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