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Saturday, November 09, 2013

Loving your body

One of the things I've learned over the past few years, but really hit home with me when I finished my weight loss plan is our desperate need to simply love our own bodies. A few months ago, and I was talking with some friends, and as part of the conversation, I mentioned that I had recently looked in the mirror at my own naked body and declared myself hot. They were horrified.

Apparently, we are not supposed to look at our own naked bodies and say, "wahoo, baby, you're hot. I'd totally do you." Seriously. I think I look better naked than I do in clothes. Unfortunately, I have NO desire to join a nudist colony, nor do I want anyone else to get a glimpse of all my hotness. So, take my word for it. Naked, I'm totally hot.

One of the deals I made with God about my body during this journey is that when I came to what I decided was the end point, I was going to love my body and accept it as the body God gave me. I'm at that end point. Sure, I someday hope to walk into my doctor's office and have him declare me the perfect weight. But for me, my weight, my body, and how I treat it is all about being healthy. If healthy means I have tummy rolls, then I'm going to love my tummy rolls. For those of you who keep telling me I look great, I would like you to know that yes, I do have tummy rolls. Note the use of plural.

I was thinking a lot about this today when I took my daughter to the Denver Art Museum. We walked through the Passport to Paris exhibit, and I have to say, I was utterly fascinated by the nudes. Not in a pervy way, but in a way that appreciated the beauty of curvy women. When the painters painted these women, they were the epitome of beauty. And you know what? They had these beautiful rounded bellies. Their arms were supple and lush. Their rounded bottoms were full. If you threw some modern clothes on those women, they would not be your Hollywood stars. They'd be the average woman of today who wished she could lose a few dozen pounds. Some of them would be the fat lady everyone likes to make fun of.

But what do we idolize? The women who have to starve themselves so we can see the outline of their bones. Or every vein and sinew in their muscles. Can I be honest? There's a mom at my daughter's school, and she's a personal trainer. Disgustingly thin, and when you look at her arms, sure, they're well-muscled, but you can see all of her veins popping out. In fitness circles, this is a highly desired look. But I look at her and I'm kind of grossed out by the bulging veins. I see her jogging through my neighborhood almost every day, and when I run into her at the grocery store, her cart is full of protein bars. Who wants to live like that? Maybe she does, but I sure don't. So if that makes her happy, great. It's just not for me. And as much as I don't personally like her look, it isn't for me to judge.

Whatever our bodies look like, we have to learn to love and appreciate them for what they are. Some women are super thin no matter what they do. Some women are kind of medium sized. Some women are a little larger, and other women are really large. To me, they're all beautiful. And I like to think that God thinks the same thing. He sees the curves, the stretch marks, the cellulite, and He thinks, "I want to hang that in a museum." The artists of old, they saw that. And in some way, we see that too, otherwise, we wouldn't still pay the big bucks to go into a museum and look at pictures of curvy naked women.

So whatever size you are, the next time you are naked in your bathroom, take a look at yourself in the mirror. Don't compare yourself to the starving models of today. Think about the beautiful curves that you've been given. Accept your flaws and imperfections, and ask God to help you love your body. If you're tempted to put down one of your physical features, ask God to give you HIS eyes to see them. It takes a while, but keep doing that exercise until you can proudly stand in front of the mirror, fully accepting whatever body you have, and say, "Man, I am SO hot. I love this body!"

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