The words we say about ourselves are powerful. Not only do they impact us, but they also influence the way others think about themselves and process their world.
My mom always hated her body, and she made that very clear while I was growing up. Little did I know, I was soaking up those same thoughts and turning them to myself. As I got older, I started to have destructive thoughts about my own body.
As a college student, I struggled with an eating disorder. I saw my body as the enemy. I saw food as something that couldn’t be trusted but could be mastered. Instead, it quickly mastered me. My thoughts were consumed with limiting my food intake. My thoughts were consumed with spending enough time in the gym to work off the little bit I did eat in a day. It was a dangerous spiral.
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I’m not going to blame my mom for my eating disorder. I know it’s on me. It developed because of the choices I made and the fears I had about being loved and accepted. It continued to grow because of my need for control when the rest of the world felt out of my control. It came from a lot of things.
I do wish my mom would have helped cultivate love and care for our bodies. I wish she conveyed the power of a woman’s body and the incredible miracle that she’s able to carry children. I wish she lived a healthier lifestyle instead of complaining about her changing body.
As soon as I knew I was having girls, I promised myself they would never hear me shame my body. I promised myself I would set a better example of how to talk about a woman’s body.
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I will not joke about jiggly bellies the way my mom did. I will not blame my changing body on having children the way my mom did. I will not shame my body the way my mom did.
My children will not hear such hateful things come out of my mouth. I know I can’t protect them from the negative comments the world makes about women’s bodies, but I will not contribute to it.
I will show them the beauty of this body that God created to do incredible things.