— Shanique S. Francis
I am sure that everybody has seen the lovely Jennifer Hudson’s countless Weight Watchers commercials, where she shows off her rockin’ new body and glows as she informs onlookers: “I was strong before, but now I’m stronger.”
Positive words such as “HAPPINESS” “CONFIDENCE” and “POWER” then swirl around her to form the key to her success, “BELIEVE,” as she belts out the infamous “believe in yourself” note at the very end. This got me thinking about joining one of these weight loss programs. But will I glow like Jen? Or find another “flaw” to obsess about?
Singles, I am sure that we all feel pressure to maintain our body image to attract our Mr. or Mrs. Right. It is a part of the circle of life. You have a “nice body” when you’re single and right after marriage you “let yourself go,” so to speak.
But what is your definition of a nice body? Ladies, is it a size six body? With perfectly toned glutes and stomach? Gents, is it the broad shoulders and a six pack? How close are you to this “ideal”? Not very close, right? How does this make you feel? Unattractive? Overweight? Worthless?
Do you believe that the inadequacy that you are feeling right now is God’s purpose for your life? We constantly compare ourselves to “ideals” that the world has created and when we don’t measure up we hate on ourselves.
It can also come from childhood bullying or harmless teasing from family members. This hate is dangerous: it can ignite fears in us that can cause us to sabotage dreams, gifts and intimate relationships. It also opens our spirits up to dark forces that can influence us to become anorexic or bulimic.
I confess that I have an unhealthy body image and I’m on a journey to correct it. I don’t like my arms, my stomach or my HUGE legs; I could go on forever. But I decided to STOP RIGHT THERE. I then realized that this “hatin’” on my image began after I believed other people’s opinion about my appearance, not God’s.The bible said in 1Samuel 16:7 “…Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
It also says that in 1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…. instead; it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” If God sees the real me and doesn’t care how I look, then what’s the problem? Let’s stick it to society’s view on what beauty should be and embrace how God sees us!
What a beautiful conclusion right? All is well in the world again! Wrong. We are humans and our Christian lives help us to evolve into the beings God has called us to be. So right now we might not see ourselves as worthy but in time we WILL see what God sees in us and that’s when our lives will truly begin.
Plus, don’t you think the “flaws” you have are there to attract the one that God has created for you? Those so-called “flaws” may be the things Mr. or Mrs. Right love about you!
Finally, if you want to improve yourself go right ahead. But be sure that these improvements are not to impress others or to satisfy your distorted opinion about your body. If so, after you achieve that goal you will begin to obsess about another “flaw”.
So Zoepeeps drink less soda. Stay off the chips. Start a workout club at your church and don’t forget to invite me! Do the JHud! And “believe in yourself!” Remember you can, because God has a plan! Love you for being YOU! I sure do!