A dear sister-in-the-Lord recently shared her enthusiasm with me in regards to 6 pounds she had shed.
I smiled and congratulated her and gave her a big hug. Six pounds – an awesome accomplishment, indeed! Of course she looked the exact same to me as she did before she lost the weight but I kept that little realization to myself. In other words, I thought she was perfect. Her physical beauty and her spiritual beauty were so interconnected, that had she gained weight I would not have noticed either. But those few pounds made a difference in how she viewed herself and how she believed the world viewed her.
My own self-perception is just as fragile. I have never been known to purchase clothes that actually fit. I view myself as needing clothes that are always at least one size larger than the “real” me. My own body image still suffers as a result of comments made to me while I was a young teenager.
Body image is something that affects almost all women – even Catholic women. Never mind that we understand that we’ve been created in His image and that we are perfect just the way we are – assuming we haven’t been told by a medical professional of a need to change a diet due to diabetes, heart disease etc. – we still find ourselves questioning our shape, our weight, our appearance.
As we enter the New Year, let us all make a concerted effort to see ourselves as Christ sees us rather than how we may have been conditioned to see ourselves.