Struggle makes us stronger. I've always heard that but wrestled with believing it. The reality is—when we’re in the struggle—it’s hard to see the other side and believe it will make us stronger.
One of my struggles is dealing with body image. I think many of us have a hard time dealing with our bodies, particularly loving them for what they are, no matter the shape or size.
I’m in recovery from anorexia, and my eating disorder (ED) taunts me about my body. The ED is constantly reminding me I need to lose weight and be more like society’s “ideal image.”
The ED is lying.
When I was in treatment several years ago, I learned I saw myself 40% bigger than I was. It took a lot of work to accept my body for what it is.
As I think about my body today, I want to take care of it. I want to nourish it with yummy food and help it move with balance and grace.
My husband and I are hoping for kids. It’s an exciting prospect knowing that my body can someday give life to another human.
My body is worthy of love—and acceptance. My body is enough just as it is. But loving my body is a constant challenge, and I’m reminded to press harder.
As I think of images I want to express, a favorite yoga pose comes to mind. I love the Dancer Pose because I feel elegant while doing it, and it requires me to concentrate and use every part of my body. I can feel my muscles stretch—and tighten. I focus my energy on a point in front of me to keep my balance. Often, balance evades me, and I topple and fall. This is the Falling Dancer Pose—if you will—but nevertheless, I readjust and try again...
Our struggles are hard. They tear on us from the inside-out, making us feel like we don’t know which way to go—or which way is up. However, I take comfort in the fact that God meets us right where we’re at. Amidst the struggle, he’s present. Our God is a God of love and compassion. Our God isn’t going anywhere. So, when we lose our balance—or topple and fall—we can pick ourselves back up assured He’s right there with us. He’s not through with us yet.
Pause. Breathe. Try again!