Ending The Body Image Wars

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Our bodies.

We pick at them, we tear them apart, we starve them, we overindulge them, we overwork them.

I struggled for a long time with my body, and I wish I could tell you that struggle is over, but at
times I still feel dissatisfaction. When you are surrounded by images telling you what to look like
and what to eat, I think it’s only natural to feel dissatisfaction at times.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

My junior year of high school is when my battle began. It started off so innocent. I swapped
potato chips for carrots, I quit soda, I stopped eating fast food. I was only trying to make healthy
decisions for my body, but I quickly became obsessed.

Within weeks, healthy eating morphed into controlled eating. I was counting every calorie I put
in my body, swearing off certain foods and hitting the gym like a maniac. My sophomore year in
college, I was at my lowest weight, eating practically chicken and vegetables every day, and I.
Was. Miserable. I felt trapped.

I tried to break the pattern. I would eat pizza with friends and order pancakes at Saturday brunch,
but I hated myself after. I would hurry to the gym to “get rid” of the extra calories I consumed. I
was truly at war with myself.

After saying enough is enough, I sought help from a counselor who specialized in eating disorders.cWith her, the help of a supportive family and a lot of prayers, I overcame my battle.
Unfortunately, it’s a battle that far too many women fight today.

If there is one thing I want you to know, it’s that you are enough. As you are. Right now. I don’t
care if you’re a supermodel or struggling to lose weight. You are enough. Your weight does not
define you.

I wonder what God thinks when He sees us upset after looking in the mirror. I think it breaks His
heart.
Imagine what God was thinking when He created you. Everything God creates is good and
beautiful. He is proud of His creation, and it hurts Him to see His own creation hate its own
appearance.
Your body is capable of incredible things. Think of all your body accomplishes in mere minutes:
your heart is pumping, oxygen is flowing throughout your body, your brain is processing
thoughts and memories.
Instead of tearing our bodies apart for not fitting an unattainable ideal, let’s celebrate them.

Thank you, legs and feet for taking me to places I’ve never been before. Thank you for giving
me the chance to dance like a fool and jump around at concerts.

Thank you, arms and hands for giving me the ability to write my thoughts, cook delicious food
and hug my people.

Thank you, stomach for processing my food. You help provide my body with the energy I need
to laugh with friends, hike a trail and shop with my mom.

Thank you, ears, eyes, nose, mouth––because of you I hear the laughter of my loved ones, I see
God’s exquisite creation, I smell my favorite dessert and I hold conversations with my dearest
friends.

Friend, you have a beautiful body. Repeat it to yourself over and over again until it sets in as
truth. Your body is beautiful. Your body is capable of amazing things.

God gave you your body because He believes it is good. Celebrate it, nourish it, love it.

Hannah Brewster // @hannahlaurenbrew


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MEET HANNAH!

Hannah is currently an Okie studying public relations at Oklahoma Christian University. She loves all things brunch, music and chocolate chip cookie dough, and she is a shameless coffee addict. Hannah has a passion to spread joy and hope through sharing her heart through writing.