5 Answers to Your Questions on Body Shaming & The Struggle for Perfect Bodies

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A few weeks ago we published a blog that was all about The Struggle for Perfect Bodies. We resolved to extend grace to ourselves and love our bodies right where they’re at. We concluded that we ARE enough, even when we feel that our bodies aren’t “perfect”. As promised we sat down with my friend Angie Gonzalez, from 29J11, to give us some practical and professional advice on how to love our bodies.

Angie has been in the field of psychotherapy for more than a decade. She is known for her work with adolescents, young adults, adults, families, and groups. The primary objective of 29J11 is to provide Bible and evidence-based therapeutic interventions that can help heal teens and adults with food issues.

So without further ado, here are 5 Answers to Your Question on Body Shaming and The Struggle for Perfect Bodies:

1. How do we overcome our negative body image thoughts?
First, we need to be aware that we are speaking negatively about our bodies. Think of a girls bathroom, what comments do you hear most girls saying about their bodies?  Next realize God knit you perfectly in your mother’s womb.  No one has the body you have and he knows why. His purpose for your life requires you to have the body you have!  Once you identify the negative thoughts about your body, stop picking on yourself, and being your own bully, start replacing each negative thought with a positive one!

2. What techniques do you use with your clients?
One of them is realizing where the negative body image thoughts came from. Who influenced your thoughts about your body?  Then drop these negative thoughts at the foot of the cross and start seeing yourself as God sees you…a beautiful masterpiece. His Masterpiece. Take a post it and post it on the bathroom mirror with positive thoughts about your body. Also, if social media is not helping your image of self because you find yourself comparing to other, stop and take a social media break. Then when you come back, commit to posting only body positive and positive pictures and images.

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3. How do we change our conversation so we stop shaming ourselves and others?
Commit to being a conversation stopper. When you hear body shaming or negative body talk, then start a BODY positive conversation. Start telling others what you like about them that makes them special!

4. Is it normal to feel like we don’t like our bodies?
Unfortunately, Yes. There is something called Normative Discontent where most of society struggles with some body image. However, if your thoughts are consumed with body dislike, and you find that you don’t like the way you look to the extent that it interferes with your daily living, then you may want to consult a professional.

5. What is a personal story or lesson you’ve learned while learning to love your body?
My upper arms have always been a little bigger, and my friends as a teenager used to play with my arms and make them jiggle. I always thought that I really didn’t like them. But then one day in prayer, God spoke to me and let me know to stop hating on my arms because these arms are the arms that wrap around my family and friends, that love my hugs. These arms also hug my clients when they need it, without my fluffy arms, my hugs wouldn’t feel the same.


Thank you, Angie, for pouring out so much wisdom and insight! I know every SBG reader will be changed by your words.

If you would like to learn more about Angie and the services she provides through 29J11, please visit her webpage here.

Citrusy Summer Wallpaper

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Summers in Florida call for very cold, limey, lemony drinks. Am I right?! And nothing makes me feel cooler than a cold drink by the pool or beach. So in honor of the hottest summer EVER, here’s a tangy wallpaper for your mobile and desktop devices. Enjoy!

Download wallpapers below by long pressing or right-clicking on the image:

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The Struggle for Perfect Bodies

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There’s a motto I use quite frequently to describe what Styld by Grace is all about. “Grace over perfection”. I had come to the realization that God wasn’t asking perfection from me. In reality, He was extending His grace towards me. How could I live by faith if everything in my life was perfect? How could I see God’s miracles at work if life was always perfect?

During the summer when there’s an endless amount of pressure to look our best, this motto of grace over perfection kind of goes out the door for me. I don’t know about you but that number on the scale really scares me sometimes. Actually, it bothers me and even makes me feel disgusted. The struggle for “perfect” bodies is real. Skinny is never skinny enough. Having the right amount of “assets” is never enough.

The struggle for perfect bodies and the pressure that comes with it has caused me to question my conviction on God’s grace. Do I believe it only applies to my daily routine and life? Or do I believe it applies to even the core of who I am? Do I believe I AM enough? My body, my soul, my personality, my wide hips, my short stature?

Is the cure for perfection, grace, also the cure for my endless struggle for the perfect body?

Some would say that grace is a justification to do and act however we like without consequences. I really don’t believe that grace means actions without repercussions. I do believe that grace allows us to be fully who we are, at that very moment.

This past 4th of July weekend I knew I’d be out in the sun. I really wanted to be in the water. But I also knew what that entailed. Putting on a bathing suit. Did I feel super confident? Was my stomach flat and sculpted? NOPE. But I made a conscious decision to love myself right where I was at. Pouchy belly and all. (I admit I sucked it in when I felt extra self-conscious).

This summer, I give you permission to put a bathing suit on and feel happy. Extend grace to yourself. Love your body right where it’s at. Know that you ARE enough, even if your body isn’t perfectly sculpted and toned. For all you moms out there, rock that mom body like nobody’s business! And for the girls who’s hips don’t lie, embrace them and love them. If you’re skinny and self-conscious of what you’re “lacking”, don’t believe that lie. You too are enough.

So, here’s to a happy AND healthy summer, of loving our perfectly imperfect bodies right where they’re at!


For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:16)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)

P.S. Stay tuned for some healthy body image advice from my friend Angie Gonzalez, who helps young women overcome eating disorders.

 

USA Prints & Free Downloads

Happy 4th of July Weekend, ya’ll!

I’ve created some patriotic goodies for you to spruce up your phone & home.

In the Etsy shop, we have listed a very special print. It is a Prayer for Our Nation, which my good friend Yoshika Green wrote up just for Styld by Grace. I think this is a beautiful way to honor and celebrate our country. And you can download it and print it yourself here.


AND… because the 4th of July is all about the red, white, and blue, get your American on with some really fun red, white, and blue wallpapers for your phone. Enjoy & share!

To download long press and save:

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Sweet Summer Wallpapers 

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The first week of summer kicked off yesterday and with that, all things bright and sunny. Yay! Summer colors and summer vibes always give me lots of inspiration. I’ve been drawing, illustrating, and thinking up cute ideas to share with you guys.

Soooo…

Today I bring you the 1st set of Styld by Grace’s Sweet Summer Wallpapers! Your phone just got a lot cooler & summery. Scroll down to pick your fave.

I hope you love them as much as I do!

To save: long press on the image of your choice. 

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