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.
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.