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I struggle deeply with body image issues. For me, berating my body and scrutinizing it's flaws happens probably 100x a day, maybe more. It's such a natural thing. I frequently compare how big I am next to another woman, from whole body to specific parts, and it seems like I daily try to come up with another plan to slim down, whether it be not eating any desserts, or drinking alcohol, or running, or whatever.
But here's the kicker: I'm an intelligent, faithful, objectively beautiful woman who has so many talents, gifts, and blessings. I can spend hours in Adoration, I go to Mass 3 or 4x a week, I'm eloquent about my faith and I love to encourage others. God has formed me to be a leader in my circles, especially spiritually, and He has given me the grace to not screw it up. What I'm saying is, I'm SO blessed and I'm SO aware that this is an issue that I need help with if I'm going to become a saint on earth, which naturally is my goal.
What I'm saying is, I recognize a deep need for healing for my obsession. From the books I've read and the conversations with guys that I've had, I'd say that my obsession is comprable to the hold that pornography has on (mainly) men in our culture.
*To this community of believers, what I am asking is for, not only your prayer, but also your advice - the tools you have found to help conquer this sin of pride in your lives. *
The reason I posted this in "Family Life" is because I know that if I cannot heal in this before I get married in a few years, it will greatly affect my relationship with my husband, and my children. Already, my wonderful boyfriend is at a loss on how to best support me other than prayer and a listening ear.
What can I do to better understand my beauty and my body? How can I learn to love it as God made it? Honestly, I am hard pressed to find some part of my body that I can't complain about, but at the same time, I know how INCREDIBLY wrong I am to be judging myself so harshly. I have not learned to love the physical me, though I have a healthy respect for the moral me, the spiritual me and the mental me.
My head knows truth where my heart vehemently rejects it.
well, well, well, let's start:
first think that you are not alone. I am a teacher and took photographs of all the whole of my school and discovered that rightly 90 percent of the people did not like his/her image.
Then I discovered that most models dont like themselves. Claudia Schiffer did not like her body because she thought she was too tall (she is tall). But after earning millions with her stature, she discovered that she was not that tall !!!
Funny: the prettiest of my students are the ones who feel worse about their bodies. The ugly ones seem to have no problem with it. I joke: "Blessed the ugly girls for they know that whoever loves them has got true love!" And hey laugh. Sometimes we discuss what is better: to be beautiful or to be ugly...Beauty attracts all kinds of pests around and you cannot distinguish between the person who loves you or the person who loves your beauty or else, your money, etc.
I dont see any problem with your body preoccupation. I only see a problem on you seeing it as a problem. Some people have a hobby with cars, others fishing, others hunting, you have got your hobby solved it is your body. You dont suffer because you have such a body, you suffer because you make it a problem.
And your suffering deals, as you told, with a simple thing called COMPARISON. I tell you a story: suppose you and 10 of your friends are around me. I give you 1 million dollars. You will be very happy, and you'll promise friendship for ever, no? And then, one by one, I give 10 million dollars to each of your friends. Would you still be happy? I think you are a good girls and you will keep your feelings inside and be polite. But, inside yourself, you will curse me asking why I did not give so much as the others, and you will be thinking what have you done to not deserve the same. You will end feeling miserable with you 1 million dollars.
"Comparison" of intelligence, riches, beauty, body, houses, glory, fame, skills kills us. Moreover, Americans are more prone to that as I checked when I was there. They are competitive and competition means "comparison". You told that you compare... If I tell you that there is a tribe in Nigeria where all the girls must be very fat to get married, because it means the husband has got money to support her...and that there are clinics to fatten ladies, can you believe !!! Plastic surgery is common in Iran for they want to change their sexy (my opinion) noses to European noses ! If you compare your body parts (what a patience you have !) to other women, then you will find always someone who has got nicer, feet, legs, belly, arms. hair, nose, lips, oh! boy! no patience for that!
Now the fashion is to be ultra-thin, and the models such as that are not sexy at all (ask your boyfriend). women to be sexy need to be a little "fluffy". I tell you what a doctor told me: A model got a contract when someone saw her coming out of a psychiatric clinic treating her anorexia ! I asked my students why is this so and one of them answered that the designers are either women or guy and so they dont care for woman's beauty they want to sell clothes and women very tall and very thin are the ones that shape a better dress. But girls keep imitating them.