30 days of self love – do we idolize our bodies?

Posted: September 6, 2010 at 8:00 am

Gooood morning! Time for another 30 DSLR post. :D I cannot believe it hasn't even been a full week yet! Let's see what more the 30 DSLR will bring us. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on today's topic, just like every day. Yesterday was especially touching to read your comments after sharing so deeply. Your comments all pull at my heartstrings.

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How much do we really value our bodies? We may say we don’t, but when taking a closer look at our actions we may find differently. We may even claim we “hate” our bodies, yet we still obsess over them. We spend countless hours of our lives thinking about how our butt looks, checking our hair in the mirror, running our hands over our stomach, or trying to find the best tool out there to help us look good.

Taking care of ourselves and wanting to present ourselves in a suitable manner does not act as the root of the problem. Placing more emphasis on our looks over our character opens up many avenues for self-doubt and lack of caring for our inner selves. In life, we should not have idols. I use the word “idol” to describe something we focus on more than necessary and that inhibits us from experiencing the things in life meant to fulfill us.

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Our bodies become idols when we can’t enjoy a night out with friends because we feel too concerned with the fit of our jeans. Our bodies serve as idols when we spend time in the gym to look better instead of feel healthier. Our bodies act as idols when we can’t comfortably allow a loved one to touch us without negative thoughts playing in our minds. Our bodies turn into idols when we have difficulty focusing on our work, surroundings, conversations, etc because we wonder if we’ll ever lose that last 5 pounds or look as good as (insert celebrity persona here). Our bodies are idols whenever we allow them to become the defining factor of our lives, instead of our relationships, passions, hobbies, and values.

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We lose the chance to enjoy life when we refuse to look past our bodies. I loved this quote that sparked discussion on my favorite radio show awhile ago - “Don’t look for yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself”. Your body does not determine you. It’s simply what you look like. What matters is what’s on the inside. So when you look in the mirror, or think about your physical appearance, don’t dwell on it. Simply look at it and move on (without forgetting the gifts of the body though ;) ). When looking for yourself and your worth…look to the more defining qualities you possess. Your intrinsic beauty, what others see in you, what you give to the world, and more. Don’t let your body play the leading part.. It’s simply the costume for the star of the show. The real YOU!

What ways have you put too much emphasis on your body? How can you change that?

Quote to Reflect On
You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. ~
C.S. Lewis

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78 Comments to “30 days of self love – do we idolize our bodies?”
  1. I’d say anorexia makes me focus too much on my body, lol. On a more serious note, I sometimes obsess about my body because somehow my body is my vehicle for my self. I feel like if my [body part name] is not perfect, then I am not the BEST ME I can be. Learning to accept my body is a process, and learning to love it instead of obsess over it is still something I’m working on!

    • Tina says:

      It’s tough learning that we are not our best because we look our best, but instead because we love, try, etc our best. You are working hard and have worked hard to move through eating issues. That alone makes you extraordinarily beautiful.

  2. [...] Yesterday Tina wrote about all the ways we idolized our own bodies and compare our bodies to that of others.  Check it all out here. [...]

  3. I used this post as a sounding board on my own blog for some self reflection. I found myself wanting to open up and allow myself to to move forward and make some personal growth.

    Check it all out here on my blog. http://www.mirandasjeans.com/?p=3926

  4. Lisa Jordan says:

    I really like the quote to reflect on. So many people look for themselves in the mirror instead of at themselves (including myself sometimes),that it make it hard for them to appreciate how beautiful they really are.

  5. [...] Monday post was on idolizing our bodies. The whole post was fantastic, as usual, but the paragraph that really got me thinking was this [...]

  6. Massive pecs says:

    “Don’t look for yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself”

    excellent line
    i love it

    thats why i am working on my massive pecs

  7. [...] As I discussed before, sometimes we choose to put more emphasis on our body at the expense of fully experiencing the world around us with pleasure. We determine whether or not we live in that manner. In the same fashion, we choose whether or not to succumb to other forces in this world hoping to weaken us. That choice lies in the perspective we adopt. [...]

  8. Deborah says:

    Oops, just realised I didn’t post this here yesterday, though I did post it on my blog.

    Thinking about this made me realise that I HAVE grown (NOT in that way, well… yes in that way, but I’ve also evolved!) in that my lack of confidence about my body and the way I look no longer controls my entire life. I can now separate achievements at work etc from self-consciousness about my body.

    I still do – however – feel incredibly conscious of how I compare to others, and had a morbid fear of going to the races and the like where my girlfriends dressed in strappy dresses while I was required to cover up for fear of shocking other race-goers! If I still went to the races, I suspect I would still feel out of place and uncomfortable… so I’m still letting body-shame shape and impact on my life more than I’d like.

    http://dietschmiet.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/30-days-day-6-idolising-our-bodies/

    Deb

  9. [...] super random already so I might as well add another tangent in here quick before I go.  It’s day 6 of the Faith, Fitness, Fun series I stared almost a week ago and I really liked one of the quotes [...]

  10. [...] glad, honored and privileged to be continuing with the 30 Days of Reflection on Self Love. Today’s post: – we make our bodies into idols when we obsess over how they should be as opposed to [...]

  11. Xandria says:

    I had gotten to the point and still struggle sometimes that I was so focused on eating healthy, I would deprive myself of my cravings. I would always think, “I would like a cookie,” and then say, “Oh but I don’t need it.” While focusing on my body image. I would go to the gym my first year of college so much that my muscles would ache get compliments on it all the time. I don’t know why I’ve focused so much on my appearance actually. Someone out there finds my beautiful. And to help myself find them, I must find beauty in myself as well. :)

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