Self-Love Reflection: Idolizing Our Bodies

Posted: February 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Just as every Sunday, I have republished another topic to lead us into another week on a positive note. Please enjoy this week’s topic of self-love reflection: the troubles in idolizing our bodies.

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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 tend to 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 than in 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. YOU!

What ways have you put too much emphasis on your body? Ideas on changing it?

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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28 Comments to “Self-Love Reflection: Idolizing Our Bodies”
  1. Danielle says:

    Thanks for such an uplifting and inspiring post. The line “Our bodies serve as idols when we spend time in the gym to look better instead of feel healthier” is perfect timing as I’m just about to head to the gym. I try to focus on keeping everything in a healthy perspective but sometimes I find myself wanting that ideal body image. Hope good things are coming your way after such a hard week xoxo

  2. I compare myself to celebrities WAY too much, and put way too much pressure on myself to look like someone else. I am trying my best to see myself through other people’s eyes!

  3. emily says:

    Thanks Tina for this post!!!! Even though I have recovered from an eating disorder…I still find myself looking at myself in the mirror degrading myself. This post really opens my eyes! I know I have more to offer than my looks. Also, I will think about this when I am soooo bodily-tired to rest instead of getting up early to hit the gym. You are an inspiration and this post has lifted me up today! much love and hugs!!!

  4. Lauren says:

    It’s pretty easy to put too much emphasis on your body when reading fitness and health blogs talking about their workouts and goals. I fall into the trap of comparing my body sometimes, but I try to combat it by remembering why I love my body – strength, power, being able to run.

    • Tina says:

      I know how easy that comparison trap can be. We just have to remember that our own health and our own care of our bodies is what matters. Hard to do though, I know!

  5. Lori Lynn says:

    I love, love, love this post! It’s something that I’ve really had to work on, and not obsess over. I’ve actually become a bit “pickier” of myself with losing weight, and I know that I shouldn’t dwell so much on focusing on “self.” It’s a really good reminder for me!

  6. Amy Lauren says:

    This is really good for me to read right now, as I know I’ve pushed myself too hard in the gym to be thin (rather than be healthy) and restricted food intake to the point where it’s so hard to enjoy meals or lunches with friends (when I actually do go out somewhere to eat). Unfortunately… these behaviors are so hard to stop :( .

    Thanks for writing this though, I really needed it today… I love your posts like this one.

    A.L.

  7. michelle says:

    Just found your blog and I love it!
    This post spoke to me. I am so obsessed with my body to the point where instead of praising it for things that it can do (walk, run, exercise, etc), I get down on it for things it can’t do (fit into a size 6, etc). Great post. Thank you

  8. thank you tina – i needed that. beautiful post!

  9. Lee says:

    I started a post (that I haven’t finished) about how I try so hard to fit into a certain size jeans and spend so much time obsessing over the size. My body can run distance races, why does it matter what size pants I wear?

    Great post.

  10. Sarah says:

    I am a huge fan of that quote!
    I agree with everything you said here, but I usually need to relearn things over and over again. I’m glad you posted this:-).

  11. lindsay says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Am I glorifying God with the way I take care of my body, am I nuturing it along with my spiritual walk? I think they go hand in hand. Thank you for this encouragement and something to think about this week!
    LC

  12. I have definitely put too much emphasis on my body in the past. I find that when I take my eyes off of God, everything (including my self image/worth) falls apart!

  13. Runeatrepeat says:

    Love the soul/body quote!

  14. The way you write about body image / confidence / self-love really connects with me. It’s like you are inside my head and you know what things really click with me!
    When I think about what happens when I look in the mirror, my eyes and my mind go right to what I think of as my flaws. Maybe a good idea would be to leave myself a note on my mirror to remind me to look at my body for what it is and the strength and beauty it has, instead of wishing it were smaller or more toned. Then maybe eventually my thoughts will not be so automatically critical. Again, thank you so much for your posts, Tina.

  15. sophia says:

    Such a great post, Tina! It’s true…I certainly do idolize my body, my looks, and heck, I have so many other idolizations in my life. I really liked your definition of “idol.” Such idols are such a dragging, hindering weight to true peace in our life.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I really love that C.S. Lewis quote…perfectly sums up the issue. :)

  17. This body is merely a vessel for this lovely experience called life! I try to treat it with the utmost respect these days and focus on what it can do for me, not what it can’t! :)

  18. Great post (and I love the new look- I know, I’m late, but I do love it!)
    I definitely have put too much emphasis on the way I look in the past (and still now). I’m working on it, but it isn’t always easy. Afterall, who doesn’t want to look their best?
    But I’m realizing that if I have too much emphasis on the way I look, that when that changes (pregnancy, getting older, etc), I’m going to have a VERY hard time with it, so I try to focus on staying healthy, active and happy instead :)

  19. Julie says:

    THIS is such a great post!!!! I’m going to go back and re-read it right now!

  20. Great post. I think I compare myself too much to other people. I need to realize that this is my body and I should be proud of it just because it’s mine :)

  21. Cara says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I have noticed that when I am stressed I tend to focus more on my body in negative ways. As long as we are honoring our body and giving it the nutrients and things that it needs, i shouldn’t matter what it looks like. We should know we are created this way for a purpose, for god’s purpose.

  22. Geraldine says:

    Wow. This is a great post. I do idolize my body and have never once thought of it in that way. I can stare in the mirror picking out things that I may have not noticed when the scales are a few pounds lighter. I have snapped at my boyfriend for grabbing my waist, and accused him of grabbing my fat! Working out is all about how the results will make me look. I really need to learn to re-focus these thoughts to something more positive. Thank you!

  23. [...] title states, it is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week this week. There have been some great posts in the blog world community about this Awareness this week-check them [...]

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