Body R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Did anyone just sing Aretha Franklin after reading the title of this post? I hope so. šŸ˜‰

It’s so interesting to me how diet culture somehow convinces us that by embarking on a “cleanse” or “clean eating plan” (aka a diet), we are honoring and respecting our bodies. I suppose in some instances this can be true, but I know that for me personally, my restrictive eating plans were born out of distrust and disrespect of my body. I couldn’t accept my body the way that God created it, and so I tried to take things into my own hands and make a change.

Hear me out: I believe that God wants us to fuel our bodies with food that is nourishing and satisfying. I believe that He wants us to move our bodies in ways that are joyful and fun. However, I do not think any of that includes worshiping a thin ideal and centering our whole lives around dieting and exercise to try to achieve a size we were never meant to be.

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This brings me to a beautiful verse in the Bible that gives me such respect for my body:

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself?” -1 Corinthians 6:15

That changes the game a bit, right? If our bodies are nothing but a random mix of cells, then I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what we do to them. But if they are members of Christ Himself, a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, created in God’s image, then they are immediately worthy of respect and honor.

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I see so many people dieting in the name of “health,” and I was one of them for many years. To be honest, it is still hard sometimes for me to avoid the diet mentality and I have to actively work against it so that I can keep living in freedom.

We try to earn body respect, but it is inherent in our design.

I think a huge key to freedom from disordered eating and dislike of our bodies is to realize what holy and sacred vessels they are, and to respect them for that. The next time you feel pressure to change your body or to conform it to some arbitrary ideal that is glorified in our society, remember what a sacred thing it is. Remember that your body is inherently worthy of love and respect, no matter what you eat or how much you exercise.

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