How To REALLY Overcome Poor Body Image
Wanna know the BEST way to cure a low body image?
Book a plane ticket to a third world country. And stay as long as your life will allow, but a minimum of 2 weeks.
I am dead serious.
I just got back from a two-week trip to Uganda. It was my third time there. This time, I brought my son and some of his select basketball team. We ran 6 hours of basketball training a day at an orphanage that friends of mine started 15 years ago.
Orphans. Children who have lost parents to death or life-threatening illness. Children who have no relatives to take them in. No God-parents. No court-appointed guardians. No one. Their only hope for survival is to be taken in by an orphanage…if they are lucky enough.
A lot of the children there, I knew because I had been before. Several of them are almost in their twenties now! It was a delight to see them as young adults. They were so grown up and well-spoken. The orphanage and school has taught them so many life skills! One day, Tristan (my son) and I walked into a “local” town with 2 of our sponsor kids that we keep in close contact with. And by “local”, I mean walking 6 miles on a pitch black, dirt road with 8 ft. corn rows on either side. We were not prepared- LOLOL! But the sights you see in African villages stick with you forever. I was so happy Tristan got to experience that looooong walk.
My husband, being the obedient man he is- urgently baptized around 20 local children in the Nile River Tributary. The children listened to us share the love of Jesus at the end of our training days and on the last day- hands went up everywhere for a new-found faith in Jesus. I am forever changed witnessing those baptisms. My son even baptized one of the boys in his group!
We ate only food they harvest there. Including a special treat- cutting the head off and plucking the house chicken, Harold, and having him for dinner. Wild. But the portions we had were all we had. We made due. Bellies might have growled for a few moments on occasion, but honestly, it becomes part of the deal. Background noise, really. We adjusted our mindsets, you see. Whining did not change anything, it did not bring more heaping servings of food. So, we just did with what we had. And the need to obsess over it just faded.
And do you know how many times I thought about my body, or how much protein I had consumed for the day, or whether or not I had fat rolls hanging over my shorts, or cellulite? ZERO. Like not once.
Seeing/experiencing/living (albeit, briefly) in poverty stamps a huge memo to your brain that says- NONE OF THIS TRIVIAL STUFF MATTERS. All that matters is survival and maintaining a sustainable life. Sounds incredibly cliche, but I have no idea how else to word it. And I want MORE OF THAT LIFE.
So, it seemed pretty funny that I was coming home to start an Instagram Challenge called #JustGetInThePool. Truthfully, I almost didn’t do it-seemed sort of lame after my weeks back in Uganda. But then, when I got home, I felt a nudge in my spirit to just move on with it. Because honestly, THIS CHALLENGE is another small way to end the obsession we have with shrinking and morphing our bodies. Sure, we aren’t in a third world country figuring out what matters most in life. WE ARE HERE and so so so fortunate! So, it should be easier in essence. We are not facing any famine. MOST of us are not facing a lot of life-threatening scenarios. A lot of problems we create for ourselves are in our very own minds, and…are actually not problems at all. Our self-worth and confidence is choice to choose day in and day out. So, let’s choose to take a positive step forward and make some uninhibited memories with our children this summer! Even though my #JustGetInThePool Challenge is over, we still have such a gift in the freedom to play and swim and ski. Let’s begin there. There are no small pieces in the plans God prepares in us. So, mamas, you still have the rest of the summer to #JustGetInThePool!
ANDDDDD if it is STILL difficult for you to get over the way you look after reading this and getting in the water—BOOK A TRIP TO AFRICA ASAP.