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St. Luke’s Weight Loss Challenge — Struggling with Body Image

Several years ago, I took a seminar that was supposed to help me get past my body image issues.  They promised me that in a few hours, I’d learn to love my body…every part of it. Yes, even my thighs.

One of the exercises they had us do was stand in front of a mirror and say positive things about our bodies — starting with our heads and working our way down.  And the minute a negative thought came into our minds, we had to step away from the mirror immediately.  Thank heavens this wasn’t done in front of the class because I never could get below my neck!  Seriously, I saw flaws in every single part of my body — even when others pointed out how “strong” or how “fit” I looked.  Our assignment was to come back to the class and tell everyone how it went.

There was one woman, I can’t remember her name, who made such an impression on me. I will NEVER forget what she said.  Like a lot of women who have had children, she was carrying extra weight around her middle.  She said that when she got to her stomach area, she didn’t see the extra weight…she saw the faces of her children.  And that because of that part of her body, she has five healthy children to whom she had given life.  AMAZING!

The perfect end to this story would be if I could say that from that day forward I’ve never felt self-conscious or thought negative thoughts about my body.  But that isn’t true.  I’m still a work in progress 12 years later.  But, I really DO try to remember that even though my thighs aren’t small, they’re strong and they’ve gotten me through several 1/2 marathons.  My stomach isn’t completely flat and my arms have a little extra “jiggle” — but I’m healthy.  I can do virtually every physical thing I want to do.  And really, who can complain about that?

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