We should all love our body and care for it as it is what will carry us throughout our lives and for those who believe, into the next life as well. Since the accident, I realized how precious each part of me was and that I should never take it for granted. Recently, I took the 10-Day Body Image Challenge by the BYU Women's Resource Center, and learned so much about myself. Lexie and Lindsay Kite, two beautiful women pursuing their doctrate at the U of U began a movement to "Redefine Beauty." They gave a lecture on the influence of media on women. They brought in many great studies and statistics on how many advertisements target women each minute and negatively affect their perception of their body and self-esteem. We constantly get the message that we need to change in order to look a certain way. Women are becoming less connected and appreciative of their bodies, often relying on the opinion of others to feel their value.
The challenge made me reflect of how the media has affected my perception of beauty. I was disappointed to discover that I, too have struggled with my body for a long time now. But I will not allow media to influence me anymore!!! The challenge taught me a lot about love for my body, my soul, my personality, and it taught me how to overcome the media's influence. Here are some facts I've discovered from this 10 day Challenge:
1. Meditation is necessary for us to clear our minds, fill our souls with goodness, and stay in tune with our bodies.
2. Only kind words should be used towards our bodies, even in thought. Protect our body like our own child and love it!
3. We are given spiritual gifts and talents from our Heavenly Father to contribute to this world. Let's hone those gifts and use them for good.
4. Giving meaningful compliments to others assure them that we can see beyond their appearance and that we also value their inside more!
5. Express our opinions (in a classy, not overbearing manner, of course) and stand for good. Be headstrong if someone or something is hurting others.
6. The media portrays women as perfect beauty queens and objects. Resist the need of becoming like those photoshop images. Be grateful for your body and respect yourself.
7. I know that I wear make-up, but it's because I don't want o look like a zombie. This may be the one thing I give in to (I am working on trying to feel beautiful, naturally without make up). However, I just want to feel and look elegant and beautiful for myself. I don't think light make up to enhance beauty is a bad thing. Making thick make-up to cover yourself up, might be.
8. Let your body know how grateful you are for it. I am very grateful to be alive and have my body. I know that my body is not perfect, but it works. The toughest parts are the limitations I sometimes feel from my body and the back pain from long hours of sitting and shooting pains from damaged nerves. Anyways, I'm grateful to God for His love and His gift of a body to me. I will never take it for granted.
9. There are a few superwomen in my life that I want to attribute my strength to (but not here). They are so strong. They juggle work, family, services, etc. They love and appreciate life. They lift me up when I am feeling down. I am so grateful for them in my life. I'm so grateful to have such great people to call friends. Thank you ladies for being such great role models to me through the years. I really could not have done it without your love, prayers, support, and friendship.
10. I am beautiful because I understand my worth in the eyes of God. Because of this, I can share myself with others, especially with my darling, AJ.
Please love yourself and love your body. Realize that beauty is within and it can never be taken away if you hold onto it and take care of it. Show your body some lovin' today :)