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Episode 48: Loving Your Body, Just as She Is (with Jess Connolly)
Here’s something that’s hard to admit for so many of us: it can feel like a struggle to care for our bodies in a compassionate way, to listen to what our bodies need and want. So many of us feel ashamed that our bodies don’t look a certain way, or we’re not able to do things that others can. It’s a message that’s been fed to us over and over since we were little girls. But what would our mental space look like if we could break free from those messages and begin to heal? What would it look like to love our body, just as she is right now? Today, Emily’s talking to Jess Connolly, a guide who’s spent some intentional time around breaking free from body shame. They talk about how to pass healthy, validating messages to our daughters, even as we struggle ourselves, and tangible things we can do to begin loving our body just as she is. Because sister, every single part of you is *good.*
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“Listen to me, dear one: you are worthy of love and belonging just as you are.”
– Emily Ley
“Loving your body just as she is right now is a lifelong battle. I wish I could give you a silver bullet to take away all the struggle you have, but my hope is that you begin to really see the way you think about yourself, that you really see the way you talk about yourself. I hope that when you look in the mirror and start picking yourself about, the small, still voice that speaks truth over you tells you, "No, that is not who you are. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are a gorgeous miracle."
– Emily Ley
“You cannot control how other people around you talk, but you absolutely can control our own mouths. So make some declaration, draw a line in the sand, and say, ‘From here on out, I don't talk negatively about my body. I certainly don't talk negatively about other people's bodies. And I'm not going to sit in conversations where my body's talked about negatively.’” – Jess Connolly
“Begin to learn what you like to do in your body. What do you like to eat? How do you like to move? What makes you feel alive? And begin to think less about what you need to cut out and think more about how you can just follow that. Follow the actual things you desire and crave.” – Jess Connolly
“Do you need to have sit-down conversations with your kids about body shame once a month? I don't know that you need to. Do you need to be ready to help them think through tense conversations when they feel bad? Absolutely. Living out your own freedom in front of them, being the mom who'll eat ice cream with them on July 4th, but also letting them see you try new things, that's it. That's one of the most powerful pieces of impact I think we can have with our kids.” – Jess ConnollyA Blessing for Your Week
May you remember that you are worthy of love and belonging, just as you are right now.
May your body continue to be a force for love in a world that is hungry for it.
And may you remember that God only makes good things—and you, my dear, are so, so good.Simplicity Tip of the Week
As always, I like to leave a little tip to help you put what we’ve talked about today into practice. I’m not sure if the term “simplicity tip” applies to what I’m going to tell you today. Anything that has to do with our body image rarely feels “simple.” But for today, I want you to start calling your body she.
Here’s what I mean: when you say something like, “My body is so tired today,” or, “My body is so sore,” or even something like, “My body doesn’t move like it used to,” replace the word “it” with “she.” She is so tired today. She is so sore. She doesn’t move like she used to.
Do you hear the difference? You’ve just given your body an identity—you’ve given her importance and made her more human and more lovable by declaring her the living, breathing thing that she is. That you are. This is something I learned from Dr. Hillary McBride, who’s an expert in healing the shame we have around our bodies. If this is a subject you’d like to learn more about, go check her out.Pre-order Emily’s New Kids Book!
Resources & Links
- Breaking Free From Body Shame by Jess Connolly
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