5 Positive Thoughts to Find Self-Love and Health

by tinareale on June 6, 2012

Different people determine what “health” means to them in different ways. How does the ole trust Merriam-Webster dictionary define it?

the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit;especially : freedom from physical disease or pain

a flourishing condition

I love that. When I think about health, I think about being able to live wholly and fully. To have balance and well-being in all areas that affect our ability to enjoy life – the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. It’s so easy to think health only encompasses the physical. Or maybe the physical and the mental.

For a long time, I approached it the same way. Then, when I got sick of the physical, mental, and emotional pain I was doing to myself through binge eating, suicidal thoughts, drinking, promiscuity, etc, I worked on the spiritual side.

I truly believe my faith matters helps make me a healthier, more whole individual. It gives me health – a flourishing condition – in every aspect of my life. Not only does my faith bring me more overall joy and a greater sense of peace with life in general, but it has had a great positive impact whenever I find myself struggling with those old harmful issues like body image or emotional eating.

I actually have a sort of prayer or “mantras” that I will say to myself, to help put the focus back on my spiritual health. From there, the remainder of my emotions, mind, and body seem to fall into place. I thought I would share those with you today. I hope you enjoy them.

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“I am wonderfully made and at peace with my body.”

I can know I have a purpose and that my body isn’t something haphazard. God carefully made it and that alone can bring me peace with my body as a loved creation.

“I respect my body and honor God with my choices.”

I have a responsibility to care for my body. My choices are ultimately up to me and, if I want to live as fully as possible, I have to provide for my body well. I must eat nutritiously, train balanced, rest well, and give it the care it deserves. My life has a purpose and I can’t carry it out as well as intended if I don’t care for myself.

Food does not control me.”

Many of you know that my biggest health related struggle has been binge eating. While I haven’t binged in almost three years, I still occasionally find myself turning to food (instead of God and loved ones) for comfort. When that happens, I have to remember that food does not control me and that I have the strength to overcome those challenges because I have God on my side. Food does not control me. Nothing controls me. I have free will and know that choosing to follow God’s will and/or seek His strength always leads to positive results.

“I appreciate my body for what it can do.”

In these days, we place so much emphasis on physical appearance. When I try to think of how caring for my body can accomplish good works, I can put aside fat-talk. When I reflect on the strength of my body and things it can accomplish, I often sit in awe of God’s power in creating us.

“My identity is in You, Lord.”

This is the big one for me. As a personal trainer, I could easily put my merits in my physical appearance. Or since I love running so much, I could allow it to define me and find myself completely off balance and feeling lost during an injury. As a mother, I could crash into a very dark place at the smallest feeling that I have upset or let down my children in any way. If I have a day where I give in to emotional eating, I can in turn think of myself as completely unworthy and a failure. I wouldn’t know from experience or anything. Ahem. Right. But as soon as I turn my heart back to my true identity – loved, worthy, and so much more – I don’t have to despair any longer. I come out of those dark places and move back to self-love.

I know this post is a little off the norm, but knowing how much it has helped me over the years, I knew I needed to share with others. Whatever your beliefs, choose to find health in all aspects of life – not just in a number or a mirror. Happy living!

{ 37 comments }

1 Em June 6, 2012 at 7:49 am

Great reminders about what is really important when it comes to healthy living!! :)

2 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers June 6, 2012 at 7:57 am

This post has great timing for me. I’ve been hard on myself lately after seeing some less-than flattering photos of myself pop up from Memorial Day weekend. Where did this extra weight come from??? Ugh! Whether I gained or not, I need to love my body and treat it right, not continually bash it.

3 Becky Przy June 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

Awesome post! Just what I needed for today (actually for my life).

I have been struggling lately w/defining what ‘health’ is lately. I am going to have to take some time off from running in the near future and I am worried that I won’t be ‘healthy’ I know their are other forms of exercise, healthy eating habits and not working out if it is what my body truly needs. I keep thinking a break for running will actually help me be a ‘healthier’ person because I can learn to pray/rely on God when things get tough and not just go for a run to avoid my emotions.

Our bodies are truly amazing and a gift from God, they should be celebrated and not bashed by our own insecurities/fears! Thanks for a wonderful post to start out Wednesday!

4 Erica June 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

This is so perfect for me…today and every day. Thank you for writing and sharing it. I am bookmarking it at the top of my screen so I can refer to it often and remind myself of God’s promises for me. I struggle with all of this daily, sometimes it feels like I am drowning in it, but to take a purposeful moment to remind myself that I am “made perfect” and a child of the King gives me so much perspective. Work in progress here:) Thanks again for sharing your heart. ((hugs))

5 tinareale June 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I’m a work in progress too. But we’re meant to be in order to keep growing towards Him. :)

6 Kelsey June 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

Such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing! Blessing to you!!!

7 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 6, 2012 at 9:08 am

These reminders are great mid-week. Thanks, Tina! :)

8 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries June 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

i absolutely love this post tina! even though i *know* these things, i definitely need a reminder from time to time to keep me on track. i’ve really had to “re-learn” what healthy living is for me within the past few months. it’s been hard, but i can look at it now and thank God that He put me through it. it’s been so good for me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

9 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance June 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

Gah, thank you for sharing these personal mantras of yours, Tina. They honestly couldn’t have come at a better time for me!

10 Alex @ therunwithin June 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

Oh my gosh those are all wonderful statements. I use ones very similar to those and find that mantras really help me when times are the toughest. Such an inspiring post!

11 Heather (Heather's Dish) June 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

that last point is the most important to me. i can be unhappy with being out of shape or with not taking the best care of my body, but the moment i make that my identity is when it all goes down the crapper. my identity is in Christ – thank goodness for that!

12 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness June 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Well written! We need to remember where our true identity lies. It’s like one big circle, if I am not “spiritually healthy” , which means, being in the Word, I don’t feel good overall. There’s a huge connection between mind, body and spirit.

13 jobo June 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

WOW, Tina, I love this post so much but most of all, your last positive thought. Your identity through God. Not losing yourself in an injury, or when you feel you have an off day as a mother or a trainer, but trusting in who you are and what you are capable of because of Him. I honestly have no words that could better say what you said in that paragraph. Absolutely, 100% agree with you. And this something I am just recently learning and identifying myself with too. Thank you for a beautiful post.

14 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed June 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I was just talking today about not doubting yourself. I am relieved to know I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles to overcome it.

15 Michelle (Better with Berries) June 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Love this, Tina! I have been trying hard to focus on appreciating my body lately. In the past, I was a little down that I just can’t seem to run as fast as some others. Then I realized that 1) comparing wasn’t doing anything for me! And 2) I’m so appreciative of the fact that I can run at all – it’s something I so love to do. Even if I’m not fast, I still am so grateful that my legs, heart, and lungs are strong enough to power me through miles of running!

16 Ali @ Around the VeggieTable June 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Great post! I definitely need to work on appreciating my body more…that has been a lifelong struggle for me. Currently I am facing unemployment and struggling with my identity outside of being a lawyer. I am definitely going to remind myself frequently that my identity is in my heavenly Father! Thank you so much, as always Tina :)

17 tinareale June 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Big hugs, Ali!

18 Jess June 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

A ‘flourishing condition’ – how beautiful is that as a phrase in and of itself? I love that concept — it has such a calming yet uplifting and energizing meaning behind it…and that’s how I’d define health and self-love. That feeling of being lifted up (by Him, in large part) and finding energy through strength. Beautiful post my dear.

19 Kelly@Project-Fitness June 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

The spiritual identity within ourselves is something that a lot of people neglect, but can be so powerful. Strengthening this aspect of our mind can help in so many areas whether it’s self-assurance, confidence, or peace with what we have. Being able to put faith in something higher, whatever it is, gives you a sense that you have a partner in your control of how you live and the choices you make.

20 Christy June 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

LOVE this post, Tina. Thanks for sharing.

21 pluvk June 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

This was a beautiful post, Tina, and a much needed one. I still struggle so much with food and my physical appearance. I try to turn to Him when I need strength, but my inner “demons” keep me from fully appreciating His love, wisdom, and plan for me. I’m planning to bookmark this and use it when I need uplifting words. Thank you SO SO MUCH!

22 Kimberly June 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I love how God uses others to speak to you. I struggle so much with body image and how I look. It’s a constant battle between me, the mirror, the camera, and the scale on who can win that day. Praise God for His grace and love. Thanks for the reminder. You rock!!

23 Amy Lauren June 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I love this post :) . It really shows that self love and good health isn’t all just about how you look but how you feel inside. Thanks for writing this!

24 Paulo Ozaki June 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Awesome post! Congrats!
I’m brazilian and I saw your post of the 1st marathon that you ran some days ago! I started running 9 months ago and since that, I lost 30 kg (70 pounds) and I won a lot of self-love and health. Some of this thoughts helped me to reach my objectives! Thanks for sharing it!

Paulo

25 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More June 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm

This is sticking out for me: “I appreciate my body for what it can do.”
My body has been through so much physically this past year that it really has shown just how strong it is and I believe strongly that because I try so hard to take care of myself and feed myself healthy foods, I was able to push through some of those rougher illnesses this past year.

26 Kendra June 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Tina, this was just what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for speaking from your heart.
Kendra

27 Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Great suggestions. I had some similar mantras while dealing with emotional eating myself…”food does not control me” sounds familiar!

28 jen June 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Thankyou. This is just what I needed.

29 Bri Carpenter June 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

You’re heart for Jesus is very encouraging Tina :) Keep seeking Him and glorifying Him through all you do because thats how you reveal who He is into other’s lives.

30 Laurie @Love, Laugh, laurie June 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

Wonderful post! The last one is what I need to focus on for sure

31 Sky June 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Exactly what I needed today! Thank you Tina for such an inspiring and encouraging blog!

32 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions June 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I love this post, Tina. I really like the thought of health being an all-encompassing thing. I’ve honestly never thought about it that way, but have more seen it as a situation of I’m not physically sick or injured, so therefore I am healthy. That’s really not true, and I appreciate you pointing that out. Also, I really love those five phrases you have. I think I’m going to write them down and put them in my room, because they’re really helpful. Thanks for this post!

33 Jen June 8, 2012 at 1:50 am

Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this, Tina!

34 Tara Burner June 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

most awesome post Tina :)

35 bianca@rowingmachinereviews June 12, 2012 at 7:24 am

Oh, I just love this post! “My identity is in You, Lord.”–my favorite!!! Thanks for sharing!

36 Cara June 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Such a good post! I tell myself most of these things as well, when I am feeling down. Knowing that God has designed me in his own perfect way makes me appreciate my body much much more!

37 Bek @ Crave July 7, 2012 at 1:11 am

I love this Tina! I like you have turned to binges after restricting, creating food rules and doing mean and unhealthy things to my body. I love your mantras and I do the same thing. Here is a beautiful quote that I adore: The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind.

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