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wellness wednesday: how I battle body image issues

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Before I get started on today’s post, let me preface it by saying…I think this is the most vulnerable, personal post I’ve shared in my 4+ years of blogging. Insecurity, specifically related to my body, is something I battle pretty regularly, but never talk about it on here. Why? I’m not exactly sure. I think part of me feels embarrassed that I struggle with insecurity about my body, which sounds so silly to say out loud. Because I don’t think there’s one girl reading this who can say they have zero insecurity issues about their body. Which is exactly why I decided to write this post! I want to share my struggle with insecurity and body image issues with you guys, in hopes that my journey in learning to battle insecurity might also help you!

I could go all the way back to junior high and talk about certain things I was insecure about with my body. But, today I want to specifically talk about where I’m at today in this journey with battling insecurity, and finding true peace and security and satisfaction in Christ. What does today look like for me? Today looks like being 5 months post partum, in a super busy season of life, breastfeeding, and feeling pretty ‘meh’ about my appearance on most days (to be completely honest). Let me share a little bit of my recent story with y’all.

If you’ve been following me for the past year, you know I had a beautiful baby girl on October 27th. I was really blessed to have an amazing pregnancy! I felt great and worked out the entire time – literally, up until the day I went into labor haha. I was kind of nervous about what my “post partum” body would look like or how long it would take me to “bounce back”, but was fully ready to just give myself grace and appreciate what my body went through. Honestly, I was really surprised that the weight I gained during pregnancy (which I know, wasn’t a lot) fell off actually very quickly after having Shiloh. I wasn’t working out (obviously), wasn’t trying to lose weight…but I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight really quickly which I know is not everyone’s story! I think breastfeeding made me lose weight quickly, and then also being home 24/7 so I wasn’t eating out or eating junk. I also wasn’t really working or doing anything so I had time (and the help) to eat really well. So, to the outside eye, I probably “bounced back” very quickly, and I felt pretty good about how I looked post baby.

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Fast forward a few months, and life has gotten kind of crazy again. Work seems to be busier than ever (which is great!) with tons of traveling and collaborations and photoshoots and deadlines. We’ve also been traveling a ton, which, pre-baby I would still workout everyday. Now with Shiloh, working out and traveling at the same time is much harder. So, coupling all of those things together – busy schedules, eating out a ton, traveling, not working out as much, eating on the go (not eating great)…I haven’t been feeling great about my body recently. Not because of a number on a scale necessarily, but just because I have not had the bandwidth to really focus on consistent exercise and healthy eating. Those things have fallen by the wayside a bit as I focus on taking care of Shiloh and running a business and still attempting to maintain a life ha.

The other day I was getting dressed to go shoot this look (and a few others) with my photographer and noticed my clothes felt a little bit tighter. I was just at an all-inclusive in Cabo for a week so what else can you expect?! haha. As I was getting ready though, feelings of failure started popping into my head like “why did you eat so bad on your trip?! why didn’t you workout more? i feel awful about myself.” Do you ever have those thoughts? Do you ever look in the mirror and not necessarily like what you see and all of the sudden start being SO hard on yourself? If so, keep reading. I’ll let you know how I battle those negative thoughts, those LIES, and come to a place of peace and joy with who I am!

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When I start feeling insecure about my body or how I look…I don’t start talking about positive things about myself I love. I’ve never been a huge ‘self affirmation’ person (even though there’s nothing wrong with that. It just doesn’t do the trick for me haha). When I start feeling not skinny enough or not pretty enough or not ____ enough…I instantly remind myself that who I am has absolutely nothing to do with the size of jeans I am wearing. The value that I bring to my family, to my husband, to you guys, my friends, my church, the world around me has absolutely nothing to do with what a number on a scale says. I remind myself that who I am is SO MUCH MORE than that! I am not defined by, I am not “made enough” by my body size or how great or how not great it looks! When I start getting stuck in my head and down on myself about how I look that day…I instantly pray and ask God to lift my eyes to so much bigger and better things all around me that have nothing to do with how I look.

In that moment when I was trying on clothes that felt a little snug…I just reminded myself: “I am a mom, I am a wife, I am a sister, I am an influencer…I am a daughter of God who is perfectly and wholly loved no matter what I look like.” Friends, the value you bring to this world is found in something so much bigger and better and greater than your physical appearance.

So, on my way I went to the photoshoot, with clothes that felt a little bit too small…but with a genuine smile on my face knowing that tight jeans don’t make me any less valuable or any less worthy or any less important or any less special. When I get stuck in my head, plagued with insecurity thoughts I think my fear is that “I feel fat…therefore, I’m not good enough.” It sounds CRAZY I know, but deep down, I think that’s my fear. And over the last few months the Lord has so graciously reminded me that I am beautiful and strong and perfectly loved…and NONE of those things are based on what size I am.

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So, to be honest, thoughts of insecurity still pop into my head probably every single day. But I can honestly say I’ve never felt more secure in my life than I do today…because I am able to battle those thoughts with TRUTH. By the grace of God I’ve come to a place where I can rest in the truth that who I am lies in something so much greater than the size I am. A verse I have been loving recently, specifically when I’m battling insecurity either about my body or how I look or just who I am…is jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  No matter what I look like or what size my jeans are or how much I’ve worked out or how great I’ve eaten…I am loved with an everlasting love. And grasping that truth brings ultimate security – 100 times more than any number on a scale ever will.

Does that mean that eating healthy and working out don’t matter? Absolutely not! Those things are still very important to me and something I think we should all prioritize! But, let us all remember that our “enough-ness” (your sense of feeling enough) is not defined by those things. Your identity, the value you bring to those around you, has absolutely nothing to do with your appearance. Eat healthy, work out, but know that those things do not define you or make you “enough”. You are an amazing mom, sister, girl boss, wife, friend…and you are loved with an everlasting love.

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Outfit details: Floral kimono | Similar TankDenim shorts | Slide sandals | Tote bag | Similar earrings | Wrap bracelet | Round sunglasses

Thanks for letting me get a little bit vulnerable with y’all today. I hope that sharing a bit of my struggle with insecurity helps you know that 1) you are not alone in your struggle and 2) there really is a way to find FREEDOM from that insecurity, and live with absolute joy knowing that you are worthy, you are valuable and you are so loved. Don’t let the scale define who you are (or even define your mood for the day). Ask the Lord to lift your eyes to something so much greater than that, and find peace in the fact that He has called you His own and says you are ENOUGH.

xo Lauren

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