Acceptance is a word I know very little about. If I am being brutally honest, it is a word that I am not very good at using in my own life or towards others.

People that have hurt me, things that I have done that I am ashamed of or regret…I struggle to find a way to “accept” them.

When I first got really honest with myself and admitted that I had a dis-jointed relationship to food and a real bitterness towards my body, I was surprised to see just how much actual emotionality and trauma began to come out.

I discovered that I had been using my food and my body as a sponge.

Any pain from the world, my past, people was absorbed directly into my obsessive food behaviors and constant need for “bettering” my physical body.

I knew I had food issues, but I had no idea that they were the glass jar for which all the pain of my life was being held in.

The thing about letting go of dieting is that you are not just deciding to end your negative relationship with food, You are deciding to end your negative relationship with yourself.

You are deciding to end your negative relationship with everyone and everything that has ever hurt you.

I don’t know about you, but that kind of scares the crap out of me. LOL.

I had hoped and really, just assumed that to heal from food meant to be willing to eat whatever I wanted again and have peace around it. That is certainly part of the healing process, for sure.

The other part is body acceptance.

Women do not realize just how much we have been programmed to hate our bodies. We want to see ourselves as strong, powerful, capable and successful women.

Dieting has engrained in us that to change our bodies is to showcase these strengths.

I am learning that it is the exact opposite!

To chase after a body that relies on me restricting food and have anxiety over missing a workout in order to achieve and then maintain that body is not at all empowering. It is not at all a sign of success but of subservience.

So what then are we left with?

How then are we to go about our lives with fat rolls, thigh rubs and cellulite?

Is that not a sign of defeat? Have we not made a proclamation to the world around us that we have given up?

Honestly, no.

What we are doing is showing the world that we accept our bodies. By doing so, we show our great courage, our trust in God’s creation and love of us and our spiritual light that makes us not of this world but one who is being transformed.

God wants us not to transform our bodies into picture perfect, photoshopped, cookie cutter shapes. He wants us to transform our minds into free-thinking, all loving, totally accepting, honorable followers of Christ.

Since acceptance is such a foreign concept to me, I decided to look the word up to try and get a better grasp on just what it means to accept.

I came across these three descriptive words of the definition that made it so clear to me: ToleranceEndurance and Charity.

Tolerance:
 Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Endurance:
Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.
Charity:
Psalm 112:5-9 It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Acceptance is not to just throw your hands up and say, ” Fine. You win.”
It is to endure, just as Jesus endured the cross for us.
It is to have patience with each other and to bear with one another in love (because we are all sinners) and it is to give of our selves (including to ourselves…our bodies) gracious love so that we can be a symbol of faith in our Lord to the world.
We all have much to accept in our lives.
As Christians, God calls us to that great duty. It is not a sign of submission but of great authority and power through Christ working in us.
Christ accepted us though we were still sinners. He accepted the cross for the future joy to come. We must ask God to open our hearts to do the same. Not only of others but of ourselves and our experiences. Of our foolish choices, our selfish pride, our human nature to control and perfect our lives.
Our bodies may be works in progress but not on the outward. It is inwardly, our mind, our bodies and our souls that we must work to accept. We must do this because it is what God did for us. It is what God calls us to do.
Letting go of your fear of your fat is to accept yourself, to give charity to yourself, to tolerate yourself, to endure with love of yourself because their is a greater joy!
It is the one Christ endured the cross for. It is the joy we are working towards reaching and whether or not we can see our abs in a bikini has NOTHING to do with it.

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