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It was my sophomore year of high school, and I was sitting with my cross-country team listening to the older girls compare fat grams in bagel brands. Little did I know how influential that conversation, and many more like it, would become in my life. Add to that the billboards, magazines, and other media that boasted model-thin women all around me, and I bought into the lie: “I have to look like ‘her’ in order to be beautiful.”
At the same time, I was playing basketball. The coach attempted to motivate us to play better and harder with harsh words and actions, and I began to believe another lie: “My worth is based on my outward performance.” This led me to inflict punishment on myself—if I didn’t live up to my coach’s expectations, then I didn’t deserve to eat.
Themes - Appearance - Achievement - Heart - Women
These twin themes of appearance and achievement are at the heart of many women’s search for beauty and worth.
Thankfully, the gospel teaches us that our worth isn’t based on our outward appearance, but on the person and work of Jesus Christ. And our worth isn’t based on our outward performance, but on the perfect performance of Christ on our behalf.
Truths - Christ
For me, knowing these truths was tremendously freeing. I didn’t have to be thin and fit to be loved. I didn’t have to perform perfectly to be accepted. I am beautiful, loved, and accepted in Christ.
But I didn’t learn these truths alone. Others came alongside me and helped pull me out of the pit of an addiction to thinness and fitness. My nutritionist told me how many pounds I needed to gain to be at a healthy weight and gave me tips for normal eating. My mentor patiently led me through a study on the idols of the heart. And my Christian friends prayed...
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