Bare Naked Gratitude

Naked is not a bad word. It’s not the “N” word, and it’s not vulgar. It’s how we were born, totally bare, but I’ve talked with far too many women who can’t stand the sight of themselves. They hide from mirrors and mock their own worth by reducing themselves to self-imposed labels like “Fat” and “Gross” and “Ugly” and “Not worth new pants yet.” It’s hard to be thankful for all the ways our bodies serve our purpose when we’re living with that mindset, isn’t it?

Are you able to be thankful for your body when you're naked, or do you just tear yourself down? -fit2b.com
I dare you to be grateful for all your bits – the pretty ones and the private ones. The exposed ones and the unexposed ones. The ones with more fluff and the ones with less. Click the image for our “Belly Love” project.

It’s so sad to me when women {and men} allow their reflection – unfamiliar and foreign to them compared to the flatter, firmer body of their teen years – to determine their value and judge their beauty even as they love their daughters’ messy heads and pudgy thighs and baby buddha bellies.

… Yet I’ve done it myself. I’m guilty of it, too…

That skin picture up there? That’s me. That’s my belly when I’m slouching, and it has extra skin. I carried three babies, and God only let me keep two of them. When I see myself in the mirror, I’m like every other woman: I have to discipline myself to see my shell the way my kids do, the way my man does, the way my maker does… with love and care.

Sure, I’m strong. I’m fairly fit. I’ve got decent alignment.

I’m also my worst critic, so this is for me as much as it is for you. Because how can we build others up when we’re being mean to ourselves? 

Why do we despise the laugh lines that prove we smiled? Why do we shudder at the stripes left behind from carrying tiny tigers inside us? Why do we buy into the lie that we have to tear ourselves apart to become stronger?

I Dare You

Just once this week, find a private place and stand naked and unashamed.

Take a hard look at yourself in the mirror NOT at all your flaws, but at all the map lines and miraculous mysteries. Dare to detail what each detail has done. You are a work of art.

Bare Naked Thankfulness - fit2b.com
In everything give thanks. Not just the good stuff. Everything. Not just the pretty stuff. Everything. Not just the uncovered parts. Everything. Not just the easy times. Everything. Because all of it is shaping us.

 

Please forgive the cliche car anology, but my husband is a diesel mechanic, and he can’t fix what’s broke if the vehicle’s owner doesn’t care enough to bring it to him. It’s also really hard for him to fix an engine or transmission without stripping it down to bare parts because the trouble is seldom on the outside.

The trouble is on the inside: Our emotions. Our chemistry. Our spiritual life.

And we don’t fix what we despise. We don’t take a car we see as worthless into the body shop. We don’t spend money on repairs when we judge that cost to be higher than the car’s value. Except you’re NOT a car, and we can’t go buy a new version of ourselves, and we MUST maintain what we have, or we’re just another old beater blowing smoke up life’s highway… no one wants to drive behind that!

And when we fixate on our outsides and how much we dislike them, we miss two things:

First, we miss a chance to be thankful for all the parts that have served us in miraculous ways each day.

Hello, digestion? Breathing? Did you even think about that last breath you took? Have you pondered the way your eyes are reading this right now?

Second, we miss the chance to record over those negative lies.

The ones that play like skipping CD’s in our head. If you’re not motivated to take care of yourself, maybe it’s because your “self” isn’t on board fully. Your body gets mixed messages when you’re all, “I’m worth taking time to exercise” one day, and the next day you’re all, “Ugh. I hate my legs.” 

So maybe when you’re accepting my dare to get bare nekked in front of a mirror and have a good long stare at all your parts this week, you’ll need to be super careful to TURN OFF YOUR TYPICAL TIRADE OF TORTURE and mean words and RIGHT AWAY start listing in a whisper what each part does each day to serve you.

Ponder…

  • How does each part serve your family? Your community? Your world?
  • Is there a part you’ve been holding back? Identifying with its weakness more than its strength, and not letting it serve because you’ve deemed it “less than” able than other parts.
  • That missing part – how has missing it changed you? Matured you? Enhanced your testimony?
  • Replacement parts – Praise God for modern technology, right?
  • Hurting parts – They tell us where our bodies are at and what we need to work on.

Even the most hidden, private parts have a purpose. How would you eliminate waste without a urethra or anus? How would you create life without your reproductive organs? You cannot walk without glutes, plus they’re a lovely cushion for sitting {and squeezing} plus providing ballast, right? And hairy or not, your armpits form a crucial junction for most of your upper body’s muscles!

Breasts – Nourish

Nails – Protect

Knees – Fulcrum for the two longest bones in the body

Toes – Balance & Grip

Abdominals – Shield & Protect

I dare you. Get Naked and Thankful.

I dare you to get bare naked thankful. Point to each part and give thanks for the story it tells. Your story. My story. The Maker’s story of divine design all over you. Proof all over us of what we’ve been through which is nothing like what others have been through.

We’re all unique. Like snowflakes, no body is the same. So why not be grateful for that creativity expressed in the diversity of our appearances?

You will never have a body like anyone else. Go ahead and exercise for 5 hours a day and diet like crazy, but if you’re 5 feet tall, you will never be 6 feet tall. If you’re an ectomorph, you’ll never be an endomorph. If you’ve had babies, your hip bones will always be a smidge wider. If you’re 75, your skin is the least of your worries.

So can we just take a moment to remember that our structure serves our spirit and mind, not the other way around? And can we spend the next moment being oh-so-grateful for all the ways that our bones and muscles hold us up every day, regardless of whether we are photogenic or not?

Yeah, sure, I love me some tummy creme and some strengthening moves. After all, I’d like to live in this frame of fascia and bone for at least another 70 years – which would put me past 100 – so I’m doing what I can to avoid falling apart here in my 30’s. However, I don’t do it because I hate what I see and want to hide it. And I don’t exercise and nourish my body because I fancy myself an expensive car with a perfect paint job. And I don’t do it because I think it will save me. It won’t.

I move because movement is miraculous. I take care of my skin because I don’t like how it feels when it’s dry or covered in zits. I eat good food so I have more energy and a clear mind. I might not be a Lamborghini, but I still need gas in my tank, regular tune-ups, tires that aren’t going bald. I guess you could think of Fit2B as an alignment and auto-repair shop for your body.

But even with all the awesome workouts I’ve filmed and provided right here for you, I can’t change what’s inside of you. If you’re hurting and so broken inside that you can’t do this – you can’t bear to take my dare – please spend some time meditating and/or praying about that, take a moment to read this, and find someone you trust to share your heart.

I welcome your comments on this, and I especially want to hear what part you’re most thankful for. Leave a comment! Happy Thanksgiving!

8 thoughts on “Bare Naked Gratitude

  1. Ginger Kathleen says:

    IN the pain, in the hurt, in the disappointment, in the things didn’t turn out like I thought…. Because if you do, you just might find yourself face to face with Him in a whole new way. PS, bare, naked gratitude, I identify with. Striping away all defenses, all platitudes, pretense, standing as we are, as He sees us, bare, naked, raw and real. God has had to take me in such hard place that I quit being strong on my own, and started relying more solely on Him, nothing between us.

  2. Christy Dover says:

    This is so, so beautiful! I appreciate your outlook and thank God for a beating heart and healthy body!

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