Body Shame, Dieting, and the Christian

Ashamed woman face on knees

You want to live for the Lord, but you are also consumed by the way you look. You know that the world has set standards most bodies can’t achieve, yet they still have power over you. Somehow, you still live with body shame as a Christian.

First, know you are not alone, sister. I have been greatly affected by them, as well. And even though this may not be a major topic of conversation within the walls of the church, you can be sure that many, many Christian women (and men) are grappling with this issue.

And what exactly is the issue at hand? Well, it is what some call “body shame” or a “body image problem.” What we are talking about is chronic thoughts and despair about one’s body.

This body shame is often tied to weight, and hence can be both the cause or the effect of an unhealthy mindset and relationship with food and dieting. Whether the diet messages or the dislike of one’s weight came first, these seemingly opposing forces actually continually feed and perpetuate each other. Let me explain.

Body Shame Leads to Dieting

This is no surprise…because we’ve been there. In this case, body discontent comes first. We can all relate to starting a weight loss diet in an attempt to morph our bodies into smaller sizes.

But body shame goes beyond merely noticing the imperfection of one’s own body. It goes beyond a rational look at one’s own body and the importance of one’s appearance. For the one dealing with body shame, the body’s appearance is tied to their inherent value in some way.

Therefore, changing one’s body appearance becomes imperative. And this is most often accomplished through attempts at restrictive weight loss diets. For a better way to address overeating than the next restrictive diet, download my free ebook “Escape the Binge!” by clicking here.

Dieting Leads to Body Shame

But dieting also can end in body shame. This is because when one attempts a restrictive weight loss diet and “fails” it (meaning they inevitably go back to eating like a human being who needs proper sustenance), this often leads to a rebound in weight gain.

This weight gain leads the post-dieter to compare their rebounded body size to when it was at its smallest (for that short and unsustainable time period). This comparison can lead to a discontentment and dissatisfaction with their body’s current appearance.

Let’s Find a Better Way

The great news is that since you are a new creature in Christ, and one whom the Holy Spirit is making new, you can be free from any thoughts that consume and plague you or cause discontent.

And that really does include the issue of body shame.

To be free from the cycle of body shame, start with these 3 tips:

1. Reject the next crash diets you see.

You will be tempted to run to these for now, but you have experienced for yourself that these simply do not help you in the long term. And as stated, they often perpetuate the body shame problem. If you are looking for Christian help to stop overeating and binge eating behavior, get your FREE ebook on the topic here!

2. You will need to look to your God and Maker for your value.

You were made in His image, so your inherent worth cannot change. Your external shape and size do not alter this fact one single bit (Genesis 1:26-28).

3. You will also need to find your identity in Christ.

Consider who you are in Christ, who purchased you by spilling His precious blood on your behalf to make you His bride forevermore (John 14:1-3). Bathe your mind in this truth whenever the enemy of your soul taunts you with worldly lies like your identity coming from worldly standards.

I know this can feel like a difficult mind shift, but I promise it will bring you the freedom from body shame that you know does not match your faith or the grace God provides to His children.

And don’t forget, you don’t have to figure this out all alone. If you want personalized, biblical help for body shame issues, simply click here to get in touch with me, starting with a FREE Kickstarter Plan.

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Cheryl Szarko


I love helping women overcome years of bondage to food, dieting, and weight loss obsession through solid nutrition science and careful biblical counseling

Cheryl Szarko

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