Doesn’t Dieting Help Self-Image?

By October 9, 2012

I’m currently on a diet because I think a great body will help my self-image. Isn’t it true that thin people command more respect in the workplace? – a.w.

Dear a.w.,

Our culture has sold many people this bill of goods—that having a certain body type will result in a charmed life. Media outlets tend to be vigilant in promoting whatever they believe will sell. But pick up any celebrity magazine and it doesn’t take long to learn that thin and beautiful people are not immune to life’s heartaches. In fact, their lives tend to be more troublesome than most—partially because of media’s intense scrutiny and pressure to keep getting thinner!

Those who choose to live more balanced and healthy lives must be just as vigilant in promoting what is true. For example, focusing on how you look, instead of who you are, may keep you from exploring and/or appreciating fully all the wonderful facets of your personality. It could also lead to a life-long battle with eating issues, financial problems (beauty doesn’t come cheap!), depression, and constant anxiety about how your looks measure up to whomever sits in the office next to yours.

Your true self-image should reflect what God says about you—that you are unconditionally loved, beautiful in His sight, and intricately and wonderfully made. As you tackle the challenge to find balance in your life, you will gain an inner strength to encourage your gifts and talents, and those of others, to bloom unabashedly. With this new strength, you are armed to overcome obstacles in your life that require character you can’t obtain by focusing only on your outer beauty. 

Wise and loving people command respect everywhere.