Category Archives: Body Image

The Lies We Believe

If you are struggling with body image issues, sweet friend you are believing lies. Please hear me when I say God designed you beautifully and perfect just the way you are. He didn’t create us to hate ourselves. I’ve been there, I know what it’s like. No amount of weight loss will make you happy. At my smallest I hated myself more than you could know. I was stuck in an eating disorder, past trauma, and shame and guilt. I was believing the lies the enemy was whispering to me. I bought it hook, line, and sinker, maybe you have too?

The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. He wants to steal your joy and peace and often uses our insecurities to do it.

Sometimes the lies we believe are loud and other times they are very subtle. But they can become so deeply rooted in us and we not even realize it.

Society/diet culture has sold us the BIGGEST lie…..If we look a certain way or weigh a certain amount you will be happy and your life will be better. That’s a lie straight from the pit of hell.

Your happiness has nothing to do with your looks or weight sweet friend. Don’t buy into that. You are more than a number and more than how you look. You have sooo much more to offer than an image. God has given you gifts and talents that only you have. He has an awesome plan for you but if we are stuck believing the lies the enemy is speaking then we cannot fulfill our purpose.

Let’s kick the devil in his teeth by doing the work to overcome the lies he’s tried to distract us with.

👊TRUTH…..YOUR TRUTH is YOU are unique, wonderfully made, and there’s no one else like you.

👊He knew you before he created you, knew the mistakes you would make and STILL chose to create you ON PURPOSE..FOR A PURPOSE.

👊You are saved and completely made whole IN HIM.

👊You are forgiven and redeemed.

👊You are called and you are free!

👊You are victorious, accepted, and healed.

👊And so much more.

When the enemy comes at you telling you lies, “you are not enough” you come back at him with I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH because God calls me daughter of the King. I am here for a purpose with gifts and talents someone else needs. I WILL rise up from the ashes and be ALL that God has called me to be! Devil you are under my feet and defeated and I WON’T believe your lies anymore. Amen!! Speak truth and scripture over your life and walk in Gods plan for your life and family, in Jesus name, Amen!🙏🙌

Big hugs,
Nicole💗

My Health & Wellness Journey/Breaking Free From Diet Culture

🚨As we start the new I have exciting news!🚨
I FINALLY finished my Health and Wellness Certification in December. God has done some amazing things on this journey of mine. I have always been interested in health and wellness and helping others. I taught Health and Wellness for a while as well but wow does it look different today. My niche is completely different than other Health and Wellness Coaches it’s one of food freedom and peace with your body. How does that sound?😍🙌

I’m so thankful I didn’t finish in 2020. Back then I had so many food rules, restricting, over exercising, under exercising, abusing laxatives and diuretics (stopped that 5-6 years ago) and trying to fit into the mold the world has set.

Thin is best!

You will be accepted if you take up less space.

The message we hear; If you look a certain way they will love you; If your jeans are a single digit you are golden! If you’re a certain skin color or have certain hair, eyes, etc. THIS is called toxic beauty standards set by the world.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Diet culture!

“The diet industry is worth billions (64.7 Billion to be exact) –– and it profits directly off our insecurity around our bodies and our health. This pervasive industry takes over our culture, minds, and wallets and preys even more specifically on women from young ages.”

What’s is the cost of toxic beauty you might be asking? Well, it affects young kids and women…men as well but more so women and girls.

What does it look like? Anxiety, eating disorders, disordered eating, self esteem issues, depression, self harm, PTSD, suicide, fat phobia, orthorexia, diabetes, metabolic disorders, drug abuse, I could go on and on. The list is endless.

THIS!! Breaks my heart!

Most of my life I’ve bought into this.

I wanted to be free!

Free to eat and not feel guilt and shame.

Free to actually enjoy eating and feel satisfied.

To move and exercise with joy, and not move to compete or focus on losing weight to fit in a certain body.

I hope something I say resonates with you.

I can get on a rant because I’m so passionate about it. I started back to school last year, despite hearing the voices of ‘your not good enough’ and “You have nothing to offer’ or God can’t use you, you’re too broken.

Do you ever hear these voices?

My biggest takeaway from 2020 till now is God has a plan whether we see it or not. He created YOU for great things. His plans for you are to prosper and not harm you. It may be a fight but sweet friend it’s worth it. Despite how I felt about giving up school in 2020 God knew what I didn’t know. He had more to teach me and more freedom to be had.

Let me just say here….HOW HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL YOU ARE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SIZE OF YOUR BODY. Big or small, white, black, or brown God wants to use you just the way you are. However, how you feel about your body will impact your relationship with God, your relationship with others, your identity, and your calling.

I’ve learned there are no good or bad foods, and my body isn’t a project to improve and constantly be rejecting and trying to make it fit into what the world deems good! My body IS GOOD regardless of what the world says.

YOUR BODY IS GOOD.
YOUR BODY IS GOOD TODAY! JUST AS YOU ARE SWEET FRIEND!!

Food freedom and peace with your body IS possible and I’d love to help you on your journey. As the new year starts you will be bombarded by diet culture and ideas of starting another new diet. More exercise, detoxing, clean eating and the worlds view of how you should look to be accepted. You are loved and accepted just as you are!

I use a biblical approach to food freedom and body image issues. Learning to eat intuitively and trust your body once again. To eat and feel satisfied and not deprived and become comfortable with your body. Is it easy, no! But soooo worth it!

We want to walk in freedom in so many areas including food and body but yet as a society we’ve created so many rules and restrictions in food, exercise, and body. We become convinced that smaller is better but God created us all and, guess what? We are all different….different colors, sizes and shapes. We keep striving to look a certain way, weigh a certain number but having to restrict food or complete food groups, to exercise to extreme in order to stay or obtain a certain size. Does that sound like freedom when we become obsessed with food, weight, and body? I use to think so but after several years of really hard work I think differently now.

We say we want to be led by Holy Spirit but we’ve completely lost all since of our hunger cues or body cues. We’re taught DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, your body doesn’t know what you need. But God created your body whatever size it is to be incredibly remarkable! If we truly listen to our body, the cues it gives instead of ignoring them and allow God to work in you, you can learn a different way. You’ll soon see how amazing your body truly is. God is so good and amazing and so is your body!

I would be honored to help you on this journey to find food freedom and heal body image issues. Let’s make 2023 your best year yet!

Be on the lookout 👀 things are changing! 🤗

Big hugs,
Nicole

Happy Thanksgiving…Let The Feasting Begin

Ekkkkk……it’s almost Thanksgiving! And right after that Christmas will be here before you know it, right? I’ll be honest I’m definitely a Christmas girl! I love ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS! 🎄🌟🎅 The sights, the sounds, family and friends coming together….the food😋

Duh…duh…duhhhh….the food for a lot of us can become such an issue of shame, guilt, and pain. Turkey, ham, gravy, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, mac n’ cheese, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole….Oh so yummy and honestly I can’t wait! But I remember a time when I didn’t feel that way. These 2 holidays would cause me a lot of anxiety over food. Most of us have already pre-attached shame and guilt before we even get to the holiday meal. That’s sad to me and I remember it all to well. Having an eating disorder or disordered eating wrecks havoc during times like this especially. Will I binge or restrict? How much will I gain or lose? What does so and so think of me? How can I best protect my image?

Culture tells us to eat a certain way, don’t eat this or that. If you do eat it now your bad, now you take on all the shame and guilt and tell yourself I’ll do better next time. Am I right???? During these 2 holidays you will hear ‘Happy Thanksgiving, don’t eat to much!’ Or if you Google Thanksgiving you’ll find 10 Tips to not gain weight during the holiday. Or Avoiding Holiday Weight gain. Or How to Make Your Holiday Healthy. Whyyyy? Why does everything go to weight or our image? Why is it always protecting body size? This says so much about our culture today.

Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Let me speak a little Truth 💣 💣💣💣 over you!
You are made in the image of God. That’s means you are not an image that needs to be managed and manipulated and contoured into something the world says it’s approved of.

YOU ARE ALREADY APPROVED OF beautiful one!

One meal, including leftover won’t kill you or destroy all your progress but all the worry, stress, and anxiety surrounding it will. To much cortisol in your system is worse than the meal you’re about to eat. For some, food equals anxiety and then we slap labels on food like “good food” and “bad food,” that causes more anxiety than the one meal you could enjoy with family and friends.

When you are in a chronic state of anxiety over food….and yes soooo many people are, it will absolutely affect your body. You may feel bad and have some symptoms from elevated cortisol levels. Some symptoms might include

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Intestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or diarrhea
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Difficulty recovering from exercise
  • Poor sleep
  • Muscle pain or tension in the head, neck, jaw, or back

In all likelihood, once this happens you’re like “See, I told you I just can’t eat that particular food. When in reality it could very well just be the stress of cortisol on your body and not necessarily the food you ate. We stress so much over food and image and don’t realize the impact it takes on our body.

I read this the other day and thought how true that is. “Rest assured, the fear-mongering around calories and holiday meals says more about our culture than it does about our bodies. In reality, our bodies are smart; they are meant to be resilient. So go ahead: savor every last bite of that turkey or pumpkin pie, totally guilt-free.” The Every Girl blog.

Feasting is all over the Bible. So why do we not want to feast? We will fast all day long. But feasting is scary for some of us.

VERSES:

And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we [must hold] a feast unto the LORD. Exodus 10:9

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Exodus 12:14

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD. Leviticus 23:3

And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. Genesis 26:30

I could go on and on but I won’t. You can take a dive for yourself. Feasting is part of God’s best for you, we just don’t think that includes all the yummy foods He gave us.

Imma say it again for the people in the back!🤣👊

Feasting was Gods idea. He invites us to feast and it’s part of Gods best for us. Just let that sink in for a bit. Ponder it my friend. This is just one of the ways He shows us his goodness and abundance.

He’s the God of Abundance!

God lavished his love on us and pours out his blessings over us. His blessings include food sweet friend. So I say this year, turn our hearts toward gratitude and this year while you’re feasting at the table with family and friends, eat with a heart of gratitude.

I’d like to challenge you to a new way of thinking….Feasting is ok and food was meant to be enjoyed and satisfying. Tell the food police “Byyyeee!” Don’t say to yourself or the person beside you ‘ You’ve ate enough’ or ‘You’re getting MORE FOOD???’ Or ‘Don’t eat too much’ This causes more shame and guilt to people around you.

Let’s go of guilt and shame of eating a beautiful meal with family and friends. Enjoy the moment. Come to the table with grateful heart. Take in His goodness and love.

I hope y’all have the best Thanksgiving holiday ever walking in freedom.

Thank You Lord for the small things
Like me and her on the porch swing
For summer nights and fireflies
And the sound of my old six string

Blessings, on blessings, on blessings, on blessings
If I still got breath in these lungs
And that’s all I need to get down on my knees
And be thankful for all that He’s done

For my mama, for my friends
For Your love that never ends
For the songs that make us dance
On this ol’ dirt floor
For my babies, for my girl
For the way they changed my world
Waking up today
Yeah, I just gotta say
Thank You Lord
Yeah, I just wanna say
Thank You Lord (oh, now)

Thank You Lord for the hard times
For lighting the way in the dark times
For pulling me in, forgiving again
The times that I took it too far, I

Big hugs,

Nicole ❤️

Jesus….You are Worthy of my Song

Hey! Hey! Hey!

How are my favorite Trophy of Grace friends? It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. This has been such a difficult season I’ve been in. I’m sure you’ve been there at some point. Coming in, middle, or going out of it.

Regardless, Jesus You are worthy of my song. You are worthy of my praise.

I will forever remember 2020, it is scorched in my heart and mind. October 31st 2019 was my first appointment with my nutritionist. She specialized in eating disorders. I told her upfront I didn’t want this to be about losing weight, I wanted us to get to the root of why I was doing what I was doing and why I felt the way I did. So often we focus on the actions we are taking or not taking and we want to change but using another set of rules to gain freedom and love for ourselves and others. But my friend, there is something driving it, there’s a root cause to what’s going on in our lives.

For me, I discovered that past traumas and pain drove my eating disorder and body image issues. Which reflects in all areas of your life.

When the pandemic started I was 4-5 months into this healing journey I’m on. I can’t explain it but I started to flourish when others like me where falling deeper into there disorder because of Covid, loss, and isolation. I was gaining more and more freedom. But there always comes a point on the road to freedom, it gets REALLY HARD. It’s in the REALLY HARD place, we have a decision to make. We can suffer the pain of change or the pain of staying the same. Suffering is inevitable, but you get to choose whether you get to the other side of it or you can stay in the darkness, the sadness, and the brokenness. Friend it’s so important to choose well here. I’m even gonna give you the answer……KEEP PRESSING IN! Keep pressing on, never give up!! Feel the pain, let God do a perfect work in you.

There is blessing in the breaking.

Blessing and pain you’re gonna feel it, it might as well be going through….you are worthy sweet friend. You are worthy because Jesus says you are.

I had so many life challenges and changes in 2020, it would prove to be a difficult season but so enlightening to me and life changing.

I’ve always had passion to help others, loved all things health related. I started Holistic Health and Wellness coaching school and honestly with my dad moving here, and other issues with my Mom, and my life drastically changing because of Covid it was so overwhelming. Drs telling me to stay home and stay safe🙄 I went from seeing friends and church, leading small groups in my home, and being on the go to just nothing and it was sooooo hard and lonely. It was too overwhelming to finish school, which then heaped on lots of shame and guilt. As if I didn’t have enough of that. I still kept working with my nutritionist and learning and growing. Not realizing God still had a plan for me. It was a season of pain but GROWTH AND WISDOM. I was learning to listen to my body intuitively. One day I was listening to an ED podcast they started talking about Intuitive Eating, what is this they are talking about??? Sounds interesting. Sounds familiar. Examples they were giving were things I was doing and working on. Next session I talked to Amie and I asked about Intuitive Eating and she says that’s what you’ve been doing, LOL. My goodness, what I was working on had a name. Which of course I must know more so I dive deeper in my journey.

I started back to school this year, despite hearing the voices of ‘your not good enough’ or ‘You have nothing to offer’ or God can’t use you, you’re too broken. My biggest takeaway from 2020 till now is God has a plan whether we see it or not. He created you for great things. His plans for you are to prosper and not harm you. It may be a fight but sweet friend it’s worth it. Despite how I felt about giving up school in 2020 God knew what I didn’t know. He still had more to teach me. If I had finished it in 2020 oh my goodness my coaching would look soooo different than it will once I’m done this time. I would’ve coached focusing on food rules, good and bad foods, foods to avoid, reaching the perfect weight, orthorexia basically, etc.

Today I’ve learned there are no good or bad foods, my body isn’t a project to be improved and constantly be rejecting and trying to make it fit into what the world deems good! My body IS GOOD regardless of what the world says. Today I want to help women with intuitive eating and body image issues and find freedom.

YOUR BODY IS GOOD.

YOUR BODY IS GOOD, TODAY! Not when you’ve reached a certain weight or size. JUST AS YOU ARE SWEET FRIEND!!

My mom was always on diet, so of course I fell into that. But we come in all shapes, color and sizes. Your size, shape, weight, hair color, skin color, eye color, boobie size🙈🤣🤷🏼‍♀️ is NOT and I repeat it does not dictate your worth and value. In a culture that objectifies women and if you don’t fall into a certain category you are deemed not worthy.

YOU are worthy!

If I don’t weigh a certain number then I’m not good enough. We let Hollywood and the world’s culture tell us to be a certain weight and we will accept you. I bought into that crap for waaaayyyy too long.

Can I just remind you of how great your Fathers love is for you and how He created you for purpose. He don’t make NO JUNK! (In my best southern accent😜)

There I said it…..YOU are not junk to be thrown aside because you don’t fit in a certain category. We are all different….since when is being different bad?? God made us all different because we all have gifts and talents we each need.

You weren’t meant to fit in a box! You were meant to flourish in your skin, not be a clone of someone “society” thinks is perfect.

NO!!! YOU were perfectly created by a perfect Creator.

I’m so thankful for 2020 and the lessons it’s taught me about God and myself. I’m thankful that He is teaching about having a healthy relationship with food and trusting Holy Spirit to led me. I’m thankful I can listen and hear from my body, more importantly I can trust it. I’m thankful I don’t have to weigh myself every day, I still may not like the number on the scale but I’m learning to love myself more. The real me. Enjoying a cookie or a Bundt cake without feeling shame and guilt is just bonus. Food was meant to nourish us but also for our enjoyment and pleasure.

I’ve rejected God’s creation…..myself….for far to long. I have made my mind up to trust the One who created me and loves me…..and you…unconditional with an everlasting love.

The pain and suffering has a place and a purpose, it was not meant to take you out. Yes it can if we let it, but you keep giving Him your worship. You keep pressing into the One who changes all things and works them out for your good. When that voice is soooo loud in your ear saying quite, give up, it’s too much, it may even tell you the world is better off without you so I might as well end it. Friend I’ve been there, but hear me tell you that YOU are loved, the pain does get better, trust in the One who heals. Do the hard things and press….press….and keep on pressing through the pain. Preach to yourself. Get up on the inside.

Praise proceeds the victory!! Hallelujah!🙏🙌

There’s blessing in the breaking and YOU ARE GONNA MAKE IT. You are anointed for hard things.

God bless you and I hope you have a blessed and wonderful week! You are a trophy of grace!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Worthy of My Song- Phil Wickam and Chandler Moore

https://youtu.be/NeL9mKnd38g

Body Image Issues- What Are We Teaching Our Children?

I was in a department store the other day trying on clothes and right across from me was this mom and daughter doing the same thing. It was very disturbing to me listening to this conversation. The little girl says something like “I don’t like these and something about her hips are big.” Me working through my own body image issues my ears perked up. And course mom steps in and says with a loud and forceful, “No! you don’t have big hips! And,compared to who?” Obviously trying to figure out why her young daughter thinks she has big hips. The daughter names someone. Then the mom precedes to almost yell in the dressing room “You DO NOT HAVE BIG HIPS!! Which I can understand 100% But then she takes it to another level. “I’VE SEEN THE GIRLS IN YOUR CLASS” and then starts naming several names. Then takes it EVEN further saying well so and so had to have a large in something and you only had to have a small. So NO! YOU DO NOT HAVE BIG HIPS!

Are we really checking our daughters friends sizes??????

I understand being upset but it just broke my heart this little girl had to hear and see this being said about her friends and or people she knows.

This rant went on for at least 10 minutes, she belittling and demeaning other girls. Each comment penetrating deeper into this littler girls heart and mind. Realizing what truly mattered to her mom. Mind blowing if you ask me.

I’m sorry but this isn’t the way to build up your daughter. Your teaching her to compare herself even more with each comment and comparison you make.

Girls already struggle with comparison and then you are comparing her to other girls yourself.

SMH 😳

I actually felt sick standing in that dressing room listening to that mother comparing her daughter and demeaning all these other “little” girls. I just wanted to hug that little girl and tell her she was perfect just the way she is and that God loved her whether she has little hips, big hips, popular, unpopular, underweight, overweight, black, white, brown, etc.

Comparison is the thief of all joy. When we travel down this road of comparison that I sadly know all to well, it helps make things from the enemy easier to enter in. Things like disordered eating, lifelong roller coaster ride of dieting, self hating, self harm, body image issues, insecurity, etc. The list can go on and on and it can keep you in bondage like you can’t even imagine.

The enemy does a good enough job on his own convincing us we’re not good enough. He attacks our appearance, our weight, our work, our families….but what’s even more interesting is he can use the people in our lives too. People that love us and mean well.

Lord, I pray for these younger girls today to learn who they are in Christ and just how loved and treasured they are….not because of what they look like or what size they are but because God created them specifically….on purpose….and perfectly. Lord release them from the trap of comparison. Release them from the mirror and what they see or don’t like. Release them from the scale and the number they see or don’t see. Help them to not be enslaved to what the world calls beautiful but what You say Lord. Engrave on their heart Your everlasting love, and Your mighty plans and purposes for them in Jesus name Amen! 🙏

Hope you guys have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

You Have A Say

Hey y’all!🤗 I want to help give some of you ladies some freedom! I don’t know about you but weighing myself is my least favorite thing and it was something I use to obsess over. I am no longer a slave to the scale, PRAISE GOD! But you know what bothers that crap out of me is every time you go to the doctor you have to weigh. For me that’s often unfortunately, lol.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ladies saying they didn’t want to weigh, can we just guesstimate, lol. But being forced to do it anyways because that’s what we’ve been told to do for our whole life. How many were filled shame and guilt after they got off scale? How many said to themselves, I’ve got to go on diet? Or I need to exercise more. But then fail. Heaping more shame and guilt.

My nutritionist passed on the best tip that I had no idea about and I bet you don’t either. Did your know you can decline weighing? Yep! You sure can. It’s true, unless what your being seen about actually requires knowing your weight otherwise you don’t have to weigh.

I have found so much freedom in this. You will get resistance but if this is something that is causing you anxiety or is triggering, you go for it! I’ll be happy to share a certain form with you that you can take with you. It’s actually quite empowering!

The first time I did it was rather horrifying lol and it wasn’t a good experience BUT my health, my choice. Me coming to your office for asthma and bronchitis has nothing to do with my weight🙄 I quietly told the nurse I was declining to weight, at first she laughed and I said ‘No I’m not joking, I’m declining to weigh today’ and she just wasn’t having it. She was rude and I was angry at her. I tried explaining to her I was working at overcoming my eating disorder and I didn’t want to weigh and that’s my right, that it had nothing to do with my visit today. She comes back with ‘insurance requires it!’ I said ‘no it doesn’t I’ve talked to them.’ Then it was ‘Well, the hospital requires it and we will not see you unless your get weighed!’ Are you kidding me right now?!?! You rude, lying, bitter woman lol! I was fuming on the inside. You are clearly misguided and misinformed. So I weighed that day but when my dr walked in I sure enough said something to her. I informed her how rude her nurse was and how me being weighed had ZERO to do with my appointment. She agreed and she had heard of this and would follow up about the situation and put it in my chart. I thanked her for her understanding.

But you know old me wouldn’t have declined in the first place and then if I did and had gotten resistance, I would have just let it go and not said a word!

But not today!!

Use your voice!📣

I guess what sparked me sharing this today is I had another lovely encounter with a misguided nurse. But this time I had more confidence and I politely didn’t back down. Everything was fine after we got past that.

You are your best advocate and you know what triggers you. You do you friend! Don’t be conformed to the world, be ye transformed….the world has set standards that don’t have to be YOUR standards, especially when they involve body image, weight, and what’s healthy for YOU!💗🙌💯🔥

God bless you and have a great day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗