I Love My Body
What goes through your mind as you read that heading? Do you agree with the statement, or are you like most women, finding yourself resisting the words and thinking it’s not true?
“As a man thinketh, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7.
Like many women, I have struggled with my body image most of my life. We grew up on perpetual minimum wage with the constant reminder “we can’t afford it”. So from a very young age, I became worried that we would run out of food. This resulted in me secretly hoarding food in my bedroom and binge eating from childhood through to my 40’s, establishing a very negative relationship with food. I thank my Father in heaven that of all the times I stuck my finger down my throat, my body just would not throw up the food I ate. My body refused to become bulimic or anorexic.
And it was this recent realization that has led to…
…this article and this season of my life.
And the fact that God answered my prayers in 2013 by sending me a humble, powerful, faithful coach by the name of Dani Johnson who has taught me how to follow the fruit in my life to the root of my beliefs. With the help of my coach and mentor Dani (Texas), my mentor in food and nutrition Mary-Ann Shearer (South Africa), and my thought life coach, Dr. Caroline Leaf (Texas), I embarked on a journey in 2016 to rip out the toxic roots that were blinding what I saw in the mirror.
I started saying “I love my body” several times a day. Did I believe it at first? No! Did it feel right? Absolutely not! But did I KNOW in my heart and soul that those words were true and pure and noble? Oh, yes. And what followed was a powerful shift in mind, body, and heart.
I started recognizing that my body has won me school sports awards, run me through several charity races, survived an emergency appendicitis and multiple other surgeries, birthed 2 beautiful children – enduring a 9.8 pound 4 day labour experience and a 10.10 pound natural birth to my baby girl that resulted in my cervix ripping in half as she came out. My body has endured my crash diets, alcohol abuse, sugar shots and 16 hours-a-day crazy career years. My body is beyond amazing! So I made the decision to edify my body every day because I know that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
What does any of this have to do with fashion? Well, beauty is an inside job. We are beautiful because our heavenly Father made us. He made us beautiful, therefore we ARE beautiful. Whether we believe it or not does not change that fact. BUT, our belief that we are ugly – too short, too stout, too tall, too white, too black – this impacts the calling on our lives, as well as the future of our children. Your environment is everything. And because it is impossible to find your beauty in Prada, Gucci or Michael Kors 1 Peter 3:3 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes”, we have to dress up from the inside out.
It’s not a coincidence that I have lost 18 pounds and found a wonderful, simple exercise routine that I really love since saying daily “I love my body”. Edifying my body has established a whole new relationship between us. I am relating to her like a real, living, breathing thing! As much as that is true, we usually remove the personality and heartbeat from our body, treating it like a shell. I have even been TAUGHT that in church. “Your body is just a shell.” It’s not just a shell! Your body is a holy temple that houses your heart and your spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…”. So since edifying and loving my body, I am enjoying the blessing of more dressing up! Of wearing that pair of jeans that I have not been able to squeeze into for years. Of finding my beauty from the One True Source of my identity, all of which is further fueling my passion for fashion!
I LOVE MY BODY is our theme for 2018. LindaPaige is a fashion brand that empowers and equips women to get up, dress up and be a bold light on a hill. Because we are out of time, friend. People are dying while we try on yet another dress in the shop dressing room and say “Ugh, I’m so fat!”…in front of our daughters.
It is time to ARISE & SHINE. It is time to get up, dress up and be a bold light on a hill with the courage that God gave us to BE the change we want to see! Because in so doing, others will be lifted up out of their depression, out of their domestic abuse and out of their loneliness. Fashion is a relationship builder. So I challenge and encourage you to join us and commit today to saying every day: “I LOVE MY BODY!” And just watch what happens.
Linda is a wife and mother, and Partner & Director of JPA Ltd, a global negotiation training firm headquartered in London. She is also Founder of LindaPaige, a fashion brand that empowers women to be a bold light on a hill in this world. Born and raised in South Africa, she currently lives in the UK with her husband and 2 children.
Linda started working at age 17 and spent most of her career in the corporate arena, often the youngest on the team enjoying powerful on the job training, learning from ambitious, accomplished executives what the marketplace wants.
Linda had the immense privilege of serving on former President Nelson Mandela’s PR team in 1998. As the final member of a team of 5, Linda and her colleagues organized the Vulindlela Water Supply Scheme in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, on Human Rights Day in March 1998. Awarded along with her team members for her performance in this role, she cites this experience as one of her distinct career highlights, referencing Nelson Mandela as her leadership standard in life, and continues her involvement today in fighting oppression and injustice.
After relocating to the UK in 2002, Linda won a national sales award in January 2006 from the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (UK) (ISMM) for ‘Best New Sales Professional in Britain’. She is passionate about sales and loves working with people, a combination that opened up fantastic career opportunities for her across geographical and cultural boundaries, working on negotiation training projects with some of the worlds largest brands such as Adidas, Network Rail, EON, Mercer, Nestle, Pfizer, Nokia, and Vodafone. Her clients cite her training style as “…highly motivational, passionate and performance impacting”.
Linda is extremely dedicated to her own personal growth and attends regular leadership training in the USA which she cites as life changing. On a personal note, she is an adrenalin junkie continuing her pursuit of the next thrill in adventure sports, she loves traveling the world exploring good food, good wine and when there are gaps, she is home socializing with her family and friends.