I’m Giving This Up for Lent

stop body shaming

Today is the first day of Lent. I’m not super religious, nor am I one to give something up annually for the Christian season. But with James and many of my friends talking about what things they would be giving up, I felt that it would be a good opportunity to volunteer myself in on the action. While most people will give up things like chocolate or hitting the snooze button each morning, I wanted to give up something a little different: complaining about my appearance.

While I generally try to enjoy the way I look and embrace my quirks/flaws (I’ve written about the subject before on this blog here, hereย and here), I tend to fall into traps where I can’t stop focusing on the bad. Complaining about your looks isn’t just bad for your self-esteem and happiness, it also can be really annoying to those around you. In fact, James rolls his eyes every time I grab an inch of flab or complain about my nose. His reactions make me more aware of my complaining- something I barely realized I was doing until another person brought it to my attention.

So for lent, I will be giving up…

  • obsessing over the fact that a good portion of the weight I’ve gained since moving has gone straight to my tummy
  • warning others of my appearance because “I’m not wearing makeup today”
  • deliberating getting a nose job every time I see a celebrity who clearly had one
  • complaining about the new, once-broken hairs that are growing ever-so-slowly around my part, making it impossible to have a “good hair day”
  • weeping about how pale I am

I think young women, myself included, are just a little too hard on themselves when it comes to many aspects of their life- mostly including their appearance. So I’m taking this period of time to make myself aware of just how often I do it, why doing it is ultimately silly and self-destructive and to learn to accept the flaws- even when I don’t want to.

Does anyone want to join me? What are you giving up for Lent?ย 

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44 Comments

  1. This is so awesome Rachel, this is actually one of my pet peeves. It is an habit to break so that when we have our kids we don’t make them think that appearances are everything. You are a beautiful girl and your quirks are probably the things people think are so cute. I did it last year and I’m doing it again this year, no shopping for 40 days – just groceries and toiletries and makeup if I run out of anything. It’s good for my wallet and I feel good about myself as well.

  2. What a great message to send Rachel! I agree, girls can be way too hard on themselves. I was just thinking how pale I am the other day… Looks like I’m going to embrace the paleness!

  3. I always try to use lent as an opportunity to work on something, rather than giving something up – I find it usually makes a lasting improvement on my life, rather than to just go back to eating cookies after I deprived myself for weeks.

  4. This is such a great idea! I hope that by the time Lent is over, you’ll be able to focus more on the positive and embrace the flaws.

  5. I think that’s fantastic and something I surely need to strive to do every day!! I’m up for the challenge with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I think this is an amazing thing to give up for Lent! And it is so true… we are SO hard on ourselves and if it isn’t one thing, it’s another. There always seems to be some pressure to pay attention to your weight, hair, maintaining a tan (fake or not), contouring your face to make your nose look smaller and give yourself cheekbones, shaving your legs, putting on your makeup perfectly everyday… it is EXHAUSTING. And isn’t it crazy how much it can affect others in your life? My boyfriend is the same way…. he HATES absolutely hates when I mention anything about negative myself. Good for you Rachel! ๐Ÿ™‚ And the thing is, I think a lot of people would think you look PERFECT on those “bad hair days” and days without makeup. We fool ourselves to think we look awful when really we are beautiful!

  7. Awwwww you look great Rachel so just go out there & enjoy life…..have a blessed Lenten season!!!

  8. This is fantastic. I am so mean to myself. It really affects your overall mood and daily confidence! It’s hard when the magazines are overflowing with manufactured people. I mean, the Kardashians have had multiple surgeries, can afford an esthetician, a dietician, and hair and makeup people to beautify them on any normal day. It’s unrealistic and no way to live. There’s so much more to life than how you look.

  9. this is an awesome idea, rachel! i find myself criticizing myself in these ways very often too — i feel like many women do. you are so right that it’s not only detrimental to us, it bothers those around us too. i think i might join you in trying to cut out some of this behavior!

  10. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t celebrate Lent either, but I do think it’s a good opportunity to make a healthy change. Your resolutions are absolutely great! I was going to have surgery on my nose in January, but ultimately chickened out. It was a big lesson to me that I need to accept my big nose and ultimately learn to love it as a part of my face.

  11. I think it’s so great you’re giving this up. Good for you! I think more girls need to follow suit. xo, Julie

  12. I love this idea….we are so dang hard on ourselves it’s ridiculous!! You are beautiful!! I am joining you and giving this up too!! Thank you for the nudge to be kinder to myself!! Chin up!

  13. Rachel I think this is awesome! Good for you girl! I feel like once you break that cycle and practice this daily, you won’t even go back to those old habits and you will embrace those qualities you were once self conscious about! And I think this message speaks to all of us! I will definitely try this for Lent too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I think this is an awesome thing to give up. I don’t observe Lent either but decided to give it a try this year and I’m giving up fried foods.

  15. That is such a good one! I am giving up the office candy, bread baskets, I am bringing my lunch everyday and trying to volunteer once a week!

  16. You are gorgeous! These goals will be easy peezzy ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not giving anything up this year. I am already struggling with the “once a month Starbucks” as part of my new year resolutions. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

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