God and Sexual Assault

The Battle with the Mind and Body

Taking care of yourself.

Apologies for the late post as I have apparently not been scheduling these correctly. Here’s todays…thanks for your patience.

I know the battle between the mind and body well. We struggle as survivors with what we look like. You may not want to look great to prevent anyone from taking advantage of you. You may want to look thinner, or “better” in your mind because maybe your abusers told you how ugly or fat you were when you endured trauma.

I used to think: If only I can lose weight and look better – if I don’t, I’m not worth anything. If someone doesn’t tell me I’m beautiful then I am not worth anything.

Those are all lies. They are lies straight from the pit of hell. I must call these out when my mind goes here because it derails my recovery. I spent years starving myself thinking that if I was only thin, I would be accepted. You know what? It made no difference. I have gained a good 25 pounds in the past year and a half, and I have more people in my corner than ever before.

Granted, I want to lose some weight, but to be healthier as our bodies aren’t made to carry extra weight. It can lead to other health problems, and since this is my only body here on earth, I want to take better care of it than I have in the past.

Coming to this realization that I need to treat my body well because God has blessed me with it took me years. It is not about doing hour long workouts, or eating only 600 calories a day, but it is about taking care of the body God gave to me.

I came to this conclusion through years of prayer, sessions in counseling discussing the struggles and beginning to process the trauma I endured. I discovered that I realized it’s more about trying to put into my body what will help me feel my best and the exercise that I can handle. If I overdo exercise my fibromyalgia acts up and I can barely get going for several days. So, moderation became the key for me.

I keep a more consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends, and I try to think before I eat something how it will make me feel. (Well, this is still a battle because I love sweets, but it’s a journey. 😊)

I would like to be more comfortable in my clothes, but I’ve done the look skinny thing and it wasn’t what was best for my body.

Emotional eating can play a huge factor in those of us that endured trauma, so coming to realize when I do this has been a game changer as well. If I sit down with a carton of ice cream, I need to ask myself what I’m trying to avoid at that moment.

I encourage you to take to God your struggles with your body. Everyone has different ones, but remember God created you in His beautiful image. He loves you whether you weigh 400 lbs. or 100 lbs. He does want you to take care of the amazing body He entrusted to you, but He is not up on the throne judging your choices. He can help you overcome any struggle. Join me today in asking for His help.

Father God,

Remind me that You entrusted this body to me. Help me continue to heal on this journey, including not trying to numb my emotions with food. You created all of me. My emotions too, and You created ways for me to cope. Help me trust in Your strength and remind me when I “fail” in my eyes You can pick me up to start again. Help me understand my body as You made it. Continue to bring beauty from the ashes in my life.

In Jesus Name,


© 2021 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

2 comments on “The Battle with the Mind and Body

  1. Thank you for this very important reminder. One of the turning points in my recovery was thinking intentionally about caring for my body. I’ve let that slip during the pandemic, but your words give me motivation to be more intentional again.

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