The “comfortablist” and the hot springs (Jason’s interview)

Today, we are interviewing our friend, Jason. We met Jason online and later spent a week with him and his wife and some other couples down in Florida. We have yet to visit their favorite hot springs…

Q: Would you tell us how you got into naturism?

A: I grew up in a Christian home where no one was ever naked and clothing was always required. I started sleeping naked when I was about 8 or 9, but locked my bedroom door because I didn’t want anyone to know. Once, I visited my cousin and it was summertime and there were a bunch of kids at his house. We stripped down and ran around like “lost boy” from Peter Pan all day. I suppose nudity was always intriguing to me. I found it curious that our local library hid the photography books that depicted nudity and that those books had to be requested from a librarian. It seemed to me that nudity was natural — the way God meant us to be from the beginning. I never could see the lie that humans’ bodies were shameful after the Fall. 

Q: How did you bring this viewpoint into your family? 

A: We moved across the country several years ago and decided that since we were getting a new start, we’d try to change the way our children grew up and understood the body. We wanted them to have a better experience — one that didn’t involve delving into pornography for answers about our bodies — than we did. We didn’t want them to be ashamed of their bodies or be led down a road to sin, so we had a family meeting and announced that, starting then, we were making it a baseline that “bodies are good” and meant to be seen.

“bodies are good”

We brought all of the children to a few places where we could all be naked naturally so that we could adapt. And we started being naturally nude more around the house so that they would feel comfortable to do likewise if they wanted.

Q: Do you have a better term than naturist?

Around our house, we usually use the term “comfortablist.” If it’s more comfortable to be naked, be naked! There’s no law that says you have to be naked all the time, but if it’s practical, why not? If there’s no good reason to wear clothing, then don’t. I look for the day when our society returns to this practical wisdom.

Q: What are some benefits you’ve seen from this way of life?

A: We have a large family with lots of boys and girls. Practically, it has made for much less drama for our children. We don’t have to deal with squeals of “he saw me naked!” from the girls when the bathroom door is opened anymore. And for the teens, we have seen a very positive  response in the way our boys treat their sisters as well as other girls. They also have not had issue with pornography addiction. Once the human body is no longer hidden away, the mystery does not draw you into obsession. Our children have been taught to appreciate the beauty of God’s design without cause for lust.

We’ve made it a point to teach our children that “Modesty is an attitude, not a dress code.”

When our children are learning about classical art, there’s no need to hide their eyes from depictions of nudity, as do so many Christians we know. They’re not shocked by the sight of bare bodies and this allows us to discuss, in more depth, the artworks themselves.

Q: One thing you have shared with us is that you frequent hot springs with people from all walks of life and different beliefs. How has this provided an opportunity to represent not only body positivity, but also an authentic Christian example for people who might otherwise not be so open to learning about Christianity?

A: After we moved to the Pacific Northwest, which is known as the least-churched region of our nation, I wanted to change our circle of influence. I ended up co-founding a hot springs adventure group with a focus on body positivity and a welcome to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. That has been remarkably successful. We have had men and women from all walks of life as well as a full spectrum of age groups join and participate in our group. It was a little rocky at first, but we established a “Naked is Natural” philosophy and it has led to lifelong relationships and friendships and a place where so many have experienced safety and peace of mind in experiencing the goodness of natural nudity.

“Naked is Natural”

My wife and I have had many opportunities to share Jesus with members of this group and see lives changed.  Someone I once knew called this “proximity evangelism.” If we aren’t near people who need Jesus, how do we show them His love? If we’re too scared to jump into the activities where the lost are, how can they have an opportunity to know the freedom and joy of Christ? Just last weekend, a couple who described themselves as “ex-Catholic” spent the weekend in our cabin and they were very curious to find out “what made us tick.” This led to a welcomed discussion of the things of God deep into the wee hours of the night. The next morning, one of them remarked, “If we had only known you twenty years ago, our lives would have been so different.”  I replied, ‘We are all alive now and it’s not too late!”

If not for our willingness to follow Jesus into baring our bodies, we would not have had the opportunity to bare our souls.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

A: If someone reading this is questioning, I just want to encourage them to make the leap. There are too many benefits to taking the bold step to step out of our clothing and step into God’s greater plans for our lives. Don’t allow anything – clothing included – to stop you from pursuing Jesus wherever He goes and wherever He leads.

The Exact Opposite (an interview)

This is the first of several interview posts that we will have from time to time. Today we are interviewing Jim and Kim. They were online naturist friends that became friends IRL (in real life). They are wonderful people, and were instrumental in our own story and journey into Christian naturism. So let’s jump right in!

Q: Jim, would you briefly tell us how you got into naturism?

A: It’s a bit of a long story, but I will attempt to give you the cliff notes version. I had been a pastor for about 13 years, and my wife and I were visiting in the home of some friends when during the course of the visit our friends asked us if we would be willing to help them out with a family issue. They went on to inform us that their relatives were nudists and asked us if we would be willing to have a sit down with them and try to talk them out of being nudists from a Bible basis. We agreed that we would indeed try to help them out of this lifestyle that we believed to be straight out of hell itself. We asked them to give us a week to do a thorough Bible study on the subject and that we would circle back around with them to review our findings. What we found during our Bible study certainly did not match what we believed and had been told our whole lives.

What we found in the Word of God was the exact opposite of what we thought we would find. 

We went back the next week to go over our findings with our friends who were equally as shocked. When asked what to do about what we had learned, we responded that we have always believed that if God is for something, then we are for it. And if God is against something, then we are against it. It was very clear to us that God intended us to be naked and not ashamed from the beginning, and we could find nowhere in scripture that He had ever changed His mind. In fact, we now believe that it is Satan who convinced Adam and Eve to cover themselves in fear (based on God’s “who told thee” question) and that is it Satan who is happy with people hiding the image of God in their bodies.

Q: Wow, we just love that story! Well, what are some benefits you’ve seen from this way of life?


A: We have found several important benefits. The first is that living as God intended from the beginning brings a closeness to God, nature, and other people that just cannot be found any other way. The body image / self image improvement that comes from accepting the beauty of God’s most important creation with all of it’s “flaws” and without any of society’s expectations is so liberating that it perfectly represents the Bible as it states to know Christ truly makes one “free” indeed. The health benefits from vitamin D absorption through the skin make it clear that God intended your skin to be naked. Lastly, the porn proofing of society through the commonplace of nonsexual nakedness simply cannot be denied. When nonsexual nakedness is common then women (and men) are no longer viewed as sexual objects, but rather just another part of God’s beautiful creation. We have found that children who are raised in a naturist lifestyle have less self image problems, less porn problems, less gender confusion issues and overall are better adjusted kids with a way less sexualized view of society.

Q: Excellent points! On the flip side of that, what are perhaps some of the greatest misconceptions about Christian Naturism?

A: By far and away the biggest misconception that we have found is people’s belief that naturists are a bunch of sexual perverts and deviants. 

In the vast majority of cases there is absolutely nothing that could be further from the truth.

True naturists are way less sexualized than society as a whole due to the commonplace of nonsexual nakedness. We have found that when someone hears that you believe in a biblical naturist lifestyle, in most cases, they instantly label you a pervert in need of repentance, not realizing that they themselves are the one’s promoting Satan’s lie to Adam and Eve rather than God’s original intent.

Q: That’s unfortunately too true! You’re on a mission to change that. Can you tell us about your site www.nakedandunashamed.org?

A: The website was created as a resource for the Biblical view of the naked body. We have listed the occasions in scripture where nakedness is found and have shown the commonplace of nonsexual nudity in Bible times… both Old and New Testament. We have also listed the occasions where God commanded nudity, influenced nudity through the Holy Spirit, and shown overall that the naked body is neither a sin nor a shame. We have also examined the verses that are taken out of context and/or misdefined to be used to defend Satan’s view of the body.  We regularly add articles written to take a more in depth view of the scriptures, as well, and make practical application of the information.

Q: It’s a great resource for sure, and we’re thankful for it. What’s your hope for the church in regards to a Biblical view of the body?

A: Our hope is that more and more Christians will take an honest and open look at what the Bible has to say about our naked bodies. We also pray that Christians will decide to actually love each other unconditionally… even those with whom they disagree. We have found that is not the case with most people, but it is what God demands of us. Whether you agree or disagree with the Word of God regarding naturism we pray that you will retain a sweet spirit towards all people.

Q: Amen. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?


A: We have found that the knee jerk reaction to naturism of most Christians is shock and rejection of a fellow Christian. Most will not even have a civil discussion based on the objective authority of the Word of God, not our opinions or thoughts of what we wish the Bible said. We have found that those who will at least look at the Bible on the subject will come away with a new view of God and His most prized creation… you!

Benefits of Naturism

This is a guest post from a naturist friend of ours, Gregory Cook – reposted with his permission. See the original post here.

Introduction

Why go nude? Why do you need to go nude? What’s the big deal? Why can’t you just be like everyone else? Questions like these are common, as a lot of people have never thought to consider it. In fact, clothes-compulsive people often lack a positive attitude concerning naturism because they *assume* wrong things about it. Some think it’s simply “weird!” Others think it’s harmful. Still others think you’re sinning and going to Hell if you don’t repent. Unfortunately, too many people have refused to move past their assumptions to actually learn what naturism is really all about, much less consider its benefits.

In my own search for truth, I was surprised to discover just how healthy social nudity is. That is, when you practice it correctly, and when you practice it with the right mindset. (I admit some don’t.) The truth is, the benefits are far too many to list here concisely, and so I have listed the ones common in naturism. Maybe you will agree too if you think it through.

When You Go Nude Socially…

  1. You eliminate class distinctions that we all automatically recognize through clothing. When someone is nude, you cannot tell whether they’re a doctor, nurse, policeman, in the military, a high paid executive, clergyman, or whatever. If they’re in a gang, there are no “gang colors” that say so (except maybe unless they have tattoos). Of course, that means you have to get into relationship with the person and get to know them better if you want to know more. That’s a good thing, right? We all want relationship.
  2. You experience more genuine and intimate relationships with others. When you go nude with others as a naturist does, you’re saying, “I am open and honest, and I trust you. Please accept me as I am flaws and all.” Consider the fact that even in clothes-compulsive society nudity is generally a time of intimacy, such as being born, bathing, having sex, or having a doctor examine you.
  3. You learn to separate nudity from sex, and thus you reduce your tendency to see others as “sex objects.” Naturists keep nudity and sex in their proper contexts.
  4. You learn to accept others based on their character, not their image or appearance. Your appearance is less of an issue among naturists. This includes the size or condition of your body as well as its various parts.
  5. You begin to focus more on the whole person and less on their various parts. You even start to see the body itself as a part of the whole person, and you accept each body regardless of its condition.
  6. You see the physical differences between the sexes easily, and realize that nature defines it. Instead of thinking that wearing a dress, something pink, or makeup makes you a female, you realize the real factors that define both the male and female. It becomes generally undeniable and better understood. In a naturist environment, children learn the differences quickly and easily without anyone having to tell them.
  7. You obtain greater awareness, acceptance and appreciation of your own maleness or femaleness, as well as that of others. Modern society is trying to blend and devalue the sexes but in my opinion, we should be celebrating them without degrading each other.
  8. You begin to see how incessant clothing actually contributes to porn and unhealthy fetishes. The moment you make something unavailable is the moment you create value. Rare things are more valuable than everyday things, so when the nude body becomes an everyday thing, it loses its lust value.
  9. You gain a healthier self-image and greater confidence. There’s no need to try to impress others with a certain appearance when others accept you just as you are.
  10. Your desire to improve or maintain your body becomes a matter of health and respect for your body, rather than an attempt to be or feel accepted.
  11. Your body functions as designed. Whether you believe in God or nature, our bodies function a certain way and do better under certain conditions. For instance, your skin is the largest organ of your body and when you cover it with clothes, it cannot “breathe” properly. It benefits from fresh air as well as moderate sunlight. Besides, you can plainly see what all of the other creatures on earth wear. Nothing! That is nature’s design.
  12. You begin to see just how comfortable, practical, and healthy going nude is. You start asking questions like… Do we really need bathing suits to go swimming? (Some rightly call them “costumes.”) After all, what purpose do they really serve? They don’t keep you dry, warm, or clean. In fact, tight fitting clothes are shown to harbor harmful bacteria. Do we really need pajamas to go to bed? Do they help or do they hurt? Studies show that sleeping nude is better for you. If you would simply go nude for a while, you would begin to ask your own questions.

These are just some of the reasons why social nudity is beneficial. All of the reasons boil down to one thing — health — a healthier mind, a healthier body, and a healthier soul/spirit. We all want to be healthier, and this is why naturists go nude.

The truth is, naturism started as a health movement, and for the most part it remains a health movement even though you may not hear many say it flatly. Each naturist has their list of reasons but whatever their reasons are it all inevitably boils down to health. The benefits are so great that many naturists adopt the philosophy, “clothed when practical and nude when possible.”

All scriptures NIV unless otherwise stated.

© 1997, 2020 Gregory Cook

The Real Scandal

The term Christian Naturist sounds like an oxymoron to the average church-goer. It is considered taboo. There is a stigma around it, often due to ignorance of the actual ethical philosophies of naturism. Many Christians who believe that naturism is not only permissible as a believer, but can also enhance one’s faith in many ways, get the impression that they are all alone in the world– that if they were found out by others, it would be downright scandalous.

Could it be that the real scandal is that they are made to feel this way? Could there be a greater scandal at work? Let me set the stage with an example that sadly, is all too familiar in this day and age.

Could there be a greater scandal at work?

I will warn you, it’s about to get real in here. What follows is not for the faint of heart. With that out of the way, let’s take an honest look at the culture around us and the typical church’s response.

Our culture is overtly sexualized. This plays itself out not just in the porn industry but also leads to fornication, adultery, divorce, rape, unwanted pregnancy and abortion, prosititution, human trafficking, pedophilia, gender confusion, and everything in between. It looks a bit like Sodom and Gomorrah out there! Marketers use sex to sell everything from bras to burgers and shove images of objectified women (mostly) in our faces constantly, whether we want it or not. 

As a result, women are plagued with self-esteem and body image issues, feeling as if they are not good enough if they don’t look like an airbrushed model from the magazines. 

Around 50-75% of men in evangelical churches struggle with pornography to some degree or another. That’s an alarming statistic that should cause us all to repent and seek the Lord and real answers in his word. We are indoctrinated and conditioned to view the body as lewd, indecent, obscene, and lust enticing. Nothing could be further from the truth. This age old lie from Satan has us all messed up. The lie is that the body is shameful. The real shame is that the Gnostic heresy of dualism is alive and well in the church today, and most are unaware of it!

The church’s efforts to combat this pervasive epidemic is to hide the body and resist every sort of temptation, as if that were possible! It’s proven to be a losing battle in our culture. Man-made methods of will-power combined with the guilt and shame of accountability is the church’s best idea to curb the lust problem, but all it does is put money in the software developer’s accounts and does nothing about the root issue. Guys can cheat any system out there if they are determined and addicted enough.

All of these feeble attempts exchange the truth for a lie. The lie keeps the world in bondage. The truth (according to Jesus) “shall make you free” -John 8:32.

How does this lie manifest itself in marriages? Divorce is rampant because we call evil good and good evil. Husbands who grew up with a sexualized view of the body are trapped in the allure of the forbidden. Wives don’t trust them as a result. As a couple they don’t connect with each other intimately to the level that God had planned for them. This makes the husband feel unloved and he acts out through porn and masturbation, which makes the wife trust him less and feel like she is never good enough. The vicious cycle continues on and on. Her lack of trust, his feeling unloved, over and over again. Until the wife in desperation and in a moment of weakness tells the husband to take care of himself! How far have they both strayed from God’s perfect plan for marriage! It’s not what she wants. It’s not even what he wants. More importantly, it’s not what God wants or intended for them.

There has to be a better way! And there always has been. God’s plan was perfect, if followed correctly. Sin has perverted everything God made very good in the beginning (After creating male and female in his image he said, “it was very good.” -Genesis 1:31 “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” -Genesis 2:25).

Christian naturists are not only aware of this scandal, they are repulsed by it and by the many seemingly innocent and culturally acceptable ways it plays out. Professional cheerleaders flaunt accentuated bodies in sensual ways to the “delight” of adoring fans. Not many in the church would admit to watching them closely, but instead simply accept it as a part of sports and entertainment. That display, as well as what is on every textile beach is often times more sexual in nature than any nude beach. Bikinis prop up and hide just enough mystery to cause men with corrupted minds to wander and fantasize. However, this is generally accepted in our fallen culture. Those sensual dance moves sadden the hearts of true Christian naturists who have learned to honor the body as God’s image, and people as his image-bearers. A renewed mind with the humble (true meaning of modesty) appreciation of God’s masterpiece with the respect it deserves has an almost unbelievable way of making the lust problem evaporate!

The church’s response, again, is prudish in nature, not knowing or acknowledging that prudery is the evil twin of the sexualized view of the body. Though they are thought to be opposites, they are indeed cut from the same cloth.

David L. Hatton has written a wonderful book entitled, “Meeting at the River – A Tale of Naked Truth.” I will conclude this article with a few quotes from that book that go along with this idea that the true scandal is not that a Christian would embrace the naturist lifestyle, but that everyone else is operating under the same lie that the crafty serpent fed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

“In one breath, the body is declared a holy temple. In the next, it is called a lustful enticement. This is why God withholds His hand of deliverance from believers who get entangled with lustful images of the naked body. He cannot liberate their minds when they believe their defilement comes from the beauty of His handiwork. It is in that very beauty that His truth flourishes. If they knew this rightly, the truth would set them free. Instead, they shun that beauty! But tell me, brother, how well does this false teaching of shame deliver those trapped in such corruption?”

Most Christian naturists believe the same things the church preaches about fornication, adultery, lust, and pornography. They do not stand for these things. Quite the opposite! They have zero tolerance for them. They have accepted the truth about the body as the glory and image of God, his prized creation. They share the conviction that the “modesty” movement of the Victorian era and Puritanical values has had a reverse and damaging effect on society, causing many of the very troubles it was meant to address.

I love the church. It’s the bride of Christ. I’m not angry at the church, per se, but rather at the ancient serpent who stole our innocence and pulled the wool over our eyes! We are to be in the world, but not of the world. God calls us to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable… And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:1-2.

Lust abounds where minds are not renewed, in the corrupted minds of men and women who believe the lie. That is the real scandal. This is our culture. It is not working. Who could say that it is? Truth has to change us at a personal level. 

Hatton makes the following assertions that support the sad reality of this real scandal, but give hope to overcoming it once and for all: “Widespread religious support for a demonic lie cannot alter its falsehood.” And, “Christians will never have a radical reformation in how they view the naked body, until they can distinguish their devotion to culture from their understanding of Scripture.” And thankfully, “Truth always turns a wayward world right side up!”

In the Beginning

Nothing could have prepared me for the conversation that would take place in my living room on that October day. It started like any other Friday. My husband works from home on Fridays, so they are generally very laid back. I had been watching a baking show on Netflix and was on the last episode and wanted to finish the season so I grabbed my coffee and sat down on the couch to watch. My hubby made me french toast that morning. It was very thoughtful of him, but looking back, he was probably buttering me up a bit. When he was done with breakfast he sat down on the love seat and “watched” with me. I do recall him being on his phone more than watching though.

When the show was over I started to get up, that’s when it happened. “We need to talk.” he said. My first thought was, “Oh dang!” I sat back down and got comfortable. As stated, I sensed this was going to be a doozy, and I wasn’t wrong.

He took his phone and started reading a script he had prepared ahead of time. The first few sentences out of his mouth had me wondering if he had had an affair. They went something like, “We’ve loved each other a long time. You’re the only one for me.” I sensed a HUGE “but” coming.  Then it came. “I’m a nudist.” First thoughts on that phrase, “Duh.” I had known for a long time that he enjoyed being nude. I knew that as a teenager he would streak around his house and sometimes he and his friends would hang out nude. I knew that when the kids were not home he liked being nude and sometimes I would join him. I knew he liked skinny dipping. I knew that when we had gone camping just a few months earlier that he had been nude 95% of the time. I knew all of this about him so why did this feel like a big deal? There had to be more… and there was. 

He revealed to me that he was part of an online community of Christian naturists (oxymoron in my book).

I started to feel anger rise up in me. “What does that even mean?,” I asked. He explained that he had become friends with other people who happened to enjoy being nude and who happened to be Christians. He told me that they were actually praying for us at that very moment because they knew he was going to be talking with me that morning. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I kind of felt ganged up on.

I knew he had struggled with pornography in the past, but this was taking it to a whole new level. Justifying seeing naked people because they are Christian naturists. It’s just taking something that is obviously wrong and twisting it so you feel like it’s ok.

I was livid! The tears began to flow because that’s what I do when I’m angry and hurt. He assured me it wasn’t like that, and that it was actually the total opposite. He reminded me how he had struggled with porn for the last 20 years and had tried over and over to defeat it. I knew that, because he had been honest with me about it several times. He went on to say that he had hit rock bottom and in his climb out of the pit he came across naturism. It wasn’t the first time he had crossed paths with naturism, but because of things we were taught in church and in a Christian upbringing he had dismissed it thinking it had to be wrong. He had met a man, a former pastor actually, who had directed him to a website, www.nakedandunashamed.org. Because of this man, and others, and ultimately the Lord working in his heart and mind, the chains of pornography had fallen away. His mind had been renewed and he no longer looked at other women lustfully, but as image bearers of God. He now saw others through eyes of admiration for a Creator instead of eyes of lust. I wasn’t convinced, but I sensed something inside me telling me to remain calm and hear him out. I know that voice, I’ve heard it before. It was the Holy Spirit, so I listened. 

He went on to share with me his thoughts that maybe naturism could help me overcome my own body shaming issues.

He told me of a lady in his online community that had just joined their group to catch her husband cheating and ended up becoming a naturist herself after reading all of the Christian evidence for the naturist lifestyle. He thought maybe I could do the same. Never in a million years

He gave me 3 options to think on. Now that I had this information, here were my choices:

  1. Forbid him from being in the group. He hoped I wouldn’t choose this option.
  2. Allow him to be a naturist and participate in the group, but not participate myself. He also said this would not be ideal.
  3. Check it out for myself, and hopefully join him in naturism. 

I told him several times that I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place because I didn’t really feel like I had options. 

I couldn’t choose option #1 because that would be like spitting in the face of the fact that he had had a supposed lasting victory over pornography. I couldn’t choose option #2 because I didn’t want him seeing a bunch of naked ladies without me knowing what he was seeing and doing. I didn’t trust him again yet. If I wanted to stay married to him my only option was #3. I contemplated whether I did want to stay married or not. Even though I knew #3 was my only option for a happy and healthy marriage, I wasn’t sure I could make this work or wanted to. We could lose everything after all. If anyone were to find out, our lives would be ruined. After listening to his prepared speech, I hugged him and thanked him for being honest with me. As angry as I was I knew it took balls to share and confess what he had.

As usual on our Fridays, we decided to go to lunch. As we sat and ate, mostly in silence, I began to think of questions I wanted to ask. They weren’t questions for the middle of a restaurant so I waited until we got in the car. I asked if he had shared pictures of himself in this group. He said very matter of factly that he had. Again anger raised its ugly head, but I get quiet when I’m angry. We decided to go for ice cream. Maybe it would help cool me down. On the way home I was hit with what I later started calling a wave of anger and threw my ice cream out the window. We again sat in silence.

The first several days were an emotional roller coaster. The more we talked, the more he revealed his heart and his past. There were hard questions and hard answers. These were hard things. Harder than I could have imagined, but the more he shared the more God broke my heart and opened it to this wounded, yet healed man. I could tell he was different. His spirit felt different. He prayed with me and for me and even cried for me to be free of the scales over my eyes. There was a lot of spiritual warfare going on. Voices in my head continuously threatened me with phrases like, “You’ll never be enough!” and “He’s lying to you.” or  “You’re still fat.” and “You thought you could actually do this? You’ll never be free!” On several occasions I would feel a weight on my chest like I couldn’t breathe. I prayed so much!  

We read so many things together. One of the resources we came across a website called www.mychainsaregone.org. We read the Bible. The more I read, the angrier I got, but not at my husband. I was angry at the enemy, and his deception, and the lies. I began to feel myself leaning into this lifestyle. I couldn’t share that with him though, because I was afraid he would push me too hard. Besides, I still hated how I looked. There was no way I was going to let anyone see me naked. I might be nude while camping next time, but no way social nudity was part of this for me. Finally I asked to see his groups and some friends he had made and messages of praying for us.

“Could it be real that these people aren’t perverts?” I definitely hadn’t seen anything perverted within his group. 

He gave me an assignment of standing in front of the mirror naked and saying outloud to myself, “I am beautiful.” I laughed when he gave me this assignment telling him there was no way I was going to do that. I did though. I sent him a picture the first day with the words “I am beautiful” written on it. He said, “Nice picture, but I don’t believe you.” He was right, I didn’t believe it. I was just trying to end this silly game! I didn’t do it the next day because I thought this assignment was stupid. I did day 3 and then, on day 4 I looked at myself and said, “I am beautiful, I am beautiful.” and it was like a veil was lifted from my eyes. I physically felt it. I got this smirk on my face and thought, “Oh crap, he’s right, I AM beautiful!”  For the first time since I can remember, I actually thought I was beautiful… extra pounds and stretch marks and dimples and all. I took another picture that day and sent it to him. This time he said right away that he could tell I actually believed it. 

The next night I did something I never thought I would do and only days before I had said never in a million years. I joined that group and told of the transformation that had happened in my mind and heart in only a matter of days. October 18th was the day we began the worst conversation that turned into the best conversation. October 24th was the day I became a naturist by Biblical conviction. Oh, and a week after I threw my ice cream out the window we went back and got some more and laughed and enjoyed the healing that was taking place.