A Weighty Issue – Battling the Bulge (part two)

So, I last left off with a little rundown of my past struggle with body image concerning weight and size issues (you can read it here). By past struggle, I do not mean to say that I am currently at an “ideal” size and weight, thus, no longer have any struggles in this area anymore. What I am saying is – I can look at myself in the mirror now and not experience a feeling that is both marred with anger and depression.

Three thoughts I have now, from this side of the struggle.

1. I had to learn to cast all my cares.

It felt like vanity; it felt like something I should be ashamed to bring to the arms of my Father. Why was it that I could burden God with my deepest darkest sins yet feel that this was out of His reach. It felt trivial, in a sense, to share this struggle and hurt with Him. I let my hurt overshadow what I knew about the unfailing love that He offers.  His love for me encompasses all of me…even in my weakest and lowest state. The God who created me and knew me in the secret, before time even knew of my existence (Psalm 139:15), knows of all my struggles. He was waiting for me to bring my cares to Him. Once I understood that He is a God who cares about every facet of my life, I began to cast (all) my struggles into His mighty hands; I began heal. The deep and dark moments of self-rejection were ones that I no longer faced alone.

2. I learned how to have a healthy view of myself.

This was hard. I had to learn how to love a body that was mine, but also not be willing to accept it in an unhealthy condition. I knew that my body, being 50 pounds over what it should be, was not healthy. This is when I joined Weight Watchers. My goal – was not to lose weight to look a certain way. I was not after being “skinny”, I was after being healthy. When I set my “goal” on the Weight Watcher’s website, I purposely set it to be 20 pounds over my “ideal” weight. I needed to keep myself in the mindset of being healthy and not skinny. I was afraid too much of a change in appearance could bring me back to my previous struggles.

What I love about Weight Watchers, is that not only does it work, but it becomes a lifestyle. After I cancelled my membership I continued to maintain the weight I lost – even after having been pregnant twice after my weight loss, I still maintained my body size and weight.

Which, is why I have now decided to join again.

I am excited and ready to drop the rest of the weight. It feels good to lose weight with this perspective. I also will be (re)starting my P90 workouts. I am ready to continue my journey for a healthier me.

3. I want my kids to see healthy when they see me…not fat or skinny.

To be an example of health for my children, especially my daughter, is important for me. I don’t want them (her) to hear me utter the words “I am fat”, “I look so fat”, “I…” – you get the idea. I love that my sister and I already have a pact to not use those kind of words around our children, like I said, especially our girls. The words we say, they internalize and may one day use against their own bodies. The struggles of body image rejection leaves scars, and if I can help them avoid those scars with the words I choose to speak, I will. I want them to see me eat better and I want them to see me exercise; I want them to see me do it with a positive attitude toward myself. I want them to see me as someone who works towards staying healthy. I want them to see me embrace the beautiful creation that belongs to God. I want them to believe the words – “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.

It feels good to be in this place. The hurt, the anger, the sadness – it is not mine to carry anymore. A lot of work; a lot of surrender.

 

A Weighty Issue – Battling the Bulge

It is midnight. I desperately want to be asleep, yet here I am typing away in the darkness of my room. I have some music playing softly, just loud enough for me to enjoy but not so loud as to wake a sleeping husband. I realize that I should be asleep. Every member of my household is snoozing, which makes the fact that I am awake that much more of a crime. Sleep will have to wait, tonight…I have some business to attend.

Let me catch you up…

The battle begins. I was around the age of 9 when I first engaged in a battle that would soon turn into a war that I would be fighting into my adult years. This war has had many victories; this war has had many losses. It was not a war I ever wanted. I can distinctly remember being that little 9 year old girl; I remember one day when she looked in the mirror and she saw that her clothes did not fit exactly the way she thought they should. It was in that moment when she met her enemy – fat.

Life in the trenches. I have never in my life been skinny. Never. While I was not grossly overweight, I did carry an extra pound or two as a child. Although I was an extremely active child, I remember starting a “workout plan” to help shed the unwanted pudge away. Never enough. No matter how much “extra exercise” I would get, I still would look in the mirror and see a portly little girl. It frustrated me; it brought about a severe contempt for my body. This, friends, would be a mindset that would continue to grow and fester as the years went by. Teenage years would come and bring about even more disdain for the body I was in constant battle with. Life as an adult would not be safe from this war, this is where the heat of the battle was felt.

Weapons of war. Diets. All forms of diets, pills, and shakes have been used in my arsenal throughout the years. Charts, food diaries, and daily meal plans have all had their time on the front lines. There was even a short moment in time when I would discreetly visit the bathroom after every meal to gag myself to the point of imminent hurling. None of it worked. Yeah, sure, I would lose some weight momentarily. Inevitably, I would still come to the point where every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I saw it. That one thing I wanted more than anything to be rid of, continued to haunt and tease…as if it was all just a fun little game.

Battle Scars. I grieve for the little girl who, at such a young age, held such contempt for her body. I ache for that teenager who thought her worth would increase with a body that looked “right”. I want to hold the young lady who compared her body to every woman’s body and judged it by “worse or better” than her own. And to the woman who has brought these insecurities into her marriage and scoffed at a husband who “loves every part of her perfect body”…I want to sit and cry with her.

Moment of Victory. At my heaviest weight, I remember looking through some old pictures and thinking, wow, I wish I could look like that again. It started to happen. The reprieve from a long and wearisome war was beginning to take place. I almost laughed. I looked at those pictures and I could distinctly remember how much I disliked the way I looked then. How crazy, I thought. I could not stop looking at the pictures. It was no matter that in those pictures I may have still been bigger than some or smaller than others…it was that I saw someone that I didn’t feel revulsion for when I looked at her. It was the beginning of me changing my mindset about me.

The Road Since. Well, after my little ah-ha moment…one that I had prayed for and yearned for, I decided to join Weight Watchers. I joined because I wanted to be a healthier me and not because I hated me. There is a huge difference.

The weight began to shed. I lost over thirty pounds doing Weight Watchers. It felt so good to lose weight, but it felt even better to find a security in myself I had not known before. I wasn’t losing weight so I could find acceptance, I wasn’t losing weight to find my happiness, I wasn’t even losing weight so I could “look good” in that swimsuit; I was losing weight to be healthier and I was doing it for me.  

Now, friends. I am tired. I still have more to say, but sleep is not far away. I have never done a “to be continued” post before…but, there is a first time for everything, right? 

So – 

To Be Continued…

A Girl and Her Daddy

The look in her eyes says it all. It is a reflection of love, admiration and it communicates a feeling unlike any other. It is a reflection of a sweet and pure bond that some are fortunate to get to experience. It is, a girl and her daddy.

I see the way my daughter’s eyes light up when he walks in the door after being away at work all day. I see the way those little curls bounce as she races to greet him. I see the way she anxiously awaits the moment she is held as she lifts those sweet little arms up to him. I see, a girl and her daddy.

There she is, curled up with him on a couch…no other place she would rather be. There she is, using her little pink beauty kit to give that big strong daddy of hers a makeover. There she is, having him wrapped completely around her little chubby finger. There she is, a girl and her daddy.

This man she admires so much, will always be her hero. This man that she saves her biggest and brightest smiles for, will be who she measures all men against. This man she loves with all her little 2 year old heart, will always be hers. A girl and her daddy.

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I see my little girl…and I know. 

I know just how special it is. It is in my memories, it is in the here and now, it will always be. I am so thankful for all the moments shared by, a girl and her daddy.

I loved him – in every “hold you” moment as a little girl, in every laugh that we shared together and in every tear that he wiped away. I loved him – in every “oh Dad, please” moment as a teenager, in every eye roll I gave and in every stern look I received. I loved him – in every “thanks again, Dad” moment as a young poor-broke-just-trying-to-get-by teacher, in every word of advice he gave and in every prayer he prayed for me. I love him – in every “can’t wait to see you again” moment, in every playtime he gets to spends with my babies and in every smile we share.  Oh, how special it is, a girl and her daddy.

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