I've been blogging a lot about what God has taught me. I thought I'd take a turn at what God is teaching me. This one is raw. Like, I can't totally talk about it without crying. Girls, I have over 20 pounds to lose to get back to my weight before baby #2...and baby #2 is already 7 months old. I weigh 3 pounds less than when I was pregnant with him. Just typing that makes me want to throw up in shame, fear, and bewilderment.
So here was my process.
FIRST Write out why, specifically, this hurts so much.
- Because I feel like I am living in someone else's body. I've never felt my thighs rub together or had the fat on the top of my back touch the fat on the bottom of my back when I reach up to the top of the pantry.
- Because this feels too familiar. I never felt like I was one of the "pretty ones". I finally found my confidence in my twenties and now it's gone again.
- Because my husband is awesome. Sometimes I worry that he could do better than the chubster who stays home all day and still can't manage to keep the house clean (me).
- Because it feels like it reflects on my character and competence. The fact that my baby is seven months old and I still can't fit in my clothes makes me feel like an undisciplined, lazy failure.
- Because it makes me grieve the "old me". Being active and in decent shape feels like thing #324 that falls into the "Before kids" category that I can't see coming back any time soon.
- Because it feels overwhelming to even think of the energy it would take to meal plan and exercise to fix it.
- Because I feel like I can't enjoy all that life has to offer when I am dodging being in any pictures and dreading every month older my son gets as a declaration of another month gone by that I am still fat.
- Because I feel like being a stay at home mom is already one strike against me in making a first impression, so I have to make up for it by being hot, entrepreneurial, or in some other way interesting and I am none of those.
- Because even writing this out makes me want to eat a brownie and that makes me feel this weird guilt and shame and like I deserve to be overweight.
- Because it brings every "I should be/do" to mind and just makes me feel like I'm not good enough.
THEN consider, for a moment, my assumptions.
- I have to be thin and pretty to be likeable.
- I will never lose weight.
- I am not a good person if I am not ambitious or successful.
- Being overweight defines who I am.
- I have to prove that I am perfect.
THEN be brutally honest as to the effect is having on my behavior and those around me.
- Insecurity, depression, alternately craving and then resenting food.
- Keeping tally of what I do in an unhealthy way to try to prove my worth.
- Not giving God the glory or my full passion in His calling and purpose for me as a mom.
- Hiding from my friends, worried what they will think or that I will make them uncomfortable if I reveal my real struggle with my weight.
FINALLY pretend like I am talking to someone else (more gently and lovingly than I talk to myself) and share the truth that I know.
- God sees my heart. He values my love for my family and others INFINITELY more than my looks.
- My husband and kids ADORE me. Why would I rob myself the joy of basking in that?
- I should be living with the perspective of the Kingdom of God. The values of this culture around vanity and beauty are twisted and only take me away from the happiness of keeping my eyes on what really matters.
- Every moment I spend trapped under this emotional boulder is a moment wasted, I already have victory. I need to look to God and my friends to help me claim my freedom.
I'm not going to lie, this is a battle that is not over. It doesn't help that on a morning when I wake up feeling good I think I probably could fit into that outfit and then I try it on and disaster strikes...I feel like I am reliving failure over and over. I have to recite to myself the words of love God has whispered and rehearse where my value and identity are found.
Whether it's weight or something else that feels like a boulder pressing down your joy, I hope you'll take a moment to be vulnerable. Write it out. Think about the subconscious assumptions you have. Admit the way it is affecting you and others. Let the truth in through prayer or seeking encouragement from friends.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
Lord, come into this dark corner of my heart. There is shame and fear and sadness and oh so many tears hiding. Please, shine your light so brightly into this darkness. Shower your truth and love and joy over my brokeness. Help me develop a healthy attitude toward self-image, food, and pleasing others. I want to love you, my family, and others...and I want to love the woman you are making me. Help me see myself the way that you do. God I surrender my heart to you, but I will FIGHT for the victory you have already given me over this. I love you. Thank you for loving me.