I've struggled with my weight my whole life. Yet...I've never struggled with my weight.
I remember one afternoon sitting in my third grade classroom. I was wearing a pair of navy blue pants made from some horrid man-made polyester fabric that I absolutely hated!! I'm fairly sure my mother MADE me wear them. :) She and I battled over clothing often. I had strong opinions about fashion...even back then!
What I remember, is looking down at my thighs and thinking they were huge.
I was eight years old.
It is not as if I was reading Seventeen magazine, or paying attention to fashion and trends. I was just a child. What would make me feel that way? Yet, I DID feel that way...and I remember it to this day.
Who was I comparing myself to anyway? Where did this self image doubt come from?
A couple years later...10 years old...5th grade. A girl in my class - who shall remain nameless - made a comment that has stuck with me for many, many years. A comment that has shaped how I look in the mirror and view myself. She called me Big Butt Bertha. Do I really have a big butt? If I answer honestly, I would say yes...to me, since that moment...THAT is truth. Was she just some mean, skinny girl who thought she was funny? Probably. Too late. Wound opened. Scar set.
Decades later, feeling a bit more self-confident. I journey into a YMCA to work out with my family. One of the "trainers" felt compelled to tell me I had "gorilla arms". Really? Thank you so much. Can you imagine how often that comes to mind?
Needless to say. I have been constantly plagued with a bad self image.
This inner struggle, this inner battle is not something I am proud of at all. In fact I have done a great job of hiding it. Until now.
So many of us are insecure. It's what society presses upon us. We can be so judgmental of each other. I see how other girls are with MY girls. Little girls 10 years old looking each other up and down. In my soul I cringe.
It's a comparison game, isn't it? The more we compare ourselves to others, the less we measure up. Truth is we will always fall short compared to (what we believe in our heads) what others possess. Comparison is an ugly weapon.
And then the two edged sword.
I compare and feel inferior.
And then I'm disappointed in myself for comparing and being so shallow!!
I had this blog post almost completely written, and then in my quiet time today I read this:
Stop judging and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role. Above all, stop comparing yourself to other people. The produces feelings of pride or inferiority: sometimes a mixture of both. I lead each of MY children along a path that is uniquely tailored for him or her. Comparing is not only wrong; it is also meaningless. ~ Jesus Calling
When the God who I believe created me tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Who am I to doubt that? When will I realize I am ENOUGH?
What if we spent half the time working on the condition of our hearts, rather than our outward appearance. What if we worked on how we treat each other...how we make other people feel about themselves? Can you even imagine THAT kind of world? Loving each other JUST AS THEY ARE?
Don't get me wrong. I do believe it is important to take care of our bodies and present ourselves well. I LOVE fashion. I think it's fun. It's an outward expression of my personality. But I do believe I am way more than I wear.
Part of the reason I do blog post with pictures of myself is "self therapy". The day I took the photos for the CAT boot post was a Sunday morning. Dressing for church. There was not one piece of clothing I could put on my body that morning that I felt I looked good in. I was so lost in the "ME", I was forgetting what I was even getting dressed for.
And then I was so angry at myself for being so shallow so self-centered so ridiculous.
I made myself take those photos...as a message to myself. Because no matter what I am beautifully and fearfully made. And so are you....
I don't write this post because I have solutions. I write this post to identify that we all have struggles in common. And to encourage YOU as you have encouraged ME.
To put it in the words of Aibileen Clark from "The Help".
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
And I add...
YOU is beautiful.
Because the One who created you says so.
love you with all my heart....