Accepting Your Body In Every Season

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Accepting our bodies in every season can be a tremendous challenge. There are images of people with perfect bodies everywhere and even though we know that most of these pictures are manipulated, it still bothers us.

Women, and some men too, are really tough on themselves when it comes to body image. Our bodies are a part of us and when we hate our bodies, we hate a portion of ourselves.

Do you know that hating your body does not help you lose weight?

I am only 5’2 and over the years I have been a size 2 through 14. I understand the physical, emotional, and mental effects of weight gain and weight loss and so do MANY others.

The truth is that women specifically tend to fluctuate a lot in their lives based on hormonal changes, life stresses, pregnancy, medications, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, and other stuff we would rather not have to deal with.

At one point in my life I reached 180 lbs., but my weight gain was the least of my worries.

I had a migraine every single day of my life, was on a ton of medications, and barely left the couch. My illness led to anxiety and depression and all of these things combined led me to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And you know what? I don’t at all regret eating that delicious ice cream during that season of my life because it was one of the few things that made me feel better.

In the picture of me on the far left in the pale pink dress, I was fat. I get it. But do you know how hard it was for me to even get off the couch and go to the store and buy that pink dress?

Looking back, it probably wasn’t the best dress for my “current situation,” but I felt pretty that night and I felt well enough to go out to eat and my dad liked that Facebook picture, so I am glad I rocked that pale pink dress.

If you feel fat right now, go shopping for goodness sakes and buy some clothes in your current size; clothes that you feel good in!

Quit wearing the same moo moo dress everyday because you don’t want to spend money on clothes that are not your normal size. Accept your current situation and be proud of yourself no matter what size you are.

When life is not so freaking hard, you can figure out a weight loss plan later, or maybe it will just start falling off as you find yourself more.

Extreme weight gain (or even extreme weight loss) is usually a sign that we are going through something much bigger than our dress size. We are typically unhealthy and unhappy in some way and the weight problems are a secondary result.

Sometimes we need to get to the root of the problem before we give up our junior bacon cheeseburgers.

Do you hate your job? Here is a real idea…find a new job. Is it really worth the extra cash or the title or whatever you are gaining besides weight? Are you dating someone who doesn’t really love you? Here is a real idea…break up with him or her! Is your life or marriage out of control? Here is a serious thought…start communicating your true feelings.

Are you chronically ill or in pain like I was? Focus on your health and stop worrying about your weight. Yes, weight can certainly add to illness and pain, but trying to lose weight when you are in this condition can seriously be impossible.

As for me, I worked hard on my health and still do, but I never exercise (even though I know I should and will get to that someday) and I never diet.

I accept my body in whatever state it is in, but I do not accept my circumstances or health in whatever state they are in.

I fight for wellness as best as I can, but I do not find my security in my jean size. My efforts are always flawed and every time I take five steps forward, I typically fall four steps back. Yet, I am always focused on moving forward.

Of course I like my body better when I am not overweight, but I don’t hate my body when I am overweight, and I always wear cute clothes that make me feel good!

As my heath improved some, I naturally lost some of the weight, but I lost the rest of the weight by focusing on chasing my calling, getting rid of toxic thinking and people, speaking my mind, using my voice, returning to my true identity in Christ and not caring who likes me or not.

When I have a purpose that I love and I am confident in who my true self is, I don’t feel the need to eat as much because I am happier. This is one reason I so strongly advocate for women to be embraced as church leaders and preachers if this is their calling and identity; I know from experience how difficult life can be when one is not permitted to use their gifts and chase their dreams due to their gender.

Show yourself some love and accept your body in every season of life. Embrace your truest self and chase your true calling. Come out from hiding and use your voice. When you decide to be who God made you to be, your body will start to catch up and go back to the size it is meant to be.

Question: Where do you shop for cute clothes when you are carrying a little extra weight? Help some sisters out! 🙂

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29 Comments

  • I absolutely love this post. Very timeous for a self-confessed yo-yo dieter who beats herself up all the time! The Lord’s starting to deal with me in this area. I’m finally leaning into Him and your post strengthens what I am starting to feel! Get out there, be who God wants you to be, and love yourself however you look in the moment! And yes, I have been avoiding shopping, and yes, I am now going to go shopping! Great post! Thank you
    God bless
    Tracy

  • I do agree to love yourself no matter what state your physical body is in. Which is hard to do when the world presents the perfect woman to live up to.
    I just wanted to share more than 30 years of experience and learning of how food can effect your emotional and mental state.
    I agree health is not about dieting to be thin.
    Eating healthy is about being emotionally and mentally healthy.
    I have learned that certain foods we eat have an affect not only on our physical but our emotional and mental state.
    It is different for each person.
    For me when I eat cane sugared, beef or white flour I become extremely depressed, angry and my confidence ends up in the toilet.
    Beef over stimulates the adrenal glands causing feelings of anxiety, anger, and fatigue.
    Cane sugar can cause emotional highs and lows due to spiking insulin levels, also fatigue, anger, impatience, nervousness, hyper.
    Wheat, gluten, white flours can cause skin problems, weight gain, digestive issues, fatigue, migraines, congestion, depression, fatigue, hyper, irritability. Dairy can cause digestive issues, cystic acne, sinus issues, irritability, migraines. Caffeine can cause irritability, impatience, sleeplessness, migraines, moodiness, cysts. The above can cause more than listed they are just name a few. The above can cause hormonal imbalances.
    For me dairy causes cystic acne, congestion, my throat swells.
    Caffeine cause me cysts all over my body, and insomnia.
    Beef, cane sugar causes me anger, fatigue where I am bed ridden, mood swings, extreme emotional highs and lows and depression.
    Wheat and gluten foods cause serious weight gain, severe migraines where I cannot get out of bed and even Vicodin doesn’t touch, and fatigue, irritability.
    When I avoid these in my diet all symptoms go away. I feel confident and full of life when I avoid these foods.
    Two of my sons suffered with moodiness, anger, impatience, irritability, fatigue, overweight. They felt stressed all the time they could not deal with normal life.
    They decided to stop dairy, cane sugar, and wheat and gluten.
    Their symptoms went away. They are so patient, their wives said they have brand new husbands. Their marriages are doing really well now. Their wives decided with such a change in their husbands they decided to stop eating those foods and they said they feel better. They said all their PMS is gone they feel more balanced emotionally.
    My sons don’t have a trouble free life, their jobs are very stressful and can be demanding they said by eliminating these foods from their diet they are now able to work through and handle what life throws at them more now.
    I just wanted others to know that in some situations it’s not them who are terrible or weak and hopeless. Sometimes feeling more balanced emotionally and feeling more stable or even not handling simple life can be as simple as what you eat.
    I encourage others to find a good naturopathic Doctor to start with.
    Which can point you indirection of a good acupuncturists and many things that may help.
    My naturopath had always shared your system is like a three legged stool, one represents emotional, one physical and one spiritual. If anyone of these three are out then stool is off balance and is hard to sit on.
    I just wanted to share in hopes this so may help someone who has tried many things and may feel hopeless. This isn’t the answer to all but can be something to consider.
    Thanks for your post. It is important for women to be encouraged in their health and life that God had for them.
    Jan

    • Thank you for sharing. I too have found that certain food make me feel bad. I love sugar, but I have to limit it. I also have to limit gluten and dairy. I avoid MSG and all artificial sweeteners. Blessings. Xo

  • I love this article! One of my New Year resolutions is to “Love my body where it is, how it is”, for this exact reason. There are things going on in my life that I need to address before I get my weight under control, one of those things being anxiety and sleep issues. In the meantime, my goal is to treat my body with love instead of hate, because it is capable of taking on a HUGE amount of stress and still stand strong. Thank you for the encouragement!

    • You are welcome, Monica! You are right – focus on one thing at a time! Actually, studies prove that normal sleep habits help us manage our weight without even trying! You are right to focus on managing your sleep and anxiety first! Xo

  • modcloth.com has some really great plus-size dresses. 🙂

    When I’m looking for something for a special occasion, that’s where I shop.

  • I love love this post. I felt like you were speaking to me. Over the past few months I have added some weight and I have tried all the possibilities from exercising and eating right, but I just keep onj adding more 🙂 I guess the secret here is accepting yourself and not stressing too much. Thank you!

    http://cherriesvineyard.com/

  • Hi Jory,
    I love your post and totally agree with you. There is no need living a lie and wearing a size 10 dress when your body needs a size 14. That is absolutely unnecessary and can make a beautiful woman look ridiculous. When we know that we are of more value than what society attempts to impose on us in the name of dress sizes, we can rise above mediocrity and be happy always.

  • I totally needed to read this today! I feel like crap alot lately. I’ve been trying to get my health issues taken care of before I work out again (which I love doing) I love the energy I get after a workout, but my body is fighting me. I hope to get my health under control first before I go about anything else. I have been totally depressed about my weight lately and I’m tired of my loose skin from my weight jumping up and down and after my pregnancies! I totally agree, we should accept ourselves no matter what, it’s kind of hard for me, with my PTSD, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders. Ugh! Reading this made me realize how far down the rabbit hole I’ve went. Thank-you! Oh and Burlington Coat Factory in Bethel Park, LuLumon, and ThredUp have really cute clothes with lots of variety lol.

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