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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