Raise your hand if you have ever looked in the mirror and disliked what you saw
This post is something I have been planning on writing for a couple of months, but the timing was never juuuuust right. But now, it’s just right.
It’s no secret that at once in my life weighed 300lbs. It’s also no secret that I have been working for over 4 years to get where I am today. Naturally, the topic of body image will pop up in my thoughts, conversations and..um, everywhere?
Let me start from the beginning. Back when I was a 300lb person, I didn’t realize what I actually looked like. I knew other people were smaller than me, but I loved myself for who I was. I was creative, ambitious, smart, and loved by those around me; this was all that mattered. As I slowly began to lose weight, I still felt like that large person. At 260lbs, I felt better about myself, but knew I was still big. At 230lbs I felt okay but still hated my muffin top and bra rolls. I never believed that I would be satisfied with myself; that belief in lifelong dissatisfaction was fed by a person who once told me,
“You know, no matter how much weight you lose, you’ll never be happy with yourself.”
To the person who said this to me, I want to say thank you. Your words have haunted and challenged me from the moment they passed your lips. And guess what. I am finally happy with myself. There’s a reason you’re not in my life anymore.
Even in the 200’s I was active, continued working out, continued counting calories…and let me tell you it was dreadful. I plateaued and subsequently stopped counting calories and lived a little. In the back of my mind I was constantly reminding myself that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was still fat. I was destined to look this way forever. There was nothing I would be able to do about it. I still worked out, I still tried new things, but I was still the overweight girl.
Then Stimulock happened. I was introduced to this program by witnessing the weight melt off of a friend in Summer 2010. I wanted to know what she was doing and where I could get some. It was a financial, emotional, mental and physical investment. I began my Stimulock journey in September 2010 and it helped me reach the point that I am at today; a number, weight, size and health I never thought was attainable.
But since when does a number on a tag of a pair of pants or the number on a scale define who I am, day in and day out? Since when does a number on the scale determine my attitude for the day? Since when does a digit determine my happiness?
It happened because I/we allowed it to. We let the determination of our happiness and joy fall to the hands of society, a designer, a scale. Those things aren’t where our happiness lies…is it?
This is the point where I had to take some steps back and evaluate. This is why it has taken me so long to publish this entry. I was still seriously battling issues with my body image. Even at nearly half the weight of my old self, I would look in the mirror and this girl is who I saw looking back at me:
and I would think, “If only I could get to where I want to be…”
Talk about distorted body image. When I was fat, I thought I was normal, when I began to be healthy, I still thought I was fat. You get what I’m saying here? Not once in my life have I been able to see myself for how I really am. This is something that men and women deal with, it’s not a topic just for the girls. The way I viewed myself haunted me; I would look at my thighs and still see thighs that were a size 24, I avoided form fitting clothing because I didn’t want anyone to see my bodily imperfections, even when shopping I gravitate toward the 16s, 18s, XL and XXL…because that’s what I have known.
What’s a girl to do at a time like this? Go to her Dad, that’s what. I’m talking about my heavenly Dad here. I came to terms with the fact that I was desperate for emotional and spiritual healing. I’m not in control and I needed to stop acting like I was. You want to know what He told me? This is what He said,
“My sweet daughter, I have designed you exactly how I want you. You know that you are called to be healthy, not to weigh a certain number or to be a certain size. Just as I have created everyone unique in their own ways, so I have created you. I want you to live life to the fullest, to enjoy your friends and your family, to not be deprived of what I have blessed you with in this life. ”
After much prayer and many tears, I came to a peace. Yes, this is the only body I have for this lifetime. This body has endured and has much to endure in the future. How I look right now is only temporary, and it will change and fade with time (pshh…I haven’t even had babies yet!) but still, He is in control. These two verses have really done a great deal for my heart through this process:
For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:7-8
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:30
Being thin doesn’t cure anything in life. If anything, having lost all of this weight has forced me to dig deeper. I can no longer hide behind food or use it as a crutch for whatever excuse I might come up with. In the past several months I have been searching and finding out who or what ‘me’ is, making mistakes, dealing with challenges, living through frustrations and am learning so many lessons. I have peace though, peace in the fact that I am becoming who I was designed to be.
Andrea could not have put it any better:
Thinness is like Ikea furniture. Looks great in the showroom, but you have to get it home and assemble it yourself. Most times it doesn’t look quite like you’d hoped.”