I have stretch marks. I had many of
them before I was ever pregnant the first time. I used to hate those white
streaks across my body. I used to worry about how much I weighed. I got on the
scale every day. If it moved upwards, I monitored ever morsel of food that went
across my plate. There was a time in my life that I nearly died because I
stopped eating. Anorexia is strange. You feel powerful when you don't eat,
somehow. And I got compliments on my new figure all the time.
But, I was sick. I was depressed. I was
miserable and I hated myself.
It took a long time, but I learned to
love my body. I came to the realization that God created me, and I don't think
God goofs up. He gave me this body. It's my job to take care of it. It's my job
to appreciate it.
I love to hear people say "I want to
eat healthier" or "I am going to start walking this week." That means that they
are striving for a healthy body. And healthy does not equal thin. I know people
who are thin that have terrible health problems, high cholesterol, high blood
pressure, etc., and I know people who are big and are amazingly healthy.
I absolutely support anyone here that
wants to live a healthier lifestyle. But, to see people worrying about what size
they wear just makes me sad.
Let's say that there's a woman, we'll
call her Jane. Jane has a full time career as a nurse. She also volunteers a few
hours each week at a homeless shelter. She smiles at people and makes eye
contact when she meets folks on the street. Jane is always nicely dressed. Her
blond hair is silky and long. She sounds perfect, doesn't she? Now, imagine that
she weighs 315 lbs. Is she less attractive to you now? She's the same person.
Only your image of her has changed.
For years, society has told women we
aren't thin enough. We have commercials telling us to buy feminine products
because we smell funny. We have ads that show scantily clad women who are so
thin as to look prepubescent. On television you'll be hard-pressed to find a
woman of ample size portrayed in a romantic situation that doesn't involve jokes
at her expense. If you are above a certain size, you have to shop at a different
section of a department store (or a different store altogether).
No wonder we hate our bodies.
But, we have it within our power to
stop this cycle. We can start with ourselves. Look in the mirror and notice the
beauty you hold. Perhaps it's your eyes that are enchanting. Or maybe your hair
is like pure silk. Maybe your hands are elegant and well manicured. There is
something about you that is beautiful. Whether you are 15 or 95, every woman has
If you have children, you truly need to
think about this. Do you want your daughters to grow up feeling they are
inadequate because they aren't as thin as their peers? Do you want them to think
that they can't be pretty unless they are a certain size? Will your sons grow up
to appreciate people of all sizes, or will he seek out women who are "perfect"
because that is what he learned is best and desirable?
Whenever you think about how you "need" to lose weight,
remember those women dying of cancer or some other disease. Know that they WISH
they could have a healthy, strong, ample body like you.
You are blessed. Stand tall. Be proud
of who you are. Walk with purpose. Embrace yourself. Love what God has given