Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Be Encouraged - God Overcoming My Struggle With Weight

Self-Image.  
What a loaded phrase.  

It has a lot of debate, and I truly hope none of these words offend anyone, but I am realizing more and more that all women struggle with their body, and I want to dive into the why today.  With such a sensitive subject, I want to be sure we all understand, I believe any struggle with weight is valid and there is more going on that just the surface shows.

It pains me when women can't see their beauty.  It pains me when beautiful Christian women complain about their stretch marks or hips or anything they view as imperfect.  It hurts my heart to watch women starve themselves over a few pounds.  I hate seeing women obsess over the way they look.  I hate seeing women who have had work done to themselves to make themselves feel more beautiful.  To me, they aren't getting God's intentions.   He didn't curse you with a flabby stomach or straight hair or big feet or small boobs.  He created you to be unique, he did not want us to all look the same with "perfect" bodies and waist lines and hair and makeup.   He had no image of what was "perfect" when he created you and how far from it he was placing you.  Why are we all trying to be the same, when we were intended to be different??   

Please, for your sake, stop wishing you were someone else and just learn to love the person that you are inside AND out.  It is really easy to fake this, but I am learning I will never wear a size zero, I will always have short legs, and I will never have blonde hair.  Why do I feel the need to fight reality so hard?  I am just as guilty as anyone else.  However, I am choosing to be healthy and I am choosing to see people the way God sees them.  It will take a daily decision to be happy in my own skin, not constantly figuring out how to tweak and alter it and make it look more similar to what is popular or fashionable or young.

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I think it is equally important to realize the battle of being overweight, because it pains my heart in a different way.  Both being over and under weight shows me there is hurt and there is a lack of respect for your body and the temple that God has granted you, and maybe our bodies aren't even being viewed that way.  But what being overweight also shows me is a sense of giving up and being defeated.  Being healthy just isn't a priority, and to me that’s hard to swallow.  It should be at the top of our list.  

I do not think that taking care of ourselves equals buying new clothes all the time and letting consumerism take over whenever we need a pick me up.  We are called to take care of the temple of the Lord, and what we have been given to house him is our earthly bodies.  This does not mean I need be a crossfit trainer, but it means I need to respect my body and keep it running as well as I know how.  This means diet, exercise, and a healthy mind set are all necessary.  It does not mean I cannot eat a cookie or need to feel guilty for having a glass of wine either… everything in moderation and above all, be honest with yourself.  Where do you stand and why? 

Being healthy is a mind battle, and it looks different on different people.  People's resting healthy weights are different.  We HAVE to stop comparing ourselves to others, and we need to focus on our minds and why we do what we do.  Why are we binge eating? Why are we starving ourselves?  Is it for attention?  Is it a cry for help? Is it for control? Do we feel inadequate?  Do we have something to prove? Do we feel like no one will notice?  Is it just a test of our will?  Are you anxious?  The list goes on and on…

she was beautiful, deep down to her soul.

I relate to it all.  My weight fluctuates and I diet and exercise and binge eat and over eat.  I am anxious and search for control and feel inadequate and want attention.  So I write to you from my heart.  If you are a person reading this who struggles with the battle of weight, know that my heart is with you.  I want to challenge you to challenge yourself and to stop making excuses.  This is not about your physical appearance as much as it is about your heart.  As cheesy as it sounds, there is no time like the present to take control.  See the beauty in being healthy, and speak with the Lord on learning to take better care of his temple.  I have times where I do this well and times where I don't, and that's OK.  No matter what type of weight challenge you face, God sees you as his perfect creation.  Honestly.  Believe that.  Stop seeing yourself as less than you are because you aren't "perfect" in your eyes when you look in the mirror, because you are perfect in his. 

We all have different struggles, but I have found this one in particular to be so common.  While we all have different versions of what is healthiness, work hard to focus on your own decisions and not worry about how others are doing it.  Do your research and find out why your body is the way it is.  In this technology filled world, we truly have no excuse. 

Thank you for considering my heart and opinion and knowing that I am figuring this out as well.  Talk openly to me about this friends.  There is no judgement in true friendship, and that comes through quality conversation and no ill intention, and I offer you both.

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