I hope that everyone is having a great start to their week. Mine has been just so busy already and that’s okay. That’s how I roll! Tonight I wanted to talk about a subject that is so dear to me. This subject may not hit you fellas the way that it does the gals. Actually I say the gals when truly I hope that no one can read this blog and relate but my gut tells me there are too many of us to count. I wanna talk about self image and self love. Now before you roll your eyes and log off just hear me out. This is something that I struggle with so often and I think other folks do as well. Lately, I have been reading many posts about this same situation. I’ve also come across so many books and workbooks about self care and self love that I was beginning to think it was a sign. So lets get to talking about this and get a few things out in the open.
I want to tell you story about a gal I know pretty well. As a young little girl she was tee tiny. I mean so skinny the child’s knees were bigger than her legs. She had the metabolism of an Olympic athlete. She ate like a pig. Pizza, hot dogs, donuts, and as much bread as she wanted. The poor child couldn’t gain weight. Such a little squirt. So much so that her big brother called her “worm” as a nickname. She came by it pretty honest. Her daddy was tall and had a small build however; he would put on some weight from time to time. She also had a papaw that was a itty bitty man. The kiddo just got those “genes”. Have you ever known a child this way? I’m sure that we all do. My son, even though he is now a grown 6’1” youngin has that same stature. I have never seen anyone eat the way that he does and not gain an ounce. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a worker. As Ive said before, he works in the heat and cold on a horse farm and its hard hard work. He sweats off probably double the calories that he takes in. I look at kids with this ability to gorge in food and not move the scale and I just think “you wait till you hit 30. Let’s watch you spread” lol.
Fast forward a bit and lets get back to the gal that I know that was all skinny Minnie. During her middle school years she was still super small. She ran cross country and tried out for cheerleader (she didn’t make it. Her cartwheel was less than graceful lol). She ventured on to high school and met a guy 3 years her elder and they began “courting”. This guy loved to eat. Almost as much as she did. They were completely what today you would call “foodies”. After eating plenty of take out food and enjoying every second of it she went from a size 8 to a size 16. She had never owned a weight problem. Ever! Until her junior year in high school. She wasn’t running anymore but she was a singer and in the “show choir” and they were GREAT. They won a lot of competitions but the issue was, the dancing was hard. She was fat. People made fun of the heavy girls. They weren’t attractive. She had to get the weight off but had no desire to do it the right way. Here’s where it all went down hill. She stopped eating. In fact what she did eat she would puke back up. I believe that’s called bulimia. Eventually she was a size 3, her hair was falling out in clumps, she was bruising very easily, and her parents were worried. Her daddy so much so that he bought her a charm bracelet with a fork, spoon, and knife charm to remind her to eat. It had gotten to the point that she basically could keep a KFC biscuit down a day. One plain biscuit or a half of a grilled cheese. Yes, there are girls that feel that way. They take drastic measures to fit in. To feel adequate. Good news is she got better. Thanks to two very loving parents and a pretty swell doctor. She graduated high school at a beautiful size 8. Healthier and emotionally happy. She was very lucky. Some girls don’t get that lucky. Still small or big she saw her faults when she looked at herself in the mirror. Her arms were fat. Her butt was big. Her thighs were large and she hid behind baggy clothes
Several years pass and she is married and has a brand new baby. She is a stay at home mom for a year and right back to working herself a ton, taking care of her child, and loving food. Maybe a little too much food. She ballooned to a 210 pound momma by the time her son was 5. There was a ton of fear and disappointment in herself. She didn’t know what happened. She just knew that it needed to come off and this time she needed to do the right thing. One day while she was working, her coworker asked if she knew anyone that wanted to buy a treadmill. $100.00 later and a lot or coaxing of her husband, the treadmill was in her dining room. A lot of research, a trip to the grocery store, and one last “big” meal she began her journey. She began a low carb life style and started on the treadmill with the ultimate goal of running from her house to her parents house which was a mile. When she first began she could run (at 15 mile pace) for 1 and a half minutes. That’s it. But she did it and she walked. Every day she added more and more seconds until finally she did it. She ran to her mommas. She cried when she got there then her mom drove her back home. Lord knows she wouldn’t run back. That older girl sure wasn’t the cross country team member she was in her younger years. Almost a year after that start she was at 140 pounds, healthy and ran not only a half marathon and a full marathon but also a ultra marathon where she completed 33 miles. It was a huge accomplishment for her. She was proud but, every time she looked in the mirror she saw her “ugly parts”. Her arms looked fat. She had a big butt. Her thighs were big and she hid behind baggy clothing.
Folks (ladies especially) don’t we all go through things like this? No matter how small or large we are we look in the mirror and we find our faults. We see our bad parts instead of looking at the good. Here’s the truth. That gal that I just told you about. The one that suffered with not being able to gain weight when she was little and almost wasting herself away to loose weight. Well that girl was me. Yep that’s right. That story that you just read was my journey. It was me. Yes, the gal that you read her blogs and (hopefully) find a encourager and someone always on your side. I battled. I struggled. Guess what? I still do. I am now 42 years old and truthfully my life is probably half over. I mean I won’t lie I hope I live until I’m 104 like my great granny but…….only if I can be the mean old lady in the nursing home that steals everyone’s dentures. Kidding! It has however; made me realize what is important. And all I can say is FINALLY!! I have hated my self image for most parts of my life. Until now. I am 5’7 and I weigh 165 pound. Yea I will tell you my weight. I’m not afraid. What I want to say is this. I try every day to make healthy choices. I recently began a points system with weight watchers and I like it so far. I don’t feel deprived or hungry so that’s a plus. We are yet to know if it will actually help me loose and weight and if it doesn’t that’s completely okay. Yes, I would love to loose 20 pounds. Yes, I would love to be 100 percent comfortable in a string bikini (lol not really). Baby steps people.
A few weeks ago I actually wore a sleeveless dress to dinner. I know for many this is nothing. But for me its a pretty big deal. I still see the big arms, the big butt, and the thick thighs when I look in the mirror. But, I also see a woman who is grown. Who has raised her son to be a good man. Who loves her husband and is so happy in her marriage. Who works like crazy and doesn’t have idle time. I see a woman who has a huge heart and makes it her goal to make others feel appreciated, accomplished and loved every day. I see a woman who exercises because she loves the therapy it gives her body and her mind. I see me. I see a person that God made completely different from every other single person in this world. I have a life that I am proud of. So yes I’m gonna wear the dress. And be confident in it.
For those of you that struggle with self image and self love, please know that even though you only see the flaws there are so many things completely beautiful about you, You walk out of that house and adjust that crown. Take care of yourself and honor your temple. Make small changes if you can. Be as healthy as possible and get a little exercise even if its going for a walk. More than anything you are beautiful and so loved. Get out there and for God’s sake wear the dress. This little life is too short not to. ❤️ Always. P.S. Yes I was scared to write this post. It’s pretty personal. And yes I cried while I wrote it but, it was too important to make you understand how beautiful you are and you are not the only one that struggles. XOXO