A Weighty Matter

image

Sometime last year I blogged on the subject of body image. I had an epiphany regarding my own self-image, and since that time stopped weighing myself on a daily basis, and cast the scales into the outer darkness (the garage). Which is probably just as well, because since that time I got pregnant, was very ill, had a baby, and stacked on the pounds. I’m one of those blessed creatures that can’t lose weight while breastfeeding, so the not-so-small matter of an extra 30 pounds has given me a perfect opportunity to put some of my new-found resolutions to the test.

Let me just paint you the picture of how things are right now: I’m a couple of sizes bigger than I’ve ever been, the post-hormonal hair loss left me with a couple of receeding/baldy patches, my feet have widened to the extent that I can’t fit into some of my favourite shoes, and my giant feedy boobs are giving me continued migraines. Physically, it’s pretty much up there with my worst case scenario. This is what I spent countless hours exercising and counting calories to avoid. And here it is.

I would love to be able to say that I haven’t given the whole situ a passing thought, but let’s be honest, there have been tears. BUT…the really cool thing, is that I am more and more genuinely discovering that IT DOESN’T MATTER. What I look like is not one teeny bit related to how valuable I am. NOT ONE BIT. I realise I’m shouting here, but you see, from the youngest of ages it’s drummed into us just how much it does matter. It’s been a battle, albeit miraculously not a massive one, but still a battle to get to this place. So, I will shout.

The essence of who God has made me to be is wonderful. Full stop. This beauty, which we all possess, is not linked in any small way to our physical appearance. There is no ‘but’ (although there may well be a butt 😉).

We are trained by our culture to think that attractive physical appearance is imperative from the youngest of ages (hello, Barbie?). Not only are we taught that it’s important, but it’s been given a moral status. That shame I feel with weight gain? The relief and confidence that comes with weight-loss? It’s all a total sham. And before I get a barrage of comments regarding the importance of health, let me just say, I know. Health is definitely important. Health of all sorts is important; emotional, relational, mental and spiritual health are all very important. Can I just ask you this? When was the last time you saw a before/after post about a rocky relationship that has healed? Or a viral post about a spiritual awakening? No? It’s because it’s not about health; it’s ideals spawned in marketing meetings the world-over designed to keep us self-monitoring our acceptability (and adjusting with the appropriate product as needed to fit in). It’s way out of kilter.

What can we do about this? Well, for me, it’s a commitment to place appearance in its proper place; something that is nice, but not terribly important. Instead of relentless commenting on other people’s appearance as small-talk, it’s saying things like, “Gosh, it’s so lovely to see you”, or “What I love about you is that your presence lights up the room”. It’s about being confident going to a party just as I am, and not feeling the need to explain to the world that I know I’ve gained weight, and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it right now.

Measuring value by appearance needs to stop. It’s just not important. No buts.

Deb xx

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “A Weighty Matter

  1. Yep you are so right Deb! Years ago I actually had a lovely figure but I was convinced I was fat. I also had very low self esteem and didn’t like myself much! Post kids and now in my 50’s I’m proud to be a “lumpy, bumpy,saggy woman.” I actually like myself, enjoy my life and have a core group of genuine friends. Life is better when we focus on our core being and God loves me whatever shape my outside is in! Who we really are on the inside is what people remember us for ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hesitate to respond, but cant shake it. May I offer another perspective on this very touchy subject? I too had that struggle for years. And yes I fully agree that my value and no one’s value should be based on our physical size. The truth is our value it is NOT dependent on our physical, emotional, or spiritual health. The truth like you said is that we ARE more valued then we will ever understand. The problem is when I looked at my physical appearance I could no longer see the truth of my value. even tho God’s word said it over and over and my husband and those who cared for me would tell me I was beautiful and valuable, deep down all I could see was failure & disappointment in my physical appearance. Why? because I had believed the lie that the enemy had spoken thru a few select people who did not want the best for me. somewhere years ago I had allowed that lie to put blinders on my eyes. Those glasses – acting as blinders- grew thicker and thicker causing my perspective of the truth to be so skewed that I had begun to believe the lie that I was not valuable much less beautiful! It wasn’t until I started to work on my physical health that those glasses started to get thinner. I started to see the truth again. It didn’t happen overnight. As I got healthier physically I started to believe the truth again. That led to emotional healing which led to spiritual healing. I started thinking healthier and responding to the hard things a lot better. It became easier to hear what God was saying, where as before I had believed that lie so much that it was hard for me to hear a lot of the truths God was speaking. For me, the physical health was how God started to open my eyes again to how He sees me. Over the years I have learned to believe my value in Him, and for me it is largely tied to my physical appearance. I realize that my weight, or level of health, does not define my beauty, but for me, personally God uses it as a way of staying accountable to keep improving myself. God uses my physical state as a red flag, If I start struggling with my physical health it is usually a signal that I have run to my own answers or started putting those blinders on again, believing the lies instead of God’s truth. God uses it to catch my attention and draw me back to His truth. He gently reminds me who I am. The answer is not in the food. The answer is in his presence.

    I share this because though the physical appearance does not define us the enemy knows he can use it to distort the truth. I celebrate the before and after pictures because I know that the truth is, the physical was just the beginning to a powerful inner transformation that is so hard to put in a picture. I know that truth is that if people are seeking well being instead of Just weight loss the weight loss will lead to spiritual & emotional growth. I am beyond thankful that God used that to help me see myself how he sees me. I long for others to know the truth of who they are too. And if they have to go thru the physical loss to open the door to believing that truth then who am I to stop that journey.

    I pray this offers another perspective. we both have the same desire – for people to see their beauty and value – and I know both of our journey’s will inspire many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing Grace…I don’t in any way mean to demean the hard work and blood, sweat and tears you and so many others have put into a journey of health! And I so agree that our physical health is intrinsically linked to all our other types of health…I think in fact we’re coming from largely the same place. This body is a precious vehicle to get us through this short time on earth. My issue is when shame plays into my appearance…that indicates the issue has gone from a health thing to a value thing, and that’s what I’m talking about here. I love it that you help people get healthy, what a gift!! I think that it should be celebrated, alongside all sorts of other health too.

      Like

  3. Have you ever seen the documentary “Embrace”? It’s an Australian documentary about the ‘perfect’ female body image. After watching you feel all light and fluffy. I’d highly recommend to everyone 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s