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Ready or Not Swimsuit!

I’m back from a wonderful vacation on Florida’s Atlantic coast. It was superb. The company, the lodgings, the food. All of it perfect, even the children were well behaved. The suite my husband and I shared was bigger then my first floor at home, and walked out onto the pool, which overlooked the ocean. Glorious bliss!

I was struck by something on this trip, and that was how I wasn’t consumed with how much I weighed, or how much there was still to be lost. Usually before of a trip of such magnitude I’d be counting every carb and calorie that entered my mouth. Nervously weighing myself every morning in the hopes that I would lose at least five pounds before the trip. That’s how I used to live my life, “by the scale” my self worth and my enjoyment of every situation was dependent on a number.  One small, insignificant, number controlled so much of my joy. A couple years ago God began working a change in my life. He really began speaking to me about health and body image and His will. I began asking the questions; why does the media and trends determine what is beautiful? Why are we holding up a body that is really a prepubescent shape as that which is desirable? God began to ask me what I thought His will was? Did I think His will was for me to struggle to be skinny, or was it to be healthy and happy, loving every minute of this life He gave me.

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I began to change the way I lived, and the way I felt and thought about myself, and about beauty. I’ve researched long, talked to so many people, and really pondered these things. I put the scale away, because a piece of equipment like that should never be in control of so much of my life. I began concentrating on healthy eating. Five servings of fruits and vegetables, exercise most days. I stopped apologizing for how I looked, how big I was, the room I took up in the world. I stopped telling myself ugly and disappointing things. Then something really magical happened. Very slowly I began to see myself as beautiful. And this has changed so much in my life. I get to fully live in the moment. Enjoying friends, family, food even, without the guilt. God himself talks about a banquet and I finally got to experience the fullness of that table.

I feel better because I’m getting the right vitamins and minerals. I’m happier because I’m not constantly hating myself. There are still times and moments when I struggle.  Theodore Roosevelt said that, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” and I fall into that trap. Now, however, I see it for what it is, a dirty lie. I have so much freedom to think, and love, and dream. So much more to give to others because I’m not constantly focused on myself and how big I am. It’s really amazing, and life changing. Not something that switches overnight, but a long journey that’s brought me to a place where I actually feel comfortable in my own skin.

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I would never have posted a picture of me in a bathing suit. And, I’m not posting it to be sexy. I’m posting it because I’m grateful for the body that God has given me, because I am unapologetic for it’s size, and because I think it is beautiful. Image

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12 thoughts on “Ready or Not Swimsuit!

  1. Jessie,
    You do look beautiful…what a great post! I have to take it to heart because I keep thinking “I really should lose some weight before school starts in the fall.” That is setting me up for a big disappointment if it doesn’t happen. Thanks for the reminder to love who I am, right now.
    ~Robyn

  2. You are beautiful. Your confidence exudes from every picture of you. Self image is really a tough thing for me, having been told that I was the opposite of beautiful or skinny for years. It’s refreshing and encouraging to hear things like this.

  3. This took so much courage that many of us don’t have. It all spoke to my heart so much and on a side note, you are incredibly elegant, womanly and beautiful every time I see you. It’s crazy how everyone else can see it but Satan blinds us. You are truly one of the most pretty woman I know and it inspires me to shine too………

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