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.
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.
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.