I find myself sliding down the slippery slope of negative self-talk sometimes and need to be slapped in the face with reality right then and there. this blog post from the lovely Ruthie was that reality check I needed. She discusses women’s struggles accepting and loving the bodies we’ve been given and how instead, it’s often easier to fret about the silly three pounds we’ve gained from that dessert, that bowl of guacamole, that missed trip to the gym. Her blog post was an encouragement to me in particular reminding me what really matters. Instead of letting negative, hurtful and hateful thoughts rule our minds and steal our joy, we should be celebrating who we are and what we’ve been given. My favorite part is this: “you don’t have time to occupy [this kind] of space in your mind.” Hope you enjoy her words as much as I did! xo
That’s all it took to send my thoughts into a tailspin. Two seconds with my feet planted on a scale was all it took for my entire day to feel ruined.
You know the thoughts that started. I considered the wine, the candy, the burritos I’d had over the past week. I remembered the day when I met a friend for ice cream instead of exercising and the mornings I just couldn’t rouse myself out of bed for a run. I grabbed the back of my thighs—you know, the place we’ve all grown up learning to squeeze and hate—and vowed to live and eat differently. Spinach, no carbs, lots of water, and for heavens sake lay off the dessert.
My thoughts spiraled in that crazy place. You know the one. The place where you know you are crazy, that you are not the fattest, grossest person to ever grace the planet, but you can’t stop the thoughts. Suddenly, everything looks big and swollen and you notice the double chin that really isn’t there, but you’re just sure it is.
This crazy zone is the same place we go when we have absolutely nothing to wear. If you are married or you at one time lived at home with your dad, they give you that look that says: “Hey sister. Calm Down. I’m starring at a closet full of clothes and there’s at least 10 outfits on the floor right now. Why don’t you just breath.” But you can’t breath or calm down because you have somewhere important to be with absolutely nothing in that dreadful closet that remotely will fit the occasion. And it all just feels crippling.
Loving our bodies can be one of the hardest parts of womanhood. We’re taught to hate and to hide what God has given us. I think it’s good and maybe even freeing to admit out loud that we often feel like a number on a scale, even if we know that number doesn’t define us. It’s healthy to admit we struggle with comparing our bodies to our friends and hoping one day we’ll win what feels like an endless battle.
I love a story Anne Lamott tells. Her friend lay dying in a hospital bed, body filled with cancer, and Anne was visiting her before a book signing that evening. In what became a pivotal moment, she asked her friend:
‘Does this dress make my hips look big?’ Her dying friend looked at her and said, ‘Annie, you don’t have that kind of time.’
Big hips? You don’t have time to worry about big hips.
Beautiful, especially considering the recent events in Boston that made us all consider the terrible brevity of life.
I struggle and I know you struggle too. Your body is not a problem and you are not a number on a scale. The truth is I’ve grown significantly in this area and learned to love my body over the years and maybe you have too. But in some ways, it will always be a fight not to succumb to hatred of our bodies in stride with culture. And that’s ok. Our job as redeemed women is to keep fighting to focus on what really matters, instead of allowing hateful thoughts to steal the joy of living, loving, creating, and embracing—all the beautiful parts of life.
I don’t have time to let 3 pounds or big hips or a week of dessert to occupy space in my mind. And I hope you don’t either.