|Picture from Pinterest|
WARNING this is a long post with a lot of opinions and probably too much information about me!
This year has been the first year that losing weight and getting the body I have always wanted was not on the top of my goal list. As I browse pinterest I see many pictures that look a lot like this. This in fact came from my own fitness board. So while the information the comes with this article might be useful, why do these pictures bother me? Well I will tell you why... because this is what the world is telling us we need to look like. We need to have these sexy perfect bodies. While I applaud these ladies for working their butt off, this is just not for me.
As women we tend to get caught up in pinning the best of people's lives. We pin their big houses which are perfectly decorated. We pin their beautiful hair, their fashionable outfits, their gourmet meals, their slim down diets. We want those perfect things and we tend to loose focus of what we actually have....well at least I have. I am a culprit of this and I found the dangers in it.
I have lived with body images my whole life. I have looked at these girls and hated myself for not being them. This is what I wanted to look like, not a 5'10 women with a thick build, size 12 feet, short waist and round face. I would tell myself lies that I could look like this if I just tried hard enough. I would compare myself to others and was never satisfied with what I had. I stressed about loosing weight so much that I think my body stopped loosing weight because I was so stressed. I judged myself so much harder then I judge others. I would have unreasonable expectations for myself. Well this last year I learned a few lessons...the hard way.
2. Focusing on the world's standards of what is important and beautiful is a trap.
3. Focusing just on me and trying to be like someone else does not bring happiness.
1. I had to learn how to change my whole way of thinking and to get this idea of perfection out of my head. I think women in general have these false expectations of what they think they should be or what people expect of them. I know I do. I felt that if I was not this perfect mom who had it all together then I was failing. So I was focusing on my imperfections and trying to be perfect. I tried dieting, I tried having gourmet meals on my table, having a constantly clean house, having a schedule for my kids, trying to exercise so I looked sexy, trying to always look cute. I was trying to do it all.....and still not happy! I learned through therapy...yes I have had therapy....best thing I have done....that there is no such thing as perfection but that our focus needs to be on progress and that it is human to make mistakes and not always have it together. I also learned that I needed to love myself and accept myself for who I am or I would never be happy.
2. The world has built these stupid standards for women and we just go along with it. How many celebrities get front pages of magazine covers because they lost their baby weight in a month. We are constantly being subjected to false standards of beauty and turned into sex objects. We are told what will make us more beautiful and while some of it may be good information the rest is a load of crap and not worth stressing about. We can't change the way God made us...well we can in some ways, but I feel that we probably shouldn't. Yes I can get bigger boobs but I can also starve myself and still weigh more then the average women. Seeing these beautiful women and feeling like you have to look like them is a trap....that only makes you feel bad about yourself. We are all different and that was the plan, that's how it is supposed to be. There is not just one kind of beautiful. I will never have the body of a model, I will never have abs of steal, I will never have long beautiful hair, I will never have really cute shoes that fit right. Don't fall into the trap of the world's standards of beautiful! I am sure your husband did not marry you hoping that one day you might look like a Victoria's Secret model.
3. Satan is a tricky fellow, he wants us to have false idols and to hate ourselves. He wants us to look at these celebrities and think that we need to be just like that. He wants us as mothers to struggle with self image and to be consumed with ourselves. The more I tried fixing all my imperfections the more I became consumed with myself and had totally forgotten God and the things really important in this life. And you want to know where that got me...... the Loony Bin (seriously...but that is a story for another time)The moment I realized to forget myself and served others and made God a priority in my life is when I found my happiness and confidence again.
I had to totally change my way of thinking...not just for me but for my own daughters. As mothers we model the behaviors our daughters will adopt. As my girls see me criticize and get depressed over my weight....what do you think they are going to start doing? As they see me tug on my belly and only drink my smoothies because I want to loose weight, what does that tell them? I want my girls to be confident and to love the bodies they have been given. I don't want them to never go through what I went through and the hate and disappointment I had for my body. I am constantly trying to be happy with who I am.(it is an ongoing process) Being healthy is my focus, if I drop weight that is great, but I don't have to fill a false standard of sexiness. My body is a tool to doing the things I need to do in this life, to doing the things God has planned for me. This is what I am learning and will continue to learn. I know I may get side tracked and I am sure there will be times where I may revert back to feeling inadequate, but I hope in that time of self loathing I will know who is making me feel that way and that I have a choice and the courage to change.
So as I spend time looking on the web and pinterest I need to remember that I don't have to pin perfection. I can pin the things that will help me but I don't need to stress about the amazing things other mom's are doing, or the amazing bodies other women have, or their amazing houses. I just need to enjoy our differences and be grateful for the things I do have. Just because it is popular on the web doesn't mean I have to do it and if I don't I am not a failure.
So when we learn to love ourselves and not get consumed by our imperfections then we will know true happiness.
Here is what you wont see on Pinterest and what I spent most of my life wishing I could change and hating about my body.
|2. I bite my nails. No matter how hard I try I can't stop. They are also really thin and bend and tear easily. So no cute manicures for me. Every time I paint my nails i bite it off....gross I know!|
|5. My thin hair and round face...gotta love the bags under my eye's....apparently my expensive eye cream is not doing it's job:)|
7. My sexy scar. This is the least of my insecurities because this is a reminder of perseverance and getting through those hurdles that life throws at us. My wound is healed but the scar is left as a reminder...a reminder that having a sexy "Perfect" body is not what is most important in this life. So yes I may not have what the world thinks as a sexy body and I spent most of my life worrying about it....and now it is time to change. What is most important in this life are the good choices I make, and making sure that this body stays healthy so that I can do the things my Father in Heaven would want me to do. I have wasted so much time consumed with myself that I have missed many opportunities to be of service to another person. My insecurities kept me from reaching out to others and from making a difference in the lives of those around me.
So here is to a new year, new priorities and new ways of thinking! Here is to loving me for who I am and accepting my imperfections and loving my body even though it does not fit the worlds standards!