Originally published Thursday, 29 January 2015.
We are preparing for a brief winter escape, so today I went bathing suit shopping. Where I live, I can’t remember the last time the temperature was above freezing. My skin is dry and flaky, and I’m carrying one, if not two, extra layers of winter... well, I’ll just say ice cream. So you can only imagine my joy in the dressing room…
In all honesty, it wasn’t so bad. And do you know why? It wasn’t bad because of the following words… COVER UP. Any bathing suit ensemble is just not complete without a cover up to cover a multitude of weak moments shared between me, Ben, and Jerry.
crying joking aside, I’m determined to be joyful because though I may need to practice more discipline, I realize there is so much more to life than my vain insecurities surrounding how I look in a pair of jeans, or even worse a swimsuit.
Too many women are trapped in the bondage of despair over how they look. No matter what body type we find ourselves inside, most everyone feels the same. We compare ourselves not only against each other, but also against mannequins that are sized to fit the waistlines of tiny 10 year old girls. We become angry and then we voice our opinions…
Today, while in the dressing room, my 5 year old daughter was watching me try on clothes. With every new garment I tried on, bathing suits included, she told me how beautiful she thought I looked. I refuse to confuse her opinion of me, or even worse her opinion of her future self, by belittling my body as I look in the mirror in front of her. I had to struggle to bite my lip, but I would not give in.
Believe me, I can use greater discipline. A well balanced, Healthy lifestyle is important to the mind, body, and soul. However, we are never going to get where we need to be if we continue to hold unhealthy standards concerning what we “should” look like. And we will never stop the cycle for our daughters if we speak negatively about ourselves in front of them. Our words carry tremendous power…
My husband recognizes my struggle. The other morning when I woke up there was a note written on the mirror, above the scale, that read, “Don’t worry about the number on the scale. You are skinny and beautiful exactly the way you are.”
If you don’t have this type of encouragement in your life then I want to say the same to you. Forget about the number on the scale. You are not that number. You have worth because Christ is worthy. And your worth comes from a place much deeper than anyone, including you, can see on the outside.
I want to caution you to be careful how you speak about yourself not just in front of your children, but in front of your friends, spouses, and everyone else for that matter.
If you need to work on becoming healthy, then do it. But do it for your health and not your waist size. A smaller size will come as a bonus but it won’t bring you happiness. It’s just one less thing to worry about.
Turn a blind eye to mannequins and super models. Focus on the God who made YOU.
Be brave, friends!
Everything God wants to do in your heart and through your life.