Sunday, December 30, 2012

resolution: getting off the roller coaster

Do you make resolutions?  I am making one this year.  It's not to lose weight.  It's not to exercise X number of times per week.
My resolution is to be thankful for my body.

Weird?  Let me back track & keep it real.  For as long as I can remember, I have had body image issues.  I always seemed to be a little thicker when I was little, & then my body matured faster than everyone else's, which only added to the self-consciousness.  And then the teen years....Ugh.  I want to share a story, not for sympathy, but because it just goes to show how one ugly act can become something a person wears for years.

When I was a junior in high school, I was asked to model a prom dress for a local bridal shop's photo shoot for the newspaper.  It was really fun to get all dressed up, & then I was shocked to see a really big picture of myself in the paper.  A few days later, I got something in the mail.  When I opened it, I could see that it was something clipped from the paper, so I assumed someone had been kind enough to send me an extra copy of my picture (remember when people used to do that?).  It was indeed my picture, but when I opened it up, someone had written across it FAT PIG in black marker.  To this day, I'm really not sure how to put into words how that hurt.  Was it true?  No (& for the record, I don't even care what size a person is, they should never be spoken of in a hurtful way).  But when someone hits you where you struggle, you tend to wear it.

Joe & I talk a lot about living in the truth, so awhile back I began asking the Lord where I am still holding onto false beliefs in my life.  It didn't take long for this to be brought to the forefront.  It happened in November.  If you've been reading for awhile, I spent the month of November trying to be mindful of being thankful.  On November 18, I achieved a goal I had set for myself by running a 15K race that I'd been training for.  It was an awesome (very cold!!) morning, & I did it!!!  There were event photographers along the course, so there were a few pictures of me running.  And this is where it went downhill.  When I saw the pictures, what I should have said was, "Wow...look at your 43-year-old-mama-of-9 self out there running 9.3 miles!!"  Instead, I started in with the negative, destructive self-talk that too many of us seem to be able to do so easily, basically picking apart my every flaw.

And then all I could think was, "Be THANKFUL".  Like I said, I was part way through November & really trying to seek thankfulness.  I can't explain it fully, but some things started making sense to me.  And I had an ugly cry.  I cried for my hurt feelings over those hateful words on that picture.  I cried for all the energy I have wasted over the years on self-loathing, obsessing over diets, & self-inflicted guilt.  I cried for the times I couldn't take a compliment from my husband or my children.  I cried because I have spent all these years wanting my daughters to love themselves & recognize their beauty, but I didn't show them how.  I just cried.

Then I made a choice...mind you, sometimes I have to make this choice daily, but I am choosing to be thankful for my body.  I am thankful for the stretch marks that are evidence that I have carried 5 healthy babies to term.  I am thankful for the deflated breasts (yes, I just referenced the girls on my blog) that nursed those 5 babies.  I am thankful for the wrinkles that bear witness to years of living through good & tough times.  I am thankful that this body is healthy and strong enough to carry me for 9.3 miles, chase around after 2 toddlers, & keep up with the happenings of my active family.

Okay, I am not thankful for grey hair, & Miss Clairol & I will continue to fight that battle.  I'm a work in progress, people.

However, I am done making resolutions to lose weight, trying to attain some unrealistic level of skinny.  As a matter of fact, I already quit weighing myself in August.  For real!  Will I try to take care of myself & fuel my body so that I can keep on keepin' on?  Absolutely.  Will I set some goals for myself?  Yes!  But not with the intention of weighing a certain amount or wearing a certain size.  I am setting goals because I actually like training for something & then having that sense of accomplishment.  I also like being able to haul children or laundry up the stairs without gasping for air, but anyway...Know what I want to do in 2013?  Run my first half marathon.  :)

But even more, in 2013 I want to liberate my mind from the garbage & be thankful.  I think this post is a good start because I'm learning that once you speak of the things that tend to hold your mind & heart hostage, they lose their power.  So garbage, be gone.  I'm getting off this emotional rollercoaster & welcoming a new year with a new attitude!

My 43-Year-Old-Mama-to-9-Self with KiKi after completing my first 15K 


Symasek Family Circus said...

Oh, Dardi. Right. There. With. Ya.
The Way.
I, too, trained for a 15K race...and we all came down with the worst stomach bug EVER the morning of the race. Body image issues for me, big time. Struggle with accepting compliments...huge for me. Oh, that the Lord would continue to sanctify us and remind us to focus on what is truly, truly important this year of 2013. May we find our "image" in Him - in His amazing beauty and grace. In Christ Alone.
Blessings to you,
And CONGRATS on completing the 15K :-)

Rebecca said...

WOOO!!! HOOOOO!!!! Good for you!!! I have struggled with the same body image issues my whole life and I am a small girl by nature. I have set similar goals for myself this year and I feel free. Thanks for keeping it real!
Love you!