Friday, June 6, 2014

Body Image

I should be blogging about our journey to Chicago. If I was a real blogger and good at blogging, that's what I'd be doing.

So far I just have one main thing to say about it thus far… it's been hard.

Moving, traveling, settling into someone else's house, three little kids and trying to sort out bedtimes and naps and just management … it might not be so hard if our kids weren't so small, or so many. Aria accounts for like 3 kids by herself. So really, we have been caring for more like 5 kids.

But God is faithful. He has given us mercies and they are new every morning.

No. I actually want to blog about … my favorite thing to write about: body image.

This seems to be something I deal with on a daily basis. It's something I just get to keep coming back to. I'm thinking, "Really? Didn't we already deal with this a while ago? Wasn't I freed from this or over this or something like that?" Well, yes and no. I'm in a much healthier place than I have been. I don't think dark thoughts all day that I hate my body (not ALL day) and I don't go days on end bingeing and then exercising like a crazy person to make up for all of it.

At the same time, I do struggle. I struggle with seeing my body as being good enough. I struggle with looking pretty enough. I struggle with what I would call "body envy" where you look at someone else and score them next to yourselves. I'm amazed at how quickly my brain just automatically calculates how I measure up against another woman. It's like everyone who would score "worse" than me, maybe she's pudgier or something, I have a tendency to like more or feel more comfortable around. But the ones who score "better" than me, I have a tendency to be uncomfortable around and think that I'm less valuable than they are. This. Is. Ridiculous.

The Lord would give me a super tiny friend who sees none of that, just so I can see through her eyes what she's really thinking when she sees me. Let's just say this: she's not "scoring" me based on how big or small I am. And maybe if some corner of her mind does score me, she doesn't let that affect what she thinks of me.

The weight of baby number three is not coming off too well for me this time. I worked hard and tried not to gain much during the pregnancy, but it seems like the pounds are not moving. I will say that I have struggled a lot with stress eating during this move. Many afternoons it was all I could do to keep myself packing boxes and not looking for the next thing to shove in my face.

I want to start waking up every morning and thanking God for my body.

That's what I want to do. I don't think it will solve all of my eating issues or secret thoughts about how I'm not pretty enough. But I do think it would start to shift my mind in a different direction about it.

I need to remember that my body is a good body. It does good things like rock my children when they are tired or need comfort. It allows me to kiss my husband and tell him he's awesome. My body allows me to clean the floors that my children and husband walk on. There are people in the world who would love to have a body like mine. It functions well. It even stores up extra fat for if there's ever a famine. It's a good body.

I want to start thinking differently about food. Let me enjoy it Lord. Levi asked me the other day why something was salty and the only thing I could think of was because God made it that way and isn't He good for giving us such an array of flavors? He gave us sweet and salty and spicy and all kinds of mixtures and flavors we've never even tasted because we don't live in that part of the world… and isn't God just good?

He is good. He created food for our good. I want to eat whole, real food, not because it's the latest craze, but because that's the way God made it. It's how He designed our bodies to filter it. He created us to feel good when we eat healthy things. If I eat too much junk then my body is more prone to illness and I just feel worse. Help me to remember these things as I sit down to eat a meal.

Lord, you are the author and perfecter of our faith. You are my strength in my weakness. You are the One who reminds me a shows me who I am. Help me to be thankful for this body You have given me. Thank You that it is a source of comfort for my family and even for others outside my family. Let me be a place of rest for those around me. Let me give life to others around me. Let me value people and not "score" them. Let me see them as You see them. Thank You for new eyes. Thank You for my body.

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