Monday, February 13, 2012

Bye, Bye to that Stinkin' Little Sneaky Guy

I'm not sure about you, 
but I can pretend everything's perfect when it's really not. 
Putting on that, "Yeah everything's good" face when it really just isn't...
So me.
While I may not have a tangible problem,
(Like a cold, a broken down car, a recent break-up, depression) 
I do have a little demon that sits on my shoulder 
and whispers mean, nasty, ugly things in my ear. 
(Just like the little guys in cartoon characters.)

Check it: 
(You can't see him in this shot, but he's there, just hiding from you... 
I'm convinced he burrows in my hair) 

My greatest demon is body image.
 I grew up playing soccer and never had to think twice about what I was eating. 
My freshman year of college was marked with much bad "dorm food" 
(by "dorm food" I mean Flamin' Hot Cheetos dipped in cream cheese)
and the complete and total eradication of any kind of working out. 
(Sometimes I wouldn't go to class because it was uphill the WHOLE way there)
When I moved home from my freshman year carrying fifteen pounds more than I left with, 
I realized it was time to take my health, myself, more seriously.

I hit the road hard
Running three miles at first, 
quickly building to five, 
and then growing higher and higher in number from there. 

Three and a half years later and I'm still nuts about running... 
And I've added working out at the gym to get killer arms and abs... 
But I'm not at that size 0, or 2, or 4 that I'd love to be.
And every time I look in the mirror I see that extra pudge 
around my waistline only to be frustrated.

I'm not overweight by anyone else's standards,
(well maybe some...)
but I am mastered in the art of picking myself apart.
When I look in the mirror I can easily find a dozen parts of me
I long to "correct". 
I have a feeling there's more I want to fix than with which I am satisfied.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; 
male and female he created them." 
-Genesis 1:27

Growing up in church I have always heard that God made our bodies,
 thus we should love them as His creation. 
Well, I love my body because it's a useful tool that God made for me to use... 
But I don't like that I can't shape and sculpt it to look "perfect" (whatever that means). 
I have been praying what seems forever for God to rip
(I know, talk about drama, but that's how it feels!)
  that little demon from my shoulder and place him in a far, far, far land.
 However, God is showing me that I can tell that demon "No." 
It's that simple, just say no.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden form you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
-Psalm 139:13-16

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
God has made me perfect for the purpose of glorifying him.
Not to fit the standards of a "skinny-loving" culture.
God knows my frame. 
He knows those little pockets of fat. 
He knows the unwanted pimples and follicles that I despise. 
But the difference between God and I: 
He dearly loves my greatest (and tiniest) imperfections. 
In fact, it's through those most hated parts of me that He acts so greatly through. 
In fact, the parts of me I love the most, I happen to take for granted... 

I'm beautiful because He made me so. 
Little demon, be gone
I'm a beautiful babe of His.

While prayer and reading God's word is so refreshing.
I realize there are practical steps you can take to confront your body issues. 

1. Listen to your body and eat when it needs fuel.
2. Know that your size is genetic and environmental... Not everyone can be a size 0.
3. Exercise regularly in a way that you love.
(If you don't like it, it won't stick. And time won't make you love it!)
4. Know that weight changes in cycles that run weekly and monthly.
5. Work on being gentle mentally... Treat your body right in your mind.
(For every thought that is negative, I require myself to create a positive)
6. Ask for support and encouragement from friends. 
In return, be honest and vulnerable with them.
7. Decide where your priorities lie. 
(I love me a good dessert. I'll skip chips at lunch for that cupcake later.)
8. Mental health effects physical well-being... Take time for your mind.

What's your greatest demon? 
What are your practical ways to deal with your demon? 
Let me know, 
I will pray for your fight... And please, please pray for mine. 


Moral of the Story:
You're beautiful.
I am too.
And God loves you and me.
I mean it. For real. 

9 comments:

  1. Good for you for writing this. I admit, I spend more time than I should stressing about ny image, and truly, it's so unimportant and trivial. God made us all beautiful.

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  2. Oh Amber,
    Bless your heart for being so honest! This subject must be universal for women and certainly taken to extremes by different cultures (mostly ours). The most simple reminder for myself has been that God did create us in His image. It is sinful to berate ourselves because in turn we are doing that to God. Yes, I do sin at times unfortunately. But why would I choose to purposely hurt God by being down on myself? Maybe it will help because I can't stand to think you might be not realizing how BEAUTIFUL you are!! Besides you are amazing, smart, talented, organized, funny, charming, loving, kind, thoughtful, athletic and a GODLY woman and that is ALL that matters:)
    Love you~

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  3. Sweet Amber,
    What a beautiful post. Haven't been on Twitter as much and missed you :) Have a great day...how many more days until you get your second ring?
    xoxo
    Kristen
    threeinthenest.blogspot.com

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  4. This is such a great post for any woman. I think we all, including myself, have body issue demons. Mine stems from college and although I try to cut away from those unhealthy thoughts, I still have them each day. I'm trying to become a runner and that's been helping me feel good, but I don't see results so I don't feel that I look good. I need to cut that negative thinking and be proud of myself for getting active. You're right, the Lord has blessed us with beautiful bodies and who are we to judge his creation. Thank you for your uplifting words!!
    p.s thank you for stopping by my blog again! I enjoy reading yours too! :)

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  5. Great tips! Every single point here really resonates with me! I've copied and pasted this list onto a "stickies" note on my desktop! I would say that this is my biggest demon and all of the mood ups and downs that comes along with this demon that not only affects me but the people I love.
    Thanks for the inspiration! You're beautiful!

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  6. oh sweet baby bird.. i just love you! and i love the morning chattie-runs. you are the best. have a great weekend and so looking forward to mermorial weekend ahead! loves!!!

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  7. What an amazing and inspiring post!
    As everyone above has said, it is true for most women of all ages, cultures and sizes. Unfortunately, we never seem to be happy and all because none of us are perfect.

    I am with you that we are by no means chubby, fat or obese but we will probably all have work to do - less to eat, healthier food to eat or more exercise to do in order to get rid of the odd fat bulge, lump or bump that we aren't happy with in the mirror!

    You are not alone girl, but you are beautiful inside and out.
    x

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  8. Girlie, you speak the truth!! My friends and I play a game where every time we say something negative about ourselves, we have to say three positive things. (As I stuff a piece of Valentine's Day fudge down my throat) This post was beautiful!!

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  9. I just found your blog and have been reading furiously! So many of your words speak directly to my heart. This I can relate to on every level. It is so easy to judge our own bodies in ways no one else can imagine and it is a very difficult habit to break. I, myself, am a work in progress; acceptance takes a lot of time and practice. Take heart; you're not alone! <3

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