I don't remember when or how it happened really. I guess if I were to try and pin point a time frame it would have to be about the age that my girls are now. Yeah, I'm pretty sure between 12 and 14 years old I started to feel Fat. Now, mind you I wasn't Fat at all. But I felt I was Fat.
All the time.
*Stop right there. For the 2.5 male readers that I have and I don't want to lose you, I would like to warn you that if you read ahead you might not only be privy to the inner dialogue of girls, but you will be held accountable for what you learn, so read no further if you can't handle the TRUTH... Ha ha ha "YOU can't handle the TRUTH!!' Wait, yes I believe you can, I was just carried away with that quote from that one movie... Ya know... ?
Ok back to my story...
I remember drinking only Slim Fast shakes and basically starving myself.
I remember looking into every kind of exercise video available. Doing ump-teen leg lifts and sit ups and all kinds of exercises that I thought was a necessary part of being a girl. Or at least to be a beautiful girl.
I remember working out to 30 minute abs, Tae Bo, and some crazy lady who's head was shaved after she lost a bunch of weight. Can't remember her name for the life of me. Suzie something?? She was crazy, and had a man voice, but there I was 13 years old trying to keep up with this grown woman who was fanatical about being thin, because she became obese as an adult.
Did I mention that I was not overweight at all at 13? I was a growing healthy young lady, but still these were my thoughts.
I don't feel like I had an extreme case of body image issues. Just your run of the mill, teenage girl body image issues. In fact I would say my life was average in that area.
Now, being the mom of two young ladies I think I can confidently say that there is a certain point and time when every girl realizes something.
And that is this, YOU don't look like THEM.
By them, I mean Hollywood movie stars.
By them I mean New York run way models.
By them I mean sometimes even just the girl next door.
It is a nasty, ugly, down-ward spiral this comparison game. In fact I'd say comparison is more like a monster. He's a big, nasty monster that latches on somewhere during that time when your hormones are raging, your face is popping out pimples, and if you are lucky you are in braces. I say lucky, because if your teeth got taken care of as a teen that is much more acceptable than as an adult walking around with braces.
This monster sometimes never leaves you if you aren't careful. He will follow you around like Freddy Krueger. He will cause you to get all slashed and dashed like Freddy would too. And, if you are really not careful, you will end up as a character on the show Nip/Tuck (Hello plastic surgery gone wild).
But thankfully in my case, I told Freddy to go taking a FLYING FLIP somewhere else and I found that worked out quite well for me.
But recently I was asked this question, by a close friend who is writing an amazing book for women;
"With the pressures facing women today to look and be a certain way, how has this affected you personally?
Go ahead, answer that question and see what happens. For me it opened up a floodgate of memories and emotions and I realized maybe that monster Freddy has started to cartwheel himself back into my life. Ha ha ha, imagine Freddy doing cartwheels... kinda funny :) Ouch, kind gory and bloody actually.
Let's get off of that visual...
I think as I am aging I have become more confident in some areas and then not in other areas.
For instance I don't care about my clothes being what others would say are fashionable. I like to wear stuff that I know, that YOU know, is kinda silly looking... but I don't really care.
But when it comes to being overweight though I am noticing with my aging body... ahem... well let's just say that the thought of a FAT vacuum may have crossed my mind once or twice. Then I quickly remember that I have girls who need to see a healthy model in this department, so I get off my ass and go for a walk. I say all of that to say that ; the comparison monster won't ever entirely attach himself to me again because of two things;
1. I am a daughter of the King and His words mean more to me than anything. I listen to His words. They sink in deep, right down to the core of my being so this makes me a hard girl to catch for Freddy's purpose. It's almost like I have a protective shield around me, so when his razor like hands come my way they are quickly dulled by words like;
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew (and) approved of you (as my chosen instrument) and before you were born I separated and set you apart." Jer 1:5
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.(Whose power no foe *Or Freddy can withstand) Ps91:1
"But you beloved build yourselves up(founded) on your most Holy faith(make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher)praying in the Holy Spirit." Jude 20
That and ...
2. I am married to a Giant of a Man. He makes me feel beautiful. He keeps his eyes where they should be. He keeps his tongue from hurtful comments. He is sensitive and considerate about my aging body, and I love and appreciate him for this so much.
These are my thoughts, and I know I don't speak for the entire female race on this issue, but if you answered the above question and had similar emotions then I pray you would hear this....
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY
"THEY" are not GOD so "THEY" don't matter, at all, end of story.