The struggle is real people…
I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for about 6 years now! One thing i have struggled with this entire time is body image. Obviously I gain weight when I’m pregnant. But when you’re nursing you’re supposed to lose weight right? Not for me. I hold on to 10-15 lbs while I nurse. In the past, I worked out and ate clean and fought nature, and got no results. Which left me feeling hopeless, like I’ll never lose the weight. I felt like my body was failing me. Maybe I’m too old. Maybe my hormones are ruined forever. After my second child finished nursing, the weight didn’t just fall off, but I worked out and ate clean and then it began to fall off! Right as I got to where I wanted to be, I got pregnant again! It was a gift that I was able to lose it because it taught me that my body isn’t failing me, my body is just doing what it need to accommodate my child’s needs in this season and once it’s finished, my body will be mine again!
This time around I started off working out and trying to lose the weight…and getting frustrated just like before. I realize a few pounds is not the end of the world to most but when you live in a bikini all summer it can be daunting. I always want to be my best and it’s hard for me to accept that I’m not. When I was younger, I did modeling and I think that may have been where my weight STRUGGLE started, that’s when I started wanting to look my best all the time. Maybe for you it’s 5 pounds, maybe it’s 50-doesn’t matter, we all want to feel our best. After trying so hard with no results, it hit me, why am I doing this to myself AGAIN?
Now, I’m choosing to rest in the fact that my body will return to normal again, but not right now. I am going to fight my insecurities when I’m at the pool and want to compare myself to other moms with perfect bodies. I will fight negative self talk and thoughts and remind myself that my body is serving my child and not my ego! There will come a day when my cellulite is gone and my body is fit, my boobs will be wrecked at that point but hey, you can’t win them all! No one is looking at me at the pool, no one expects me to be a size 2, everyone is more worried about themselves than me anyway! So I’m taking back my control, I’m going to enjoy my summer and not worry about the extra pounds.
Once I decided to shift my mind, God put something on my heart.
“You are beautifully and wonderfully made.”
We’ve all heard this verse, but He gave it a new meaning to me today…
The people I think are beautiful aren’t the ones with perfect bodies, perfect hair, perfect homes, perfect faces. It’s the people that feel good to be around, with a fluid energy and true enjoyment of life. The people who take each day in and take the time to share their life with others. The ones that exude Gods joy and peace. The ones that love instead of judge. These types of people get more beautiful after every interaction with them. Maybe when I first saw this person they weren’t a typical “beautiful” but after knowing them, they have become the most beautiful of all.
Iv met many outwardly beautiful people that are rude, unkind, judgmental, prideful and arrogant. After being around them and getting to know them, their beauty fades in my eyes. Have you met anyone like that? It shows me that true beauty is not based on our appearances. When God said “you are beautifully and wonderfully made” He wasn’t talking about our dyed hair, fake eyelashes, spray tanned, perfectly toned and outfitted bodies! He was talking about our soul.
Our Beautiful smile. Despite our coffee stained teeth (he knew I needed the coffee this morning)
Our Beautiful heart. Despite our tired eyes from being up with a newborn.
Our Beautiful purpose. Even when we feel forgotten.
His Beautiful plan. Despite our wayward ways that pull us off the path and back on it daily.
Our Beautiful spirit. Despite our weariness at times.
Our Beautiful joy. Despite our trials.
He made us beautifully and with His glory. He made us to love.
To follow Him.
I began to think, maybe he didn’t make me a magical unicorn woman who loses weight while breastfeeding on purpose. Maybe He wanted to show me that my body is not that big of a deal. (Being healthy, taking care of ourselves and working out is a big deal but obsessing over a few pounds or being prideful in my outward shell isn’t).
Maybe He wanted to grow me and stretch me so that I would relax in the place He has me, despite my discomfort.
Maybe He’s teaching me to focus more on Him and less on me.
Maybe He’s teaching me not to judge others and have grace on them and where they are.
Maybe He’s teaching me to give myself grace….He knows I can be too hard on myself.
And there I sat, 15 lbs over my goal weight, thanking God for humbling me. Thanking Him for my children that my body has delivered. Thanking Him for caring about my heart and not my body. Thanking Him for loving me just as I am.
Ok God, I got the lesson. Now can I lose the weight? JUUUST kidding!!! #kiddingnotkidding