I think we all have one… a part of our bodies that we are frustrated by.
For me it’s my bum. Well maybe it’s my thighs. It’s probably both really.
I’ve always been pear shaped. It’s annoyed me growing up for lots of reasons I guess. For starters, ‘pear shaped’ is not what you see on magazine covers therefore I felt like my body was just not quite right. Even when (looking back) I was a healthy weight I felt like my shape was unacceptable and I had to get thinner. Add to that, it can be hard to find clothes that fit well. Pants that fit my backside comfortably are often too big for my waist. Lastly, I have so many memories of comments made to me growing up about the unfortunate bottom shape I had inherited from this or that side of the family. All these words soak into a young girl’s mind and make her think (subconsciously for the most part) ‘I am not acceptable as I am’.
It’s crazy isn’t it? The way we criticize ourselves I mean. When I started running it have me an excellent (and shocking!) window into the amount of negative self talk I can pour onto myself. I think we don’t always notice just how hard on ourselves we are! I really only became aware of it when I was running because there was SO much talking to myself in a short space of time, and I was stuck putting one foot in front of the other and not much else.
“You can’t do this!”
“You shouldn’t bother!”
“Go home this is embarrassing!”
“Ugh why did you come?”
“You can’t change! Who are you kidding?”
“You look awful in this running outfit!”
“Everyone is faster than you, better than you”
“You will never be fit!”
I would never EVER dream of speaking to someone else in that way. I would only want to encourage someone else in the same position as I was when I started… so why would I be so hard on myself? Why are we so unkind to ourselves?
It is kind of the same with my bum. (And my belly, and my feet, and every other part of my body that I criticize at one time or another!) Why am I so hard on myself? Now don’t get me wrong I know that obesity is not a good thing, and I am doing my best to make lots of changes to better my health… But at some point to be happy in my own skin I need to make peace with who I am.
What happens when I get to a healthy weight and I am still pear shaped? What happens if when I’ve lost weight all my stretched skin makes my breasts and belly saggy? What do I do with the fact that my feet are still wide and squishy and I still have varicose veins. What if I am thin but still have dark circles under my eyes and still have wrinkly ‘old lady’ hands. I want to make peace with all those eventualities.
I was looking in the mirror last night post shower, examining my changing body shape and I realized that I HAVE to learn to love the skin I am in. I do not want my kids to grow up listening to their mum complain about her bum or her belly or her breasts. I want them to grow up listening to me be grateful. Grateful for strong legs that I can run with. Grateful for a belly that housed two children, and breasts that fed them. Grateful for eyes that let me watch them grow and hands that are privileged to work. If I could somehow make it so that my little girl never looked in the mirror and judged herself I would do that in a heartbeat, but I think the closest thing I can do right now is learn to love my own body and treat it with care and respect.
God does not make mistakes.
And so I am making peace with my bum, and peace with my weight loss struggles. In all of this God has lessons for me and I am choosing to try and learn them now with a grateful heart, rather than a critical eye on my insufficiencies.
Goodnight everyone x
1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Psalm 139:14 ESV
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”