The Problem With Being a Confident Fat Girl

I really like myself.

Seriously! I do!

I’m a really cool person. I’m funny… I’m fun… I’m fun-loving. I care deeply about my friends and even more so for my students. I am a great mom (note: not a perfect mom) and a good wife. I have great… and I mean GREAT hair. I’m graying pretty quickly and I don’t mind- I’m actually pumped about it. I am a really talented teacher both in a public high school as well in my youth department. I love Jesus with all my heart and I want desperately to be a blessing to those around me. I am joyful and would say that my gift is being a light in the darkness.

See, I like myself! I am a confident woman!

And…

I am fat.

(Now, before you get all in a tizzy about me using the word “fat” please, read this so you know where I’m coming from.)

Yeah. Fat.

Okay, how fat? (I know some of you girls out there are wondering cause the only way you’ll listen to me is if I’m “fat enough” to know what I’m talking about.) Well, then, if I went by the national standards for “fatness” or obesity or whatever, my doc would say that I am about 70-80 pounds overweight. So, no I’m not that “fat” girl who is like “Oh my gosh, I have to move up into a size 6?!?!?” No, I’m the one who’s all like “Where’s the plus size section?” And I’m not gonna blame it on genetics or hormones or being a working-mom or whatever. I’ve fluctuated my entire life. I can distinctly remember pretending to be asleep at a 9-year-old birthday slumber party so that I could sneak over to the food-table and get a brownie (or five) after all the other girls had gone to bed. Yeahhhhhhh, like I’ve got some issues.

But honestly, the issues are not what I’m talking about here. Cause, the thing is I sorta “mocked” that girl up there who was lamenting moving up into a size 6, but here’s the deal… she probably feels the same dismay that I often feel when I gain weight. Yeah… she dismays just like the girl moving up into a 16 and just like the girl moving up into a size 26. The size is really irrelevant. The “level of fatness” is really irrelevant. Cause, whether we like it or not, perception is reality. So, when you feel fat… you are fat. And that’s me… I feel fat and therefore, in my mind, I am fat.

Now, whoa. Look at the two things that I have said about myself:

1. I am a confident woman.

2. I am fat.

I used to think that those two things couldn’t really go together. If you were fat… you HAD to have confidence issues, right?

Wait… right?!?!?

But I kept looking in the mirror at a woman who was wayyyyy overweight and yet I absolutely adored myself. And THAT is my “problem”: I am a confident woman. And so that is one of the main reasons that I often don’t worry or try to lose weight for months on end even though I might be “grotesquely obese” or however the government coins me. I love… me. I love my big smile that can disarm a group of people. I love my crazy-loud-boisterous laugh that lets everyone know that I am going to be having some fun. I love my squishy hugs that I give my kids and the fact that they can plop their heads down on my cushy legs while they read a book or watch TV. What’s not to love… I am designed, created, and loved by the God of the Universe. Ya see, I love so much about me that, to be honest,

I quite often forget that I am fat at all.

I’ll forget so long that I’ll catch myself in the mirror and almost not even recognize myself. How could that be me? I have the confidence of a super model some days and so when I see my size 16 reflection pass by me, I can get a little surprised at myself. Cause I’m just good with being me: confident and fat.

Do I wish that I could just slide into Forever 21 and put on whatever I want and not have to worry about how it will look on me? Yes.
Do I wish that I could go bathing suit shopping and not need to find one that has a skirt or some kind of tummy control area? Yes.
Do I wish that sleeveless and strapless bridesmaids gowns would be banned by the government? Absolutely. (And yeah, sorry for that one, bridesmaids of mine… although, you ladies looked stunning, I think.)

More than anything I wish that my “issues” with food (remember the slumber party story?) were gone. Admittedly, that part of me is… annoying. You can read the rest of the blog to know why and how I struggle with it, but yeah… I would totally pass on the whole “food addiction” if I could.

But I guess I have two messages for two different groups of people:

  • If you feel like you are “fat”, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t UH.MAZ.ING. You be you… be confident. Sure, I would absolutely encourage you to continue to search for health and for freedom from whatever issue you might have with food… but just be confident. You are loved. You are important. You are beautiful. Trust me, there is no pure joy like realizing one day that you are not the billboard’s version of “beach body ready” but that you are amazing anyway!
  • If you look at “those fat girls” and think they are lazy, or if you look at “those fat girls” and see one that is happy and totally fine with herself and you are a little weirded out by that, just know… YOU DON’T KNOW. You don’t know her story. You don’t know her soul. You don’t know her struggle. You don’t know her joy. Maybe, just maybe, be cool with her just for who she is: both on the inside and the outside.

And so, dear ladies, if you are one of those that “define” yourself as fat… it is my hope that you also have a moment every once in a while where you just feel wonderful and when you, too, forget that you are fat at all.

 

Day 533: Easy Breezy

20130626-152401.jpg

Ready for another “I’m not really all that cool” confession. I already told y’all that I’m not super athletic and I’m finally okay with that. And now I’m here to tell you that I don’t really want to climb mountains, or mountain bike through forests, or go skydiving.

My idea of fun, or shall I say, my idea of “enjoyment” is… relaxing.

Bring on a sandy beach or lapping lake, a reclining chair, waves crashing, a book… and I’m set. I could literally do that every day of my life. (Well, theoretically… cause the closest I ever got to that life was in Costa Rica. And that’s been a looooooooong time ago. I threw in a pic of me above at my recent 24-hour get away for my 9th anniversary to a local lake. All we did was chill and relax.)

So, when I hear this in scripture…

Only in returning to me and waiting will you be saved. Quietness and confidence is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

That God WANTS me to be chill. He WANTS me to relax. He WANTS me to just wait for Him. He WANTS me to be quiet.

Well, I get pretty happy.

Cause I like being told “slow down. wait. chill out.”

And if I can just remember that in my food journey, then things will be so much better.

God is working in me. on me. through me.

I just need to sit back, follow His lead, and enjoy the rest.

PRAYER:

Lord God, you are so good to take care of me. As much as I try to weasel my way into being a part of it all… you always seem to just take care of everything.

Help me to calm down and just… WAIT. Help me to quiet my soul and be confident that You will save me. Help me to return to You when I run away.

Thank you for Your forgiveness that makes me WANT to return to You. Thank you for the hope you give me. You are my ALL.

Amen.

Day Fifty-Five: Reese’s Vs God

Once again my post for the day comes from what I read this morning in 1 Samuel 17. It’s probably not a “new” story to most of us, but I got this whole new spin on it for me this morning. Although, I should say that it also might be a little comical because I have this slightly overdramatic and overactive imagination. Haha!

Every time I read this story (which is a lot since my son is almost five and loves battles right now) I get chills when David speaks. He has such power, such authority, such confidence in God’s power. And oh, for too long I have missed out on that- the confidence of God’s power.

But as I read the verses where he tells Goliath what’s what, it sorta like automatically “translated” into me talking. Okay that makes no sense. Let me explain. David has just walked out onto the battle field in no armor or sword and armed only with his slingshot and five stones. Goliath, naturally, thinks this is ridiculous and teases him “What do you think I’m a dog coming at me with rocks?” And David’s brilliant reply:

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 1 Samuel 17:45

I want to like yell or like beat my chest or something when I read that! It’s just… awesome! And here’s how “I” say it (to the Devil):

“You come against me with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Olive Garden breadsticks, and 12 ounce ribeyes from Roadhouse, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

And as cheesy as that sounds, that is the power I feel from God in this battle against my Goliath: food.

And David doesn’t stop there. Oh no- he goes another step:

Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 1 Samuel 17:46

He’s not just saying “I have God on my side so I can defeat you.” Here he comes in saying that he is going to defeat and humiliate them. But again- what is the purpose in that? So that the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

And the next verse rocks it too:

And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord ‘s battle, and he will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:47

And wow- this verse gets me at home again. Because I do feel like I am being rescued throughout all of this. But not the way the “world” might look at it. Like, the world wants me to eat low fat, high protein, low carb, high carb, sodium free, gluten free, low calorie, low saturated fat, no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, no, low, high, free.

But the only word I want out of that is the last one: free. You see, God isn’t rescuing me with any diet. He isn’t rescuing me with the way the world expects- the world expected Goliath to be defeated through sword and spear and the world expects me to be rescued by their ways. But God’s ways are not my ways.

And that’s why “I” am winning… because this is the Lord’s battle. And He is going to defeat this addiction in my life.

Easiest. battle. ever.