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 868: The REAL Problem With Being Fat

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My son just turned four. Which means… birthday cake.

Twice.

Cause we had to have cake for his birthDAY and then we had to have it again for this birthday PARTY a few days later. And, well, needless to say… I consumed wayyyyyy more than I needed to. Shocker, right?

So, on the way home from the party with my two sons in the back of the car, I found myself pleading with God…

God, I’m desperate.

And then, I started to think through that…

When was the last time I really said that to Him? When was the last time I said, “Oh God, I’m just so desperate for _____ to change. Show me what I can do to make it change!”

Well, I can tell you this: I wasn’t desperate for the widows and orphans that he so explicitly instructed us to take care of. I wasn’t desperate for those in my neighborhood and in my life that are struggling through the grips of poverty and the cycle that surrounds it. I wasn’t desperate for the souls that live a few miles down the road who live in opulence, but find themselves hunched over at night drenched in their own tears because they bear so much pressure to perform. I wasn’t desperate for the missionaries all over the world sacrificing their entire lives so that a few souls might be saved.

I wasn’t desperate for the things that break His Heart…
I was desperate for a smaller dress size.

And THAT broke my heart.

I realized that with this weight and food issue of mine, there were two sides:

First of all, God has pulled me toward Him over and over again throughout the process. He has shown me, first hand, so much of His truth and His ways and I have learned, most importantly, that He has this plan running through my life that is so much bigger than just me. I have learned that every. single. moment. of. my. life. BELONGS. Triumph and failure. They belong. Healing and pain. They both belong. Skinny and fat. They are both part of my story… my life.

On the flip side, is the devil. And he has tried to take so, so much from me. He has twisted and flipped and pinched and prodded to make sure that this extra fat that hangs off my gut doesn’t just squeeze my jeans but it also squeezes my heart. He has made sure that my focus was on stuff so temporary, so trivial, so pointless… that I was becoming ineffectual.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the lord. . . For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. . . Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. Lamentations 3:21-26, 31-32, 38-41

So, with that, I change up my original prayer a bit…

God, I’m desperate…
desperate for you to distract my mind
so much towards the eternal
that I don’t even see myself in the mirror.

 

Day 849: Let’s Make A Deal

Last night I got really… sad. Like, “I’m fat” sad. And then I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking “I’m fat. and undesirable. and ugly. and worthless. and lazy. and undisciplined. and… and… and…”

So, what did I do?

I looked up pics of skinny-me on my facebook page.

Yeahhhhhhhhhh, that was NOT the best idea I’ve ever had. And I can guarantee you that it didn’t make me feel any better. Cause all I did was start to say the same things to myself over and over again… and there was the proof!

See, January!?!?! See??? You used to be so skinny! Even when you thought you still had weight to lose you were perfect! You looked great! But you blew it all, didn’t you? You just ruined it. And now you are fat again and stuck in the same boat you were when you started this whole thing. Way to go.

Admittedly there was a little part of me that retorted, “But you did it once, you could do it again. Go to God. See what He has to say.”

Yeah, I didn’t listen to that part of me. Ya know… the part of me that knows what she’s talking about? I should have gone to God. I should have spent that time searching His Words for the things that are true of me. The things that speak to His Power in my life. The words that address His unfailing and constant Love for me.

But I didn’t.

So.

Let’s make a deal. Next time. Next time that secret sad part of us starts to spout off this DARKNESS into our hearts…

Let’s fight back with LIGHT!

Come back to this post if you need to… cause here are a few things he says about you:

  • I am completeIn Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.  So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  • I am lovedCan anything ever separate me from Christ’s love?  Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me.  And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
  • I am a work in progressI am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  • I am strongI can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • I am a masterpiece. I am God’s masterpiece.  He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  • I am worth a lotGod bought me with a high price.  I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • I am chosen by Him. Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  • I am guarded and celebratedFor the Lord my God is living among me.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in me with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all my fears.  He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17

 

Day 376: Ugh.

(Writing this on Saturday night.)

I should be working on my lesson for tomorrow that I’m to teach to the middle school youth on evangelism.
I should try to avoid putting in titles that are depressing and lame like the word “ugh”.
I should be in bed sleeping (it’s 11:10pm).
I should get up and get myself a drink of water.
I should stop being overdramatic.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut, I’m not. Not gonna do any shoulds right now.

Cause I’m having a pity party.

Why? Cause I got all freaked out that I’m not going to be able to wear the clothes that I wore last year to my husband’s trade show because I have this little muffin top when I wear the pants. Sooooo, I went to Ross and Target looking for… I dunno. Looking for something. And well, everything looked HIDEOUS on me. And I said “You look FAT” to myself about 87 times.

And then I gave back everything that I tried on at Target and went to go get a few groceries for tomorrow and I have to walk past this.

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I mean… seriously?!?!? I was angry that the stuff even exists! Ha – like I said… pity. party.

But… well, I guess there is one silver lining here. I didn’t buy any donuts. or chocolate peanut butter cups. or ice cream. or chips. or cookies. or cakes. I said to myself, “You know those won’t fix anything” and I just moved on. Well, I took a picture of them and moved on.

And before this covenant, I woulda gotten some of these AND some ice cream AND some chocolate peanut butter cups AND probably some cookie dough just in case. But God has shown me over the past year that these things do not satisfy. They do not fulfill. They do not comfort. So, to look back and “see” myself just walking away from all this stuff is a huge blessing for me. It’s actually an answered prayer. It’s evidence that God has worked in me.

BUT.

Of course, there had to be a but. It’s a pity party post, remember?

Ya know what I found myself doing tonight?

Ugh. If my husband had just let me order a t-shirt too then I wouldn’t be worried about all this.
Ugh. If my husband had done the dishes for me then I’d be a lot less stressed out.
Ugh. If I just knew how to play an instrument then I could vent out my frustrations.
Ugh. If I had a book that I was reading then I could just pick it up right now and get lost in it.
Ugh. If I had never agreed to teach tomorrow then I could just take some benadryl and go to sleep.

Ya know what I found myself NOT doing tonight?

Sigh. Praying and thanking God for all that He’s done this year really put me back on the right track.
Sigh. Reading through Psalms just now made me feel so much more appreciative.
Sigh. Meditating on what God is: lovable, compassionate, kind, patient, powerful, faithful… really refreshed my spirit.

Nope. Because I was searching for fulfillment somewhere else. It may have not been food, but it was the exact same process. I mean, at least here, on this blog, I was able to come full circle and realize that. I think even just confessing it is a good step in the right direction. And right now I find myself thinking, “Oh I’m so glad that church is tomorrow. I just need someone else to pour some spirit refreshing words into my soul.”

But, in the meantime, I think I’m going to lay down, close my eyes, and at least do one of those “sighs” from above and mediate on what God is.

Day 304: Fauxfat

I’m getting in touch with the Shakespeare-within.

Although I will admit that I looked up the word “fauxfat” just to double check if it was real or not! Ha! Nope, it is my word!

fauxfat: noun. the areas on the body that appear too big (when mentally compared to air-brushed pictures of anorexic models) that cause a person to think they are really and truly fat but in truth are not: The beautiful woman looked in the mirror and saw nothing but her fauxfat.

I’m sure you can’t tell where this is going… but in essence, I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day and I was like, “Man, a month ago I was all pumped about the way my bod looked and today I look at it am a little disappointed.”

Now I’m honestly not sure what has changed in my mind. Although, truth be told, my body might be a little bit bigger than it was a month ago. I’ve been discussing about some of the struggles I’ve been waking through with temptations and not wanting to eat fruits or veggies. But I think, like, three days ago I was looking in the mirror thinking “Girl, you looking gooooood.” So, regardless of what my body really does look like, it was a mental thing this time.

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. You judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at your heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

And I know this to be true. I know it. Why do I keep denying its truth???

I’ve actually learned it first and foremost from my friend Alice… she’s a skinny girl and likes to eat healthy (seriously, what is that about???? Hehe). But she also had issues with giving food the wrong place in her life. I may have “judged” her from the outside as having it all together, but her heart was having issues with food. And there is another girl at church that also looks like a model and a couple of weeks ago she was talking about her issues with sugar.

So, I know the heart is our true “image”, but how do I remind myself of that?

I think I need to just inundate myself with whatever scripture reminds me of truth. Maybe just for a few days and then find another because after a few days it starts to either seep in or just become “background noise” in my house.

Like, I’m going to write it on my mirror with a vis a vis marker. Put it on a random cabinet door in my kitchen (cause I know that I’ll ignore it if I out it on the fridge). Schedule in reminders on my phone calendar for random times during the day.

And maybe I can start to remember that I was made in His Image. And the only “fat” that matters is the excess of worldliness on my heart.

Guidance: What else can I do to help write a scripture on the tablet of my heart?

Day Seventy-Seven: No Calorie

I am horrible at dieting. Always have been. I think because it’s all about numbers.

When I was in high school: it was about calories… how many calories did a bagel have in it?

College: it was about carbs… how many carbs did a slice of bread have?

Working woman: all about saturated fat amounts versus unsaturated fat.

Newlywed: WeightWatchers… how many points?

A Mom: high fructose corn syrup, MSG, trans fat levels.

It’s just too many numbers for an English major to remember, much less to add and keep track of!

I tried in the fall to keep up with my calories on the Spark People app (which was really great if one is going to keep up with calories) and I would be all into it for a few weeks but then it was just old. boring. the same thing. And I still wasn’t losing weight. So, I lost motivation and that was all she wrote! I continued to use the app but only as a weight tracker.

It was all just such a burden.

Enter: Jesus…

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. Matthew 11:28

We actually just talked about this in church on Sunday and again in women’s bible study. The “yoke” had two meanings back then… the obvious meaning would be that thing that is put on an oxen’s neck for him to pull that would then drag the cart or whatever around. But it also meant a rabbi’s (a teacher’s) beliefs and teachings that an apprentice would have to learn if he was able to choose a rabbi to follow.

And, well, Rabbi Calorie, Rabbi Carb, Rabbi Fat, Rabbi Points, Rabbi High Fructose Corn Syrup… they have all failed me. Their burdens were far too heavy for me to take on.

But Rabbi Jesus. Now that’s a different story. No calorie, no carb, no fat, no points, no high fructose corn syrup.

He has provided me with a customized heart-changing. mind-renewing. life-altering. way of life that is easy to bear and light to carry. And there are no numbers to track.

Now, that’s my kind of a diet! Haha!