(I would like to preface this article by saying first of all that I believe every woman should have some curves in normal places – bust, butt, thighs, whatever – and should not try to be sticks. I have no intention of becoming a stick and don’t think any other woman should try to be a stick. I would also like to say that I love my Mama. Now please read on…)
So I have had many loving people express to me that I don’t need to lose weight. Today yet another lovely lady from church expressed that she could hardly believe I was 200 lbs to begin with and by looking at me would never think I need to lose any weight. While I appreciate their love and concern I want others to understand what I see that they do not.
Do you know what really made me decide to do this program? It was partially how bad I felt day-to-day and how little energy I had (at such a young age!!). But what really opened my eyes was when I realized just how overweight I was. Last summer I visited my parents in NC. They live on a large piece of land in the middle of nowhere, Frogsboro (YES, Frogsboro), North Carolina. Every summer I go visit and let them enjoy their grandchildren while I help around the land doing chores that are more difficult for them which may include mending fences, building stairways, helping in the gardens, house chores or whatever else they have for me to do. This past summer my Dad said to me very lovingly, “Margaret you are getting fat and if you don’t do something about it now you will be as big as your mom someday. And when you get that overweight it is very hard to go back.” Now I love my Mama very, very much and would never say or do anything to hurt her but she is no small woman. There is a lot of her to love, and as much as I love her I would rather Presten have less physical body to love, if you understand what I mean. After my Dad said that to me I looked at myself very objectively and said, “Am I really getting fat?”. Well you may think not if you saw me in my usual jeans and a nice shirt, but standing in front of a tall mirror butt naked it is quite evident to me. Some overweight women have this unattractive problem of having extra fat on the backs of their knees. When I realized that fat was collecting on the back of my knees (a place where curves should not abound) I knew I needed to lose some weight.
My mother has been overweight since I can remember. For years as a teenager I remember her trying weight loss program after program trying to get her weight off. She doesn’t feel good. Working in her garden is hard for her. As a teen I told myself that I would avoid that difficulty by never getting overweight. On the other hand I watched my skinny sister – almost too skinny at one point – go from skinny to quite obese. She would tell me “I hate myself” referring to the stranger she saw in the mirror once she got fat. Watching her I told myself I wanted to love the woman looking back at me. I want to look in the mirror and feel good about the naked body looking back at me, not hate it and wish it were not so big.
I mean no offense. But I think many of us get so used to just looking at our faces in the mirror that we don’t see the rest of our womanly body. Sometimes we let our eyes glaze over and ignore our fat. Or we deny our need for weight loss until we are so far gone that we don’t know how to get the weight off. I am blessed with a high waist, a long torso and long legs. All that combines to make a body that hides fat rather well when you put some nice clothes on it. Shorter women do not hide their weight as well because it has fewer places to hide.
So try this for me: Go to the grocery store and pick up a 10 lb sack of potatoes and carry it around for about 5 minutes – not in the cart but in your arms. That 10 lbs gets a little heavy after a while. Those of you with small children who love to or need to be carried know what I mean. Imagine if you are just 10 lbs overweight your poor body is lugging that extra weight around all the time. This is how I feel. I have too many sacks of fat clinging to me and they gotta go!!
I’m not trying to look like some sickly-skinny super model on the front of some titty magazine! Those women are not only air brushed and not real, but to be so skinny they have to not eat real food and not take care of their health but worry more about image. This is not about what other people think of me – or even what Presten thinks of me. Presten loves my body the way it is but he also wants me to be healthy. I don’t love my body (or the way it looks right now anyway)! I want to be healthy, not skinny just healthy. Plan and simple you shouldn’t have love handles on your derrière and believe me I do, I just hide those handles with very good pants! Just because you don’t see my fat doesn’t mean its not there!
In addition to all this, that 200 lbs I weighed before all this was pure fat (and bones) but very little muscle. When I lived on the farm with my parents I worked very hard doing hard labor and weighed a healthy 160 lbs and could carry a large bag of chicken feed over my head for fun. I felt good. I looked good. I liked the way I felt and looked. After my emergency c-section with Serenity (2 years ago) I spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for the pain to go away and the scars to heal. I felt miserable and I could literally feel my muscles deteriorating. Where I had nice muscles before now lies fat and flab and little tiny muscles barely enough to lift my 40 lb child up in my arms.
So I want you to understand I may not be morbidly obese but if you could really see me – the real me that hides under my clothes – you would agree that I need this. Be supportive. When I’ve lost the fat you will look at me and say, “Wow I didn’t realize how fat you were until you lost it all!!” and man I will look great and feel great about myself.
At the risk of making this extremely long I would like to say that don’t we do this with our spiritual bodies? Don’t we cover up our sins, our crimes, put our skeletons in our closet and try to make people believe that we are perfect? We put our best foot forward, our happy shiny face on as if to say, “Love me. I am perfect.” I’m not saying we lie or anything. But how many of our “friends” really know us the way God knows us? God knows every single bad thing we have done and still loves us! The dirty, ugly, stinky, yucky skeletons we hide from everyone else he sees and still loves our inner being anyway. To me that makes His love so valuable. It also makes those few relationships where the person is truly intimate with you – not physically I mean but with who we are – so very, very valuable. I share all of myself with my husband and my parents. I hide nothing from them. When I sin I confess to them. When I have struggles I share those with them also. And even knowing my worst mistakes they still love me. I think it is valuable to have people like that in your life. People who remind you that you are not the sum of your mistakes. The you they love is so much more than that. That person is who God loves.
Have you embraced His love and shared you true self with Him lately?
Oh! and P.S.
This diet program is going very well for me. I’m am feeling really good now that I weigh 170 lbs!! Only 20 or so more to go. Trust me, I need it!!