Someone told me in my teens and 20’s that your body changes as you get older. I thought that was just some excuse people gave you when they gained weight. How could age be THAT big of a difference on the body?
Then I had 3 kids. And I turned 30.
Suddenly something very strange began to happen. My tummy, which was never a six-pack but tight, began to float in the pool when I swam. It wasn’t just fat. It was SKIN! What?! Skin! All 3 of my boys were 9 plus pounders and stretched me to my very limit. I present Exhibit A:
That would be me 35 weeks pregnant with my third child (yes, I had 5 weeks to go). My belly never stood a chance. OHHHH and did I forget to mention what comes with this glorious process…. STRETCH MARKS!! I know it’s cute to say, “Baby’s First Artwork,” but I call mine, “Baby’s First Road Map.” For some of you 20 somethings and under, that’s a map of the roads before GPS came out.
Another thing my 30’s and kids gave me were hormones. Dude, hormones blow. I never knew how many things in your body it could affect. It can make you grow random hairs, cry at a Publix commercial, bloat you like a balloon, etc. Hormones will NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s got to be in the New Testament somewhere.
Let me specify bat wings. When examining the bat, underneath its arms are these unique flaps of skin (its wings) that helps it fly. Well I can ASSURE you my unique flap that goes from my triceps all the way to my underarm does NOT help me fly. At all. In fact, it just pokes out from my bra and flaps when I shake my arms. I can’t recall the day I received my wings, but it had to be after 30.
I make light of this all, but body image issues can rock you. There have been many days I have allowed my insecurities to ruin my entire mood. I have good days too. There are days I can look in the mirror and say I created life in this body and curves are in!
Being in the fitness world and being a personal trainer/coach and not looking like Jillian Michaels can be very intimidating. I find myself getting embarrassed when telling strangers my occupation. I sometimes find myself surveying the room whether I’m teaching or taking a class and thinking, I’m one of the biggest girls in here.
God has shown me a couple of things in this journey. One, my body image issues can become a God in my life at times. I run to it to get my worth and satisfaction. It rents space in my mind. Guess what the VERY FIRST commandment in the Bible is?
“You shall have no other Gods before me.” -Exodus 20:3
EEK! Yes, my body image issues can be sinful when I allow them to consume me. I’m not saying that God doesn’t care, doesn’t have grace, or doesn’t want you to be healthy, but you have to try to find peace in this area. I struggle with this.
Another thing God has shown me is healthy does NOT come in “One Size Fits All.” Your healthy may be a size 8 or 10 (that’s what my body does at its healthiest), or maybe a 4, or maybe a 14. Comparison is a bondage straight from the devil. As a woman, we constantly compare ourselves to each other. Maybe if I had her legs, or her kids, or her life, I’d be better. You never know the struggles and insecurities that woman goes through, or the sacrifices and work she puts in. We all have SOMETHING someone else would love to have.
So to my fellow pooch sisters or any ladies (or even men) out there reading this, we all rock. And no, I’m not going to get all Kumbaya on you. But it’s the truth. We have our own unique footprint in this life. We all are beautiful to someone and most definitely to our Savior. We tend to think of one definition of beauty, when in fact, some may find me pretty and some may not and that’s ok because that’s what makes the world different. There is someone for everyone! So stop putting beauty in a box!
So let’s raise our bat wings to improving what we see in the mirror! 🙂