While on a personal healing journey these last months, I ended up losing a lot of weight. But wait. Don't praise me because of my size, there is so much more to a story than weight. I am not happier now that I'm smaller. I have always heard that people will be happier after they lose weight. However, some of the happiest years of my life were when I was at my heaviest. I am not happier, but I do feel more accepted. Oftentimes, the fact that I am now more accepted in the world makes me sad. I want to whisper in a loud voice and tell the world that it's still ME. And I want to ask, "If you're approving of me now, why not then? I am the same person". People of any size can be hard-working, disciplined, and possess willpower. Those qualities don't exclusively manifest themselves in body size. We have been molded and trained to approve and disapprove of humans, based on our society's beauty criteria. When my physical self expands into the earth, occupying more mass, I am pitied with distain. When my physical mass shrinks, I am given a lot of back pats. And please don't tell me all of this prejudice is in the name of "health". Clearly it is more than that. Size isn't always indicative of health or athletic ability. This judgement happens because we have built an extremely limited box around what type of physical appearance is acceptable and praise-worthy. In spite of being the generation that prides ourselves on tolerance, we have somehow absolutely avoided tolerating any womanly look that isn't thin. If we stop and question these standards, instead of just blindly swallowing them, none of it will make sense. Why ohhh why would we want to all look the same, as if we were all printed from a factory? Should this world be filled with women whose bodies all mirror each others, with breasts heaving forward and waists cinched in? If we were all the same, I believe the beauty would be lost in the monotony.
So, I have been on a journey to be my own kind of beautiful. It's not easy. The world talks to me every single day. I start to wishfully dream that parts of me looked different. But my deepest, heartfelt desire is to accept my own body. I have gnarly, big veins on my legs. Why are veins cool on a man but gross on a girl? I don't like them. At all. But I am learning to accept them. I have stretch marks going in several directions on my skin. They don't tell the story you would assume. Sure, a handful of my stretch marks are from carrying my amazing boys, but the others are there simply because I grew, I expanded. I don't have some valiant story to justify them, but my story is simply that I lived and am still living. And that is OK.
My body shows proof of some foolish choices made in days past but it also shows my victories. It shows that I've created life, that I've grown up, that I've fought battles, and it also shows my strength and my weakness.
My skin shows that I've spent a childhood under the sun, a beautiful childhood, raised on an incredible majestic lake, making memories on the water. And I wouldn't change a thing about that.
My shape shows that I'm on a journey and sometimes my physical mass expands and sometimes it shrinks and it will probably continue to do so throughout life. My weight will likely vacillate throughout seasons and days.
My blemishes and imperfections show that I'm a human, a woman. Women weren't designed to look perfect, they were designed to be beautiful and beautiful isn't perfect.
After sharing some of my insecurities with Chris, he texted me this:
"Your value is never based on how you look.
Women are beautiful because they are women,
not because of their shape and size."
He also wrote me this a different time,
"You are already hot and don't let paid photoshop editors,
catty women, creepy men, or anyone else tell you otherwise. And because you are already beautiful,
I encourage you to use your body in ways
that celebrate being beautifully made."
This guy has helped me tremendously on my journey. He has taught me so much.
These words he wrote me blessed my spirit and I hope they bless yours too!
He is a keeper so now I need to fix this ring!
These days my taken ring doesn't fit on my married finger ;)
kind of beautiful.
The loud voices of the world tell us all the time that we are lacking in beauty. They convince us to buy beauty and to work harder to reach beauty, but that isn't necessary. We don't need to buy what we already have. We already have natural beauty in us. Embrace the unique YOU that you are and discover your own kind of beautiful.
This story started here: Learning about perfectionism, beauty, and being set free
I have a heart overfull with thoughts to share on this topic. My weight loss story is unlike most others. I am hoping to slowly share more and moore!
I will also be sharing more about my shirt from Nutrition Snob in an upcoming post so check back!
This post is linked to: Under the Table & Dreamin, Nifty Thrifty, Made by You Monday, Met Monday, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, HOMEWORK: Be Inspired, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, Works for Me Wednesday, Snap Creativity, Organize and Decorate Everything, Transformation Thursday, Tablescape Thursday, Strut Your Stuff, 36th Ave, Foodie Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Saturday