Friday, July 11, 2014

And More Dirty Laundry {Part One}



I think this week should be called "The Week Of Transparency". I should start by saying that this wasn't a post I ever wanted to write. Why you ask? Well, I shared a post on depression earlier in the week and just the very next day, another of my WELL hidden flaws came to light. Boy, God's just really working on me this week! I guess it's better to just air ALL my dirty laundry at once, huh? So, grab a cup of coffee and have a seat, this is gonna be a little long! Can't say I didn't warn you.......

In this time we live in, there's no room for imperfection. Everywhere we look we're bombarded with PERFECTION, even the blogging world contributes. When I met my husband twenty three years ago, I was a size 4/6. I never had weight issues as a child or teen, and I was very aware that I had something that other's wanted, and I liked knowing that. No one told me that those feelings were sinful and that they were called pride. When I became pregnant with our first child, things q-u-i-c-k-l-y changed. Whoa, they really changed. I've been fighting and loosing the battle of the bulge ever since. I have hated how my body has looked for LOTS of years. I've lost a little, gained a little, and found myself mostly parked at a place way left of perfection. 

Now that you are up to speed on my weight struggles, here's how it's playing out in my life right now. My thirteen year old daughter has grown up watching me go through several outfits before I walk out the door, because each one just wasn't right or made me look fat. She's heard me fret over my weight, for, well, her whole life. Now keep in mind that she's a size 2/4. I've watched for months as she tosses MANY outfits before she walks out the door, but I've turned a blind eye to her habit because if I faced her issue, I'd have to face mine. I've noticed how she seems to stay in the bathroom forever before considering herself "ready to go". I just figured that I spent lots of time primping and fussing over details as a teen, and she's just going through that same stage. I didn't really want to investigate what was taking her so long. The other night she came to me in tears, and I now know that she doesn't like what she sees in the mirror when she looks at herself. WHAT??? She's a size 2/4, did I mention that??? She's got legs up to here, long flowing, wavy hair and she's sooooo beautiful. But, that's not what she sees reflecting back at her when she looks in the mirror.





What's the bible verse about the sins of the father? Yep, she's grown up thinking that women don't like their bodies because she's watched me loathe mine. Oh-my-goodness-what-have-I-done? My negative body image has been reflected upon my daughter, and is likely to show up in our other daughter when she reaches her teen years. 


I have chosen to selfishly see my weight struggles as only my own, but it's far from it! My loathing of my body, has now skewed my daughter's perception of her own body. In order to help her change her perceptions, I have to change mine. But wait, hold up here, I've spent twenty three years in this funk, you mean I have to change how I feel about my own body so I can help her change how she feels about hers? Dang, God. Why do you ask so much of me?




Friends, young girls are watching how we perceive ourselves and I think that it's not so much that the world asks perfection of us that's the problem. Maybe the problem is how we react to it's asking. What if the world was asking for perfection and instead of us crumbling and feeling defeated and crushed because we can't possibly achieve it, what if we reacted with strength instead. What if we as women LOVED ourselves and wore bright red even when our heart cries out to wear black. If we bucked the perfection request, what would our daughters see then. My daughter would have seen a mom that was comfortable in her own skin, one that put one outfit on and was pleased with what she saw in the mirror. Mine, in all her beauty, would realize the perfection of God's creation. And suddenly all that the world throws at us would not have nearly as much power.



Join me today as I begin to learn to love myself right where I am, right now at 5'4 1/2" and 156 pounds. Ouch, that hurt saying that out loud! Don't make me do this alone y'all! I know that some of you feel this way too and if you have a daughter, she may be learning some things from you that you weren't even aware you were teaching. Let's start loving our bodies TODAY, K? On Monday, come right back here, same place, same time, because I'm going to tell you how I'm back peddling out of this mess I've gotten myself into. That should be fun right? Until next time.......

Here's a quick link to Part Two of And More Dirty Laundry.




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27 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post Amy. I am a very self-conscious woman myself and need to be careful not to pass this down to my daughter also. You and Olivia are both so beautiful inside and out. Love you both.

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    1. Thank you Jessica. Love you too!!

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    2. In correction to my response above, I have already passed down some of these traits, and need to be more careful in the future.

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  2. Great post. I am quite sure I have handed down some of the same issues to my own. I am looking forward to your next post on this one.
    Blessings
    Diane

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    1. Thanks Diane. This was crazy hard to write about but I think way too many of us are leaving a footprint that we probably had rather not!

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  3. AMY!!!! BRAVO TO YOU!!!!!!!

    I have fought the weight battle my entire life and was raised by a Mom who never weighed more than 115 pounds and looked down on "fat" people!!! Yes, my own mother was a very negative force in my life especially when i gained weight over 17 years ago and my sister was a size 6!!

    15 months ago , I was 5'6" and weighed 225.9 pounds!!!! The MOST I ever weighed in my entire life!!

    After being told that I needed a knee replacement because my right knee was "bone on Bone" caused partly because of my weight, I embarked on a Weight Loss Journey and lost 55 pounds!! I did gain some back because of not being able to do the exercise bike because of back problems but i am now back on track. I am now 5' 6" and weigh 175 pounds!!! I know at this age that i will never get back to the 135 that I weighed 20 years ago. I would like to get into the 160's....... I would be happy with that........

    Looking forward to your next post.....

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  4. Amy,
    I forgot to mention how beautiful both you and your daughter are!! You Both look lovely!! I shared this post on Google +!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Debbie you are such a positive force! Your comments always uplift me so! Thanks ever so for sharing your story and thanks for the Google + share!

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  5. Growing up, I confused humility with self-doubt. I had such difficulty responding to compliments, because I wanted to be humble, and eventually, my self-doubt made me not believe the compliments in the first place. Eventually, when I received compliments, as young as 8 years old, I'd say, "No, I'm really not that pretty or smart." I don't want to pass down this terrible misunderstanding and lifetime of struggle to my daughter, so I must be more aware of the ways I carry myself, but at the same time, I am still learning what true humility sounds like.

    Thank you so much for writing this. You and your daughter are truly beautiful!

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    1. Yvonne, I share that same self doubt. I always tell myself that people are just being nice when they give me a compliment and that they couldn't possibly really mean what they say. We are all still learning! Thanks so much for sharing today!

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  6. This is a beautiful post. I don't have a daughter, but I am around girls in their teens at least twice a week and through reading and my own journey I am acutely aware of the issue.
    My climb out of the self-loathing pit began 4 years ago with a course in self defense (I haven't stopped doing martial arts since). After pregnancy and breast feeding I couldn't stand my own reflection anymore. I gained a truck load of weight during the 9 months and I wasn't slim before. Things had to change and boy did they. Back then I sure didn't think I'd end up doing what I do now.

    I am happy with my body now. There are a couple things I'd rather not have, but I just circumvent them with the right clothing ;-)

    And I think it is important to demonstrate a healthy self image to other women. Especially girls, but not only them as my own example proves. So I try to embody that

    However... I still have days where I am not happy with my first outfit and go through a couple changes. Just call it experimenting and letting lose your creativity instead of surrounding it with negative connotations :-) Infact I say: "Experiment! Experiment a lot with your wardrobe, be bold, creative, turn it into a game trying to find the best combinations for you. Have fun."

    Wish you two the best of luck and strength!

    Alex - Funky Jungle

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    1. Alex, thanks for stopping by and sharing! I'm so very glad that you found a path to your happiness. I have a long way to go, but today has been a wonderful step in the right direction!

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  7. Thank you for sharing this post and sharing your heart with us, Amy. I also realized that my sins had affected my children. I began a journey almost four years ago in which God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, stripped me bare. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. During that process, He brought great healing, and great truth to me. I was able to see for the first time how my self-hatred affected my relationship with food, how I used food to feel better but also to punish myself, and how my contempt for myself and others tainted relationships in my family and with my children. As your children watch you live out repentance, they will see the transformational Power of the Holy Spirit in you. What a beautiful and loving gift to give them! Yes, we will damage our children with our sinful habits, but as Christians we have the hope that through our healing and repentance, our children will learn the lessons that will transform them, too. They will learn what it looks like to turn to Jesus. You have chosen the healing path. It is a hard path to walk because it means you must confront the dark places in your own heart. (Psalm 23 may have a new meaning for you when you come out of this!) Rest assured, that as you do, your children will be watching it and drinking it in, and the fruit in their lives will be evidence of the spill-over of your own healing. Cling to Jesus, friend!

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    1. Andrea, thanks so much for your comment and sharing your struggles! It's always such a blessing to ourselves and others when we share our testimony!

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  8. Great post, Amy! We really do have to watch our actions and words around our kids. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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  9. Amy,
    Just wanted to let you know that the post is up......

    Thanks again for letting me include you in my Spotlight Series!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  10. Thanks for this post! I have always struggled with my weight. I'll be 36 in Sept. I finally feel like I am making some progress. And the cool thing people are noticing and telling me! It's so hard to not get caught up in what magazines, tv, etc tell us to look like. It's important for us to remember that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made !" By the way, you and your daughter are gorgeous!

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    1. Tara thank you and I'm so glad that you stopped by for a visit. I'm so happy that you are feeling positive and yes, our creator is awesome!

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  11. This is a great post and definitely something for me to think about since I have two girls. I can honestly say that I'm in the same boat and I'm not happy with my body since I was also thin until I started having kids. It's been a struggle and I'm sure I've passed some of my negative body image thoughts to my girls. Thanks for the reminder that it's not just about us.

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    1. Erlene, I'm so happy you were able to stop by! It's been a week since this post and I'm just so grateful for all the communication between my daughter and I. Hopefully, by talking about this subject while she's still young, her adult self will be so much more confidant and at ease than mine!

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  12. Another great post! Thanks for stopping by this week at the Merry Monday linky party!

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  13. Believe it or not, a woman can also project this onto her sons. This unrealistic perfection that we all seem to strive for is also what our sons are trained (unconsciously, by their mothers) to look for!!! Unfortunately, a lot of young men tend to look at physical beauty before they look at inner beauty, and sometimes I think as mothers we train our boys to think that way without even realizing it. Thanks for stepping up and telling it like it is. And my opinion is that you look healthy and happy, and that's what's important. And I would give my right pinky to have hair like yours! ;)

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    1. Vicki, you are quite right and I thank you for reminding me of that! With one little boy still at home, I have to be careful not to muddy up his perceptions as well. Thanks so much for your kind words and I so appreciate you stopping by!

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  14. I think that you are both stunning--truly. If I didn't really think that, I'd be thinking of something else positive to write and I'd just avoid the whole topic of your looks. But I can see why your husband picked you (and continues to "pick" you), and I am pretty darn sure that your daughter won't be having any problems in that area either. But even if one person, or a hundred people, or a whole continent, thinks you two are gorgeous, it doesn't really matter unless you love yourselves. I think the key is to be grateful for the body that GOD gave you,( 'cuz he doesn't make mistakes), and work from there. And BTW, I am 5'6" and weigh 181, and I am totally OK with that. And if I lose weight I'll be fine, and if I gain, that will be fine too. It's all good :)

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When y'all leave comments, my heart just swells! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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