Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's always about my weight

I don't want to believe this, but I do.  No matter what success I find in my life.  No matter what accolade I receive in my job.  No matter if my witness of Jesus moves someone to accept the grace.  No matter what, it's all about my weight.  My size.  Always.

I have had an issue with my body ever since I can remember.  In fact, I'll tell you the first time I can remember just HATING my body.  I was eight years old.  I know!  How in the world can an eight year old hate her body?  I'll tell you.  I was at a rollerskating party for girl scouts.  I wasn't a great roller skater.  I wasn't great at any sports, but I really wasn't a good skater.  I was wearing a dress at this party.  I know!  But back in those days girls wore dresses to school and they wore dresses to parties.  I remember this dress very well.  This dress was a dress that buttoned up the front, from top to bottom.  It was horizontally striped with mostly red, but also gold, green and brown stripes.  The buttons were gold.  It was sleeveless, so I wore a white mock turtle neck underneath.  There was no definition of a waist in this dress.  It was straight up and down.  It matched my body.  No waist.  Just chubby, up and down.  I was skating with my friends and having a pretty good time.  Then, the worst thing happened.  I fell on the skating rink.  I fell and every button on this dress opened up and I was trying to get up and hold my dress shut, ON SKATES.  In my mind, EVERYBODY in the roller rink saw me standing there in my white mock turtle neck and underwear with my dress unbuttoned.  I wanted to die.

How is it that a 55 year old woman can remember an incident from when she was eight like it was yesterday?

When I was 14 years old I remember my mom making me stand on the scale and telling me I was fat.  I remember looking down on the numbers on the scale, 138.  I remember my mom telling me that I should have definition in my arms.  My arms were rounded and had no definition.  I had an hourglass figure.  I never had an athletic figure.  I could have dressed up as Marilyn Monroe every day, and pull it off.  I had boobs.  I had a butt.  Are you getting a picture?  I don't think my parents were happy with my shape.  I remember my dad encouraging me to run around the neighborhood and following me in his car to make sure I did it.  I know he wanted my chest and hips to shrink into a tomboyish 14 year old body.  It just wasn't going to happen. 

I was so confused about my body.  My best friend was tiny.  She was petite and thin and my parents told me I should look like her.  But they also told me I shouldn't be friends with her.  She was Catholic.  (my dad had some kind of issue with Catholics

My whole life has been one diet after another.  I lose the weight.  I gain the weight back.  It's been a constant struggle.  When I was 25 years old I weighed 150 lbs on my wedding day.  I wanted to weigh 130, but it didn't happen.  I think I look pretty in my wedding pictures.  But every time I look at one, I remember, I weighed 150 lbs.  Isn't this awful?  I wish I remembered how happy I was on that day.

The battle has continued every day since then.  The other day I was thinking to myself that it was a shame there aren't many pictures of me.  No one can avoid a camera the way I can avoid a camera.  I've been known to toss pictures of myself in the trash as soon as they come to the house.  Now, with digital photography, it's so much easier to delete.  And I delete A LOT.  I catch myself people watching sometimes.  While I watch them I try to compare my size to their size.  Are there more people out there larger than me or smaller than me?  The funny thing about this is that I can't really tell.  There must be something wrong with me or with my eyes.  It is difficult for me to see my actual size.  Sometimes I look at my reflection and think, "I'm huge!  I can't go outside and let anyone see me."  Other times I think I'm ok, but need to lose some weight.  If you lined up a group of women of different sizes in front of me, I'd be hard pressed to pick out the one closest to my size.  This must be some kind of mental disorder.

So, I'll try again to lose weight.

My blog-friend Emily has written a book that has just been released about her struggle with and success at conquering anorexia.  It is called Chasing Silhouettes.  I've got it on my kindle.

I know this is the opposite of my story, but I think all eating disorders, whether anorexia or overeating, have a similar root.  I don't want to define myself by a number on a scale.  I don't want any woman or girl to define herself by a number on a scale.  We women are much more than a number on a scale or a dress size.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made by the creator of the universe.  He knew everything about us before we were even born and LOVED us.  We need to love ourselves back.

596.  Choosing to focus on the positive today
597.  Being happy my husband is going out without me tonight instead of resenting it
598.  Sunshine streaming in my window
599.  Going to bed earlier and feeling better rested
600.  Enjoying the success of others


  1. I'm sorry for your struggles. I've had them, too, but only w/ being overweight...never w/ feeling comfortable in my own skin. I give all the credit to my parents. They were so young when they had me (21 and 25), but they were all about building up, grace,
    acceptance, etc....back before it was standard or cool or the way of the

  2. beautiful post. I totally understand where you are coming from. Self acceptance is so hard but we can always try to work our way to it.

  3. oy on that memory...def speeks to how we need to be ever vigilent in how we talk to our kids...and weight is tough...even i have struggled with that on some level....growing up i was skinny as a rail for many a year...the weakling...gone sometimes a bit far the other direction....

  4. And all of this because we just can't see ourselves as God sees us. ALl of this because we can't look past the surface to see the heart. We'd all have picked Saul over David to be king of Israel. WIth women it's beauty, with men it's power and success. We just don't see like God - there's the real disorder. :) God bless.

  5. it seems all of society has brainwashed into thinking beauty is on the outside...I know you know it is what is inside out hearts that gets us to heaven and not our looks.

  6. It's a constant battle. I always envy those people who don't have to worry about their weight.  But then I find that they always seem to have some body issue, too.  

  7.  Saw Ellen Barkin on tv last night.  When asked how she keeps her slim figure she said it was all good genes.  Her 89 year old mom weighs 103.  Ellen eats burgers and fries and anything she wants.  Argh...

  8. oh girl, this is so awesome. thank you!! would you mind posting it as a review at amazon? here's the link: thank you again. so blessed by you.

  9. I can totally relate.  I was always a pretty young girl/lady and blossomed quite large and quite early so I always got a lot of male attention (at the time, unwanted).  I was used to being the hot girl.  I remember my best friend was chubby and not that pretty and I remember her saying things that would let her jealousy seep out.  I always felt bad being on the other side.  Wishing people would treat her the same because she was an awesome person.  Fast forward some years and I became a mom.  After I had my daughter my hormones got all twisted up and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  I have such a strong battle with hypothyroid.  I have no metabolism.  Even when I am on high doses of medication I struggle.  All this to say since my early 20's I've been overweight and it has been a real battle going from always having beauty to having none.  I try to eat well and I exercise everyday and I just don't fight it anymore.  I have the same thoughts you have and it is very frustrating!!!


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