loving myself

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My body is a strong, beautiful creation that is capable of things that can only be described as a miracle. Since I was very little, I thought the opposite. I was always a bit overweight as a child even when I chose to be active. My family made comments that scarred me for life and only added fuel to the fire of my deepest insecurities. In 4th grade I remember receiving a note from a “friend” that said “your butt jiggles like jello when you walk”…the thoughts that I held deep down, the words only said from my family in a teasing manner finally held ground because other people could see these things too. I always thought if I held them to myself and went on just being the nicest person I could be to others that I could get away with my insecurities not being noticed outside of that big two story house. Turns out I was far from invisible.

 

Food was an outlet for me. I didn’t binge per say but since I was 7 years old, food consumed my mind. Is this good or bad? I’ll eat this today but I will only eat Cheerios tomorrow. Is that little Debbie snack still where I hid it in the fridge? If I sneak down the stairs and through the dining room into the kitchen while my parents are watching tv, they surely can’t notice me sneaking cookies so late at night right? I never hid food in my room like some of the girls I read about in Teen So and So magazine. I couldn’t puke…don’t get me wrong, I tried…but my gag reflex is a solid trap. I could only go 2 days without eating until I caved. I was left with my thoughts. I used to pray to the Jesus hanging on my wall that if I could wake up skinny, my life would be complete. These thoughts would torture myself worse than any 4th grader or family member ever could.

 

This obsession with food, exercise, how I felt and looked lasted until I was 25 years old..until I went to Uganda for the first time. Walking and eating clean was the perfect recipe for me to start losing weight in the most healthy way I have ever tried. Ugandans were sad as I was “losing my fat” and I was so happy. All I was doing was eating fresh from the earth and utilizing long sunny days. I felt so whole for once…like I finally learned who my outer shell was. I have always been so intune with my inside self but my outside self was one big mess. It was as if I finally found the right mechanic for my car…one who understood how this rare and unique model ran and they tuned it right up. I never ran better.

 

A couple years later I wanted to see how strong I could be. It was after our wedding and I had not only gotten fit for that day but also to embrace this change of lifestyle. I was pushing my body to its limits and was shocked at how far it could go. I began eating exactly what that trainer told me to eat and exercising exactly how she told me to. I felt and looked amazing. I could jump off things I never thought possible and lift weights that I thought only guys were supposed to move. I was strong. Finally my outsides reflected my insides. I knew what my body was capable of and since then, even not keeping up with that lifestyle, it has taught me that my body is resilient and can mold to any season that I’m going through.

 

Then I got pregnant with Skye. I had never walked this territory before. It was one I feared I never would be able to explore. Something about being adopted made me long for a biological child even more. I always assumed it wouldn’t happen, yet it happened right away. 10 weeks into this babies life, my body started to let him go. During 16 hours of contractions I turned to JP and said “if anyone ever says women are weak, I will personally hurt them”. Through the pain and the loss and the healing, I learned women are the strongest species on earth and I was so proud to be one them.

 

With this second pregnancy I have never felt more confident. I feel radiant and so at peace in my body. I can’t wait to meet our little girl but it also means only a few more days of feeling beautiful beyond measure. It’s not even from an outside perspective or what I see in the mirror…I just feel so alive in my skin. This is what my body was made for and its capable of a lot. It has survived so much and now it’s growing life.

 

I pray to adore and praise my body afterwards. To love every saggy skin, stretch mark, saggy boob, wider hipped, cellulite inch of myself I see in the mirror. I pray I look at my little one and see how outstanding my temple was created to be. I pray I never feel anything but a goddess for what God created me to be and to show me what my body can do. I pray I respect my body so my girls learn to respect theirs.I pray that if and when their bodies fail them, their hearts strengthen from the pain. I pray no one ever writes them notes that hurt them so deep and that we can cherish every inch of them inside and out to truly show how God created them so perfectly for this world. I pray that even when those mean words are launched at them that they have such a strong knowing of who they are and how loved they are to not even care…but to love more through that. When people throw hurt like that it’s because they are hurting even more. I pray the only weapon they choose to combat that with is love.

 

I know I am blessed. I am blessed beyond measure to survive the brutality of mind games that were played ever since I was a young girl. I am blessed to have lived an overall healthy life. I am blessed to be able to conceive…this I definitely don’t take for granted. I am blessed to even make it to 39 weeks carrying this sweet soul despite how much I long for her in my arms now. I am blessed and I truly do not take for granted every struggle, failure, triumph and victory that God has written into my physical story. Those parts of my story only remind me how very strong He has created me to be.

 

I want to remind you that wherever you are in your physical journey…if you have post partum body, are working towards an exercise goal, are being bullied, in a season of comparison, surrendering your body due to growing your family, struggling with food addiction or rather letting your mind take control of your food intake…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

 

God made you perfect despite what you may think or
what the world may be telling you…He looks at you and sees His beautiful creation. He hears your cries, your pain, your struggles, your desires. He weeps when you weep and He high fives you when you meet your goal. No matter what though, He stays close by so you know that you are far from alone and there is nothing you could ever physically do to make
Him love you any more.

 

He loves you more than you could ever know.
bda

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