Recently on my Facebook page, I came out of the closet: I’ve been a slave to poor body image for most of my life. There were times that were good (and honestly, those were the times that I wasn’t particularly challenged), but more often than not, I loathed the way I looked.
My early history isn’t much fun to talk about so I won’t — but suffice to say, by the time I was 15, I was deep into both anorexia and bulimia. I am 5′ 5″ and at my lowest, I wore a size 3, but I still felt ugly and fat.
I’m a 30 year old wife (10 year wedding anniversary next month!) and mom to 4 now. I’ve had a host of unusual physical maladies that culminated in early onset menopause, a sluggish metabolism, digestive problems and PTSD. The upshot is, my weight is no longer something I have much control over. I do exercise in moderation and we’ve long since adopted healthy eating habits but my measurements are now inching (pun intended) into plus size territory*. Instead of living in shame and unthankfulness for the body God has given me, I’m trying to see myself through the eyes of my Maker.
I am not beautiful because of my waist-size, BMI, or shapewear strategies. Ultimately, I am beautiful because I am a reflection of God’s glory. He is my Creator and I am His canvas. Try as I might to disguise the Artist, His signature will always be on me. To live my life feeling fugly is not an accurate testament to who God is. To hinge my self-worth on a size tag, a measuring tape or numbers on a scale is a type of blasphemy. As you might have guessed, there is a substantial amount of baggage I’m trying to unpack and processes surrounding this subject. That voice that told me I was fat when I was a size 5 is less of a fading memory and more of a scream now that I’m fitting into 0X sizes. That voice has become like quicksand to me. It has become louder than truth and more important than God Himself. Earlier this year, I prayed that God would turn my life up-side-down. I asked him to transform me into the person He designed me to be and it seems that this idol in my life must be plucked to accomplish that goal.
Almighty God, who was and is and is to come. Holy Father, Your truth is invariable and the treasures of your goodness inexhaustible. If you would count my trespasses, I could not stand. But there is forgiveness with You. You are merciful and generous with redemption. I repent of idolizing other voices, other shapes, and other sizes. I repent of not valuing Your opinion above all others. I repent of trying to take control of that which bears Your name and mistreating this body You created. Wipe away my transgressions and restore me into fellowship with You. Give me eyes to see what You see. Give me a heart that values what You value. Give me ears that are eager to learn Your ways. You are the Lord of Righteousness, help me with my unbelief. Let Your Spirit be a constant witness to my soul. Remind me that You are my salvation and cause my broken spirit to dance joyfully before You. Your loving-kindness is great toward us and Your truth endures to all generations. You are a good and merciful God. Thank you for hearing my prayers. Thank you for answering so loudly. You are sovereign over my body. I desire to count all a sacrifice to You. Make me willing and obedient. You assured us that whatever we ask in Your name will be given. I ask all these things in Your name, which is more powerful than any other. See my supplications and harken to me, for I am your servant. Amen.
*To be perfectly clear, I understand that I am barely a plus size — it is mostly because my shape fits best into junior bottoms andbecause my top is a wonky size for my shoulders that I find myself in need of sizes beyond 10/12. This is, in no way, anattempt to belittle what women larger than myselfare going through. This is also not a “real women have curves” crusade. Real women are women. Period. End of story. Real women come in all shapes and sizes.