You Must be 90 Pounds Soaking Wet

*Please realize this is not an attention-seeking post or an attempt at reassurance. I simply want to share my personal story!

I have always been small. Growing up I was pretty much all knees and elbows. I’ve always had a high metabolism, and no matter how much I ate, I didn’t gain weight.

My entire life I have heard comments like “You must be 90 pounds soaking wet!” or “You need to put some meat on those bones!” or “There’s not an ounce of fat on your body!”

I think most of the time these types of comments were meant as compliments, and I would usually smile and nod, but I felt differently inside. Every time a comment like this was made, I thought “90 pounds? Well, I’m a lot more than that. Am I supposed to be 90 pounds? I better suck by stomach in,” or “Am I not good enough the way I am?” or “Yes, there is, but I better hide it so you don’t see me differently.”

I felt such pressure to be as small as everyone thought I was, yet pressure to gain weight at the same time. I hated it. I hated my body no matter what. I wasn’t small enough. I wasn’t big enough. I wasn’t good enough. I was so insecure.

•••

A few weeks before I found out I was pregnant I remember telling my husband that I wasn’t scared of what my body would be like when I was pregnant someday, but I was scared of what it would be like after. I knew that it was going to be different and probably never go back to the way it was before.

Sure enough, I loved my body when I was pregnant. Actually, I was the most self-confident that I’ve ever been. Yet there were still things that were said that hurt. I heard from many people that I “looked good with some weight on me.” I happened to agree, but I was a bit hurt at the same time. I knew it was a compliment or perhaps a reassurance, but what it felt like was “you weren’t good enough before.” I tried not to dwell on it because I knew it wasn’t meant that way.

•••

Fast-forward and the day has arrived. The moment of truth. I’m no longer pregnant. How am I going to feel?

Honestly? Just fine.

At some point something changed. I wasn’t scared anymore. My body had just spent months growing a person. Of course it would look different! My body did something amazing; who cares if it doesn’t look the same as before?

I don’t.

And that’s the truth. I decided that the only one who can make me feel insecure about myself is, well, me. Yes, the things that were said to me over the years were hurtful, but ultimately I chose to let it get to me. And honestly, I’ve got too much going on to be worried about some extra weight and stretch marks.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to be known as “the thin one” or “the pretty one.” I’ve got more important things going on. I’d rather be known for how I walked with Christ. What kind of wife and mother I was. What kind of friend I was. Not my pant size.

All this to say, friends, be careful with your words. They hurt and have long lasting effects. But also, don’t let what other people say define how you see yourself.

With love,

Advertisements

Try

I’m not going to lie, I feel as if society puts a lot of pressure on people, on girls. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel as if I don’t do my hair and makeup everyday that I will be looked down upon. Some days, I enjoy doing my hair and makeup, some days I want to wear sweatpants and put my hair in a bun and call it a day. But when I do so, I feel as if I shouldn’t. Is it because real people are actually judging me for doing so, or are the made-up people in the made-up scenarios in my head the ones judging me?

I’ve always had this inner struggle between what I want to do (which like I said, sometimes I want to dress up more than normal) and what I feel as if I should do. Then I stumbled across “Try” by Colbie Caillat, a song that actually got me to think – which was probably the intention. It made me question why I felt like I had to try so hard. It made me realize I don’t have to try so hard. I encourage you, girls especially, to listen to this song and to realize it’s okay to be you, you don’t have to try so hard. If doing your makeup and hair every single day is your thing, do your thing, girl! If sweatpants are your thing, rock them! If t-shirts and jeans are your favorite, wear ’em until you can’t wear ’em anymore! If how you feel changes like the weather in East Tennessee, then go with how you feel that day! Be you. Don’t worry about if others like you or if they think you should act or dress a certain way. Do you like you?

•••

Photo Credit: freestocks.org

Them.

I was at work yesterday and they were having this large hospitality meeting. So I’m inside and there’s maybe two-hundred people, talking to one another, looking like there actually having fun mingling. I kept thinking to myself, “How are they actually enjoying this? I would be counting down the minutes until I had to leave and kicking myself for sounding unintelligent every time I opened my mouth.” I was feeling pretty bummed because I was not like them. But after awhile I realized that that’s okay. I loathe social situations like that. They make me feel extremely awkward and I just want to go home and speak to no one for days because I’m so drained. Some people, however, thrive in social situations and can’t stand to be alone, and that’s okay, too. I don’t have to be like them or whomever. God gives us each likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. It’s okay to not be the same. It’s okay to want to curl up in bed and read for hours. It’s okay to want to go and socialize for 5 hours. It’s okay to have 3 good friends. It’s okay to have 30 good friends. Embrace who God made you to be and realize it’s okay to not be like them. No matter who you are, there will always be a them, and chances are you are somebody’s them as well. Learn to love who you are and to love others who they are. It takes the pressure off of you as well as them.

•••

 Photo Credit: Christian Stahl