I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to be extremely hard on myself. Out of my mouth spews constant criticism. I do this to all aspects of me, but I am extra hard on my looks.
Physically, I say things like:
I am such a fatty.
I need to lose weight.
My butt is too big.
My forehead is so discolored.
I have premature aging around my eyes.
Truly the list can go on and on, but I will stop there. When I was in my early twenties, I had to make a decision to stop purchasing fashion magazines. I noticed I became obsessed with looking like the women in them, to the point of starving myself most of my early to mid twenties. I remember I struggled with eating disorders even in high school and college. I was never skinny enough, pretty enough, tanned enough, or just good enough, period.
After having my older children (who are now 12 and 11) the baby weight literally melted off (I guess that is what happens when you barely eat). I never had a problem losing weight. This carried over into my thirties. Although I no longer would starve myself, I would just control what I ate. To be honest, I never had to work hard at losing weight; I just maintained. (I am not trying to brag or be a brat; I am just being honest.) But still I never felt thin enough.
Fast forward and I get married to a wonderful man who loved my children and wanted more children. I wanted more, too, but I knew it would not be easy, as I am not a glowing and pretty pregnant woman. I get really big, I get really grumpy, and my skin most definitely does not glow. I also knew I would gain weight, and I was scared it would be harder to lose it, now that I am not in my twenties anymore.
I was right. My baby is now almost a year old (she is seriously an absolute doll) and I am still not down to the weight I was pre-pregnancy, and it kills me! I know I could work out and become a gym rat and I would lose weight. I know I can eat really well and cook every single meal and it would come off as well. I never had to work that hard at it before and it’s just not an easy adjustment, but I know working out well and eating well is the only way I can lose this weight. Now, I just need the motivation and to make the time.
While wanting to lose weight and get fit is not wrong–in fact, it is a good and Godly thing–I do tend to let it weigh me down (no pun intended) more than I know I should. I want to hide, I want to cry every time I try on clothes, I get depressed. I feel disgusting and ugly and like I am just not worthy of any compliments. This is not healthy, and it is most certainly not how God wants me to think or feel. I have come to the point where I am more aware than ever, that if I want a healthier and thinner body, it must first start with a healthy and Godly mindset. I don’t know if it is just me, but it is not easy to open up the Word when I am feeling so low and depressed about myself. Even though I know that His Word is my only hope and the only way that my mind and thinking can be renewed, it is the last place my mind wants to go to. Because to the flesh, wallowing and feeling sorry for myself is just easier. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
The other day my family and I went to our local Christian book store and I stumbled upon the devotionals section. I was drawn to an author I had not heard of, named Sarah Young. I opened up her book and the next thing I knew, I was sitting on the aisle floor reading her book, with tears filling my eyes. Holy Spirit was speaking to me through her beautiful writings and I knew I needed to buy this book. It’s called Jesus Lives and here is the part I read in the aisle: “In My Presence You Have Infinite Approval. You often judge yourself on the basis of what you see in the mirror, even though you know how fickle and shallow that ever-changing image is.”
Ummmm…. that’s me in a nutshell, and I don’t want that to be me anymore. So I must choose to fight against the tendency to wallow and instead go to the Word. Then I need to put the Word into action in that area of my life. Then after that, I need to put on my workout shoes and put the baby in her stroller and start walking.
As I am still struggling but taking baby steps to get in gear, I would love to hear of creative ways you ladies eat healthfully and work out while being a busy mom on a budget. How do you ladies make time to nourish your mind, body, and spirit?