I prayed for years to lose weight. I believed the Neiman Marcus lie. You know, anorexic is attractive? I grew up this way. My grandmother worked in the fashion industry for most of her adult life and she was anorexic. My mother was anorexic in her younger days, but later maintained a normal weight.
The barrage of images from magazines, social media, television and online media every day that excruciatingly thin is attractive is a complete lie. What passes as womanhood has become so distorted that we struggle to protect our children from this distorted idea of how women should look. We should have curves, not straight lines.
In my family, anorexic was normal.
This old photo, circa 1947, is my mother with her parents. My Grandmother is the fashionista on the right. They were young, but she is far too thin in this photo.If your thighs or your stomach became too heavy, you were criticized for not watching your weight more carefully. If you got above a size 10, you were downright fat. So, as you can imagine, I maintained an excessively thin figure to keep the criticisms to a minimum.
Then, for the first time in my life, at about the age of 46, I gained 30 pounds in one month. I was distressed. I mean, I just knew something was seriously wrong. All of a sudden, I could not lose one single pound. I could not stop eating a meal, or munch on raisins and nuts to lose a few pounds.
I checked my thyroid and went through a series of searches to find out what the problem was. I even blamed peri-menapause. However, there was just no physical reason why I could not lose weight. It was as if my body (and God) said, enough of this insanity!
This is me (the skinny one) in college, probably a size 5. My aunt is the healthy one in the photo, who missed the skinny memo, and still looks gorgeous after 7 kids! Even at my age, I was too thin. Notice how I wore baggy clothing to keep my body from being observed. It was completely in my psyche by this time that I needed to blend into the walls to avoid being criticized for my weight.
The problem was, I was anorexic.
And I didn’t realize it. I had been thin for years, so gaining weight overnight in my 40s sent me into a funk. I just did not understand how thin I was.
I thought anorexic was skin and bones (like I wasn’t almost that way anyway). Given the fact that I was well below my weight and I guess everyone long gave up thinking otherwise, I saw no reason to gain weight. Even when I gained 30 pounds, I was not overweight, so let that sink in.
Don’t get me wrong, I ate. But, I starved myself until I reached my crazy idea of my optimal weight, then ate again. I looked great in my clothes, or at least I thought I did. At one point, I resorted to popcorn dinners and supplements to boost my body’s nutrition. But, that is when God put a stop to my weight loss. My body was screaming for nutrition and rest.
I was forced to stop losing weight.
In fact, I gained more weight when I started to work out (to lose weight, of course!). Did you figure out why? I needed to gain muscle back that I had lost from all my years of starvation. In fact, I went up a whole size, putting my size 10 “fat size” in the dust.
I was mad. How could God do this to me? I mean, didn’t He see that I wanted to stay thin? Lol It is funny now, but at that time, it wasn’t.
But, it was then that something shifted inside me. I realized that I gained muscle instead of fat in that weight shift. I hadn’t changed my diet and I wasn’t eating a bunch of junk food. Unable to change my size, I gave in to the idea that God wanted me this way. He set the dial of my weight and I could not. do. one. thing. about. it.
I live a healthy lifestyle.
I work out for about 35 minutes three times a week, riding a fitness bike and using a few small weights. We eat healthy, make our own bread, sauces and yogurt. Since I cook from scratch, we rarely eat processed food of any sort. When I work at my desk, I sit on an exercise ball, and we try to get outside when we can.
I am healthy and strong. I can chase after my son and my grandson, and handle my unruly goat. Plus, I homeschool, work and carry my special needs son to all of his appointments.
Be who God created you to be.
We all fluctuate in our sizes throughout our life. But, as women, we don’t need men in our lives who think that women have to be like magazine models. Honestly, God did not create females to be this way, or to even look like men. He made us to be shapely and attractive for our husbands. God created them man and woman. He also created us to bear children and skinny unhealthy women cannot do that (at least not very well)
So, if you just took hold of the idea that thin is beautiful, then I pray for God to make you shapely! I pray He blesses you with a husband that appreciates you as a woman, and that He blesses you with children. I pray that you become the woman He has created you to be—from the inside out. I also pray blessings on your sons and daughters that they see the truth of God’s view of girls and women.
After all, we are living in a society that is stealing our daughters and younger women into this false idea that womanhood means no different from man. We need to stand up and support them, so that they can bear future generations of children and show our culture what it means to be a real women.