I normally hate to shop because everything seems to be immodest & I always hate seeing myself in the dressing room mirrors. Ever since college, I have grown into my womanly figure in the words of my mom. Growing up, maturing physically, & gaining weight has not been the easiest thing for me.
I went from being a size 6 to being a size 10 or 12. I went from hardly having a butt & thighs, to having all my weight go to those parts of my body. It was an adjustment that was emotionally painful. It was an adjustment that made me not want to eat very much, exercise excessively, & go to bed starving just because I didn’t want to snack on something past eight o’clock.
I avoided mirrors at all cost. I avoided mirrors in my dorm room, the bathrooms, at my house, at church, and at clothing stores especially. I didn’t want to see myself. I didn’t want to see my flabby parts, my gut, my stomach, the cellulite on my legs, my arms, and even my face. I went from being a confident size 6 girl to a self conscious, low self-esteem size 10 woman. I went from feeling good about myself because I was a fit, skinny girl to a not so fit, curvy young woman. I went from loving my body to despising it.
I despised my body so much that I would make it a point to not go shopping. I would make excuses to get out of going shopping for clothes or if I went shopping with my mom and sister, I would end up crying on my mom or crying in the dressing room. I cried because I remembered the things girls said about the cellulite on my legs, about my figure, and about my face. I cried because I didn’t love my figure, I didn’t love myself, and I didn’t love the way God made me.
It was in those years at college that I forgot who made me. I forgot that God created me just the way He wanted me to be. I forgot that God created me in His own image. I forgot who I belonged to. I was so focused on my outward beauty, that my spiritual life was being neglected.
I forgot that my beauty doesn’t come from the outside, but that it comes from the inside. My beauty came from God Himself. My worth & confidence came from God. My joy & love for myself came from God.
I went through days where I would constantly examine every “flaw” in the mirror & just cry. As much as I tried to avoid mirrors, I always failed to stay away. I was always itching to see my weight loss progress & wanting to see what I could make better. I wanted to see what the world defined as hot, sexy, pretty, and beautiful. I forgot that the world doesn’t really know true beauty. I forgot that only through God will I ever know what true beauty is.
It is only through God that we will ever see what true beauty really is.
I substituted 3 proper meals a day for 1 solid meal a day, which consisted of a salad, water or light lemonade, with a roll. After my meal, I would go to the gym and burn off my calories. After the gym, I’d go out with my roommate to maybe eat something unhealthy and would then go back to the gym to burn off the rest of the calories. I thought that if I was empty on the inside, I was being healthy and I’d lose my weight the quickest.
I did lose the weight, but I was still hurting emotionally. My body was still different from what it was in high school and because of that, none of my clothes looked or fit the same on me anymore. I still hated shopping and the way I looked in the mirror. Because I hated myself in the mirror, I saw myself as fatter, as more flawed, and not as pretty.
I wasn’t this and I wasn’t that. I wasn’t skinny enough. I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t hot enough. I wasn’t happy.
My heaviest weight was 186 pounds, but I am now down to 161 pounds. The days of me constantly weighing myself are over with. The scale is not my best friend anymore. A salad is not my only meal. A mirror is not my worst nightmare. Those days are behind me. I still struggle, but those days of self-hate are over with.
Those days are so behind me that when I go shopping now, I don’t dread it. For the first time in a long time, I don’t just stare at my body in the mirror and cry. I don’t cringe at what I see. I don’t try to suck my stomach in or over analyze my legs. I am actually okay with what I see. I am okay with what I see because I know that I am still a strong and beautiful woman and that my clothing size does not define me.
I know God created me in His own image. I know that my beauty is not found in this world, but that it is found in God alone. I know that no matter what size I am, I’m still a beautiful treasure in God’s eyes. I know that I don’t have to dress a certain way to please the fads of society. I know that it is through God alone that beauty is found. I know that only the word of God can teach me about my worth, about confidence, about love and self-love, and about true beauty. The word of God is the only place where I will figure out what type of woman I need to be. Only by studying God’s word & learning from it will I discover who God desires me to be.
It isn’t about the way your face and body looks to people. It isn’t about what size you are. It isn’t about how your clothes look on you. It isn’t about the hair dye or the make-up. It is about becoming who God needs you and wants you to be on the inside.
It is about your inner beauty. It is about your spiritual walk. It is about godly characteristics. It is about desiring and striving to be a holy, godly woman. It is about loving who God made you to be. It is about working on your heart and souls condition more than it is about working on the outside conditions. Just imagine how much better our spiritual walks with God would be if we invested as much time as we do into being a certain size, into studying the word of God and praying.
Don’t constantly stand in front of the mirror pointing out every flaw. Don’t skip out on meals. Don’t try to go by societies standards of beauty and what looks good on. Don’t hate yourself or your body. Embrace the cellulite because even models and athletes have it. Embrace the flabby parts because even the most skinny girls have stomach flab when they sit down. Embrace the size and shape of your body and don’t compare yourself to celebrities, models, or the women around you. Embrace the way God made you. Take comfort in knowing that God made you in His hands.
The Creator of the entire universe made you and because He made you, you are already beautiful enough.
I found that writing an encouraging quote or scripture on a mirror I used everyday was a major help. Simply write “I am beautiful”, “I am not fat”, or “Proverbs 31” to be reminded of the type of woman you are really supposed to be. Strive to be a holy woman of God. Strive to be a woman after God’s own heart and ways.
Be so focused on the condition of your heart and soul, to the point where you are constantly striving to make it better each day. Be focused on the beauty of your heart and soul. When you begin to focus on God and what all He wants out of your life and you, you’ll stop worrying so much about the way you look. It is okay to want to look nice and to be healthy, but when you are so focused on the outward beauty you begin to lose sight of what really matters.
Be confident in your body. Be confident in who you are. Be more focused on your relationship with God. If you want to lose weight or get healthier, do it the right way. Do not neglect your health to become prettier or thinner faster. Remember that each woman is different in size, shape, and beauty, so don’t compare yourself to others.
Be a Proverbs 31 woman instead of a worldly woman. Be holy. Be beautiful on the inside. Be happy with yourself no matter what the scale says or what the mirror reflects.
10. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
11. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
12. “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
13. “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”
14. “She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”
15. “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”
16. “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”
17. “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”
18. “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.”
19. “She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.”
20. “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
21. “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”
22. “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”
23. “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”
24. “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”
25. “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
26. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
27. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
28. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
29. “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”
30. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
31. “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”