This portrays me in a very real light. I would like to make myself sound stronger, better - less of a failure at letting God be in control, in several areas of my life. But I have been mulling these thoughts over for weeks. Tonight I had time to organize the thoughts. So, here they are, failures and all.
I have been attending a Monday morning Bible study for the past 12 weeks or so. The focus was on strengthening the marriage, and it was for women only.
I always enjoy getting together and chatting with other women. I think that is part of why I have this blog - nothing against any men out there who happen to read it, but men rarely comment, so I tend to forget about you - this blog is my chance to have a little "girl talk" at the end of a day being surrounded by cars, tools, guns and wrestling.
Today was the last session and one thing we talked about was our bodies, and our husband's appreciation of them.
Now, because this is a Bible study, I suppose you would think that "nap time" wouldn't be something to be discussed. But truthfully, it is a very important part of every marriage - Christian or not. God created our bodies for it, and why should we let the "world" have all the fun?
But here is the thing. We got off on a bit of a tangent for awhile because one woman talked about how she has had both a c-section and a hysterectomy this year, and cannot get her figure back, and her husband is just mean about it. Plain old mean. Now, I don't know if he says it in jest, just playing around with her, but he is still wrong.
We all assured her that she is beautiful, and that of course it takes time to recover your body, and several women who had been in previous relationships with men who were "condemning" about their bodies gave pep talks about letting God give her confidence from within.
I mostly stayed quiet. Because I can't preach words that I fail to live.
I don't have anything to complain about. My Andy would never say anything cruel. He really isn't very good at giving compliments either, but he would never say anything cruel.
And yet, I cannot be happy with my body.
I don't know why I can't be happy.
I can make excuses. I have had diseases my whole life - diabetes forced food, and every aspect of it, to the forefront of my mind from a very early age. My thyroid is overactive, and the meds for that mess with your weight.
Now epilepsy, and yet more meds.
My husband often deploys for months at a time, and I have to do something with all those emotions. Running, and crunches, and P90X have all worked well at pushing the fear away.
I suppose my intake of food, and the push to exercise and tone are some of the only things about my body, and my life, that I have any control over.
But, I am a size 2 for crying in the mud, and was nearly in tears just a few days ago over the shape of my abs.
I think I am finally admitting to myself that there is something wrong with that.
I recently read that the national average size that women desire to be is 8. Men desire a woman with a size 12 body. The actual national average is 16.
A blogger friend of mine, Nikowa wrote a whole series of blogs about body image in society today. She proudly proclaimed her own size and her happiness with less then perfection. She also wrote a fabulous blog about how the way we push for perfection affects our sons. (daughters are always worried about, but since she (and I) have sons, we want to focus on them too)
Soon after this series, another blog friend, Autumn, wrote a post about perfection. Not necessarily about body perfection, but it once again hit me.
So, I decided to do some searching. There is a book that is fairly popular right now called "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters". I haven't read it. I have just been reading blogs about it, and comments about it, and this short excerpt. (please, if you have time, go read it)
That excerpt broke my heart.
Because really what it boils down to is that these women, these "perfect girls", think they have to do it completely by themselves.
No wonder they are starving daughters.
I have no excuse. I am not alone, and never have been. Not only do I have a wonderful husband, and other amazing family and friends - but more importantly, I have the source of Contentment. The source of Joy. Absolute Perfection. Because I have HIM, I really don't need to look for perfection anywhere else.
Especially not in my stupid, quite temporary, body.
So I will make a choice to not obsess. Instead,
"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV