Julie mentioned this in a previous comment and I am so glad you did, Julie, as I think it is an incredibly important subject. Honestly I think that is the cause of a lot of overeating... feelings of inadequacy and eating fills and emotional void.
Also the media keeps shoving these pictures in our face of a perfect body (skinny) and it starts so young with girls. It is a never ending cycle.
On the UC list (some of you are on) we have been talking about Flylady, who is a woman with a loving method of keeping your home orderly. FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself. I think this is the best part of all the wonderful things she does.
I know from experience what it is like to beat myself up, compare against others, feel I am not measuring up. She talks about 'finally loving yourself' in giving yourself small goals, and really appreciating your self for what you do do. Forget perfection. Embrace the moment, live life, love your family and all your imperfections.
For me it comes back to being a child of God. He made me. Even if I was the perfect weight and did all I could humanly do to perfect my body, I still would not measure up to the magazines. I have super broad shoulders so look like a linebacker in those cute little cap- T shirts. I have large bony shins and white skin just like my dad and gramma. I have my mother's side German nose, which is knobby on the end. Nothing like J Lo's.
Someone made me this way... who? Why? Am I beautiful? I am to God. I must be or he would not have made me this way! That really has to sink in with me and I have been pondering it ever since faith became important to me, which was a decade and a half after I first noticed I was not really 'beautiful', around age 14.
I also think about St. Paul and his 'affliction', whatever it was. He had one that drove him nuts. Scripture don't tell us what it was. But about 6 years ago when I was really frustrated with dieting and finding my good weight, I shared that with a trusted friend. She said, maybe that is MY affliction, like St. Paul had his! What? Would God use something so superficial as that to reach me? God uses everything. He created everything. He knows every thought, not matter how trivial or silly it is.
Then, I think, it is probably very, very good he did not make me beautiful. I am so selfish now, imagine how vain and uber-selfish I would have been if I was gorgeous and men had been falling all over me. I would have been doomed and never listend for his voice.
So, I think it is about finally loving yourself. I still struggle. I like it when I am trim and dress and clothes fit well. I like to look good. But then I also realize that if I am not that good-looking, it doesn't' matter.. I don't have to look at me... everyone else does! Ever think about that? What we really should want is other people to look great, since we have to look at them! ha ha
But, now, what I am really trying to do is think about the balance- mind/body/spirit
Focus on a balanced life- feed my mind. I know how to do that, and luckily enjoy it. And if we keep great ideas to keep us interested, excited and sharing. (and not bored.. that leads to eating!) It also helps me get outside of 'myself'. There is a larger world than just ME ME ME. :0
Body- Ok, the toughie.. WHY do I want to eat right and exercise?
As I approach 50 this year, there is a shift. I have more friends with health issues. I see parents and other elderly passing away. I see quality of life issues. I know I can't prevent them all, but I want to treat my body as well as I can. For me and my family.
When I was about 30 pounds overweight 2 years ago, the final straw was movement. I could not run around move, play with my kids. I was awkward and I really didn't like that. It was affecting the kind of mom I wanted to be.
So, I want a healthy body that can also give as much to those around me as I can.
Also, I have to admit it, I want to feel good. I have more energy. I have less stress. I can do more. I am happier. I am better to those around me. I know saints have suffered and still were sweet and maybe that is what God wants me to do.... suffer, maybe be really really fat and still learn to be sweet to others. Wow, that would be tough for me. Oops.. I hope I didn't give Him any ideas!
But I also like to be slimmer, because I feel better about myself. Not only slimmer but the weight training you were talkinga bout Julie... I can just FEEL better walking through the grocery stores, like my muscles are working in tandem, smoothly and I am not dragging and off balance. If this makes sense to anyone.
And spirit- the ultimate goal. I would give up the other two for this. I know ultimately I would. But what is God asking of me? He knows I am human and I think I function better if I am healthy. God wants what is good for me. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to be healthy, but not vain. It is only with his help I can do that.
But, like I said, he didn't make me too beautiful, so I never will get too vain....
Finally (on this tome..lol) I want to say, I really am beautiful. Ok, this sounds weird, but the past years I have been able to look at people and see real beauty in them even if they are not beautiful by worldly standards. I think this is gift from God as I grew up in the midst of pop culture of the 70s and 80s. I think I have learned to see people's souls, to know each one has a beautiful soul that has been tarnished by the world, and the body God gave them is just vessel to carry it.. and even so the body is an image of him. Ever notice how beautiful Mother Teresa is.. when she is really not? Or Mother Angelica?
If I stand next to them, who is the most beautiful?
Wow, did I ramble....what do you all think about beauty and self esteem? Does any of this relate to your thoughts or issues?
Thought for the Day
"Good friends are good for your health."
"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don't shoot their husbands!"
Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
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