Morning everyone! How are y’all today? It’s Friday after all…time to DANCE! 🙂
Last night Nate and I had the privilege of meeting up with a new-to-Colorado blogger, Heather, and her boyfriend Dustin! We decided to do one of the amazing Boulder happy hours at Laudisio, which is a restaurant I’ve wanted to try for the longest time:
This was really good! I felt like it had lemon in it, but I didn’t see zest or anything. Either way it was great, and I only needed about 3 spoonfuls to enjoy it! Heather and Dustin we a blast to hang out with and I’m so glad that they decided to make the trek out to Colorado! She’s just as adorable as she seems on her blog 🙂
In honor of the “Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look” week for the release of the fabulous Operation Beautiful book, I wanted to take advantage of telling my story of learning to love myself. You see, I share this kind of stuff all the time but I don’t feel as though it’s all been in one comprehensive package. Today I want to change that 🙂
I have always had an amazing relationship with my family. They have been super supportive, loving, kind, generous, and all-around wonderful. I was a confident little girl, always keeping my nose in a book because I loved to read, riding bikes and running around outside, and was always playing Barbies with a friend down the street. I feel like that was a pretty typical childhood, no?
When I was 12 I started to get a lot of attention because my “baby fat” was melting away as I grew older and most definitely as I grew taller. Friends and family friends raved about how great I looked now that I was finally starting to lose some weight. AT 12 YEARS OLD!!! I’d never once felt like a failure before, but when I started getting that attention I realized that, up until that point, I had been chubby. It had never crossed my mind before, but the summer between 6th grade and 7th grade was when I started restricting my food intake. I was scared that I was going to let everyone down again if I ever gained weight.
I could go into extensive details about the every day of my disordered eating, but let’s just say that between the ages of 12 and 22 I flirted with just about every form of anorexia, bulimia, diet pills, laxatives, over-exercising, and over-eating. And all the while I was constantly telling myself that I was a crappy person, all based on the number on the scale. I didn’t even take into account that I had an amazing family, was a great athlete, a straight-A student, and had great relationships with friends. I completely isolated myself with this gross little friend and, like a heroine addict, would turn to disordered eating to strangely make myself feel good.
When I met my husband I was not “practicing” anything but overeating anymore, but I was constantly beating myself up over food and weight gain. I would venture to say that from the ages of 22 to 26 (up until last November) I would overeat and then tell myself I was a horrible person. I would gain a pound or two, and feel as though I’d let the entire world down. I never realized this was wrong…in fact I felt like I was normal! Everyone “fat talked” all the time…why shouldn’t I?
November of last year I started writing The Joyful Kitchen as a way to record my daily intake and just my life in general. Somewhere around that time I also found Caitlin’s Healthy Tipping Point blog, and read her page on what fat talk REALLY is: not addressing the true emotions and covering it up by saying, “I just feel fat.” Now, I’m a smart girl, but it had never dawned on me that there was another emotion behind it all. Immediately I asked my husband to call me out on fat talk whenever I was doing it and address the true emotion at hand. It wasn’t easy for either one of us, but over the course of about a month or so I stopped hiding from my emotions and started to address what was really going on internally. It was so freeing!
I am happy to say that today, 10 months later, I am learning how to love myself more and more each day. I love my eyes, my strong thighs, my broad shoulders, my crooked nose, my (fairly gross :)) feet, my strong hands, my great posture, and many other things. But more importantly I love my heart. I LOVE ME, and that’s something I had never really considered for almost 14 years!
The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I truly believe that Operation Beautiful was put in my life as a way to see myself for who I really am: HIS child (Romans 8:16-18), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and a woman of beauty (Psalm 45:11, Proverbs 31).
This morning I leave you, Mama Pea style, with on note that’s meant specifically for me, bed-head, pajamas, (dirty mirror!!!), no make-up and all. I also leave you with a challenge to find something you love about yourself, look in the mirror, and tell yourself! The amazing thing about Operation Beautiful is it not only is a feel-good thing to do, it’s a call to action to stop the body image crisis we are all trapped in. Take action against it today!