Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Joy Filled Life: A Lesson On Body Image

Summer is my favorite time of year because it offers freedom. Sweet freedom.  Lazy summer mornings of not rushing kids every which way. Slower, or non-existent, activity schedule and less clothing.

Wait, what?

Okay, so there's one thing I don't like about summer.  Less clothing.  At least on me.  Less clothing on kids...LOVE (means less laundry).  However, less clothing on me means it's that much harder to hide the flaws.  The spider veins, the cellulite, the whiteness, the loose skin, the non-existent 'I've nursed 4 babies' boobs and the baby leftovers.  I found myself feeling inadequate in lots of areas of my body image. Some things I can change by being more focused on my diet and working out.  Some things I could change surgically.  Some things I could simply hide.

OR.

Or, I could accept.

Dang it.  Acceptance is touchy subject.  I often feel when I accept something I am saying acceptance to justify,  or because I feel defeated.  But what if I flipped that to say acceptance as responsibility?

I am where I am.  I can do something about it, but I refuse to let my life center around my flaws any longer.

I thought about this quite a bit today after my bestie snapped a pic of me and I immediately said, "Don't you dare post that!"  I knew my baby leftovers were lapping over my swimsuit.  It was not going to be a pretty sight, and not something I wanted to blast on social media.

You know what's wrong with that?  I made the whole situation about me.  My thoughts. My insecurities.  My shortcomings.  It was selfish.

My kids were having a blast playing at the pool.  We were completely enjoying summer and the last thing I should have been worried about was what I looked like.  But, really my thoughts were more like, Oh, HECK NO!  I want to only show what looks good.  Selfish.

So what better way to correct my selfishness by sharing my 'ashamed pic'.  I wish I had a big flashing arrow right to the point that bothers me the most, but a nice zoom in will do ;)


I realize for others, this is probably not a big deal.  We women certainly like to compare, but for me, I measure myself up to my old self.  My pre-Stevie self.  I measure myself up to this...

Can we take a moment of silence for those ABS!?!?! Now, if I took hours each week focusing on my workouts (which I do need to do), then I can get that back, but guess what?  There will always be things I don't like about my body image.  The only way to combat destructive self images are to remind myself of who I am in Christ.

Sounds so cliche, but truth.  I am fully capable of serving others and living out a calling whether I have the Dunlap Disease or not.  You know, the disease where your stomach 'done lapped' over your belt thus resulting in Dunlap Disease.  My joy should not be wrapped up in my appearance or lack of appearance.  My joy should be present no matter what the circumstance.  Even in the darkest times. Even in the joyous times. Even in my own noticeable shortcomings. Even in my own successes.

Joy.  A joy filled life. That's what I want.

Instead of focusing on whether or not baby leftovers are hanging out, I will capture those selfish, destructive thoughts and move towards focusing on Philippians 4:8.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-think about such things.

Aligning my thoughts correctly.  I am no where near perfect, but I will continue to work on getting better.

If you are interested in rewiring how you think The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry is a great start.

2 comments:

Mandy @ mintnclandycreate said...

Awesome post Amanda. Great reminder! Thanks for sharing your heart.

Lindy Davison said...

My thoughts exactly! We women are WAY too hard on ourselves! Btw you look gorgeous in both pictures! I prefer the first one because you are showing your beauty by being a mom!! Thank you for sharing this:)