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Friday, September 18, 2015

Healthy

Deep breath. I've been trying to get up the courage to post this.

Okay, folks. I need to tell y'all something.

I'm healthy. And I don't look like this:

from: www.womenshealthmag.com
Funny buy not-funny: I googled "healthy woman midriff" and this was the first image that came up.

I am pretty sure I'm healthy. I exercise regularly. I finally managed to get in an eight mile run this week (although if you are friends with me on FB, you know it didn't quite go how I planned). The physical health benefits are nice, but I honestly exercise for my mental health. I finally found the thing that helps me fight depression, feel good about myself, and spend time doing something I enjoy that's just for me.

And I think I eat pretty healthily too. We eat real foods most of the time. But I eat chocolate when I want to need to. And I drink wine with my friends. I don't count calories or even know how much I weigh. I'm not saying those things are bad. But I know myself and I know that, right now, I don't need any extra pressure or standards to try to measure up to. I get enough of that from external sources without doing it to myself.

So I'm healthy. And here's why: I'm taking care of myself: physically and emotionally. I think I'm beautiful. Not physically - I still find myself fighting the battle against our society's standards of beauty. But I love my heart. I fell in love with Jesus and am doing my darndest to be more like him and I know my inner beauty comes from God. Life has given me so many opportunities to act like a beautiful person. I am so thankful for the times I've actually followed through. And more thankful for grace for the times I haven't. When I look around me, I realize my friends are amazing. They push and challenge me when I need it and help me pick up the pieces when I need that too, all while living their own beautiful lives... I figure if they want to be friends with me, there must be something to that, right?

So maybe today your Facebook or Instagram has a "motivational" picture of some perfect abs (along with beautifully styled hair & makeup).  Here's my contribution. This isn't a BEFORE picture. It's not an AFTER either. It's just ME.  No makeup. Hair how it decided to be this morning. This is what healthy looks like. This is a body that's almost 37 (eek!). This is a body that can run. This is a body that eats well, runs around with kids, grocery shops, volunteers in the community. See the stretch marks? This body birthed two babies, one with an epidural, one without any pain meds; both good choices. See those arms? They carried a frightened, sick toddler out of an orphanage in Ethiopia. See the wrinkles? Laugh lines from laughing with friends over glasses of wine. Or maybe a little from caring about politics and frowning at the internet. The bags under my eyes? Oh man, I stressed over that part of this picture almost more than anything else. I just don't get enough sleep, I guess. Right now, motherhood is winning over pretty eyes. Messy hair? I got to snuggle with my husband for a few moments before the kids woke up this morning instead of jumping up and taking a shower. And, you know... hair. Maya Angelou said it's our glory. I'm not always sure.



Social media gives us the chance to put forward only our "best selves" or sometimes our "imagined best selves." It's pretty easy to create a perfect persona. I'm guilty of it too. We all do it.  So here's some REAL for today. I didn't even know how to take a selfie in a mirror - this was an almost impossible task (what's the secret, folks?). And I had to clean the mirror first- see the cleaner bottle in the corner? I kept that in there for y'all. Oh and the scar on my belly-button from that great decision to pierce it when I was 18... lovely.We make such good choices as teenagers, don't we? Keepin' it real, mamas.

So be YOU today. Do something that makes you happy. Love that body of yours - I know it has done great things. Find the opportunity today to be a beautiful person AND find grace for the opportunities you've missed. Beauty has lots of shapes and sizes. But mostly, it's about the shape of our hearts. We've got this.

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. A very timely post for me. A few days ago I had the thought, "What if I just decided to be content with my body and not stress all. the. time. about my weight?" I haven't answered my own question yet, but I have been really sitting with this question and bringing it before God. I do know that He doesn't condemn me and isn't thrilled when I condemn myself. So THANK YOU for being real and vulnerable so that I (and others) can be encouraged to keep the focus where it needs to be - on a heart that loves God and others and on a physical body that He's given as a gift for which to be truly thankful!

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    1. <3 Yes!! Your body is carrying you through Spain right now!! How amazing is that??? And I love what God does with our hearts when we experience different cultures. I've learned so much about him when I've traveled.
      Our culture shames us so much for the way we look. I feel like I fight it all the time. It took me over a week to get up the courage just to post this post because of my own vanity!
      Much love to you! I can't wait to hear about your trip when you get back!!

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  3. Beautiful words from my beautiful niece. Good for you, challenging yourself to see through the tool that we use to accomplish life's challenges. The secret isn't in worrying about puffy eyes or surgical scars. .it's about staving off the depression and it's dangerous impact to your happiness. You are a success in every way sweetheart! !!

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  4. Beautiful words from my beautiful niece. Good for you, challenging yourself to see through the tool that we use to accomplish life's challenges. The secret isn't in worrying about puffy eyes or surgical scars. .it's about staving off the depression and it's dangerous impact to your happiness. You are a success in every way sweetheart! !!

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  5. You look great and dont let any fool tell you otherwise! Pop media can be so toxic in it insidious critique of beauty. I say fuck'em! (you can edit that out....) because nobody should be allowed to dictate what is desirable to others.

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    1. No editing needed! :) As a woman, it's so tiring to see all these flawless bodies held up as the standard. And while I LOVE the #nobodyshame campaign, I find it interesting that it seems to be mostly women with larger bodies who embrace it and feel empowered. I think I'm just regular - not overweight, not underweight, just healthy. And healthy looks like me, not airbrushed models. <3 Much love to you - I've lost track of where you are in the world these days!!

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  6. YES!!! I love being healthy right along with you! I'm gonna go ahead and challenge you to believe yourself to be physically beautiful too...cause....ummmm...well- you are. :) Embrace that too!
    Naturally, I love every single thing about this post! :)

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