I’m fat…. & lovable.

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I’ve always been fat.

At a very early age, I was told that I was disgusting and a pig. The person who spoke these words over me, was supposed to be the one person that shouldn’t have said them. I can still hear her voice in my head, daily.

The kids at school, when they were feeling especially mean, would taunt me with the nickname “Miss Piggy”. As I got older, classmates stopped making verbal remarks, but I always wondered if they were silently judging me. I couldn’t fit into the LIMITED jeans that were wildly popular like the other girls. Instead, I cloaked my body with wide leg skater jeans and baggy t-shirts. I dove headlong into the “punk” look thankful that it masked the outline of my body.

In high school, I started taking diuretics given to me by a friend. She educated me on different tips to lose weight and burn calories off of different anorexic sites she frequented. This season didn’t last long– I didn’t enjoy being on the toilet all the time and I was afraid my family would find out. I opted to just skip meals when I could.

Between then and now, I’ve tried everything. Calorie counting. Fad diets. Long hours at the gym. I’ve set goals. I’ve joined accountability groups. I’ve phoned a friend.

Each thing worked, momentarily. I’d lose some weight. Start feeling good about myself. People would start commenting on how good I looked. (Funny how I don’t hear the same compliments when I’m not losing weight.) But then something would happen, and I’d stall out/give up. 

No matter how many pounds came off, I still hated myself. My body. My face. The way my eyebrows stick out wildly. The thinness of my lips. The mole next to my left ear. The crookedness of my bottom teeth. The critique could go on, people, but I think you see my point.

I’m 30 years old, and refuse to have a full length mirror at my house. I crop every picture that includes anything below my chest. I labor over what filter to use on selfies, in an attempt to find that one that will hide the most imperfections. (The selfie song is right– Valencia IS the best!) I’ve become the girl who can’t leave the house, even to go hiking, without my make-up on. All in an attempt to feel lovable.

Because the real issue is the thought that because I am fat I am unworthy of love. That only those that can pull off a bikini or leg baring skirt can be loved. That a man, no matter how God-fearing, won’t love this package I am in. That I will be single until I lose the inches and the pounds.

BUT my worth, your worth is not based on your lack of muffin top. You are lovable because you are YOU. That’s it.

I’m aware that most, if not all, magazines are plastered with tall, skinny models. I don’t find any comfort in knowing that all of them have been photoshopped in some way. Thigh gaps put in later. Hips slimmed. Necks raised and thinned. The picture society paints as beautiful won’t change any time soon.

 

So, what do I do? What do we do?

Well, we keep speaking Truth to our hearts and to others. We cut off the internal dialogue when it starts pointing out our flaws. We speak words of life and beauty to our hearts, instead of words of disgust and disdain. It’s not an easy battle, but one I believe that is worth the fight because you are worth it.

You are lovely. All of you. Every roll, every pimple, every cellulite dimple. You add beauty to our world. Your laugh a unique song. Your smile a ray of light to a dark world. Your eyes sparkling with life. Your hands vehicles of love.

You. are. beautiful.

And you are worthy of love. Just the way you are. Just the size you are.

Take it from John Legend, you are perfectly imperfect.

Wasted Fruit

fruitOn my way to the mailbox everyday for the past few months, I’ve seen a pear tree and a grape vine in my neighbor’s yard. Both the tree and the vine were full of beautiful, ripe fruit ready to be picked. The days when the sun offered a nice autumn warmth, I could literally smell the grapes as the gentle breeze wafted the scent to my nose.

Each day, I expected to see that the tree had been picked. But each day as I walked by, the bushels of fruit would continue to hang there in almost a taunting fashion. Why weren’t these people picking that fruit? I’d ask myself.

What a waste?! I’d mumble as I passed. At one point, I was so upset over the fact that the fruit hadn’t been picked that I had debated going to the neighbors and asking them if I could pick the fruit. I figured they might think I was nuts for making such a request, so I decided against it.

As the days passed, the pears began dropping to the ground. One after another, sitting there rotting away. The grapes were being stolen by the occasional squirrel, but eventually our first heavy frost destroyed them as well.

We can be like that pear tree and grape vine. We’ve been given all these amazing gifts, talents, skills, and tools (fruit) but for some reason we just let them be. They just hang there unused when they could be bringing people pleasure and enjoyment.

Why do we do this? Well, some people feel disqualified. They look at their life, the things they’ve done in the past, and they decide they aren’t good enough. That somehow they’ve got to get their crap together before they can actually do something. Sometimes its fear that creeps in and debilitates us. Or insecurities screaming “You can’t possibly do that.”

And then there’s the excuses, which can include: I’m shy. I lack resources. I’m tired. I don’t have the time. I’ve got kids. I’m old. I’m broke. I’m too young. So-and-so can do it better than me. I’m feeling gassy today. My bangs are going through that awkward grow-out-phase. I didn’t go to college.

I’ve just got to ask you: Why NOT you? Why NOT now? All the fears, insecurities and excuses don’t measure up to the God that lives inside of you. The God that lavished you with the unique gifts and skills that you have. And even if I wanted to, I can’t come pick your fruit, you’ve got to do that for yourself. He gave them to YOU.

Please, don’t let your fruit get wasted. Share them with the world, or even just the person you meet at the grocery store. Either way, USE THEM.