Weight Obsession and the Beauty of Imperfection

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It started when I was 4.  I remember lifting cans as if they were weights and saying that I needed to lose weight.

The sad thing is, I was super skinny for my age, and I already didn’t know it.

Through junior high, when I started developing, I can remember how much I compared myself to everyone else.  I had hips, and I wasn’t okay with that.

In high school, I remember eating horribly and gaining and gaining.  I didn’t know how to take care of myself, and I was overweight.  It was really hard being overweight in high school when all of my friends were thin.

Then, in college, I lost a lot of weight and for the first time, felt pretty good about myself.

Then I got married and had babies.  Just like with most normal women, my body changed.

I have lost, gained, lost, gained.  And with every second of every day, I am obsessed with it.

I resolve to trying something new, and when it doesn’t work the way I want, I give up.  Then, I try something else.

The thing is, I know how to eat healthy.  And if I never lose another pound, I need to be okay with that.  Health is not just about being thin!

I realized the other day that I am pretty sure I have some sort of eating disorder.  I’m not anorexic or bulimic.  But I have disordered thoughts about my body, about weight, and about food.  I obsess.  I constantly compare myself to others, and am often sad that I am not as thin as others.  I want to be to a point in which I’m happy with others if they are thinner than me, and can just be happy with who I am, knowing that I am healthy.

THM only made that worse for me.  I was weighing every single day, watching my weight go up and down daily.  I was so excited when it went down, and depressed when it went up.  I was thinking about food 24/7.  I was reading blog after blog about weight loss and recipes for weight loss.  I was a part of groups that obsessed about weight loss.  It’s too bad that most of these women don’t realize they are amazing just the way they are… that they don’t have to lose that extra weight to be beautiful.  Yes, being healthy is soooooo important.  It’s self-care.  But there are so many ways to be healthy.  Just eating whole foods and exercising is healthy.  Enjoying ice cream every once in a while is healthy.  Being able to have lunch with a friend without worrying about being “on plan” is healthy.  Focusing on weight loss and food 24/7 is NOT healthy.  I had to learn it the hard way.

My scale is hidden right now.  Robert put it away.  I will not throw it away because it doesn’t hurt to weigh every once in a while, but I will not longer weigh daily.  I will not allow my weight to dictate whether or not I am happy or depressed.

I have resolved, once again, to just eat healthy.  I know what that is.  I was tired of not being able to have avocado with my beans, peanut butter on my apples, a green smoothie with banana and peanut butter, and grass-fed butter on my homemade sprouted bread because it was “mixing fuels.”  Those things are whole foods and are healthy.  And I also realized that the sweeteners that THM says to use are not necessarily that healthy.  Xylitol, which is the only sweetener that I liked, was causing me major digestive issues.  I’m sorry, but anything that causes digestive issues is NOT healthy.  Sugar alcohols are not natural.  They are processed.  I think I’ll stick with my raw honey, maple syrup, sucanat, and coconut sugar.  They are the least processed sweeteners.

I have learned and re-learned a few things by being on this eating plan for 6 weeks.  For one, healthy fats are nothing to be feared.  When I was counting calories, I had started to shy away from healthy fats because of the amount of calories in them.  Our bodies need healthy fats!  Two, calories matter some, but what you eat is more important.  If I am eating only 1400 calories a day, but it is mac ‘n cheese, peach cobbler, and Chickfila nuggets, then that’s not healthy.  But if I am eating mostly whole foods and have one of those things every once in a while, that’s okay too.  Balance and moderation.  Third, too much sugar isn’t good, either.  I have decreased my sugar intake a lot.  I no longer need 2-3 teaspoons of sugar in every cup of coffee.  I no longer crave sweets constantly.  Fourth, carb moderation is important.  Too much of anything is not a good thing.  Balance in all food groups is so good.

I have decided (again!) that I need to be okay with my weight just the way it is.  If I lose more, great!  If not, I am beautiful and cherished just the way that I am.  My husband loves my body, and he tells me that all day every day.  My friends and family won’t love me any more if I lose weight, and they don’t love me any less at my current weight (or even if I gain!).

Life is more than how we look.  It is more than obsessing about food.  It is more than obsessing about weight.  It is beautiful, and I want to experience it at its fullest.

journeywhoyouareThis quote says it all.  My journey is teaching me who I am, and who I want to be.  I want others to look at me and see a Jesus follower, not someone who obsesses about things that don’t matter.  I want people to see my love for my family, my enjoyment of all things outdoors, my love of playing games with my friends and family, my desire for health in all things, the beauty in my imperfection.

a new person

One thought on “Weight Obsession and the Beauty of Imperfection

  1. Courtney,

    I absolutely LOVE everything you wrote here; your truth and transparency encouraged and touched my heart. While I absolutely DO need to lose weight for HEALTH reasons, my weight isn’t the source of my daily battles. However, I know that reading about your journey and what you have learned will be a great help as I travel down my own path. Thank you for your willingness to be publicly transparent, my sweet sister in Christ.

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