There's irony in the fact that I came across this video just after examining a "pregnancy weight gain chart" online*. We'll get into that another time...
Right now, I'm beginning to process the full (figurative) weight of our future daughter - the blessing she is already and the high bar I need to set as we raise her. Especially for myself.
I'm going to be a girl mom. It will be my responsibility to help shape and shepherd the heart of a sensitive, sweet being who may always, as I do, worry about how she looks. I'm terrified.
Take a look at this video and think about the many casual phrases we toss about in daily conversation. The "jokes" we laugh off about our looks and bodies.
Notice our constant references to backsides, stomachs, hips, "cankles" and "thunder thighs." I could give you a list of the (genuinely funny!) things I've said about myself, but you'd probably just roll your eyes - and rightfully so.
Pick up on each thoughtless comment about ourselves at mealtimes, after dessert, while trying on clothes or when we catch our reflection in a mirror. How aware we should be of these when little ears are picking up on them!
I don't mean to dismiss the value of healthy living or the effects genuine obesity can have on a woman. That's another issue entirely. I do, however, intend to clean up my fat talking act - and fast.
If I've learned anything from my two years of parenthood, it's that children absorb far more than we realize they do. Mac spits things back out that I don't even remember saying - but I know I have. (No toddler says "oh my word" and "oh no!" this often. Or corrects the dog with a, "No, sir. We do not do that." Mind like a steel trap, I tell ya.)
Just as damaging as any four-letter word can be the subversive, easily overlooked insults to ourselves. Our children, who for a time feel like extensions of us, can only absorb those same ideas - and oh how I'd like to save this little girl from every ounce of heartache fat talk has caused me.
The truth? (It's difficult even to type this, fighting the urge to qualify or deprecate or joke.) I've never been obese, or even overweight. But I have spent the bulk of my years feeling large, misshapen, puffy, odd, awkward, out of the ordinary, "curvier," bigger than other girls, too tall, disproportionate and just plain unpretty.
Scripture tells me I'm created in God's image, that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. For a lot of years, and in a million moments since I've "grown out" of those feelings, I would have disagreed. How I wish I could tell you I've just switched off those instincts.
My prayer now, not just for Fat Talk-Free Week but for all of my girl-raising days to come, is that I talk about what matters. My heart, my hopes, the world around me, the lives of others, what I'm doing and who I can help - notsomuch about how I look while I'm doing it.
I'm grateful for a healthy body that has carried a beautiful boy and is growing another baby as I type. I'm thankful for a life easy enough that my mind can even wander to such superficial thoughts as the size of my thighs.
I'm glad to be able to get around, to care for our family and myself without assistance. And I'm grateful for the people in my life who make me laugh so hard I feel beautiful - while forgetting about looks altogether.
For those of you who are raising daughters, or who are daughters yourselves, how do you combat the urge to 'fat talk'? How can we fight the subtle 'you're not good enough' messages we unintentionally send to girls without putting too much of a focus on looks in general?
This week, I'm going to talk about things that matter. And cellulite, my friends, does not.
*More irony? Wanting to take down pics from yesterday's post because they are "unflattering." And being afraid that they're not unflattering, just accurate. And looking at pictures of oneself long enough to have such opinions. Oh, I have work to do.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."-Psalm 139:14
2 hours ago