Guest Post by Danielle Laux – We met 10 years ago in college and have established a strong friendship through faith and church. She is one of my best friends. I told her that I needed guest posts this month due to a busy schedule… Danielle volunteered with no questions asked. I look forward to reading her new blog once it’s up and running.
Go into any bookstore and you’ll find shelves upon shelves of books telling you how to feel, act, look. And next to those books, there are more shelves dedicated on how to get to the point of how you should feel, act, look. These books are written by doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, and even celebrities, wanting you to be a better you, in just 10 easy steps no less! The “you” you were destined to be.
And I have fallen into these fads; felt the need to follow these guidelines written out by someone whose bio is in small print on the back of a dust jacket or who I saw in the latest gossip magazine, their life laid bare before all and sundry.
Yet, I wanted to read into their claims; I wanted their help to show off the better me. Once I hit my teenage years I really became self-aware. My body was different than my friends; I was shorter, my back was broader, I had a bigger chest and, sadly to me, a bigger belly. I didn’t want to be me anymore. I began to work out at night at home. Slowly (so, so slowly) the weight began to shed. By senior year of high school I began to feel better; no longer did I just feel like the “fat friend.”
Then college happened.
Through my late teens/early 20s my weight was roller coaster of numbers. Mostly up, but when it went down, it went way down. I thought it was normal to skip one, maybe two meals. And bonus! My belly, my constant friend, was going away! Mentally, I was so happy. Fat friend? What fat friend? Physically, I was awful. I barely ate, and when I did, it was mostly a small breakfast and then something for dinner. I would work out, but I would tire easily because I wasn’t eating well. Or I would have white outs, where I would feel faint, hot, and need to sit down because I would lose vision and become lightheaded.
All for the want of the perfect body image.
When I moved back to my hometown after college, I fell into a deeper funk, and this time my body weight went up, and stayed up. I tried to work out, but I was unhappy with my job and when I got home, I just wanted to veg out in front of the television, blocking out the day I just had.
One day, I was talking with my best friend, bemoaning my weight, telling her that I needed to get back on track with eating right and working out. I was no longer going to be this heavy person! It was time to get physical!
And she was great; she nodded in all the right places, she listened to me go on and on about how I wasn’t happy with my body, that there had to be something done to change the way I looked.
Then, with the wonderful bluntness that she has, she looked at me and asked, “Why?”
I was astounded; what did she mean why? Wasn’t she looking at me? Didn’t she see how big my belly was and my arms and my thighs?! Couldn’t she see that I was in need of a much needed change to my appearance?!
Then, when I was fuming internally, she said, “God created you in His image; trying to change it, isn’t that basically saying you are upset with the way He made you?”
I was floored. Here I was, putting what I felt were my insecurities and what needed to be changed out on my sleeve, and she cut right through all that. Pulled out the big guns and shot down my argument.
And she was right. God created my body as a temple and instead of cleaning it up, and showing how shiny and pretty it was and could be I was planning on bulldozing it down and building something new. In all of my complaining, I wasn’t looking at what I did have, but what I should have. That what I was given was not good enough and I should be ashamed by what God has provided my soul.
Since then I have been watching more what I put into my body; it’s no longer a dumping ground for guilt and insecurities for appearing differently than my friends. Now, I am working on enjoying what God has provided for me and my soul! He provided this body for me, in His image, and I am going to give it the respect He and it deserves.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I no longer have the insecure thoughts about my weight, or my looks, but I am more aware of them when they enter my mind. No longer am I letting the thoughts take over, but I find ways to tame them, to keep them at bay. My body is mine to take care of, to hold dear. So far my good days are now outweighing my bad days and I fully intend to keep it that way. My body is different, but so is everyone else. Now, for me, it is about keeping myself physically and mentally healthy and happy.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
Danielle Laux resides in the grand state of Wisconsin and lives with her furry roomie, Myrtle the Cat. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, reading up on History, and writing various stories. She has been a Christian for 3 years and grows more in God’s Word every day. Follow her on Twitter @callmedanibeth. You can look forward to reading posts on her new blog coming very soon!