"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18.2

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On the Soapbox Again: Body Image

I'm a big girl. I haven't been "pleasantly plump" since high school, and I've been shopping in the plus-size section for about 30 years now. It grieves me to see the term "weight problem". Okay, if you're so heavy it's robbing you of your health and ability to live a relatively normal life, then that's a problem. Aside from that, why can't we just accept that "this is the size I am. I may have been smaller, or even larger, at one time, I may be smaller or larger in the future. But right now, this is me. AND IT'S OKAY."

My legs are fat and stubby, but they get me from place to place. They ache from fibromyalgia and my left knee is tortured by RA, but these are my legs, and I love them.

My arms are flabby and the batwings swing back and forth like crazy. But these arms hug my grandchildren and friends, these arms connect to my hands that paint and knit and sew and play the piano and create art... I love these flabby arms.

My belly and backside make me resemble a gigantic apple. So what? That's the way they are at this point in time. I can't say I love them, but I accept them, and I do not hate them and I do not hate myself because of them!

Now here's where the fat is a good thing: at age 57 I have no wrinkles on my face. None. not even crow's feet around my eyes. Why? The fat keeps 'em filled out! LOL

Ladies, I'm not saying you shouldn't try to change your size and shape if you want to. I'm not saying, "Fat is where it's at". What I am saying is don't be ashamed of yourself right now, don't put your life on hold "until I lose [x number of] pounds". I've got news for you, if you cannot or will not feel good about yourself now, you still won't when you've reached your "perfect" weight. You'll just find something else to focus on and be unhappy with.

I remember sitting by the pool 30 years ago in my black polyester slacks, roasting, and wanting more than anything to be in that pool with my children. So one day I went shopping for a bathing suit. There were only 5 to choose from, 4 dowdy black ones, and 1 bright, shiny blue one. Guess which one I bought? The blue one! It really brought out my eyes. (batting my eyelashes rapidly) And I went to the pool, dropped my cover-up and jumped in with my girls and we had a blast. Oh, that water felt so delicious in the hot sunshine!  Oh, the days I had wasted not enjoying this!
There was no way not to notice the shocked expressions on the faces of the other polyester-clad moms. After about 2 weeks, one of those moms showed up in a bathing suit. After another week or so, several more ladies sporting brand new bathing suits jumped into the pool and cavorted about with their children and had FUN! I'd like to think that having one person break the unspoken rule that fat people can't appear in public in a bathing suit was the catalyst for other women to pluck up their courage to come out of the [black polyester pants] closet!

Be brave ladies! Resist what the media tells you that you should look like. Refuse to accept rudeness from people who think it's okay to disrespect you because you're a woman of size. Love yourself just the way you are!
I must confess that I have to preach this message to myself from time to time. In the Bible, James 4.7 says, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." The devil loves it, delights in it, when he can keep us imprisoned in self-hatred. Resist, resist, resist! The scriptures also tell us, in Psalm 139.14 that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made...". I am thankful that what God sees as important, and the only thing He regards as important, is what is inside in our hearts.
My hope and wish for you all is to learn to love yourself, warts and all, and understand that what is in your heart is what really counts.


  1. Good for you. I love your attitude. You won't get left out of life.

  2. Oh my, I learned that years ago. Now at almost 66 I like me, a few more rolls and the arthritis is ok...........I earned it ! hugs, Amy

  3. Amen sister!!!I stopped hating myself along time ago and it realy peves me to hear a person wearing a size 12 say that they are fat and need to loose weight. Hollywood and the glam mags have put people who have a shape into horrible ridicule. I guess we have Twiggy to thank for that crud.

  4. I am learning that. I am ok where I am. Someday I'll be perfect. Probably not here.

  5. I can't agree more. I also am a woman of size, always have been, probably always will be. I too have been smaller/larger, but am trying to accept the concept, this is who I am. Don't judge us by our cover, but what's in our hearts.

  6. I said it when I was a little critter and I'll say it now. I love your squishy belly and you're comfy! You wouldn't be any fun to hug if you were a string bean! I can't even imagine having a skinny Mommy. Thank you for such a beautiful post. I miss you super big bunches! XOXOXOXOXO

    -Your Baby