September 8, 2010

Operation Beautiful Part II: My Story


I have waited quite a while to write this second part of my two-part Operation Beautiful "series," because it's my own story. Operation Beautiful is another woman's idea, but it is helping women stop "fat talk," and helping us all realize we are beautiful...no matter what...and that is one of the passions of my heart too!
I want women, girls, even men to realize that they are amazing, just as they are!  But, this is one area of my life that I still struggle with!
I was a normal kid growing up.  Involved in Brownies and Girls Scouts, loved church and all my church friends.  I was shy.  Took ballet for a few years, loved teaching myself piano... but when I went into middle school I gained a lot of weight.  Now, I can't tell you any-one situation where someone picked on me or made me feel bad about myself - but I don't remember needing that to feel bad about myself anyway.
All of my friends were stick thin.  I felt self-consious all the time.  My baby sister (2 years younger than I), friends, everyone I spent time with were much smaller than me.  I remember crying whenever I had to go shopping for new clothes.  I actually remember one time my mom taking me to get some new jeans and when I didn't fit into anything but a size 10...womens....at 12 years old, I balled my eyes out right there in the fitting room.
Well, some of those memories have left some scars on me mentally, and emotionally.  I have spent all my teenage years and early-twenties battling seeing myself correctly, and not allowing negative inner-talk to break me down.
The crazy thing is that most people that I have told this to are surprised.  I guess looking back at pictures, I started changing on the outside as soon as I got into high school.  I lost some weight (mostly due to being so stressed out each day I could barely eat).  Then when I went off to bible school (Christ For the Nations) at age 18, I gained 15 pounds - of muscle.  (You may be laughing, but that was the best shape I had ever been in, in my life.  I weighed 135 lbs, was a size 4 and still didn't think I was "skinny").  Then I yo-yo-ed for the next 3 years or so, until after I was married for 4 months and got pregnant with my first baby.
This is where things really started to change for me, on the inside too.  I get so sick in my first trimesters that I am usually hospitalized (for re-hydration) and lose around 15-20 pounds in those first 9 weeks.  Then I have a healthy pregnancy and get back in shape fairly quickly after each baby is born.  I am now 4 months post-partum...for the third time.
I would say now I am FINELY beginning to get a grasp on things mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually...and I've been at this for 14 years.  I would love to say "I've made it to the otherside," but it is a daily battle (sometimes weekly, sometimes hourly).  I have learned a few things that I would love to share with you... but the main thing is that EVERYONE needs to hear this!  EVERYONE needs to believe they are "Worth It," and it doesn't matter what size you're in or what the scale says.  It matters what God says. 
The first song I ever wrote was a little melody to Psalm 139:
"You made all the delicate inner parts of my being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! ...How precious are your thoughts about me O God! They are innumerable!"
I have written a few songs that are a great reminder to me of what God really thinks of me, even when I have a hard time seeing myself the way He does.
I pray that through the areas of my life that I've struggled or experienced hardships, God will open a door for me to minister to other women and to use those experiences to help someone else grow, change and blossom!  I'm starting to realize that I don't have to have it all figured out to bless someone else with my story... it is far from complete, but here I am anyway, as of yet!
I hope that as I continue to grow and learn and become who God has made me to be, how He sees me, that I can encourage others along the way!
So share your story, spread the love... whether in the comments below, on post-it notes around the gym (see Operation Beautiful Part One), or over coffee with a friend.  You never know how a little honesty and transparency can impact others!  Be blessed!

3 comments:

  1. Wow, girl. Thanks for sharing. You've always radiated beauty inside and out, and to hear your story makes you that much more precious in my eyes... LOVE YOU!

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  2. That was awesome!! Great writing, great story, and I agree with Brittany! You have always been beautiful inside and out! I truly believe your transparency will minister to a lot of people!! AMAZING!!

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