Insecurity: Poor Body Image & Eating Disorders

For as long as I can remember, I have never truly felt comfortable in my own skin. Except for a handful of times, I’ve never really thought It’s okay, I’ve got this. I’ve always found it difficult to let go of others opinions – to just brush them off and not think about them ever again like I see so many other people doing. Rarely have I found it easy for me to be content with me.

I remember as early as maybe seven years old, I was swimming at a friend’s house. We went inside and she stepped on the bathroom scale. When she stepped off, I saw the blinking number; she weighed maybe 76 pounds. Out of curiosity, I decided to do the same and found out I weighed 108. I instantly began counting up the difference between our weights. This is the first memory I have of being insecure about my body.

By the time I got to middle school, I was very overweight compared to most of my schoolmates. I noticed and so did they. I don’t think I have to elaborate on the things kids say to or about their overweight classmates. I was filled with immense hatred for the kids who made fun of me and I had a hatred against myself for looking the way I did. I cried every time summer vacation was over because I knew I’d be the “fat kid.” I developed multiple eating disorders and an extremely unhealthy habit of comparing myself to all the popular girls. Although it played such a large part, I know I can’t lay all the blame on the kids who picked on me. In the end I was ultimately responsible for my actions. At times, in a way, I’m somewhat thankful for those trials because I believe it led me to be more aware of other’s feelings.

I went back and forth between different methods of trying to lose weight. I started by severely restricting portion sizes or only eating certain types of food. Some days, I didn’t have enough energy to do anything but lay around and sleep. Anything else was too much effort. When I was so sick of starving, I’d finally break down and eat everything in sight. Then, I’d feel so guilty and worthless for wiping out my dedication from the days/weeks before that I resulted to quick fixes such as vomiting, crazy detox-type drinks or diet pills I hid in my room. Off and on again, I realized how dangerous bulimic habits were and would shy away from it and resort to mainly restriction.

My parents always tried reassuring me and constantly bought healthy food for me, but their attempts didn’t soothe me because the problem was so rooted in my head. Loved ones could give compliments all the time but it won’t change anything until the person decides to change. My parents always took me to church but I didn’t have much hope as a young teenager because I wasn’t a devoted Christian. My faith was lip service. Now that I maintain a relationship with the Lord, I can see things in a brand new light. I can see the hope in many things whereas before I was a bottomless pit of despair .

Insecurity has been a life long journey for me. As long as I can remember, I’ve never really felt like I fit in or was good enough. I could say that when I became a devoted Christian, there were fireworks and my problems magically disappeared. I wish….but that isn’t how it works. It takes constant prayer, studying, support from loved ones who share my faith…It takes growth. As long as I can keep my eyes set on God, I can see the light at the end and keep moving forward.

Having a place in Christ’s kingdom means I can stop wondering whether or not I’m good enough. I am HIS creation. He made me and it must have pleased him to make me just the way I am because, well, here I am. My husband once told me he believed that when God made me, He must have had him in mind. He might not remember saying that but I remember. If God likes the way I am (since He created me) and my husband likes the way I look, shouldn’t I? As a matter of fact, my husband married me when I was 30 pounds heavier than I am now. The opinions of God, my husband and myself are really the only ones I should be concerned about on this particular topic. Who cares if a random person who’s always been skinny sneers at me when I’m having a “fat day” or unconsciously wore something that didn’t flatter my figure. My worth isn’t measured by what everyone else thinks.

Am I going to stop exercising and eating healthy? Nope. Realizing I am beautiful in God’s eyes doesn’t mean I should give up and let myself go. When I read about biblical womanhood, I don’t get a mental picture of someone who is lazy and sloppy – the Proverbs31 Woman is anything but. I’m will continue to try to maintain good health and keep up my appearance for both myself and my husband. I’m just going to keep reminding myself not to constantly worry, obsess, about it or break down and cry over it. I’ll never look like a photoshopped model on a magazine cover and that’s perfectly alright, but I can stay determined to look and feel the best I can to the best of MY ability. The point isn’t to become utterly obsessed or, on the other end of the spectrum, totally uninterested in fitness. The point is being able to realize I could use some improvement in a certain area, whether it’s toning my arms or eating more veggies, while being completely content in the processIt’s okay to realize I need to work on something without feeling like I’m an absolute nobody until I reach the goal, because according to God I am somebody. In his eyes, I do have worth.

Whenever I am tempted to think negative thoughts about the way I look I remember Psalm 139:13-14 : For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. These verses give me a bit of a confidence boost. Beauty is a wonderful gift to women. It comes in all shapes and sizes. We are all beautiful in our own unique ways. Above all, it’s so very important for us to remind ourselves that TRUE beauty comes from the heart. Proverbs 11:22 says, Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. This means that even if I spend five hours in front of the mirror but have an ugly attitude, people will no longer think I’m beautiful once they get to know me. What’s the point in appearing beautiful if I’m really ugly on the inside? It seems it would be in vain.

This is a video of women’s ideal body types throughout history. I think it’s a great reminder of the fact that our culture’s idea of beauty can completely change within one or two decades.

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One thought on “Insecurity: Poor Body Image & Eating Disorders”

  1. You have always been beautiful and that is something you sometimes have not been able to see or feel. everyone has their insecurities/battles it’s just not the same for everyone. ..you are loved and you are beautiful inside and out..mom always knew more than she told…pray…every day..for you i did & still do..both of of my precious children…& will do so everyday of my life… love you mama …lol dad too he says

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