“’You look great now, but you’d look even better at 102lbs.’ I’m terrified of my sweet, innocent little Addy girl hearing lies like I heard as she grows up.
But, turns out, I’m not the only girl who heard words like these.
The following is a list of phrases, lies, and comments said to some of my dear friends and to me growing up and into adulthood:
‘Your job is to just stand there and look pretty.’
‘WOW, you’re just so big pregnant. I’m so used to you being so small.’
‘You’re going to need to try to work that off later.’
‘Eat small, be small.’
‘Well, you don’t actually struggle with that, you’ve always been a lot bigger than X who has an eating disorder.’
Some of these might seem shocking and you might think these words would never be said to a little girl…but I’m almost positive every woman out there can relate to hearing some form of hurtful comments made about their body.
For some reason, we expect we will grow up and ‘grow out of’ these negative thoughts and deep seeded lies we believe about ourselves. I am a mom to three beautiful children. I’m a functional adult (most days). I should be over this by now…right?!
If we haven’t addressed these thoughts and habits head on, these seeds that were planted will take root in our minds and hearts. These seeds have been watered for years and years, either by others and their comments or by our own negative self-talk. They’ve grown into full blown weeds, hijacking our thoughts, and making it difficult to grow and flourish in the ways we were created for.
I started processing this more when the 10-year challenge became a thing at the beginning of 2020. News flash, none of us look the same as we did ten years ago. And That’s. Not. A. Bad. Thing. There’s been a LOT of life lived since then. For me…there’s also been a lot of spoonfuls of Nutella eaten straight from the jar after a long day of parenting 3 tiny humans under the age of 3…anyone relate?!
When this ‘challenge’ came out, I was VERY pregnant with Addy girl and my comparison of 10 years prior was when I was 18 years old, about to try out for KSU cheer, and was at my lowest weight ever (read: very unhealthy). I sent a message to the friend who had to deal with my food and weight issues up close and personal for years (Aka, roommate and best buddy) and thanked her for all she did for me and sticking with me through it all. Her response was classic and so freeing to be reminded of. She simply responded, ‘Your weight has always been the least interesting thing about you.’
So, here’s a new ‘challenge’ for you. Identify the lies you’ve been told or believed about yourself. Challenge them with the truth. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved. I am valuable. I can do hard things. My body is a gift.
There’s grace for you in this space. But more importantly, there is MORE for you. You will never be able to convince me that God wants this for us. He doesn’t want us to stay stuck in these patterns, our minds and hearts being hijacked and turned away from what He has for us. He has big, beautiful things in store. Things we can’t see or devote time to if we are fixated on the number on the scale.
I recently read the book ‘Risen Motherhood,’ and the chapter on postpartum body image. My favorite quote was, ‘I remembered this life isn’t about me anyways, so I’m free to look how I look and not be caught up in pride or despair…We can display true beauty as people see us preoccupied with loving others in the name of Jesus…’
So—Addy girl and every girl out here reading this who has ever heard a lie, believed a lie, or will be told lies…you’re free to look how you look. It’s the LEAST interesting thing about you.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tricia Holliday. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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