Stand Tall Pretty Girl

Every now and then I glance in the mirror…and feel pretty.

 

And it catches me so off guard that my walls crash down. And the guilt screams vanity and quickly finds a blemish to highlight and sing to.

 

And it’s easier to believe the ugly than a fleeting moment of a pretty girl reflected.

 

Deep and long and toxic words, not even half truths, I’ve let myself believe.

 

Let my body and soul be starved for.

 

And yet, sometimes unexpectedly I see a pretty girl. So, I know I’m getting stronger. The toxicity is losing ground; so claws come out.

 

To the vain, selfish, “pretty girl” let me whisper ugly nothings…

stabd tall pretty girl

Have another cup of coffee, it’ll do til lunch, the headaches don’t leave anyways.

 

But there’s a louder voice fighting back…

 
Stand tall pretty girl, one day it’ll be your constant reflection.

 

No more blurred vision or crippling dysmorphia. One day she won’t take you by surprise.

 

And we get to choose which voice to believe.

 

We get to choose to be our own friend. To see the pretty despite the flaws.

  • J
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Some Beasts Die Hard

While this was written awhile ago, February (which is National Eating Disorder Awareness month) seems the appropriate time to post it…

It’s been awhile but I cried hard yesterday. Hard and ugly at the bottom of the shower- my safe place, my old solo silent refuge.

 

Wishing I had something to throw up, to literally purge my body of this feeling. To find some control in a beast that lies dormant, never leaves.

 

But it was 6am and a blessing I’d only had coffee and  an angel held my dripping, heaving body from falling down that slippery slope again.

 

some beasts die hardSome beasts die hard.

 

And so I sat and cried.

 

I sat heaped and felt the heat and gazed at pictures through steamy glass. At peaceful smiling faces, a façade I’m living in.

 

And wondered if others’ photographs sometimes felt as fake.

 

The irony of a perfect moment captured on film and sent into the world as the face of this “perfect life.”

 

Smiling faces, embraced, leaning into one another, trying and enjoying, but hungry for so much more.

 

So hungry I want to throw up.

 

Maybe you’ve never experienced that dichotomy, I’m sure most reading this haven’t. …the opposite action to fill up a soul thirsting.

 

A struggle as stupid as it is real.

 

And there’s not a happy ending to this short blog, just some shower confessions. Some raw ponderings and a thankful heart for just coffee before 6 am.

 

And four little arms and sticky hands to keep perspective. Too keep grounded.

 

To keep trying despite the hunger.

 

And a God bigger than this beast.

  • J

Pregnancy is Hard

pregnancy is hardPregnancy is hard, really hard, even under the best of circumstances.

This spring has not been smooth sailing, best of circumstances, weather.

It’s been nonstop transitioning; it’s been sacrifice; it’s been relearning who I am in the midst of irregular hormones and a husband on the road; it’s been finding my voice while putting compassion first.

It’s been hard and it’s been tiring.

Honestly, its felt like a complete loss of control over everything in my life, which may or may not have been God’s plan for my faith.  But for a control freak like myself it’s been excruciating. Pregnancy is hard, and, while I’m not the only woman to ever be pregnant, every single woman who is deserves to be treated that way.

We are hormonal. In my case overly hormonal (even the doctors agree…my hormone levels is that for someone carrying multiples….nope – just one hormonal gypsy girl and myself).

Pregnancy is hard under the best of circumstances; pregnancy and all the body changes are hard even when you don’t battle an eating disorder…I do.

They don’t go away; you learn to manage them.

Every one who has, or walks with someone who has, an eating disorder knows that they have triggers. Things, people, situations, etc. that make it difficult to cope with life in a healthy way.

You know what makes that hard for me…my body growing and changing every single day… my hormones going crazy and taking away logical reasoning…feeling like I have no voice in my own home…feeling like I have a complete lack of control over pretty much every single thing going on.

And yes, I fully, 100%, believe God is in control and this too will be used for His glory and plan.

But it’s hard.

And people telling you how much bigger you’re getting does not help.

Pregnancy is beautiful in so many ways. That does not mean I feel beautiful during this process. It is a very private journey between mother and child (sorry dads) that manifests in a very public way…a growing baby belly.

Here’s the thing, body image is hard for 90% of females (that’s a made up statistic but my guess is its actually closer to 99%). I don’t comment on your growing or changing body. Do not comment on mine.

This journey I’m on creating a family isn’t a spectator sport. Unless I ask, just assume your advice, comments, and observations about my body are not needed. Nor are your hands touching me.

I’m hormonal. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since middle school…this is all public knowledge, pull out some common kindness and act accordingly. Because I won’t tell you off when you do it or be rude…but all day long I’ll struggle with the comments you’ve made.

-J

Living Our Struggles Out Loud

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed –James 5:16

I’ve always been a loud person. I have a loud persona; I wear my emotions and opinions loudly (even when I don’t use words). I guess its only natural that I try to live my life out loud as well.

Leaving no words unspoken.

(yes, that sometimes leads to trouble and I’m working on my tone and word choice)

but a life without secrets that’s…well it isn’t beautiful ( I have a lot of ugly) but it’s real and it’s easier than putting on fancies…and I just don’t have time for that!

cb36cbac9b09994620947aa7d5f5d385Putting your struggles in plain view was thrust upon me at a young age. Thanks to an eating disorder and parents who refused to do what I (the child) wanted.

The only way to gain control over that beast was by making it as public as possible- so secrecy wasn’t an option (and yes, years of therapy).

Yes it was embarrassing and diifcult having the entire family know my struggles.

Yes it was excruciating having the entire school in on my battles.

But… yes, it was nearly impossible to get awa01ef0a83159c56b28d1c35771960f00ay with continuing the damaging behavior.

And in time it was liberating not having to hide.

It took many years but I learned to own it. To not be ashamed because I have struggles, to talk about it openly.

I have lots of struggles, if you have time I’ll tell them all to you. And everytime a little healing happens.

Some struggles never go away, they ebb and flow between good and bad days.

Pregnancy is a very hard thing for me physical and emotionally thanks to my eating disorder. I love that I’m growing my child and love baby girl beyond measure…but my growing belly gives me personal, selfish fears and anxieties I wish I didn’t still battle.

Comes down to…oh well.

I do, and I will and it no longer consumes me because I hold it to a light.

Darkness holds secrecy and our struggles can become sin but in the light we have control. Both metaphorically and literally.

Jesus, as my light, changes everything. A struggle isn’t sin, but it can be if you let it control you.

And literally sharing my burden, shining the light on them and not hating myself for having them, helps me gain control and perspective.

We are only human, I struggle. I have a lot of ugly.

Lets just own our battles outloud. For the sake of each other and ourselves.

There’s no shame in a struggle. Welcome to life. It is hard. By why go it alone?!

-J

The Woman He Loves

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,

whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.

So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I’m my own worst critic. Its borderline bullying really.

As females I think this is true of most of us. Society puts unreal pressure on us. Then we put it on ourselves and those around us and it becomes this vicious, unrealistic, and judgmental cycle.

I’ve battled an eating disorder my entire adult life, it manifested in middle school. Right when physical appearance and the need to belong are #1 on a young girl’s priority list. I’ve done some permanent and severe damage to my body and logically I never want to go back to where I was when it was all consuming. But honestly, in the secret of the morning, I wouldn’t mind losing another 10 lbs and being a size 2 again. (and I can even talk myself into thinking that’s perfectly fine because its 2 sizes up from the 00 I used to be…yes they make pants in size 00…no, its not healthy).

Those who know me know that I am thin already. I can logically admit that size 4 is enviable and losing weight isn’t healthy for me. Especially since we are trying to make a sibling for Nici.

Bit I often wonder, will I ever be satisfied?! Will I ever like what I see in the mirror? It’s going on 15 years of self-loathing my physical form, and I’m tired of it.

I’ve spent many years in counseling and can spew the right words: I’m healthy, have a great family, a healthy happy little boy, I can run, laugh, love, swim, play, reproduce…my body allows me to do so much (and I am grateful the years of severe restricting is mainly only represented daily by Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Which is why I finally (after becoming pregnant) came to the point of truly respecting my body and taking better care of it. But the question remains: will I ever like it?

A few weeks back my mom was a having a bad hair day, which led to complaining about her body. My dad stepped in and said:

“hey, you’re talking about the woman I love”

(its no wonder why they just celebrated 30 years together in September)

His comment made me smile ~and think~ Jesus feels the same way!

I don’t know that I will ever like my body, that’s part of my disease. But we are grown, intelligent women and all know the power of words…and I can control the negative self talk.

Jesus made me exactly how He wanted. Yes, its important to take care of ourselves, we are His temple after all. Eating fruits and veggies, moving our bodies, these are important things.

But so is eating the red velvet cake, so is dancing like an idiot, so is laying on the floor eating cookie dough while staring at the ceiling entirely too long.

God made our bodies for a purpose so by all means take care of it, but he also made them for pleasure. So try not to restrict yourself to the point of misery (yes, I am talking to myself)!

This is where my focus needs to be. Enjoying the temple God made me to be. I get way to obsessed over how the temple looks…instead of how it works.

And when the negative self talk comes back (which it does…every morning when I get dressed and every evening when I get undressed). I will concentrate real hard and hear Jesus say:

“ Hey, you’re talking about the woman I love”

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31 

– J