I have been wanting to write this post for so long now! I’m soooo excited to love on y’all today with these words. So grab a warm cup of your favorite winter drink, cuddle up on the couch and get ready to accept this giant virtual hug!
I LOVE Pinterest, anyone else? I love saving recipes for that day the kiddos tell me they don’t know what they want for dinner. And shower-throwing went next level with being able to SHARE boards with your fellow hostess! SO MUCH FUN!
BUT, one click on a healthy recipe or new workout plan and watch out for the hailstorm of weight loss posts, beating me just like a real hailstorm, making me want to duck and hide. Covering my body to protect it! Posts begin to look something like this… a picture on the left of the post is of a woman grabbing something, her “armpit fat”, her cellulite, or maybe her “muffin top”, with a look of disappointment or disgust on her face, and on the right side is a woman with about 10% body fat, very visible abs, 20-year-old breasts, and a tan looking like she’s got her whole world under control (well, at least that’s what I assume, because she MUST have EVERYTHING together to look like THAT!). Under the pictures, in all caps and a fancy font, I read, “LOSE YOUR MUFFIN TOP IN 2 WEEKS!”, or “HOW TO TURN CELLULITE INTO MUSCLE WITH THIS WORKOUT PLAN," oh, and one of my faves, “4 STEPS TO GET A BETTER BUTT.” I’m a sucker for that one.
At this point I can feel one of two ways. Either I feel shame and embarrassment, or I start to feel motivated. It depends on the day. On days when I feel the shame it usually ends with me spending the rest of the day eating anything I can get my hands on, and therefore, only piling more shame upon shame upon shame. Not a good place to be. I know what you're thinking - “So how do we make sure to feel motivated by these posts instead of shamed?” - but getting your motivation from these posts is as destructive as feeling shame. Hear me out.
Regardless of how posts like the ones I described settle with you, you have to remember that no matter who you are, what your size is, or how many rolls and divots you wear on your skin, that YOU ARE LOVED, and that your worth does not come from your appearance. You are a child of THE MOST HIGH! You knew I was going there, didn’t you? Well, we’ve all heard it before, but when will you begin to accept and BELIEVE it? Until you wholeheartedly begin to believe and live in the truth of God’s word, no amount of shame for motivation will ever create a lasting change in your life.
If you are ready to make a change, one that will take hold and not let go, the first step is to turn back to God and accept His love. You have to choose to believe that you are loved by Him, now, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. Today, not next week after you have “cleaned up a little.” He does not love us because of our works. He loves us because we are His.
Once you know you are loved unconditionally, everything changes. This is when lasting motivation kicks in, the real stuff! You may not like where you are physically today, but knowing that you cannot be rejected by the ONLY one who matters makes the journey to a better you much easier to take; “perfect love drives out fear.” And if we are honest with ourselves, fear is what holds us back. Fear of failing, not being loved or accepted, fear of making changes and not losing a pound. That sounds terrible from a state of fear, but from a place of love, none of it matters anymore. “So what if I don’t lose a pound? GOD LOVES ME.” “So what if that guy leaves me, GOD LOVES ME, and has someone better planned for me.” “So what if I can’t trade cellulite for smooth legs, GOD LOVES ME, and I still have working legs to take me outside spreading His love to others.” You start to forget what you’re NOT and start to see what you are!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it thousands more times, YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF INTO SOMETHING YOU LOVE!!!
Lasting change starts with LOVE.
Here’s a little tip to get you moving in the right direction. Start with removing from your social media accounts any and all messages that make you feel less than. I mean it, ALL of them. I am willing to bet you know how to eat healthy and get some exercise. You do not need to be chasing down the newest pop star’s trendy diet to finally lose the pounds. Aren’t you tired of trying to be someone you’re not?!? I am. God made me with an oval face, big feet, and a not-so-round bottom, and I am ok with me just like this. Life is so much better when you are striving to be the best version of YOURSELF. You’ll never become anyone else anyway. Embrace you, and LOVE YOU! Once you master this, ALL of the negative self talk disappears because you no longer believe those lies. You have replaced them with truths. The truth of God's love for you, everlasting and unconditional.
Here are a couple of Bible verses for you take with you to meditate on. THEY ARE TRUTH! Replace your negative-self tag with these. Feel the love begin to grow within you.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” NLT