House For Six

Confessions Of An Imperfect Life: Food, The Scale, & Me

Deme Crinion4 Comments
Today, I'm starting a new series that I hope to share on both blogs.  See, the thing about writing a blog is that I'm the one writing the words.  I can leave out any unpleasant details and paint any picture I want.  I can also leave out any unflattering pictures of myself, so you only see my good hair days and non-pajama ensams.

So, to keep this blog from becoming some surreal documentary from the likes of Pleasantville, I wanted to do a series that would force encourage me to be a little more open about our dysfunctional moments around here....and the dysfunctional places in my heart as a woman. Cuz I'm not a man, so I'll leave that stuff to the menfolk.

Now, don't go thinking I'm going to start posting pics of myself right after I fall out of bed.  That would just be mean....to you.  And I like you, so we won't go there.  But, that very subject....how you see me and how I see myself, is probably a good place to start. 

I could lie through my teeth and tell you that I'm totally content with the way I am.  But I can give you a detailed list of all the things I hate about my body and the features I wish were different.  I think most women can.  It's a self-critical voice in my head that I constantly have to give the beat-down, and usually I come out of those bouts with at least one black eye.  It's something that has gone to a whole other level after having kids.

Extreme weight gains/losses in a short amount of time, changes in my body's shape, and an unspoken expectation to be back to pre-baby weight (or less) in record time have all played on the strings of my ego and self-worth.

I've been stuck at this place....this "15 pounds from ideal" place for about a year.  I've had this internal arguement with myself over simply accepting that I had 3 babies in 4 years and this is just the way my body is going to be vs. taking control and making sacrifices to lose those last 10-15 pounds.  Because it will take sacrifice for me to do it....preparing for meals/snacks in advance, saying no to foods I'm accustomed too, and turning down other things in order to get a workout in....and going to bed on time - which will always be my nemesis.

The quickie story about my relationship with food is this....as a teenager I was an athlete that trained hard and never had to worry about what I ate.   I joined the Marine Corps, so throughout college and my time on active duty, I was again, always training hard and didn't really need to think about food.  Then I got pregnant.  And older.  It became harder to lose weight just by working out.  Compared to the average Joe I feel like I know a lot about food and healthy eating habits.  I've just been too lazy to actually follow them.

There have been times that I've gone on a healthy eating kick or a sugar detox, but I've never been consistent, and I've never been consistent with both food and exercise at the same time.  In the past I basically worked out to support my eating habits.  Well, this ole girl just aint what she used to be.  It will take the right food choices and regular exercise to get and keep my body at a healthy weight.  I also have a back injury, so even carrying just 5 extra pounds makes a huge difference in how I'm able to function.

Back to pre-baby weight after a 50lb pregnancy weight-gain with Mia......
prebaby weight

6 months pregnant with Sully...
pregnant with baby #2

Today, after three 50lb weight-gain pregnancies...
 After 3 babies

Please let me be clear.  I do not consider myself "fat" or even overweight.  It's not just about the scale.

I don't feel good....
I'm tired all the time (even after 7+ hours of sleep)....
I get food cravings....
My nails are weak and break easily.... 
My teeth hurt....
My patience is non-existent.... 
I wake up with back pain almost every day...
My digestive system is all over the place......

I know that I have significant deficiencies in my diet and that I haven't taken very good care of myself.

In lieu of a New Year's Resolution, I felt like my theme for this year was to "take care"...better care of our home, better care of my relationships, and better care of myself.  I've been a bit of a hypocrit in that way....I make sure my kids get to bed at a decent hour every night, serve them healthy/balanced meals, and try to give them physical activity every day.  It's been a lot of do as I say, not as I do.

I've been really inspired by Carmel's candid journey in Paleo eating so, I finally decided to give it a real shot.  A month of better eating (without cheating) and regular exercise.  And we'll see how I feel. (We decided to try the Perfect Health Diet and I'll share more about the food details tomorrow).

I really don't care what the scale says.  Of course I want to like the way I look in my clothes, but more than anything, I want to feel the best that I can and to know that I'm taking proper care of myself.  I want to feel strong, fit, and able again.

So after all this healthy eating and exercise, I'll feel awesome about myself and never think or say anything negative about the way I look again, right? .....you did, didn't you?  You just snorted out your coffee onto the computer screen.  It's ok.  I know that critical voice will always be there, but I know that if I feel better, confident that I'm taking care of my body, hopefully I'll be able to deliver the defeating knock out to the voice of "you suck" in the first round instead of the fifth.

When I prayed about this post and for a piece of Scripture the first thing that came to mind was "there is no flaw in you".  So I looked up the whole verse and it's this...

Song of Songs 4:7 
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you."

The words from one lover to another.  The words our Lord, speaks over us.  The words, I constantly reject.  Because sometimes all I see is flaws.  In my appearance, in my heart, in the way I just snapped at my husband, in the way I just chastised myself for doing it.  God knows.  And His response?  Nothing but love for the child He created. 

Part of me feels guilty that I'm not writing a post about embracing yourself just the way you are, but I think that's because it's more important to embrace who we are.  If we only knew how much we are loved by our infinite Creator, and that through his loving eyes He sees no flaw, maybe we could see less of them too.

If you are overweight, you are amazing.  If you are a supermodel, you are amazing. If you are average, you are amazing.  If you are anorexic, you are amazing.   If you secretly need anger-management classes, you are amazing. And you and I are both worth the fight to claim our worth and our health everyday.

With so many other images and voices telling us otherwise, it's important that we are reminded of the truth.  And so I tell you dear friend, no matter how you look right now (good or bad) or what you've done/said this week...you are altogether beautiful and there is no flaw in you.  Now, go tell someone else who needs to hear it too.