Friday, May 10, 2013

Learning to love myself....

I have been silent on my blog for quite a while. Time just seems to be zipping by, and by the time I have taken care of my children, my husband, my clients and my house (on keep it real!) I am just too spent to sit and write. However, my mind hasn't stopped swirling. The nonstop movement of thoughts racing around in my mind is what drove me to blog in the first place, and it appears to have me returning as I am now losing sleep over this stuff! There is so much I am trying to process and I'd like to get into writing so it's out of my head for a bit, but with Mother's Day approaching, I'll start with something related to mommyhood. It's kind of morbid, yet it's where my mind has been.....

I have struggled with my self image for years. Actually, for as long as I can remember. Weighing in at 99lbs at my high school graduation, I still was self conscious. Surely everyone could see my fat rolls under my graduation gown!! Shorts, swimsuits, even tank tops had me in a constant state of panic while wearing them. The the dreaded happened....I gained weight. A lot of weight! The self image that was already shaky to begin with, plummeted. I tried to ignore it and pretend I was happy with myself, but it was an act. I hated what I saw in the mirror, but in my mind I had always been fat. I tried to lose the weight but was not successful for quite a while. Finally after a drastic shakeup in my personal life, I lost the weight. Seventy one pounds to be exact. For a while I actually felt good about myself, but it was short lived.

I was 104lbs at 3 months pregnant with Jazmine. I tried to eat healthy and was determined to not "get fat" again. Before she was a month old, I'd lost all pregnancy weight but 10lbs. For my height, 114 is respectable so I tried to be content with it. Then I got pregnant with Isaac. I love that boy but he wrecked havoc on my body. Another child and almost 6 yrs later I am still trying to lose the baby weight I gained with HIM. I love my children but hate my body. I do what I can to try to ignore the bad I see in the mirror and focus on finding good, but that is way easier said than done when you've been hating the reflection in the mirror for well over 20 years!

The other day I read an article that really got me thinking. It was titled "So you're feeling too fat to be photographed..." and I saw the link on Facebook. Of course I had to click and check it out because, well, that was me.

I am not sure what I was expecting to read, and I was pretty sure I'd shrug off what it said and figure the advice was for "other people"...but it really hit home. After reading the article I looked around the house. There are over 42 pictures on display in various places. Do you know how many I am in? Three. And in two of them children are hiding most of me.

I have been realizing lately how our lives can be changed in the blink of an eye. Sickness, acts of violence or even just an accident can flip our world upside down. Our loved ones will not always be here on Earth. As I look around, I realize if something were to happen to me, my children, husband and even the rest of my family would basically only have memories. There are almost no pictures of me enjoying and doing life with them. My husband would be able to remember me easier because he's been with me the longest, but my children are young. Jazmine and Isaac might be able to remember what I looked like, but Kyleigh wouldn't. She would only have pictures. And there are practically none.

I want to change that. I don't want to look around our house and have it appear that I don't exist in this family. I've been selfish, if I must be honest. Not being in pictures with my children and family is because of my selfishness. It's not fair to deprive them of accurate documentation of our lives as a family. And the truth is, I am with my children constantly. Heck, I've only gone 24 hrs one time without seeing my older two. I've only gone an hour without seeing Kyleigh. Their lives and mine are so deeply intertwined, yet I fear pictures showing us together. Not anymore.'s really not that easy, but I am making a daily effort. And the effort actually doesn't start with getting the camera out. It starts in my mind.

It's funny how God works. He actually started this latest journey a couple weeks ago. I had had a terrible day. Completely felt like a failure as a mother and wife, and was crying as I lay down to try to go to sleep and close the door on a horrible day. From out of nowhere the words 'more precious than rubies' came to mind. I've never compared anything to a ruby so I knew it wasn't from me, yet it helped me strangely feel better. When I got out of bed the next morning, the first thing I did was google the phrase, and I chuckled to myself as I realized they were from a bible verse. God is so amazing, He whispered loving words to my hurting soul right when I needed them most.

I know I sound all over the place with these two random trains of thought...but they aren't so random, as they actually go hand in hand. If I realized my worth, I wouldn't be petrified of the camera. To realize my true worth, I need to start with a God who loves me and created me perfectly in His image. I need to accept and truly embrace that truth.

I tell my children daily how much God loves them. I tell them they and EVERYONE is perfect as they are, imperfections and all, because that is how God made us. We are created in His image and we need to celebrate that. When my daughter tells me she'd like her hair straight, I remind her how perfect she is just as God created her. When my son is on the exercise bike asking me if it would help him lose weight so he'd weigh less so I could lift him up more since he's such a big boy, I remind him he's perfect and I love him and I pick him up, as it soothes his precious heart. If I want my children to love themselves as they are, then I must live that truth. I must love myself as I am. I must teach them by being an example.

It's not an easy journey, I am wrestling with myself and God daily right now. But I know when I am at the end, I'll look back with my head held high, thanking God for the lesson. <3


Heather said...

Hi Jenn! I'm Heather and I was hoping you would be able to answer my quick question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

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