We all know that physical appearance is the big dragon that women are trying to slay these days. We have clothing companies either trimming down their humans into little waifs, or plastering “this model is not photoshopped!” on their ads. (Go Aerie!)
I want to talk about the long-term stuff. What is our long-term goal? To catch the approving eye of others until we’re finally in our grave? The fact is, no one ever looks at a skinny 80-year-old and says, “She’s got great curves,” no matter HOW skinny or thin she is. (Tweet this)
I’m bringing up this topic because Thanksgiving is next week. And aside from the “I’m thankful for…” countdowns that happen on social media, the most common thing I see/hear in preparation of Thanksgiving are phrases like this:
“I’m not going to eat all day Wednesday, so I can eat more on Thanksgiving Day.”
“Here are 10 tips to stay skinny during the holidays.”
“Thanksgiving is the nemesis of my waistline.”
What is the goal of all this “skinny mentality?” To be able to gorge on turkey and not look like you just did? Wait, but I thought Thanksgiving was about
feasting together and celebrating the goodness God’s showered on us the food.
This past year, I’ve really been thinking about the “slim down” craze. Why? Because…
- Lord willing, hubby and I will be parents in a few years and we want to provide the right example for our kids.
- When we do become parents, my body’s gonna change. That’s just fact. And I’m determined to be okay with that.
- Some of my best friends and the nicest people in the world are not stick figures…and I want them to believe me when I say they’re beautiful/handsome. I hate seeing the hurt that a “slim down” society has placed on them.
- Because some people in my closer circles get obsessed about being thinner, even when they’re healthy and beautiful/handsome. And that makes me incredibly sad.
There are a lot more thoughts, but in chewing on them all I finally pegged what was bothering me (aside from the culture’s obsession with physical appearance.) Eating, exercise, self-image, etc. should be about being healthy, not being skinny. (Tweet this) I know this is a “duh” statement and I’m the eight-billionth person to say it. But I’m saying it anyway because of my own realizations.
My focus will affect the focus of my children…and my grandchildren. If I’m always talking about “reaching that ideal weight” what will my daughters start doing or thinking? I know older women and grandmothers who speak about
nothing else but dieting or losing weight or returning to the weight they were at when they were younger. They’re some of the healthiest people I know, and yet they’re still unhappy. And sometimes…it makes me feel unaccepted and pressured into reseting my priorities about weight unhappy, too.
And let me ask you…WHAT’S THE POINT? (Yes, I just shouted that like a capslock-happy teenager.) [Normal voice] What’s the point? What’s the point of reaching that ideal WEIGHT or ideal WAIST MEASUREMENT or a THIGH GAP? (Which only exists as a “natural phenomenon” in people under 18. 😛 ) I can’t seem to find one.
I have a pudge. (Gasp! Scream! Run for cover!) Yup, I’ve got a little gut-pudge from who-knows what, AND I HAVEN’T EVEN HAD CHILDREN YET. But guess what else?
I’m healthy. Tweet this Prior to my knees deciding to go on strike last month, I worked out hardcore three times a week. I’d been doing it for months and the pudge remained. *shrug* THE POINT is that I’ve recognized a desk-job is usually a healthy person’s doom, and I decided to intentional. I set new priorities, goals, and made healthier choices.
That’s the goal.
LET’S STOP TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE WANT TO BE! Please please let’s focus on what we should be. God tells us not to be gluttons. He doesn’t tell us to be (or to focus on being) the world’s version of beautiful. He tells us to seek him, to avoid vanity and gluttony and to be responsible, intentional, pleasing to him. And through my dwelling, praying, and thinking…I’ve come to the conclusion that in this situation, that means to be healthy.
Healthy allows me to be around longer for my (future) kids & hubby. Hubby and I will be able to do more (like ministry!) I’ll FEEL better. I’ll BE better. “Looking” better doesn’t accomplish anything other than the occasional whistle from some creepy stranger.
The young people reading this might be thinking, “It’s different for you. You’re MARRIED.” Yes, I’m married to a man who tells me I’m beautiful at the oddest moments–like when I’m all grungy from working out, or when I’m in PJs and sleepy-eyed. It’s because he SEES the beauty inside. That’s the type of person you want to marry. We MET when I was sweating like a melting stick of butter playing ultimate frisbee. I was wearing a neon orange ugly T-shirt and boy gym shorts. And he thought,
“Grosssss!” “I want to get to know that girl.”
Having your focus in the right place (health! Passions! God!) will attract others who have the right focus. And it will inspire others to adjust their focus.
The older people reading this might think, “Yeah, but you’re still YOUNG! It’s easy to be healthy! And you’re thin!” It’s all about habits. I used to hate working out. I used to hate eating healthier, but I made a conscious choice to start good habits now that can carry into my later years. It’s never too late to start good habits. And “being healthy” doesn’t mean eating salads every time I go to a restaraunt. I’m just not that kind of girl. I can scarf down a greasy half-pound cheeseburger like the rest of you, but in record time. (Probably the cause of my pudge. *shrug*)
What I’m not trying to say.
I’m not saying don’t set goals. I know one way to be health is to slim down or get to a healthy weight. I’m talking about mindset.
I’m not saying that people who aren’t healthy are evil horrible skinny-obsessed gluttons. I know that several people out there have health problems, chronic pain, allergies, food issues, all sorts of stuff that makes it super hard to be completely healthy. Again, I’m talking about mindset and mindsets should be subjectively adapted to individuals
This Thanksgiving, think about the message you’re sending to the people around you. Try to grow a bit more comfortable in your skin. And enjoy the celebration food in moderation (as we should do with all things.) It’s just one meal but you can leave a lifetime’s impression on just one person watching how you approach the feast of giving thanks. (Tweet this)
Do you ever struggle with this issue?
What’s the hardest part about holiday “messages” or eating for you?