I am flawed. On the inside and on-the-out. And not just for me - but for women everywhere since the dawn of time - weight loss has been one of those flaws. Well, I'm not sure weight LOSS is the struggle so much as weight GAIN. And loss. And gain.
This is something I have struggled with my entire life. Even when I was in high school and built like a brick poop-house and had the tiniest little waist, I had those thunder thighs. And believe me, I know I did because those 'helpful peers' in school would tell me so. "Hey, Thunder Thighs! Where'd ya get those thunder thighs??" Clever. Very clever.
When I got pregnant with Chelsea, the time bomb kept ticking. I gained 120 pounds. I literally gained an entire person in nine months. And I don't mean the 7-pound little person I was carrying. And I had 'those' family members that liked to have fun at my expense and thought nothing of bestowing upon me my new nickname, Eclipse. Nine months later, I got pregnant with Cameron and the weight gain continued, as did the new (and oh-so-funny) nicknames.
And let us not forget the people that dubbed me the Butter Body. What's that, you ask? Well you've heard of a butter face? Where they say everything looks good on her but-her-face? I was the opposite. The people (I know you meant well, Y'all) who said, "You have such a pretty FACE!" Which meant everything else was either not note-worthy, or it would be a shame to mention. But-her-body. Get it?
I am in the present. I have since lost the weight, and it took hard work. And it continues to be a struggle on a daily basis. But so much of it (besides the eating right and exercise, obviously!) is about the heart of the story. It is about living healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Those people that called me names, whether it was all in good fun, out of mean-ness, or their own insecurities; those people had no idea that no one is exempt from allowing that to define a person, and it indeed worked on me and made me unhealthy - on the inside and on-the-out - for a very long time.
I am in my 40s. And I LOVE IT. There is abundant power in the age that allows you to feel your sexiest, even though your body is not the same; or feel your best, even though you're so much older. But it is not all about the age of wisdom and experience that has helped me learn to love and respect who I was, who I am and who I have become.
I am a woman of faith. There is a quiet and serene humbling that happens as you grow and develop in the life of having the Creator lead you that allows you to understand all are created, and a very large respect happens for all bodies that house the souls that are people - no matter what they look like. You have more of a respect for the wrinkles and lines in a person's face that are proof that none of us are immune to life-and-death. You have more of a respect for scars on a person that are proof of the battles they have fought. You have more of a respect for every body-type that are proof that we are all different, yet created equal. But it is not all about the strong foundation of faith I have that has helped me to learn to love and respect who I was, who I am, and who I have become.
I have a husband. He is also my friend. And he is also at that age of wisdom and experience, and is also a person of faith, and continues to grow and develop in that. And he loves me. For who I've been, who I am, and who I have YET to become. On the inside and on-the-out.
Example: I am washing dishes. The Hubster comes up behind me and grabs me around my mid-section playfully. I, being coy (and a bit embarrassed about my mid-section, if we're being honest), say, "Hey! Don't grab my rolls!" And his retort? He closes his eyes like he is picturing a smooth whiskey with a nice cigar, or a juicy steak wrapped in bacon, and says, "Mmmmmm. Get me some BUTTER for dem rolls!" I guess that makes me a Butter Body FOR REAL.
I am grateful. I am blessed to have that kind of love and friendship, and I allow it to have power over me and give me confidence. He calls me beautiful every day, whether I've got my eyebrows and lips on, or if my hair is in a knot and I'm bra-less and in my loungy pants for the second day in a row. And he knows I'm flawed on the inside and on-the-out. And he doesn't care. He loves me. He lifts me up, edifies me, and encourages me. He celebrates me.
So who are you surrounding yourself with and what kind of power do you allow them to have over you? Who do you allow to be relevant in your life? Are you judging people for their outsides, yet never wanting to be judged for your own outsides? Or do you allow yourself to see people as beautiful; flaws and all?
Lift up, edify, and encourage people. Celebrate them. Celebrate you. On the inside and on-the-out. Do your best to live healthy in mind, body, and spirit - and pass that around.
And do me a favor: PASS THE BUTTER.