Disclaimer: This article was not written so I could receive praise and admiration and uplifting texts, calls, etc – Just being real and honest. I expect none of that and will be so embarrassed with that type of attention (that trait comes from my Grandma Gary)
Lately, I’ve been circling around this same thought, “Why are we not confident? Are we still in control?”
I am 5’3” and 123lbs. To some people, I am relatively small and skinny. To myself, I’m the curviest, most out-of-shape, the ultimate cellulite queen and bound for obesity kind of woman. When I look in the mirror, I see nothing but flaws and things that I wish God didn’t give me. I will go shopping for clothes and spend hours at the mall only to walk away with nothing…many times because everything I tried on made me look/feel FAT. I try to eat relatively healthy and go to the gym on a consistent basis so I can feel good about myself. But usually, right when I feel like I’m making progress, I look in the mirror and see how big my hips are… and everything I’ve been working so hard for goes down in flames because I can’t look at myself in a way that is loving.
I look back on the times when I was 18 to 22 years old and remember thinking how fat I was… now I look back on those times and ridicule myself, because if I could only go back to those times, I would enjoy every sacred second of being skinny!! So, needless to say, I’m sure that when I’m in my early thirties, I’ll look back at pictures of me now and once again ridicule myself for being so hard on my body. But, alas, isn’t this the cycle that most women participate in?
The other day, I heard a lady give another lady a compliment. It went something like this:
“You look so pretty tonight! I love your dress!”
“Oh my gosh. This was a Cato’s special for $30 and I feel so fat!”
“Oh, well you still look great”
And I cringed! I wanted to walk over to that woman, open up her mind and pour “positivity fluid” inside her brain. But, you know what? I act the same way. I would be lying if I said that I’ve never heard almost the exact same conversation among other women. The sad part of this story is that this goes on every day with women all over the world. AND IT MAKES ME MAD!!!
To be honest, it’s hard not to think so harshly of myself. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re a woman and reading this, you can somewhat relate as well.
Every year the Victoria Secrets model show comes on. These models trot down the runway in their itsy, bitsy bikinis and all of us women flock around the screen and laugh and tell our friends that we enjoy pizza too much to ever get that skinny. When, in reality, our brains are registering everything about their body; their legs that don’t jiggle, the abs that are perfectly perfect, their hair that is an astonishing mix of Farrah Faucet and Jennifer Aniston’s locks. And while we are laughing with our girlfriends, our brain is telling us everything that we are not.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking badly about women who are in great shape. It is very hard to maintain the diet and mindset that they have. I applaud them for drinking smoothies and eating a very specific diet. My post is not to downgrade these women at all. In fact, my post is for them, too.
You see, we base our whole lives on what others have. Without knowing it, we envy those that seem to have it better than us. When, in reality, we are all scared of not being perfect, not being wanted, and someone else being better. It is hard to be a woman! Just like men say that it’s hard to be a man, well it’s hard to be a woman! It’s hard to see these perfect women in the movies, on posters, on the internet, in the commercials, and know that the man you love is seeing them too. It’s hard to not compare myself to the other girl that has the roundest boobs you’ll ever see and the thighs with no jiggle or lumps. But I have got to stop, WE have got to stop.
“Why are we not confident? Are we still in control?”
We are not confident because of what we are constantly seeing; however, we are still in control! I truly believe that we women are far more powerful than we realize. I am in control of how I let myself think about my body. I am in control of how much junk food I eat. I am in control over the way I use my time here on earth. I am the only one that can shape my future. With the help of the One who loves me so much that He gave His life for me, I am powerful, powerful enough to overcome the negative thoughts that plague my mind and tell me I’m not good enough.
I’m afraid that I get so caught up in trying to be like everyone else that I’ll miss out on God’s plan for my life. I’ll be too busy saying that I’m not good enough that I won’t hear God saying, “But you are!”
And if nothing else moves me enough to create a better mindset for myself, this does – I hope that one day I can be a mother to a beautiful little girl. I want my daughter to be strong and courageous. I want her to know that she is powerful, and she is lovely. I want my daughter to look in the mirror and know that she is bigger and better than the flaws that she may see. I want my daughter to laugh in the face of insecurity and stand firm in the knowledge that she was made in Christ’s image. I want to raise a daughter who is confident, gentle, loving, accepting and encouraging to all women, even those that she may feel inferior to. But in order to do this, I must be those things. For my daughter will mostly become the woman that she sees me being…not the woman I tell her I want to be.
If you’re still not convinced that you deserve more than what you allow yourself, take a look at the book Captivating. Here are a few excerpts below:
“Aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our own hearts for wanting more. Oh, we long for intimacy and for adventure; we long to be the Beauty of some great story. But the desires set deep in our hearts seem like a luxury, granted only to those women who get their acts together. The message to the rest of us – whether from a driven culture or a driven church – is try harder.”
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
““…Often the hardest person to fight for is… yourself. But you must. Your heart is needed. You must be present and engaged in order to love well and fight on behalf of others. Without you, much will be lost.” Chapter 11 “Warrior Princess”
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul”