Last night at dinner, I was telling Jess how we were eating extra green this week because I had gained 2 pounds at Disney. He laughed and said he did too and followed up with “You still fine though.” My immediate response was “Oh I know!” ?
It was total joking sarcasm, but as I was cleaning up, I got to thinking about that exchange more. Up until about six years ago that convo would have never happened. Ever. He would have never felt like he could say that to me. His wife.
Let me start by saying that outside of pregnancy, give or take, I have always been the size that I am. Jess married me at the exact weight that I am right now (or was pre-Disney ?). But he did not marry the same woman that I am now.
In our early married years (photo on the left), I was so insecure about myself. I changed my outfit 10 times before going somewhere and 4 times out of 5 getting dressed usually ended in me crying on the floor of my closet because I hated the way I looked. I was constantly vocally criticizing myself and could not take a compliment without arguing back. If Jess had told me I was “fine” six years ago, I would have responded with something pissy like “you must want something.” I was constantly trying to start something new to “better” myself (“Let’s start CrossFit.” “Let’s cut out dessert for Lent.” “Let’s commit to walking together every night.”) which is all fine, except I was not doing it for the right reasons. And to make it worse, when he tried to hold me to these commitments I had forced him to make with me, I would accuse him of not being happy with me how I was.
This behavior from me eventually led to Jess shutting down on me in regards to compliments and sharing much of anything together. He was walking on eggshells all the time simply because I was not happy with myself and took it out on him. You can imagine how this bled into everything in our lives.
Our social lives– I didn’t want to go anywhere with friends and honestly, neither did he because the getting dressed battle was a nightmare.
Intimacy– gonna leave it at that because my family reads this ? but I know in my gut so many ladies can relate to self-consciousness in this area and it is simply not how God designed us to be with our spouse.
Finances– I was trying to find happiness in material things and vacations that we could not afford at the time.
Obviously, meals– I was constantly trying to meal prep and cook clean and be better- Pinterest worthy, if you will. I tried to force this meat and potatoes man to do Meatless Monday for a year straight ?? Bless him y’all. I know he hit the drive thru at like 3:00pm every Monday so he could survive dinner time!!!
I could go on…
But as time went on, I realized I had to do something. I hated feeling how I felt about myself. So I started digging deeper inside myself. I got into my Bible more. I got therapy. I removed myself from toxic friend circles and gym atmosphere that encouraged me to compare and compete constantly. I stopped watching so much trash TV (adios Kardashians and Real Housewives), and I unfollowed annoying people on social media who made me feel lesser than.
Y’all. As you can see, nothing about my physical appearance changed (unless you count breastfeeding boob aftermath and more wrinkles ??‍♀️) , but in these past 6 years I have gained so much more confidence about myself. It hasn’t been easy and I still fall back into old ways sometimes, but I have been intentional about the way I speak outwardly about myself and worked hard on the way i feel inside about myself. Instead of worrying so much about what I “should” look like or what others have/do or the health practices I “should” be doing regularly, I am who am and it sucks for you if you don’t like it ?
Hear me when I say, LOSING WEIGHT DID NOT DO THIS FOR ME. Sure, having my eating under control helps with my confidence. And exercise makes me feel strong and healthy. But just losing 30, 50, 100 pounds IS NOT going to magically give you confidence!! On this physical journey, you also need to do the self work!! THE INSIDE WORK!!!! Our confidence comes from the inside out, NOT VICE VERSA.
So in a season where we all feel like we are failing in every area because our to do list is 500 miles long and we just want to eat our stress away, OWN IT. Accept who you are. Stop fighting your flaws. Get rid of the crap in your life that doesn’t help. Own that you may just not lose weight these last few weeks of the year and BE. OK. WITH. IT.
It is a start.
I have not shared these details about myself or my marriage before and I hope you can see my heart when you read them. So so so so many assessments have read “I want to lose weight so I can feel good about myself look good for my husband” and I need y’all to take it from me, that alone isn’t gonna do it for you.
This is so important for me to share because, I didn’t know it at the time, but this personal experience was the foundation of this program. After I transformed my mental health and in turn saw how that allowed for food freedom and grace for myself, I realized that weight loss and body love does not have to include hard rules and impossible standards like I thought.