Tonight, I begin a journey I have long tried to put off. My insecurity of becoming fat, overweight, larger than I want to be (however you want to put it) controls me. I’m better than I used to be but I’m not quite there. My self-image of myself is sometimes great! I feel like a woman who could take on the world, one who is pretty and stunning, smart and funny. For today, I have a great set of legs and biceps that are starting to pop nicely. Other days, I am a woman who should wear a potato sack. My stomach is way too bloated to wear that shirt and a skirt… forget about it. Can’t have a mushroom top. Because I don’t feel like I look the part of a confident woman, I am not confident today. I stay in my sulky, sad mind which translates to my body language. If I had it my way, I would wear jeans and sweatshirt today. That hides everything I need to hide.
This back and forth with myself is time-consuming, stressful both in body and mind, and just not worth it. It’s not healthy for me to be back and forth like I am. Throughout the last two years, I have had to accept days when my stomach was 5 months bloated and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it because of what I now know to be an intestinal infection. But this has gone one for years. At least 10 years at this point. I had my moments when I would cry and break down asking God to “fix it”. Then I had my more genuine moments of asking God to “help me through it”. But at the heart of the matter, we are not genuine enough until we get to the point of really being willing to get rid of it. As long as there a little bit of us in it, it’s not all God’s.
I can recall confiding in someone years ago that I didn’t want to lose my obsession and perspective of my body and weight because if I did, I might lose control of everything and become huge. Messed up huh? I know you are reading this saying one of two things: 1. I feel the same way! or 2. Is this chick nuts? I also know there are some people right now who are judging me and my thoughts because you don’t see me as fat. Please hold your thoughts to yourself. My “fat” is not your “fat”. My “mirror reflection” is not your “mirror reflection”. My mind and your mind probably do not break down thoughts the same way because we are two different people.
Tonight, I finally pulled out a book from my shelf I have had for two years now. “So Long Insecurity, Devotional Journal” by Beth Moore. It was a gift from my sister but until now I wasn’t ready. It’s true what they say, until someone wants to help themselves, you can’t force it. For many, many years now I have lived in my own personal prison. Every day a battle in my mind of how I feel, what I look like, and allowing those emotions to dictate what sort of day I will have. It’s okay to have emotions — it’s not okay for emotions to have you. As I crack open these first few pages, I read, “It is God’s will for you to have your dignity and security restored.” This goes hand in hand with what happen when I was leaving the gym today. I’ve put a lot of muscle on. Muscle is heavy and makes me feel “heavy” which is translated as fat in my brain. I feel “thick” and I don’t like it but I know it’s healthier to muscle on your frame. As I walked across the parking lot back to the office, for the first time, I prayed this prayer:
Jesus, help me to accept me for me. For the way you made me. Help me to be the best I can be, to be as fit as I can be, for me. Help me to love who I am physically.
It’s one of the most honest moments I have had with Him in a while on this subject. To be honest, it’s one of the most honest moments I have had with myself.
After the introduction of the book, the first devotion of this journal opens with Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) — “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat and worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
We are the trees, planted next to the riverbank, the LIVING WATER (Jesus). Because we always have access to this there is no reason for me to be worried, specifically about this process. I can’t say 100% I am ready for this process and transformation because I know it’s going to be uncomfortable. I know I will face battles and have to keep facing them until I win if I want to overcome this insecurity of mine.
But this is faith right? Having trust that Jesus is going to get me through this. This is a step in faith to make my life better. I am facing faith – it’s scary and it’s a blind pathway for me right now. Hopefully, as I walk along this path, the lights come up and I see a new mirror at the end of the tunnel.
Here’s to facing my faith.
6 thoughts on “So Long Insecurity”
Thanks Brittany for your honesty. I know and understand what your dealing with and I will pray for you.( btw, I will be looking for that book)
You’re welcome. It wasn’t easy this time. Thanks for the prayers ☺They are always appreciated.
I feel like we’re kindred spirits in this journey, at least for this part of the path. There is so much I’d love to tell you, but it’ll have to wait for a face-to-face, I don’t think the internet is the venue for it all. However, in this matter, let me just share a bit.
As a person who’s struggled with my weight for years; feeling insecure, unhappy, and generally beaten down by my own body is something I’m quite familiar with. There was a time in my life where I was thin and fit and I loved how I looked – I felt confident in my own skin, so to speak and I had no problem being bold. Now, every day I wake up and look in the mirror I wish with all my might that I could pop into a time machine and go back to looking like that girl. For years (until recently) my self-worth has been measured by my waistline. My confidence level was only reflective of the number of pounds the scale showed me every day. No matter how hard I tried to lose weight, or how many girdles I cinched up, or how good at camouflaging my body I became most days I felt utterly defeated, ugly, and useless before I ever walked out the door; and because of that feeling I missed so many opportunities to be of use to the Kingdom.
Until we as women put aside the notion that we have to master our bodies and make them fit into our (or rather the world’s) idea of perfection we will never be able to be fully used by God. No matter how much we read the Bible, or pray, or worship, or meditate, or whatever it is that we do that we think draws us closer to Him, we will always have a self-imposed stumbling block in the path of true unity and peace with Him; and that stumbling block is our perception of ourselves. Until we embrace the Truth that, as children of God, whenever he looks at us he sees perfection, cellulite included. That’s right, I said PERFECTION. God created us for a purpose, to glorify him, just as we are, not how we think we should be. And I truly believe that, because as his child, I am a reflection of Him. And I also believe that the way in which we criticize ourselves over trivial things (like our weight) breaks his heart, because we’re taking our focus off of Him and placing it back on ourselves (BTW, I believe this is the Devil’s greatest tool in his box – using our self-esteem and self-worth against us, beating us down with our own insecurities until we become absolutely paralyzed by self-loathing, anger, and fear).
As humans it is our nature to try and fix things – to make them better, or to at least appear “normal” (or our perception of normal). But as believers we’re called to a much higher purpose. We’re called to be transformed in our thinking – to stop focusing on the ideals of this world and to start focusing on the ideals of God. No where in the Bible are we directed to improve our self-esteem or our self-image, in fact, we’re repeatedly told to put off the old self and all its desires, and to put on the image of God – one that is holy and righteous (not self-righteous 🙂 ), one that is filled with love (this includes self-love for the person you are TODAY, for how can you love your neighbor when you can’t even love yourself?), compassion and kindness (how can we show others compassion when we can’t even be kind to ourselves?), and filled with joy (how can we be joyful when we’re constantly focused on all the negative things about ourselves?).
I’d love to tell you that as you grow older this struggle becomes easier and less obsessive, but I can’t honestly say that. In fact, I think the older we get the harder it becomes to maintain our bodies – they change in ways we could never have imagined when we’re younger, and I think they actually grow a mind of their own and they enjoy doing the exact opposite of what you want them to do. As I said in the beginning, every day I’d like to go back to looking like I did when I was younger, however when I think about the person I was back then I don’t ever want to go back to being HER. Because even though I was a believer at that point, everything I did brought the focus onto ME, not God, not his work, not his love, not his Truth. So if I have to trade size 7 jeans for the camel tent I wear now in order to remember that my goal in life is to bring glory to Him then I’ll gladly do it. But I also believe that while God has a twisted sense of humor he’s also given us a lovely promise in Proverbs 14:30 “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body.” Strive for peace and the rest will surely follow, even if it brings a few dozen (or hundred in my case) friends with it. LOL!
Ha… “her”. I love the way you made that reference. It gave me a good laugh that I needed. Thanks for opening up!
I read that book, and God used Beth Moore to help me with my insecurities. Every day we
meet new challenges, and the right word is “trust”. As soon as I am faced with something
I am told to focus on Jesus. Whisper the name Jesus, and know He is in charge of my
insecurities, if I, as you put it, am thankful for how He made me, and He will take me through
my thoughts and renew my mind to focus on Him, not me. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks as always for your encouraging words!