Thursday, February 28, 2013

My You've Gotten So Big

'park scales' photo (c) 2008, Evan Bench - license:

"My you've gotten so big!" words that used to make me cringe when I would see someone that I hadn't seen in a while.

I took it that they thought I had gotten fat. And honestly depending on what point in my life it was I could have been, or at least comfortably chubby, as I liked to call it. :)

Innocent enough words, but to a young insecure girl they are devastating. As long as I've been in this world, it loves skinny people. It's not a fat person's world. And if you start to gain weight there is always some well-meaning person to let you know it. :)

I forgot about the impact of those words until recently, when my son mentioned how often he hears it when we go home to visit, and my daughter piped up, "Well Jackson, it's because they think you have gained weight."

Do what?!

Her words stopped me in my tracks, quite literally.

I looked at her and tried to explain that honestly that isn't what I think they meant by those words. That when someone says, "My, how big you've gotten" they are simply commenting on how tall and grown up you are looking.

Keeli looked at me like this was the first time she had understood this, and understanding swept across her young 12 year old face. Had all this time when someone said this to her had she really thought they were calling her fat?!

Sure she has gone through the chubby stage, very few get out of childhood unscathed by that stage { I know I didn't!} But not fat. And even if she were, she wouldn't have been loved any less.

She said whenever someone said this to her, she felt like they were saying how "big" she was, literally. Even now when she hears those words she wants clarification.

It was a wake up call for me. Fat, skinny, whatever, our words matter. What we say and how we say them matter.

I've often thought You can be anything you want in this world, as long as your not fat

It almost doesn't matter what you accomplish in life or how nice of a person you are, if you are overweight, that is what people see and remember.

And that's so sad.

It's taken a lot of growing up on my part and coming to God moments to come to realize my worth isn't dependent on my weight. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with, but who I am as a person, doesn't depend on the number on the scale or my pant size.

It can be frustrating and depressing sometimes, especially when you work hard to lose it, and your body refuses to give it up. But who I am in Christ tells me who I am, and sometimes I need to be reminded over and over when I forget.

I strive to have a healthy mindset about weight and pass that onto my kids, it's not easy, because my husband struggles with his own body image issues too(see it doesn't just affect women), we want them to be healthy and confident because this world will tell them so many lies of things they should be.

And only the truths and affirmations they receive from us will help keep out the dark.

Our world is SO consumed with being skinny and not healthy that our children hear one thing "Be skinny or else"

Or else you will be made fun of, or else you will be an outcast, have no friends, be embarrassed, shamed, guilted.

Our world loves skinny people.

And it's detrimental to our health. Physically and mentally.

Currently, I depend way too much on food as a source of comfort when I'm stressed, tired, bored, or angry.

There is no quick solution, no magic pill, no shake, or drink that is the cure.

"..You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Cor 6:19,20
This is one more area that HAS to be taken to God and laid at His feet. It's not too silly or too unimportant. He cares even about this area of our lives. God is in the details. And if this is an area of your life that is keeping you, from being all He created you to be and living in His freedom, then He wants you to give it to Him too and let Him help.

You may not think this is a spiritual issue, but if you are using food as a way to cope with life instead of going to God, then I think you are wrong.

"If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1Cor 10:12
Alone we are weak and diets fail. In Him we are made strong and will prevail.

Become re-acquainted with your body, and fall in love with the person God made you to be. Then food will be put back in its rightful place: instead of being an obsession, it will become a means of worshiping the creator, by honoring his creation. Nothing more; nothing less. {Chasing Silhouettes}

This is not an area of strength for me, I used to be able to keep my weight in control. But life and hormones (especially the hormones!) have led me on a rocky road (ice cream) to getting it back.

I realize that it's not about fitting into the skinny jeans, it's about being confident and free in this area of my life. That's worth more than pizza and chocolate combined.

I'm laying it down at my Father's feet, again. As many times as I need to until I have victory in this area.

"Everything is permissible for me- but not everything is beneficial" 1Cor 6:12

Product Details
Recently Emily Wierenga came out with her book  "Chasing Silhouettes" that

details her battle with anorexia. Her struggle and story are laid out in a very raw

and honest way for us all to read. But it's not just a book on anorexia it's so

much more. It's about the battle of food, rather too much or too little that most

of us face.

"How many times have you heard me cry out, Lord, please take this? How many times have you given me strength to keep breathing?
God I need you,  God I need you now!" Plumb
                                                                Watch and be blessed

"You have circled this mountain long enough, Now turn North." Deut 2:3
Maybe your issues aren't with food but something else, are you tired of going round and round with them? It's time to head north, toward freedom!

He's waiting, not to condemn you and make you feel ashamed, but to set you free to live the life he created you to live!

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  1. A transparent post - thank you for sharing from your heart. It's so true that our words matter and we need to be aware of what is coming out of our mouth. The key is to discipline ourselves to see people the way God views them - as valuable souls.

    1. Thanks for your visit Robert and your kind words. I grew up hearing that old saying "sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt me" and those words couldn't be farther from the truth. They hurt and they can haunt.

  2. Hi Alicia
    I love the way you write on this subject with so much empathy. Oh, we all have ways where we truly are weak, but as you have said, we should go to our Pappa for grace to overcome. There is just no other way! And when we fall, just get up apologize and go back to Him, for He is always there to help us up and along! Over via Emily's.
    Much love

    1. Your right, there is no other way, and I've tried for years to overcome things on my own and it just doesn't work. God is truly the only way. Thank you for your visit Mia!

  3. Powerful writing and reminder. Your words are full of grace and love.

  4. Alecia,

    Wow, I'm so glad that you could fix that misunderstanding to your daughter Keeli. Whew. Poignant, huh? Thankful that our beauty is in Jesus, and trying to pass that on to the females and males in my life too.

    Stopping by,
    Jennifer Dougan

  5. oh girl, this is such an important thing for all parents to realize... i'm so glad you're writing on it. the word "big" really undid me when i was younger. it still makes me shudder. :) my husband had to explain to me that it can be a GOOD thing to be big. i still find it hard to believe him. sigh. so much love to you... and thank you for spreading word about the book! xo

    1. Yes, it can be a good thing, I'm wondering at what age does it become taboo?

  6. It is definitely easy to lose control in the area of food. I struggle more and more the older I you said, that winsome combination of life and hormones. =) I try to help my children understand that it's about moderation...and that converts to all areas of our lives. When we do anything in excess there are consequences. Thanks for the reminder today. Visiting from Studio JRU.

  7. oh ... to aim for a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime, rather than dieting and striving and obsession with all things skinny.

  8. What harsh words for your little boy to hear, especially with the misunderstanding mixed in. I'll bet that was hard for you to hear, having gone through similar situations as a kid. You're absolutely right though, food can become something we use to deal with life rather than clinging to God. Putting it all at His feet is the only way to go. I too, have learned that the hard way. Visiting you this morning from Christian Mommy Blogger. Hope your weekend is great, Alecia.

  9. yeah, but thankfully he asked and didn't keep it to himself and just assume. I'm glad he did, and I was able to hopefully clarify to both of them what the well meaning person(s) were saying. Sometimes we just don't think how our words sound, even if our hearts are in the right place, I've definitely been known to put my foot in my mouth :/
    Thanks for your visit Jelli!

  10. what a powerful post, alecia! so glad you were able to talk to your kids about this. to think they could have carried it with them... with a wrong understanding is so sad. and so many kids probably feel that way. breaks my heart. yes... laying it at His feet!!

  11. What a great post! I had never thought that a child might thing that expression is saying they are gaining weight. I'll be very careful as to how I express how much they've grown taller in the future. It is a "skinny world" but it's so sad how young a child can be and pick up on this.

  12. It's definitely true that kids don't always take things the way we mean them. I did that as a kid. Anytime I told my dad about an achievement, he always wanted to know why I hadn't done better. I took that to mean that I couldn't please him. But when I grew up, I realized that wasn't what it meant at all. He thought I was so smart and talented that I could be the best at everything. So when I didn't get first, for example, he didn't understand why. Maybe not the best way to phrase things to a kid, but I eventually realized he meant well.

    But your article definitely gave me something to think about as far as what I say to kids.

    Visiting from SITS.

  13. Confident and free - yes, please! Those are the two most powerful words in this post, for me. To be confident in who He is making me and to be free of any bondage to food or weight or approval from others. Fresh air, Alecia. Thank you.

  14. WAW!!! This is so sad but absolutely true. Kids are far more receptive than we give them credit for and they obsorb society's views without truly understanding their impact. Therefore, we must be extra careful not to hint at them around kids. I am so glad you were able to clear up this misunderstanding for your kids. BTW Happy Sharefest!!

  15. What an awesome post! I hope alot of parents read this!

    Happy Sharefest!


  16. I love the way you write about such a tough topic.
    Happy Sharefest!



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