Have you said any of these?
“I just feel so fat and I need to lose weight.”
“I wish I could fit into my high school jeans again.”
“My spouse will find me sexy once I reach my goal weight.”
“I’ll go on that cruise when I lose 30 pounds.”
“I can’t stand looking in the mirror! I just feel so fat and ugly.”
“I don’t want to go swimming until I lose these last 20 pounds. I can’t let anyone see me in a swimming suit until then.”
“I just hate myself because I just can’t stop eating.”
“Why can’t I just look like this woman in this magazine!”
God gave us a body blueprint. Each of us is a unique work of art. We are meant to grow and change and reach our potential.
Gardening: a seed contains the entire blueprint for the plant that it CAN become. You wouldn’t plant a corn seed and expect it to grow tomatoes, right?
So why do we, as unique creations, expect to grow up and look like someone else besides ourselves (and our family.)
Look at this woman. She is thin, fit, beautiful, and when I look at her I think “I would love to look like that”. But then I see myself in the mirror and realize that my face isn’t symmetrical, I have shorter, more stalky legs, and I could go on and on about how I don’t measure up to her. But the truth is I will NEVER look like this girl. And even more importantly, this girl will never look like this girl either. She went on the Photoshop diet, which is great for your figure and your skin ;) Her looks are NOT in my genetic blueprint so trying to be like this girl would be fighting an uphill battle that I will eventually lose.
Think about all of the pressure and high expectations we hear and see from society on a daily basis. Even our family members will tell you that they think you are too fat, to thin, you don’t exercise enough, you don’t take care of yourself the way you should, or if you would just eat this food or do this thing your problems would go away.
I’m here to tell you that the only people that know who you are and what you are capable of being and looking like, are you and your Heavenly Father.
I asked my friends on Facebook what they would do differently, or how their lives would change if they woke up tomorrow at their goal weight. The answers literally brought me to tears. I have been blessed in my life to not have to deal much with weight issues. I have never been more than 20 pounds from my weight goal (expect when I was pregnant.) Some of these women talked about how they would finally find happiness if they didn’t have to worry about losing weight anymore. One friend was so caught up in the weight “game” that she couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to finally have peace and not have to worry about her weight.
One of my friends who I respect very deeply said this:
“I would be able to find clothes ANYWHERE instead of little bits and pieces of plus-size clothing shoved into shamey corners in stores. And the clothes would fit me correctly!!!
I would go running without fear of blowing out my knees and I would do all the yoga poses I can't right now because of bulk.
I would more confidently speak my mind knowing that I wouldn't be so easily dismissed as That Crazy Cranky Fat Lady.
I'd take more risks with my appearance. Even more edgy hair, earrings, shoes. And those things would FIT ME. Finally. Stuff that FITS.
I'd so enjoy social interactions without that element of patronizing concern when people want to tell me about their latest diet or weight loss remedy. It doesn't happen that often, but...
I would finally relax about the pictures my family takes at outings instead of coming across ones beloved relatives post that make me look horrible.
I'd go get a massage, this time without the massage therapist making all sorts of comments like "don't worry, my table is wide enough for people like you".
I'd go play at the water park with my kid and slide down ALL THE SLIDES in my adorable regular-sized swimsuit. My butt would NOT get stuck in the slide and my swimsuit will fit me so well it won't flip up as I fly off the end!
I'd go to Hawaii and enjoy "one size fits all" dresses because they would FIT.
I'd buy and wear lingerie. Oh yeah baby. And jeans. I would be able to find good jeans that make my butt look great, and maybe I wouldn't have a breakdown everytime I visit a store fitting room.
My husband would be able to sweep me up into his arms and over a threshold at some B&B somewhere.
it would also be nice to not get situations, like the one where the scoutmaster in the ward said he was thinking about asking me to go on a hike with my son's troop. and that he once knew a really heavy woman who could outhike lots of men, and if I'm that kind of heavy woman.
Or getting talks about obeying the word of wisdom better (because if I'm fat obviously I'm not, I guess)
wow. human interaction would feel different. I know because I've BEEN thinner. People treated me very very differently. I never had to ask for help getting something off a high shelf in a store (because I'm short too).”
I cried as I read through all these responses and realized that there is a hugely unaddressed problem in our society. People somehow look at anyone who is overweight or obese and they automatically assume they are lazy and that the weight is just a problem that needs to be addressed.
I used to think this too. But wisdom is power and I know better now.
I feel like in all of my study, research, and other endless information that I pour over each day, that the more I learn about health and weight loss, the more I realize that excess weight is a symptom of something deeper. It is rarely ever cause by just someone wanting to be lazy and not caring about what they eat.
But this class isn’t about weight loss. It’s about Eating Healthy in a Hurry! So why am I starting with such a deep and sensitive subject?
Most people that I talk to “eat healthy” to lose weight. I’m sure it’s a big reason why most of you are in this class. But I want to switch gears and change your perspective.
How many of you got up this morning and looked in the mirror and said to yourself “Good Morning beautiful! You are amazing, vibrant, and perfect EXACTLY the way you are today!”
How about “You are a beautiful daughter of God, and he loves you no matter the size of your body or what weight the scale says.”
No go with me. Pretend like you are holding a mirror. Not repeat this after me. “I am a beautiful daughter of God. And He loves me for who I am, not what size I am!”
How does that feel?
To take care of our body, first we need to LOVE our body. Don’t punish it. It is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing according to your situation. Extra weight is a buffer. Your body puts on extra weight as a cushion from the world, as well as to prepare for the future. So it adapts according to your situation. Appreciate that it is working properly and doing the very best that it can.
Learning to love our bodies can take time because we have all been raised in a society that has taught us to hate them. Look at yourself everyday and remind yourself that you are a beautiful daughter of God and your body is your greatest gift that God has given you. It is a tool to connect to the world. It allows you to serve, to love, and to experience joy and happiness. Be thankful for it!
Now, after all of that, we need to decide on WHY we want to eat healthy.
A healthy body means. . .
1. Longer life with less pain.
2. I can serve others in greater capacity
3. I can feel more joy, more happiness
4. My mind will be more clear to hear The Spirit
5. I can enjoy my family more fully
6. I will be able to DO more to influence the world for good.
These and many more are REAL reasons why we want to treat our bodies with love and respect and feed them accordingly. You can make your reasons as general or specific as you need to but WRITE THEM DOWN! Whatever you do, do not skip this step!!!
Once we have them written down, move on to the next lesson.
Next lesson: Finding Joy in Food (coming soon)