Tuesday, August 7, 2012

stick skinny

Beauty is a funny thing. What is considered to be beautiful differs from person to person, and sometimes people who are truly beautiful have no idea while others flaunt their beauty in vanity. Admittedly, I struggle with the idea of beauty myself. Am I beautiful? Really?

Society has evolved in such a way that if a girl is anything bigger than a size two she feels compelled to figure out how to slim down those love handles and that pooch on her stomach. Pinterest is full of pictures of skinny women with defined abdominal muscles and string bikinis.

We're learning that it's not alright to be anorexic and that it's much more attractive to be healthy than skinny, but the stigma is still out there that the thinner you are the prettier you become.

I was 155 pounds at one point in my life. That's the heaviest I've ever been, and being five feet and four inches tall, 155 pounds is not a good place to be. Uncomfortable in my body, I didn't even want to look in a mirror. And I never wanted to be in pictures. Looking back at the pictures taken of me during that time in my life and all I see is a fat face and a fleshy stomach. I was disgusted with myself.

Not to mention that I was in an unhealthy relationship with PC which left me with a million questions as to why I no longer was good enough for him? There were, what I felt like, a million girls that he was way more interested in than he was in me. Those girls were a lot skinnier than me, and in my mind they were a lot prettier too.

And then when PC and I called it quits, I was in such a state of emotional turmoil that I basically just stopped eating. I lost ten pounds in two weeks and five more pounds after that. People continually complimented me. It made me feel awesome, like maybe I was pretty after all. But I keep wondering why this is? Why couldn't I love myself for who I was when I weighed 155 pounds?

The answer is because I was unhappy with what I saw in the mirror. I constantly compared myself to every other girl out there who was graced with good genes and a flat stomach. And here I am now, hovering right around 140 pounds, still feeling like I am not good enough.

The Boy is super fit. He is in shape like no body's business. Girls love that. Ab muscles, arm muscles, back muscles. We swoon. We swoon and drool and don't want to look away. And I think, he could have any girl he wanted, so why does he like me?

I wrestle with this almost daily. I am skinny, and mostly fit. But I'm not toned and my stomach is anything but flat. I have broad shoulders and narrow hips. I don't necessarily want a six pack, but I'd like to feel good in a swimsuit standing next to another girl. And at this point I just don't. The Boy has never said a negative thing about my body since I've known him, so all the uncertainty is stemming from my end.

So then this is all just a mentality thing for me. And but really, beauty isn't just on the outside either and am I beautiful on the inside too? I feel like I am not always beautiful on the inside. Especially when I start comparing myself to my disgustingly perfect cousins. Everybody sings their praises and they can do no wrong. One of them works like six jobs and just graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting or something like that. And she's constantly traveling for missions to Thailand and other countries. And she's flat out gorgeous.

And then there's me.

I am sassy and rebellious. I have tattoos and I went to a state university instead of a good Christian school. I barely have one job, let alone multiple positions. I've never been to Thailand and I couldn't be a model even if I wanted to. Sometimes I feel like such a let down and a screw up.

Occasionally, I start to mope about all the things I'm not. I just want someone to hold me and tell me I'm pretty and that they love me, as vain as that sounds. But is that so wrong? In my mind, I try to convince myself that I don't need those words. That I'm strong enough to hold myself up. I should never complain because someone always has it worse than me. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and when I start to break down and complain about something, I get it shoved right back in my face. You picked this, they say, so no complaining! And what's a girl to do?

I've heard it said that the sexiest thing a girl can be is confident. I am beautiful and I am healthy and I have a family who loves me no matter what. The negative frame of mind that I sometimes get myself into is just the enemy trying to mess with my head and it's time for that to stop. It's time for me to be okay with being myself and quit comparing who I am with who everyone else is. 

There's nothing wrong with wanting to exercise more, or trying to make your body how you want it to be. But you can't do that if you're constantly finding things wrong with yourself and beating yourself up. That's the kind of mental bullying I did to myself at 155 that I'm going to work hard to stop doing to myself at 140. I don't need to be a stick in order to be happy, and the sooner I figure that out the better off I'll be. God made me special and He loves me very much. 


  1. When I was growing up, most people either called me "fat" or "plump" or the one who surely drank all the cream from the top of the milk bottle. (Yes, bottled milk used to come with an inch or so of cream on the top). Because of these things, I always considered myself to be fat and it wasn't until I met gramps and I was telling him one day that I'd been fat all my life that he looked at me and said, "Why do you say such a thing? You aren't fat at all. You're perfect."

    After we were married some time, I had my dad play the movies of my growing up years and as I looked at myself, I saw that I hadn't been fat at all. My middle sister had been such a stick that I looked fat next to her. But I wasn't fat at all. She was just too skinny.

    I had never considered myself to be pretty. Gramps changed all of those negative feelings by constantly telling me how beautiful I was. I used to laugh at him and tell him he needed glasses. One day, in his sternest voice, he asked me why I questioned his viewpoint. I replied that I actually wasn't pretty to which he insisted that I just couldn't see myself and the beauty that surrounded me because I'd grown up with such a negative impression of myself.

    I do admit that it wasn't my parents who fostered that impression, but everyone else around me sure did. Somehow I grew to believe it.

    I pray you meet a man who sees you for who you are, fat or thin, and sees the beauty you have outside and inside of you and manages to convince you that it is so.

    In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself. The best thing I think the Lord ever showed me one day during prayer is how beautiful I looked to him. God and Jim agreed. I decided to go with it and have never looked back.

  2. I really love this. I'm super skinny.. at 5'7" and only 105 I'm under weight. I guess you could say that the grass is always greener on the other side. I'm fine with my weight.. I just wish I was more toned.. I wish I had bigger boobs. I wish I didn't have acne. so I understand the "looking in the mirror and picking yourself apart". It's been something I've been working on. Loving what I see.. instead of hating it. thanks for the motivation :)

  3. I admit when I was in my early 20s, I felt like you do. Now that I'm in my early 30s, I have no issues with how I look at all. And if someone else does, it doesn't bother me because it's not really my problem.

    It's easier said than done, but trust me when I tell you that no one else (that matters) cares about your weight. Health is what matters, not a number on a scale.

  4. Third and last post, Natalie. I thought I had finished with the last post about losing your #10, but I just had to read some more of your witty writing. Well, this time I landed on a page that opened the floodgates and poured out raw feelings, so much of which many others would be too embarrassed or ashamed to tell their readers about themselves. Natalie, you are unabashed and honest and inspiring. Not to mention a superb writer. Start writing your book. Actually, you already have; you can pull from your blog. / Okay, now, honestly, back to work...before you think I'm a blogstalker.


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