Saturday, April 30, 2016

This Bikini Heart

This post has tumbled around in my heart for just under a year now. I couldn't bring myself to write it because I feel under-qualified and overemotional about the whole subject. I have a limit on idea hoarding. This idea either had to be posted or deleted to make room for new ones (you know me and my anti-clutter mentality). 

Several months ago a friend kindly said to me: "Joy you are so critical of yourself". Never were truer words spoken. Her response came immediately after I rapidly shut down the compliment she gave me. I've learned to pile drive compliments aimed in my general direction and have earned several TKO badges on my "you are unworthy of all compliments" belt. I've starved myself of affection and literally starved myself to earn it.
And that is precisely the subject matter I plan to dither on about in this post. 

The condition of your heart is 1,000 times more important than the condition of your butt.
Yep. You heard me. 
I was bullied in school beginning in 4th grade and on through middle school. Girls can be vicious! I defended myself a few times like the one time in the 8th grade when I ran to the back of the school bus and plunged myself into the seat kicking my legs wildly into the air while the bully punched and she got madder the more I closed my eyes and kicked. She didn't like me because I was a Christian. I've been hated for other reasons though! I was also poor and not the cutest runt in the bunch. Allow me to give you a visual. 
I present to you:
My Doppleganger
I started starving myself in high school. You'd think it was because I was worried about being fat but it actually didn't start that way. It was because I got free lunches for being poor. My lunch ticket was a different color than everyone else's which made it obvious that I got free lunch. I couldn't let anyone know I was lucky enough to eat that crappy food for FREE! Don't get me wrong, I sure as heck fire didn't think I was pretty or thin, but neither of those were the motivation behind the decision to skip school lunch. 

My freshman year of college introduced me to exercise. And also the freshman 15. So now you can imagine a swollen faced poodle. That was me as a freshman. Okay, I had gotten over my perm phase by then. The 80's always makes a combeack ladies! I know you're all staring intently at my perm right now thinking "I.Must.Have.That.Look". Give credit where credit is due. Let people know I'm your're inspiration. Back to exercise. I joined a step aerobics class with Janette Oke's daughter-in-law (yes, the famous authoer Janette Oke, whose son was a college professor at Bethel when I attended.) Ya'll didn't know I was famous. As a result of that class, I've exercised nearly every day of my life for 21 years. It wasn't until after college though that I became addicted to exercise and started caring about being skinny. It was after I graduated that I not only exercised but also took up running, usually running around 7 miles a day (I was nearly kidnapped three different times while out on a run) and I discovered the BeachBody excersice program and all.manner.of.diets. I've tried (in no certain order). Atkins, South Beach, diet pills, snickers and a pepsi for lunch (for the whole day.. but I made that one up myself. If you take it and patent it I demand to be able to name it and receive the royalties), high carb/low carb cycling, The flat belly diet, Trim and Healthy Mama, 6-Week Shred, Weight Watchers, SlimFast, Essential Protein and most recently the 21DayFix.

People consistently made comments to me such as "you are skinny, you don't need to exercise" etc...
 Lies. Lies. Lies. 
You can't tell someone those things if they have neglected that spiritual closet, because they can't hear you. Yes. I said spiritual. I've not had a day that has gone by that I haven't felt fat and ugly until recently. After I decided it was high time I allowed God to open the door to that closet and take a look inside. I'm anti-clutter so I didn't expect him to get bowled over by garbage. Boy was I wrong. Poor Jesus. He knew what was about to hit Him behind that door.
This post is getting long. I wasn't expecting that. So I'm interrupting myself to make the whole point of this message very clear.
WOMEN: Let's stop spending so much time on our outside and let Jesus change our .

We'll spend hundreds of dollars on clothes, hair, makeup, diets and exercise equipment but won't sit in God's presence long enough to hear what He has to say about us. Which is free by the way. Well, all except the cost of denying yourself and taking up your cross to no longer live for yourself but for Him. But still. Money could never buy that.
Think of the results. We can say good-bye to insecurity, booty shorts, tight low cut shirts, a million selfie posts a day and a whole gamut of other insecurity driven actions we put ourselves through.
  Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 
What? Praised? That's right. Praised. I translate that to mean she gets a standing ovation, but that's because I always wanted one back in the days when I planned to be on Broadway.
Open your bible. Start a bible study (either individually or with a group). Pray. Give.God.Everything. Hold nothing back. Prepare to be radiant

All that being said, initially I was just going to blab on about my new FitBit Blaze which is the poor man's Apple Watch. I purchased it for my birthday. This is because I'm able to exercise when I want to now, without guilt or obsessing over it. I lost 10 pounds just by putting it on, see?
Before:
AFTER:
Okay I don't want this post to be in vain so here's the real after:
I can receive texts on my watch people. Look:
Jason thinks he's so funny.
Now that I've run out of things to say, I'm not sure if I made any sense or even conveyed what I really set out to say. So I'm going to end with one of my favorite bible verses.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Psalm 143:8

3 comments:

Stephanie Beaver said...

That watch is so slimming! I really think we should of been friends as kids. Since I was picked on for being a fat Beaver, I would have got your lunch for you. They would of just said "look the Beaver is eating more food, she didn't eat enough wood"! I'm not sure these kids were learning anything because beaver's don't eat wood. Maybe I could of sat on them for you?

Carrie said...

Whoa- that picture of you in what, 6th, 7th grade? I thought you had found a picture of me somewhere! 'Cept I never had that cool neon background. I did have the same permed hair and almost identical glasses! I really enjoyed this very heartfelt post, after my initial "how'd she get my picture, oh, that's not me!" moment! We have all been distracted for so much of our lives from what's really important and on outward appearances. I loved the verse you used about being worthy of praise- we have told ourselves how terrible we are that we can't hear anything good about ourselves from anyone else. That verse hits the nail on the head though. So, since you are now going to accept praise, here's what I have to say: I love hearing you sing, you're so much fun to hang out with and I'm so glad we're friends!

kallingklan said...

Totally get the idea hoarding! Stressful sometimes trying to get those ideas written down and out of the way, good riddance!! ha! You're not alone in this dreadful body image battle. UGH. I tried to be bulimic once but failed because I couldn't bring myself to throw up on purpose. The anorexia thing worked for a few months but then I decided I loved food more than being skinny. So. Dilemma. I guess I should take up running but I think it would only work if there was a chocolate bar dangling in front of me.
Love ya and glad you've found peace in Jesus!! So thankful for Him! <3