Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm Getting Too Old For This

So this morning I went to the first moms group meeting for the year at our church.  I am also part of a MOPS group at another church.  But, this is a group that meets at the church we attend.  And, since we are still fairly new (we've been going there almost a year) and are still trying to get to know people, I was excited to go.

We had a great morning.  All the other ladies were friendly.  It was a small enough group that I feel like I could easily get to know some of them.  It was warm.  I felt welcome.  I felt confident.

I walked out of the meeting feeling good.  

Then I went to pick up my 2 youngest children who were with me that morning from their childcare rooms.  And, I needed to use the restroom before we left.  So, we made a pitstop in there.  

As I was washing my hands and getting my stuff and my children back together I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  

Once again I was taken by surprise by my size.  Even though I know I'm heavier than I want to be, I still have an image in my mind of how I look.  But, when I see myself in reality, I feel like I'm looking at a stranger.

And, in that moment, I saw myself as I imagined the other women had seen me - overweight, frumpy, graying, aging, and definitely not hip or stylish like so many of them.  

All the confidence, all the warm fuzzy feelings I'd had walking into the bathroom vanished in that one moment.  I suddenly felt the urge to leave quickly as though my very presence was offensive.

I have struggled with body image issues for almost as long as I can remember.  As I've gotten older I have ( I thought) become more comfortable with myself and have learned to focus more on the inner me...who God wants me to be.

But, here I am...almost 40....and it turns out I still can let thoughts of "I'm not pretty enough", "I'm not thin enough", "I don't really belong" destroy an otherwise lovely morning.

I am getting too old for this.

My husband made a comment the other day (in relation to an entirely different discussion) that he thought he married a confident woman.  And, when I met my husband I was confident...or at least I had become really good at putting forward the appearance of confidence.

But, underneath there still lurks the awkward, misfit, shy girl who was teased and taunted by her classmates.  That girl has never really left me.  There is still this piece of me that wants so desperately for people to like me.  For me to belong.

I am so ready to move forward.  To get beyond this.  To stop beating myself up because I don't fit the image of physical perfection.

I know I need to remember who I am in Christ.  It's just that sometimes our feet are so darn planted in this world and all the messages the world has for us.  

I guess I need to go back to my post from yesterday and remember to tune out the other voices...and to listen to the One Voice that matters.


  1. Oh Karen, I know exactly how you feel. I think we all go through this. I don't know you personally but I can tell you from your blog I like you. I think you have a wonderful wit about yourself, your a good mommy and homemaker. That outside world is hard. But you know God thinks you are the most beautiful thing in the world as well as your husband. Thanks for stopping by and helping me with my delima. I am really nervous about this decision. I will keep praying about it.

  2. Karen- the church bathroom mirror- really?- that is so unreliable!!! lol
    I can totally relate.
    I leave the house looking at my half mirror thinking I look good and then catch a glimpse at anything with a reflection and think - what happened?
    I can tell you this.
    I have gained weight this summer when I was supposed to lose weight this summer.
    Last spring I was at a point where I could wear a tee shirt in a certain size and a certain way and you might not be able to see that I have a stomach and now- well now it is just obvious I have a stomach.
    There is no hiding it.
    I thought someone might think I am pregnant, but no one has said it, meaning they know I am heavy and I have a stomach. I almost might be happier if someone thought I was pregnant. lol
    I am at the point now where I need to do something about it.
    God wants us to treat our bodies well. And I can tell you - I am not.
    I didn't get heavy from eating baby carrots and one glass of water at night.
    Food is my vice- the same way people use drugs or someone smokes cigarettes. Food just can be hidden easier (for example- the fruit pies hidden in my pajama drawer) and I really believe a lot of Christians use it as a vice.
    I am holding myself accountable and trying to finally do something about my weight, but my
    Pastor said recently in a sermon, I can't do it in my own flesh - I can only do it with prayer and fasting.
    I am responsible for this body He has given me and I need to take care of it. For myself, my husband, my children...
    I know that if I lose the weight, the other things will follow.
    I have long forgotten what it is like to wear clothes and feel comfortable in them and not have to shift a lot or sit a certain way so as to look my best (with no fat rolling over).
    I want to look forward to going to an outing or a party and not think about what I will eat there.
    I want to eat one slice of pizza without inhaling it so I can get to the second slice faster.
    I want to stop being happy when no one is around so I can eat without everyone looking.
    I have been trying and even using the treadmill and my husband told me he is proud of me, not just in the exercise, but in the way I have been eating- this is huge- he is not a big complementer- which means even more when he does throw one my way.
    I want to set a good example for my kids, so they don't eat the way I do.
    Oh my goodness- I am sorry this is so long. I guess it may be something I need to post about.
    It has been on my mind and heart a lot - obviously.
    I am praying for you Karen- and by the way- I always think how pretty you are.

  3. Karen- you are not alone. I am going away next weekend with some friends...and I am not excited to go b/c I have recently gained 8lbs...which may not seem like a ton, but I'm short and it feels like 20lbs...not feeling the most confident right now. Anyway, I feel so guilty at the end of the day that I can't control what goes into my mouth. I give myself the pep talk every night before bed and pray that tomorrow I will do better...and so goes the cycle. Anyway, just wanted you to know you're not alone.
    I also think you're very pretty...both inside and out.

  4. (((((((hugs)))))))))
    You ARE beautiful....don't pull a me and miss out on all the fun! (you read that post ;) )
    Love, your friend

  5. So, you really are NOT alone in this! I seem to be stuck with my image at 22. I am so very past this age, and seem to be surprised every time I look in the mirror as well! I hate that feeling! I try to remember all the positive things, and how I'm made in God's image, and it never seems to stick. I have been trying to be more intentional about committing this subject to prayer, and trying to overcome. It's very hard to be in this world and not of it! I will remember you when I'm praying about this for myself too! You are an awesome woman of God! (and Beautiful to boot!)

  6. You've already heard you are not alone, so let me chime in, too! I can completely relate! My baby is 5 months old and I am still fighting off these extra pounds (all 30 of them, to be exact)... not to mention still working through the postpartum hair loss. I feel old, fat, and bald! Especially when my three year old keeps patting my bottom because it jiggles : ) and my 8 year old daughter pinches my leg last night and says "hmm, gettin' chunky!" I keep reminding her that someday she'll have had a few babies (Lord willing) and that "tiny hiney" will be gone. Anyway, on a more serious note, you mentioned reading your last post ... and I have to relate to that, too. One of the best things I have found about keeping a blog is that God has been able to continally bless me as I re-read what He has taught me on the "pages" of it. That, and reading what He is teaching other Godly, Christian women, wives, and mothers like yourself. Thanks so much for your honest transparency this morning ... I can tell you are a beautiful person, inside & out!

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  8. Karen,
    Your words resonate with me! Every time I look in the mirror I think, wow, when did THAT happen...and it's discouraging. I too have an image in my head of what I think I look like and then I see a photo of myself and think...my goodness...that can't possibly be me.

    Be encouraged Karen - the Lord sees your heart and He loves you mind, body, and soul! He loves who you are no matter what the mirror "says".

    You're reaching other women with your beautiful blog and the Lord is using your words to touch hearts and minds. :)


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