Friday, January 18

A Realistic Self-Image

I'm sure a lot of us made New Year's Resolutions to lose some extra pounds.
I know I did.
But what do we really want?
To have a smaller number on the scale (which nobody knows but us), or to look slimmer?
If I were to be honest . . . it would have been the latter last year.
But not this year.
What changed?
My self-image.
How I see myself has changed, and for the better.
This is really hard to do, and took a while for me, but it's worth it.
And pretty simple. 
Skinny does not necessarily equal healthy.
For some, it might, but not for everyone.
For years, I thought I'd have to be skinny to be healthy, or pretty, or anything, but now I see that's not the case.
Now, I'm not one to get my advice from Hollywood, but I kinda like Jennifer Lawrence as a person (and no, I haven't seen the Hunger Games, nor do I plan to).
This quote is from Pinterest, so if it's not really her, sorry, but it sounds like something she'd say. 
In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress. I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I keep waiting for that one role to come along that scares me enough into dieting, and it just can’t happen. I’m invincible. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something that I was really conscious of during training. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.
Now that is a good mindset.
But think about it.
How many models, actresses, and normal girls look like they haven't eaten in days?
Too many, I think.
Seems like everyone thinks it's cooler to be thin.
Don't get me wrong; it's not bad to be thin - it's just . . . well, a bit overrated.
It would probably surprise you to learn that less than a hundred years ago, curvy girls were considered "more beautiful".
That's not entirely correct either, but do you know what makes everyone change their minds?
The media.
All of it.
Ever see some of those "plus size" models?
Ever notice how they look . . . well, normal?
Since when was that not attractive?
Since when was that weird?
Since when did preteen girls care about how many calories they had?
To say it's only the media's portrayal of weight and obesity would be a lie, but I'm only trying to make one point here, and you have to admit that that's certainly a large part of it.
Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is that even if you do lose all the weight you said you would, and even if you do fit into your high school jeans again . . . will you really, honestly be happy with yourself? Or will you never be slim enough or light enough?
God made you as you are for a reason.
Heck, maybe you're the way you are just to encourage someone like you who may struggle with the same thing. You never know.
And while you may not like it now, He does, and He doesn't make mistakes, nor is He ever mistaken.
I once heard someone (I think Chip Ingram, but I'm not sure) say that the trick is you have to think of yourself correctly: you shouldn't think of yourself too highly, but you shouldn't think of yourself too lowly, either.
Thinking of yourself too highly results in pride, arrogance, and a general sense of annoyance to everyone around you.
Thinking of yourself too lowly results in depression, bitterness, and a lack of joy, which will be felt by everyone you're around, believe me.
Thinking accurately about yourself allows you to 1) see what areas might need improvement and 2) see what's genuinely great about yourself.
So no, you may never fit into that size you wanted, or see the number you wanted when you step on the scale, or get picture perfect skin, or have hair that actually does what you want it to, but you're still made in the image of God, and as long as you're taking care of your temple, you're beautiful, even when you don't feel like you are.