Who told you?

There have only been a handful of people in my life who have made negative comments about my body or insulted me due to my weight. Sadly, some of them were very close family members who had no idea of the impact their words would have for many, many years. However, it has still only been a handful – I was not overly heavy as a child or teenager and so it wasn’t something I dealt with outside of my own thoughts. It has also not been an issue for a long time. Occasionally my kids say something about my squishy belly or I hear comments from a medical professional that sting a bit, but otherwise, it’s not a part of my life. Most of the things rattling around in my head on this subject come from stinging memories and current societal standards.

So when I look at myself in the mirror and cringe, there is often a little voice that says, “Who told you?”

“Who told you that you’re fat?”

“Who told you that you’re ugly?”

“Who told you that all your friends and family spend their spare time talking about your weight behind your back?”

Those first three words are the words God spoke to Adam in the garden in Genesis chapter three. “Who told you that you were naked?” There was no shame before, no need to cover themselves. And nowhere does it say that the serpent pointed out their nudity, either. They knew that they were naked because the serpent (Satan) now had access to them in a way he hadn’t before. He told them and they called it their own thoughts.

I know many people won’t want to hear this, and many people will disagree with this. But I believe it.

I believe it and yet I cannot seem to turn those voices off. The ones that have been calling me fat, lazy, ugly, stupid for so much of my life. I can weep with a deep pain in my heart from the stinging memories of words spoken when I was young and yet I listen to those voices all the time.

I’ve carried and given birth to seven babies. My body has done a lot for me. I know I could do better with how I eat and how often I exercise, but I also know that if I continue to listen to those voices, no physical change I make is going to help me. I might look better from the outside – I might even feel better carrying around less weight. But I will still be a slave to that serpent and the lies he whispers.

I want to answer that small voice – the one that speaks with compassion and truth. I want to say, “That didn’t come from you! It didn’t even come from me. I don’t want to listen to lies.” I want to take my thoughts captive, to learn again how to make them obedient to Christ. I want to, I know how to, I just don’t know if I will. That’s me being honest. Honest with myself, first and foremost. I said years ago, “Never again,” but here we are again. I’ve been fighting depression and losing, giving into those voices again even after amazing victories in the past. I know what to do, but at the moment, it is just incredibly overwhelming to consider what it will take.

So pray for me, please. Pray for the strength I need to fight this battle again. I want to be present for my kids and my husband, able to speak life into other women who are in the trenches as well. I want to be whole and well even more than I want to be thin.

 

< I’ve turned commenting off on this post. I don’t want to have an argument about theology or read comments about how I can safely lose weight, which anti-depressant to take or which line of supplements will make my life perfect again. I am just too vulnerable and tired for any of that right now. >

 

Day One

So many first days

Doing the same thing

Write it all down,

Make yourself sweat.

Don’t eat too much.

Get used to hunger.

Say goodbye to sweet.

Eat lentils.

Drink water.

More water.

More water.

Go to bed and do it again

Until it starts to feel normal.

And then something will throw you off course.

And you’ll go back to day one again.

And again.

 

I have had too many day ones like this.

My stomach gnawing, body aching.

Trying to fit this lifestyle

Into my life.

My kids laughing while I exercise.

Making myself “good” food

And getting nothing else done.

Too many day ones.

Balance feels unattainable.

Table Time

For lack of a better term, borrowing from what friends call theirs, we have started having a bit of time at the table together every day. I want to keep it up because so far, it’s actually a positive change for us. My boys have been just a little bit more interested in learning lately and I’m trying to run with that while giving Jenny time to do a few more things that might be requested by her teacher. Yesterday everyone did their own thing – Jenny working on various things, Ben reading a book (the only book he says he can read), Erik and Elias working on printing, Sam tracing in an Usborne wipe-clean book and Oliver moving back and forth from one activity to the next. Today we did an animal facts game. I read the facts on half a card and the kids had to guess which animal it was. Ben got five right and each of the three oldest got ten. It was fun and low stress and didn’t feel overly structured.

The fact is, we have structure but very little of it has been devoted to learning. Kids get up, have breakfast, the kid of the day has their two hour computer turn and usually a few others watch or help them. After that, they clean up the designated room in the basement, have lunch and start their one and a half hour turns on the tablets and/or Xbox. This means most days, they only have an hour and a half of personal screen time and some days they have two hours more. A movie is watched occasionally by one or all but generally they spend any other free time they have making up games, playing cards, Lego and every so often reading. With the recent push to get Erik and Ben reading and the start of my Usborne selling (and therefore buying), there has been an increased interest in books. But really, by the end of every day, I found myself wondering if they really would catch up. Or even start pursuing learning more as they got older. Or would it be like this every day? So two nights ago I had a sudden inspiration to ask them what they thought of a daily time at the table doing “schooly” things. It was a mixed response but we tried it out anyway. I have no desire to start traditionally homeschooling but I have toyed with the idea of enrolling Sam next year which would mean reporting to a teacher (and increased funding for him). A little bit of routine in this area would make it a lot easier to do that without stress.

Sometimes change is necessary and good. Sometimes it’s also hard. This change is likely going to be harder for me than my kids, though.

Inspiration

All the meals

Babies,

Car rides,

Diapers.

Everything busy,

For so many years.

Going here and there,

Helping little people learn and be.

I am more than this

Just a mother, but

Kids are ever present

Love flowing from me, to them, from them, to me.

Mama.

 

Body

I have only one.

It’s all I’ll ever have.

Hard truth as it ages,

Changes,

Sometimes in ways I don’t care for.

 

It’s a mobile home, not me, but the vessel carrying who I am.

It both matters so much and matters so little what I do with it.

 

“Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.”

 

Truth. To abuse it does no good.

Wears on my mind,

Slows me down.

And so I will sweep up.

Wash the walls, take out the trash.

Put in a new light fixture or two.

And take better care of my mobile home,

As it’s the only one I’ll ever have.

 

 

 

On leaving the house..

Am I considered to be a hermit just because I don’t like going out with seven children in tow?

Or because I love my home and enjoy being here?

I also love people and welcome visitors so maybe that answers my question.

I’m not a hermit. I’m a wimp.

Anyway, homebody is a much kinder title.