((you get this instead of an outfit post today. couldn't keep what was on my heart stuck in there! it felt good to type it all out & process it. I'm sure I'm not the first to post this type of message, but I'm sharing my thoughts with you sweet ,sweet readers, hoping it will simply encourage.))
As someone who has struggled with body image for years and years, often not thinking I'm small enough, toned enough, not put-together-enough etc, being pregnant has kind of turned my world upside down.
It was easy to embrace at the beginning, as all I'd have to do was unbutton the top button of my pants, at most. I was still giddy about being pregnant in the first place, so I just had to remind myself that it was for the baby. All my tops still fit and my jeans fit everywhere else but the waist. But the more my body has changed over the past 23 weeks, the more I see this insecurity blow up in my face...the insecurity of not being good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Even at the beginning, when I was quite sick and losing weight, rather than gaining it, I still felt out of control and like I needed to hit the gym if I was able to keep down some crackers and ginger ale ((which I never did. ha)).
Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the fact I was nauseous 24/7, maybe it was my broken out face, maybe it was the fact that I couldn't stomach ANYthing...but I just didn't feel pretty. I mean, Where the BLANK was that glow everyone talked about?
And why don't I look/feel like this?
What I've realized is that I worship myself. That's gross to admit, but I'm serious. It's like I've made myself my own little god that I have to please by working out, eating the right things, wearing the best clothes, working out again if I ate too much or had more than one Dr. Pepper. Now, since I've been pregnant, I'm able to rationalize it and eat whenever I'm hungry and not feel guilty about it. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm growing ((at an incredibly fast rate)) and I'm having a VERY hard time with it. Chase has to stop me daily from using words like "bus" and "huge."
I didn't realize using those words in reference to myself was offensive until someone close to me ((unintentionally)) used a similar word in reference to my belly and if Chase hadn't been there to recover and speak truth immediately, it would have crushed me.
Because I worship myself. I worship what others think of me. I worship my appearance.
It has to stop. Self-destructive talk, non-acceptance of my growing belly, throwing tantrums every morning because nothing in my closet fits properly, wondering if people see the weight I've gained in my face, it.all.has.to.stop.
My call to action to those of us with the same struggles:
1. There are so many women who can't get pregnant and would do ANYTHING to have a growing belly ((and waist-line, and thighs, and...you get what I'm saying?)) if that meant they got to carry a child of their own. Count your blessings.
We need to be more thankful.
2. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator that not only made every detail about you, but made every detail about your unique pregnancy. You are beautiful and are growing a miracle. Who cares if your skinnies don't fit?
We need to have more grace with ourselves & with our changing bodies.
3. Go exercise. Don't over-do it, start training for a half-marathon or all of a sudden pick up kickboxing, but go for a walk and be as active as you can. Chances are, it will help.
We need to take action & do something, rather than moping.
4. Tell yourself that you're beautiful and accepted. Ask your husband to tell you that when you need it, if he isn't already. And when he tells you? Believe it.
We need to dwell on truth and not on lies. Our husbands think we're beautiful.
5. Buy clothes that fit you. I've decided that every month, I'm going to buy something that fits me RIGHT THEN. This month? It was splitting a pair of way too expensive designer maternity jeans with my mom. I know the value of good denim and I also know the value of feeling GOOD in what I'm wearing, so I felt it was worth it. I'm not saying I deserve nice & new things, far from it actually, but if I can feel good in what I'm wearing, I'm much more likely to have more grace with myself and my body.
We need to be nice to ourselves.
6. Pray. God wants to carry our burdens. Tell him you don't feel beautiful. Be honest with Him. Confess of making yourself an idol & ask Him to allow you to feel confident in HIM and beautiful in HIM, not in and of yourself...because you? You're always going to disappoint yourself if you're anything like me. So are those skinny jeans. Those have a tendency to disappoint often ;)
We need to give our insecurities to the Lord.
We need to draw near to God and His truth. Daily.
This is not a plea for encouragement & compliments in the comment section. I'm trying to encourage you in what I'm s l o w l y learning. I hope you needed to hear it as much as I needed to process & type it out.