Three things I feel about how far my gut is supposed to hang over my pants:
- I am a believer that God calls us to be healthy.
- I am also a believer that you can be a chunk who gets it done in the kingdom of God. Who moves things in big ways. One in whom God is completely and totally head over heals with. One who God chooses first. One who is exactly who God wants them to be.
- I believe both things equally.
I texted Kate in a frantic moment, where she was fighting off the NyQuil and I was trying to figure out what a short phrase God gave me was supposed to mean. I’m sure she was thankful she was distanced through phone lines, as I’m pretty sure she I remember her asking me in not so many words whether I was crazy or if it was the NyQuil.
I had been staring at this short phrase, ‘where the love lasts’, for at least a week straight. I thought of it all and none of it seemed to feel right. After a week of wondering, I reached out to Kate, knowing she wouldn’t judge my hot mess of a moment.
And she didn’t.
She helped me see exactly where the line came from and helped me sort through my feelings.
So here’s where we’ll dive right into it all, a mess that is going to take a couple posts to sort through. Let’s just be straight forward with each other, and let’s start here.
My daughter loves food. My daughter is not twiggish, lanky, or invisible. My daughter is as healthy as we can have anything to do with.
Every time our six year old walks past a mirror, she stops to turn, looking at the distance separating her stomach from her lower back. Every time, she asks, “Am I skinny?”
So tell me friends. How do I answer this when I don’t care how much of a stick figure she is? How do I answer this when I care about healthy? How do I answer this when I think she’s really wondering if she is beautiful, connecting two words that are so very far apart?
And this is where we’re at. Looking at magazines lining the grocery check out lines with woman who are in their forties and skinnier than adolescent girls. Reading the feature articles on the covers from first grade on, seeing how we who ‘adult’ care about how to lose the pounds in ten days, the latest hit sex positions, and what all the coolest celebs are wearing (and how many hundreds you can buy it for).
But what if I don’t care? What if she grows up with a protruding belly and a healthy lunchbox? What are you people going to do to her?
I can’t catch a break lately, everything falling back into short shorts and am I skinny’s. I hear her father in the other room, telling her no short shorts, and I hear her fire back with a why?
Why does my little girl think skinny and booty shorts is beautiful?
Why do I feel more beautiful on the days I feel skinny? Why did I used to feel most beautiful when I wore shorts so short when I sat down they disappeared in my crack?
Seriously. We are all luny. This is absolutely ridiculous.
Here’s the thing, for any of you love bugs shrinking for a man to notice you. I need you to listen to me. I need you to read all of this, and maybe make copies, and maybe slap it all over the school so us girls all remember.
You are intelligent. You are going somewhere with your life, and you are capable of doing huge things at any moment you wish. You are kind. You are gentle and you are a force to be reckoned with. You are going to meet so many people who will fall in love with your laugh first. They will fall in love with your passion for life. They will fall in love with how you forgive and how you grow. They will fall in love with you over how absorbed you are in your book, repeating the best quotes to your friends allowed. They will fall in love with your crooked teeth and they will tell you how beautiful you are, and they will mean it with all of their being, hoping with everything in them it will always be you.
Notice what I said had nothing to do with how many bones he can see through your skin. Because the right man won’t come to change you or make you feel as though who you are isn’t good enough.He won’t make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin and he won’t make you feel like you need to tone your personality down.
So let’s stop here for now. Let’s eat when we’re hungry. Let’s not be afraid of curves or rolls. Let’s not make someone who was made with a couple more feel less beautiful, because maybe you happen to be skinny and beautiful, but you aren’t beautiful because you are skinny. So let’s break the association, shall we? For the sake of our insides and for the sake of little six year old girls watching. I want my girl to know her beauty without questioning what size she’s wearing in comparison to other girls her age. Let’s stop the comparisons with other women all together, because ladies, we are mean. In this moment, if never again, let’s be for each other. We need to be for each other. We need to be kind. Okay?
It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.