I had been walking in and out of our bathroom, the only place we have a mirror at home. In it I can only see the upper half of my body. Ugh, I felt disgusted and shuddered at the thought of having a full length mirror. “I’m so fat.” I said to myself out loud as I walk out, deflated, for the last time. My boys had their heads down peacefully playing inside their lego world. As I said this they immediately looked up at me in surprise. “No, mom! You’re not fat! You’re beautiful!” they exclaimed. Their eyes were wide as they corrected me. I immediately realized what I had just done. I was teaching my boys that it is normal for a woman to hate her body.
For the record, according to my BMI (body mass index), I’m obese. I have been overweight most of my life. It wasn’t until my adult years that I started to learn about nutrition and exercise. Over the years my knowledge and commitment to a healthy diet and exercise have yo-yoed as has my weight. Even so, as a mother, being healthy and teaching my kids to be healthy has always been my goal.
I hugged my boys with approval and thanked them for reminding me that I am beautiful. Amidst a world filled with abundant images of beautiful, perfect women and the barrage of messages telling me that I need to be a standard size and shape in order to be beautiful I had truly forgotten. All along I had been teaching my boys that people come in all colors, shapes and sizes because God loves variety. I had emphasized that we should not judge a person solely by their outer appearance but instead by what’s inside. To which my oldest son once answered that his future wife better have strong bones otherwise she’d just be a floppy piece of skin. We all laughed uncontrollably that night. Not exactly what I meant but wise none the less.
“Mom, have you ever thought about how amazing you are?” “All of us.” asked my 8 year old son recently. Yes, we are all absolutely amazing and beautiful. As a direct reflection of our creator, how could we not be?
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. –Psalm 139:13-14
I have been auto correcting whenever I see myself in the mirror now. I see a woman wonderfully made and created in God’s image. I will continue to work towards healthy goals but am learning to thank God for me, here and now. And when I think or talk about myself, my words will reflect this newfound gratitude.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. –Genesis 1:27
How do you talk about yourself? What does God think about how you view yourself?