I went to her. Not really knowing exactly why at first. All I knew is that I perceived we were beginning to share the same struggle and it was bothering me. After eight years of having to be on a very restricted diet that kept me too skinny, I was now putting on weight with my newfound freedom with food. I was enjoying the enhancements my body was experiencing except one. And as that certain spot was becoming more predominent, I started to become more conscientious about it even to the point of wanting to go back to my old ways of eating. But then, she helped me find just what I needed.
Since the age of 10 my daughter has been coming into her womanhood and as many women know, this means weight gain for most girls. When this happens, many parents go into panic mode and sometimes the child does too causing their self-esteem to plummet. I was one of those panic-stricken parents. However, my daughter was not the child whose self-esteem lessened. There were a few moments when she got frustrated when clothes didn’t fit, and maybe a small peak on being down on herself — which probably had more to do with me putting those insecurities upon her because of my concern — yet overall, she has never seen her weight as something that defined her or took away from her beauty.
Sometimes I felt as if she may have been just hiding her own struggles from me as if to protect me or not admit it was effecting her as she would tell me over and over again it didn’t bother her. Why wouldn’t she be bothered by it? I knew I would. Yet, this day when I came to her confirmed to me that this wasn’t the case for her at all.
What she gave me was comfort, confidence, and perspective. Her laid-back attitude about the whole issue reminded me that I was focusing on the wrong thing. So I had gained some weight and my belly was a little bigger, she had been dealing with this for three years and hadn’t let it bring her down. Where I was scared to talk to her about this because I was afraid to offend her, her light-hearted humor and comforting words gave me just what I needed. And what I realized was that my insecurities were not shared by her but all mine. All mine. And now I understood that she truly was happy with herself and I became inspired by her confidence. This is why I came to her. My daughter, whom I am supposed to teach and lift up was teaching and lifting me up. I so much admire her.
I wish every girl and woman could have my daughter’s same attitude and growing self-esteem no matter their size. While there is an increasing epidemic in our country in obesity and we definitely do need to create an awareness of that by promoting healthier lifestyles and diligently encouraging people to choose these habits, let it never be the case where this awareness is also causing us to promote a diminishment in the self-worth of people. No matter our size, struggles, or insecurities, we are all made in the image of God and need to promote finding our self-worth in Christ Jesus. It’s what I’ve taught my daughter and I’m so glad she has truly taken it more serious than even sometimes I do.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 138:14
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. You created man in Your image and though we strayed from Your will, You still showed us that we have great worth to You by our redemption through Christ Jesus. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and in Christ’s love I have become more than a conqueror. May I never allow my physical insecurities to take away from the specialness of being Your forgiven child. Purge these damaging thoughts from me so that I will live a full and happy life in the comfort of Your arms. Amen.
Truth in love,