Archives for November 2009

Nov 21

I Am Beautiful!

Anyone who ever used to visit my “I Am Beautiful” blog back in the day remembers my struggle with weight and self image.  It was the whole purpose for creating that blog in the first place.  I’m not sure if you can still access it, but you can try.    If not the comments may be archived on this blog…sorry that I’m not sure about that!  Often I wrote about the way I had to become intentional about my focus and perspective.  Left to my own flesh, I refer to myself as overweight, failing time and time again in this area, and never as good or pretty as the next person.  Writing about it was therapeutic (cathartic, the new word I learned last year…I hope I just wrote it correctly…Joy are you there?).  I chose to write about what God thought of me many times.  I found by doing that I actually began to believe it more and more everyday.  I also found that I was not alone.  Lots of other women felt the same way.  And we all began encouraging each other.

Just a brief history for anyone who doesn’t know.  I named my thighs “Shamu and Namu” (you know the whales at Sea World) when I was just 8 years old, just a short time after the 1st time I was sexually abused.  Coincidence?  Not sure, but one thing I am sure about, insecurity in myself had been introduced to me big time!  My life since then has been up and down on the scales.  As an adult my weight has fluctuated between 119 and 175.  (this does not include pregnancy).  Now I know there are some who would LOVE to weigh 175.  I don’t want to compare woes and weights here.  It’s relative really.  If it brings you down, the # doesn’t matter, it just brings you down.  What I continue to beat my self over about is my inability to be able to maintain.  I blame no one but myself for this.  Food and laziness are my emotional crutches.  That’s the part that’s not beautiful.

One thing I’ve learned about myself, and I like it.  I’m not a quitter.  I get down very easily.  And when I’m down, I cry and require lots of hugs.  I’m not ashamed to tell people that.  “I need a hug”  are words I’ve learned to vocalize to my husband, my kids, and my friends.

I’ve been on every diet there is I think.  And they all worked great.  When I followed the rules, I lost weight.  I am one of those that actually likes to workout, although you wouldn’t know it lately.  (I’ve been complaining about Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred program this week….I’m on Day 6.)  For the past 2 years, the workout has been a battle.  Going back to full time work, foot surgery, multiple family issues that required a lot of my time and still do, constant changes in schedule….all contributors to stealing my workout time.  Actually, if I’m honest, they are really EXCUSES I use in not working out.  I’ve gained 40 pounds in the past 2 years.  I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to lose it again, but never remained faithful to the change.  Now, I don’t call myself a failure though. I get disappointed.  And I don’t like what the mirror or tight pants reveal, I have to be honest.  But I won’t quit or give up.

Recently I asked for major support and accountability from my Bible Study Group.  I call these ladies The Fab.  Used to be Fab 5, but there are 6 of us now.  As luck (ha ha, we all know what luck really is…insert GOD) would have it, one of The Fab, Mary Beth is a Weight Watchers leader.  She encouraged me to join (again…I’m a lifetime member y’all! Seriously!), but I’m doing it online.  Mary Beth brings her scale to BS and I weigh in.  I started seriously working out this week.  The biggest change for me is that instead of focusing on the amount of time I was devoting to exercise (thinking I needed an hour per workout  5 days a week), I’m devoting 25 minutes 7 days a week.  And it is intense.  Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.  If I was a cursing girl, well let’s just say I’d have a few choice words for her.  (confession, I had a few choice words for her)  But do you know what she said to me?  “You want abs like these? Well they don’t come for free.”  (no kidding) “I hope you are gargling your heart right now.” (and I was)  “You should be dying about now.”  (and I was)  I’m on Day 6 and even though it is very hard, it helps that it’s over quickly.

Let me ask you something.  How do you feel about yourself?  Do you feel “wonderfully made” like Psalm 139:14 tells you you are?  Even if we don’t feel it, isn’t it great that we can know it because God tells us so?

Today, no matter what your weight, your past, your current situation, your marital status, your job position or lack of, your kids, family, friends, health, sufferings, or opinions of others, say to yourself, I am beautiful. Say it again and again.  And believe it because it’s true.  God doesn’t make trash, He makes treasure.  God doesn’t make mistakes, He makes what He means to make and wants to make.  God made you.  And what God makes is beautiful.

Beautiful Blessings,

Nov 20

Keep the Positive Comments Coming…

because we need hope!  And we need to have something to grab on to when we feel like we are sinking.  God’s Word is a great life saver!

I’ve heard from a few teens, young teens, who have been sexually abused.  I’m in the process of trying to communicate with them and their parents, possible even meeting face to face with one of them.  One of them said that after reading here, they felt hope for the first time in a long time.  Praise God.

So please keep posting the Truth.  A blessing.  How you’ve made it.  They are being read and they are helping.

Thank you so much for joining me in ministry.  Seriously, I never in a million years expected so much response this week.  I feel honored that you would share with me.  It takes courage to put yourself out there.  Thank you so much.

Keep these encouraging words coming.  I feel such a connection with all of you who have posted over the past few days.  Thank you for blessing me.  It is a privilege to call you friend.


Nov 19

It’s Time To Smile

It’s late and I need to get to bed.  Jillian Michaels (my personal trainer via DVD “The 30 Day Shred…lol) will be expecting me for Day 4 of my new commitment to workout at 5:30 am.  But I couldn’t sleep without writing some of what is on my mind.

Oh sweet friends, the stories of brokeness continue to pour in.  So many amazing women looking for hope, praying for freedom from the scars of their past, knowing they want to move on but not seeming to do it.  It’s so hard for me not to just sit here and have an all day cryfest!  It’s nice to know you aren’t alone, but depressing knowing so many are in this “club” of ours.  It’s not a club anyone wants to be in.  But since bad things do happen and for many of us they did, we need to find reasons to smile and put our lives, good and bad, to good use.  Allow God to shine in and through us so we can live full, healthy, and productive lives.  It’s time to smile.

Although I haven’t responded to very many yet, I have responded to a few. I’d like to share my letter to a sweet woman who emailed me today.  Her story details do not matter.  Very similar to the 600+ who posted on my post Stained and Ruined No More 2 days ago.

Dear ****************,

Thank you for writing me again.  I have not read your other email yet. Honestly I think it will take me weeks to be able to read through all of them.  I want to respond to everyone, although I know this will not be possible.  I read stories, like yours, and it breaks my heart.  I really wish we could just all walk hand in hand, letting go of our fear, shame, and pain, and into freedom and healing.  The thing is it’s possible.  Not easy, but possible.

Please don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. You didn’t do anything wrong! Satan wants you to be held captive to your feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, he wants you to not enjoy life, live in fear, thinking you don’t deserve anything good.  Those are lies!  You have to believe that they are lies.

John 10:10, The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come so they may have life and have it to the fullest. Jesus spoke this verse.  (I have paraphrased, going by memory here)  But what Jesus is saying is that Satan wants to destroy us.  His goal is to keep us far from God and he will do whatever it takes. He’ll use our past or whatever bothers us most.  He’s good at what he does and often makes us thinks it’s our own thoughts or voice in our head. But Jesus….Jesus came to this earth to give us life.  Life to the fullest.  He died on the cross and our wounds need to die with Him.  And our lives are resurrected with Him also, resurrected into a transformed life.

I’m praying for you.  Please work on changing your thought life. Replace the lies with the truth.  The truth will set you free. (John 8:32, again going from memory so I hope I got the verse right!)

Girl, you are worth far more than your thoughts or past or current circumstances.  I’m praying you will claim that truth and get on the road to freedom.

I know the walk to freedom doesn’t come easy.  I know what it feels like to be alone or atleast feel alone.  I know this road we are on, our quest for healing and living a full life is tough.  But it is so worth the fight.  It’s worth it because we are worth it.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of feeling sad for ourselves and each other.  Let’s not live in a pit together, but begin to climb up and out.  (By the way, if you’ve never heard Miley Cyrus’ song, The Climb , take a listen.  It’s beautiful and so reminds me of this difficult journey we are on.  I Love this song!!!)

For those of you who have found the freedom in Christ and have truly moved past your hurts, abuse, and all that haunts you, could you please post your best advice, prayers, scripture that has transformed your life.  Let’s hear some Truth ladies.  Let’s help each other make the climb and do it joyfully.  Help me give hope and encouragement to those who so desperately need it.

For those of you who are just not there yet, still struggling with who you are or what has happened in your life, do me a big favor.  Don’t talk about the negative today.  Post one good thing about yourself or one blessing in your life.  And spend your day thanking God for it.  We have got to ditch the lies we listen to in our heads and the lies that unfortunately we hear from people in our lives sometimes.  That’s right ditch the lies.  Fill your head with Truth. Don’t entertain the negative self destructive thoughts, dismiss them immediately and insert Truth.

My hope is that this post will be filled with substance we can stand on.  This ain’t a pity party no more (excuse the fine South Carolina grammar…I can say that bc I am from SC), it’s a day to celebrate!  Celebrate you!  You deserve it!  Don’t say you don’t. We aren’t doing that today.

I can’t wait to read your comments!  It’s time to smile! :)

Celebrating Blessings,