Monday, July 28, 2008

Weight and Beauty

Beautiful Sisters!!

I have been thinking about weight and food lately. I think that we are obsessed with weight in ways that are not healthy. We have put emotions into food, so that we are not eating correctly. Not only that, but our society equals weight with worth--if you weigh too much, you are worth less, if you weigh too little, you are worth more. We have lost balance and focus. We are either obese or anorexic or just stress constantly over every flaw.

Ironically, I think it is the focus on too little weight that has caused a great deal of weight gain in our society (well, that and foods that have chemicals). We look at a model in a magazine and see how "pretty" and thin she is (mind you, most men do not like that look....the models are for women, but most men prefer a little meat on the bones), and then we feel badly about ourselves. So then we either decide on a severe diet OR we feel badly and go eat ice cream. In either case we are choosing our food out of emotion NOT out of hunger or lack thereof.

I saw a magazine cover in the rack at the store that had a picture of an actress. The article was, if I remember correctly, 10 beautiful bodies. I had two thoughts when seeing that girl in a bikini on the cover: a)Her ribs poked out and her arms were so thin that if I saw her on the beach, I would think she had cancer or some sort of other wasting disease. She looked wasted away, not fit.
b)What little bit of flesh she had was on her tummy. It was a tiny little pooch, but honestly, her tummy was the healthiest looking part of her!

I found it odd that what the magazine was calling a beautiful body was, honestly, very similar to what I have seen in cancer patients. She was no fatter than those pictures circulating around about Barry Manilow. Him, they are saying is sick, her, they are calling beautiful.


I have also seen the reverse of this--seriously overweight women. This is not healthy nor good. Where I live, most women I see are overweight and some are obese. Most of them look very uncomfortable, and I cannot imagine how painful their knees and feet get. I wonder if they realize that they have beauty, or if they spend their days obsessing over their food, their weight, denying their husbands because they do not feel pretty or desireable.

Both cases are, in my honest opinion, in need of fixing. Here are some ideas:

1) We need to start putting God in His rightful position--He is our comforter, not a quart of mint chocolate chip. When we are angry, we need to come to Him, not to our cookie jar. Bad days, stressful days, sorrowful days, boredom mean we need something OTHER than food.

When we focus on Him, I mean REALLY focus on Him, we get clear vision. If you have not experienced this, let me urge you to make this a priority. When I focus on the Lord, burdens are weightless, stresses are eased, peace flows through me, my insecurities are GONE.

Now, the problem is that it is easy to STOP focusing on Him. I mean, in the space of a minute, we can start living in our heads again, instead of keeping our eyes on Him. So we have to keep our focus on Him. If we do not have peace, if we do have anxiety, if we are fretting, then we are not focusing on Him. He is our comforter, our ever present help.

2) We need to start putting food in its rightful position--it is our sustenance. Eat to live, eat out of joy in celebration, use food as a hospitality and service to those who are hurting and in need (we southern women know that banana pudding is required at every celebration or tragedy), but also know when it is best to push the plate away.

3) We need to start putting society in its rightful position--behind us. We are IN this world, not OF it. Beauty in society changes like the wind. Sometimes the voluptuous is in, sometimes the boney look is in. Society is fickle and ridiculous. Do yourself a favor and STOP looking at any magazines, shows, catalogues that show tiny little women if you are struggling with your weight. Believe the Lord when He told us where beauty REALLY lies--in a quiet and gentle spirit.
(I don't know about you, but when I am fretting about my weight, the LAST thing I am is quiet and gentle. I focus on ME and MY wants, not on my family and what they need. I am either grouchy or morose, my day is dictated by my scale, not by my Lord. I am in error).

4) We need to start putting our daughters in their rightful positions. We need to start praising their kindness, their gentleness, their motherly qualities, their sisters-in-Christ qualities. We need to bring them home, take them under our wing, RAISE THEM, not just babysit them. My friend has decided to homeschool for several reasons, but I believe the straw that broke the camel's back was when her B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L daughter (physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionaly) took the comments of a "friend" to heart and decided she was too heavy. Now let me tell you, that child was NOT too heavy--in fact, she was lithe and althetic. But you know how girls are. So she believed a lie instead of the truth. If we, as 20,30,40 something women raising daughters cannot distinguish between truth and lie, how can we possibly expect a child (with no age, wisdom or perspective) to distinguish between the two? One careless comment can live in a child forever. Bring them home, teach them the truth.

5) We need to start putting our husbands in their rightful positions as our mates. I hope this is not too forward for a Christian woman's blog, but our husbands are our MATES. What do mates do?!!

I have gone through times where I did not FEEL beautiful, did not feel attractive or "mate worthy". Amazingly enough, RTWS did not seem to care that I needed to lose weight, was not super toned. Honey, if your husband wants you, it is because he WANTS Y-O-U. He wants intimacies with YOU. YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU! That is because YOU turn him on! The Lord created men like that. The Lord did not create men to only desire the youngest hot thing on the screen. Nope. Your husband is not "settling" for you--give him more credit than that!!!

I was talking with SHAW yesterday. Her darling husband is out of town on business She remarked how she did not feel very attractive lately. Now, I know her husband, he is one of the kindest men and he loves her dearly. I realized that part of her problem is that she is not getting that constant positive regard from him. He is not there to tell her she is beautiful or to desire her. So she is missing that. Women, if you want to feel beautiful, start making love to your husband.

Ladies, stop obsessing about your weight in the boudoir. If he wants you, it is because you are want-able!!! He is not settling, he is not resigning. He WANTS you. Give yourself over to him freely and see yourself through HIS eye, not Vogue's eyes. Trust him when he says you are sexy, beautiful. Be enthusiastic and willing and adorable for him. Buy something sexy and put it on his pillow for you to wear for him later. Flirting with your husband, being coy and adorable and desiring your husband, making him the star of the show, being willing and confident erases wrinkle and pound. Lure him to your private garden. Read Song of Solomon (sometimes called Song of Songs in some Bibles), and understand that the Lord created intimacy on purpose for bonding and loving. He could have had us procreate like salmon or mushrooms, but He created us to ENJOY each other. So do it!

Denying him is unfair (just because YOU do not like your body, why make him suffer? He has no control over how much you exercise, how much you eat, how much you watch models, how much you overthink things, so why should he be denied from something he wants because of things in your head?)

Denying him is dangerous (you keep talking yourself down, that turns him off, refusing him turns him off), and hurtful to him (being refused without a REALLY good reason, like a fever or throwing up, undermines his self esteem. You say it is because you do not like the way you look....but HE thinks you look fine. So his reality is NOT your reality. Being denied physically is a sure way to cut a man down, to make him feel inferior, to make him go looking for someone who wants him. You do not have to find YOU sexy in order to be sexy to him, YOU are not making love to YOU! You are making love to him.).

It is also unbiblical to deny each other, except for a time so you both can PRAY! The Word is SPECIFIC about not denying our husbands. The Lord knows exactly what we need. He created sex, He expects us to use it in the context of marriage! So, yes, it is unbiblical to refuse your husband!

I will clue you in on a secret that I have heard men say: they care a lot more about being desired, esteemed, respected than about looks in a woman. The most beautiful woman who is cold or self centered or derogatory is not nearly as SEXY as a plain woman who is confident, loves her husband and desires him. You will be more sexy to him by giving him one compliment than you will be by losing weight.

Ok, one last comment, and I will stop harping on this: when you indulge him, you will feel more beautiful. You will feel powerful and sexy and strong. Whenever you feel low or with low self esteem, go to your husband and let him adore your body. Let him show you how wonderful you are to him.

6) We need to start putting our bodies in their rightful positions--COVERED! Now, this is going to be impossible for society, I am sure, but it would be wonderful if women stopped running around half naked. I believe that when we can see EVERY SINGLE INCH of skin, save three triangles, we get an unrealistic view of what a woman should look like--THEY do not even look like that, they are airbrushed and washed through a computer.

At the Dove website, they have a video of a woman who was made up, then her picture changed through a computer to be completely different than who she is. You can see it here:

In fact there are several youtube videos where people have taken photos and photoshopped them until the women are 50 lbs thinner, 10 years younger, have a completely different smile, bone structure, coloring. THIS is what we think is beautiful--computer generated images. Watch some of these, then understand that your feelings of beauty and worth are being shaped by lies and deception. (warning, some of the comments are filled with horrible language on some of these videos, and some of the videos are inappropriate. The dove one is great and there are a few others, but be careful!)

Yes, we can stop looking at other women's bodies. They might flash it, but we can ignore it. We can train our daughters and sons to ignore it too--they will be tempted to either desire it or compare, but we can lay the foundation of where real beauty is found and diminish some of the arrows of the devil.

I have to tell a funny story here regarding that very thing. We have taught our children that our bodies are personal, to be covered, to be modest, to be shared with no one but our spouses. When there are commercials or shows with immodest women or men, we change the channel (are you listening networks? we CHANGE THE CHANNEL!).
Anyway, we told the children that it is "tacky" for a woman to display her body in public.

One time we were watching football, I believe, and I left the room. My son was....6 or 7 at the time and my daughter was 9 or 10. Anyway, I did not see that a very tacky commercial came on the tv, I just heard my son say "Cover your eyes peekie, its tacky!". I go to the living room and see my daughter hiding her face and saying "Is it over yet?", and my son staring at the tv saying "No, not yet" while looking at this scantily dressed woman!

I have to appreciate him protecting his sister, but needed to review that he should close his eyes as well! lololol

It is terribly ill bred to show off ones breasts and buttocks or to attempt to entice every man on the street, not to mention it is robbing our husbands of their private garden, by allowing other men to peek over the fence! I fully and shamefully admit that there have been times in my life where I wanted to be found attracting (not attractIVE as in well groomed and presentable, but attracTING--I wanted to be desired) to men--I wanted men to want me! I thought that is where I would get validation, would feel pretty. I would not allow men to have me, but I wanted them to want me. Oh what HORRIBLE vanity and pride and sin I was allowing to reign in my life!!!!!! :-(

I believe this is a greater spiritual battle than we give it credit. When we focus on our bodies, when we do not master the effects of hormones, stress, media images, food cravings, desires, insecurity, etc then we are probably either going to be severely over weight or severely underweight. Even if we manage to maintain a healthy weight, we will be without joy because we cannot get joy focusing on ourselves, no matter what the reason or cause. Joy does not come by focusing on anything but the Lord.

Oh sisters this is getting REALLY LONG. I have so much more to say! So I think I will leave this for now. If there are any discussions, any questions, any refutations, feel free to leave them. Start TODAY to look to the Lord. TODAY make yourself presentable and then present yourself to your husband! Ask the Lord to help you see yourself through His eyes, and to develop those truly beautiful traits in you.


Lady-in-the-Making said...

WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO! Preach it, Sister! Incredible post and it needed to be said. I really appreciated this one! Thanks!

arrowsparrow said...

Thank you so much! :-) If I said anything wise AT ALL, it was the Lord, not me :-)

Aprille Roberts said...

Hi! This is my first time visting your blog. I found you through Tina at Red Wellies, Rainbows, and Cinnamon Whirls. I just wanted to thank you for this post, it really spoke to my heart. I am very glad to have found your blog, as I've been going over many of your posts in the last several minutes, and can't wait to read more. You truly have some Godly wisdom to share.

Thank you.
Aprille :0)
Clay in the Hands of the Potter