Thursday, February 6, 2014

Self Image- How we are ruining ourselves forever

I admit I have put on a lot of weight in the last year. As in I weigh more now that I ever weighed pregnant. I have one pair of jeans that actually fits and only a few shirts that fit without the spanx. I hate having my picture taken because it reminds me of how big I have gotten. Obviously my sub-conscience is okay with it though because I can't seem to find the motivation to take it off. This morning I looked at this picture.
We took this picture last week after a funeral. I was so sick and it was rainy and cold outside. (As a matter of fact it snowed that night.) Our oldest took this picture after John said that we should get a picture because he wouldn't be this dressed up again for awhile. I didn't look at it right away. I should have because the lighting is horrible and I should have gotten another one from a different angle.

I bring up this picture because of the fact that I hate the way that I look. I love the shirt and the jacket. The pants are not my favorite but they are the only ones that I can button in my long line of dress pants. But to me- I look horrible. So for the most part I avoid taking pictures. I was looking back through pictures the other day though and realize that I only have a handful of pictures of my children with me in them. Of course I also only have a handful of pictures with me in them at all. I don't remember that this is what I look like. I don't like it to the point that I am taking myself out of memories.

I realize that my not liking myself  image is also damaging my children. They constantly hear me complain about being fat. They don't have pictures of me with them to show their children one day. And in a very real sense I am undermining everything that they hear being said about loving yourself. If I showed them that I lived a healthy lifestyle and took care of myself and more importantly didn't keep putting myself down, I would be teaching them and myself a lesson in loving myself.

John never tells me I'm fat. In fact, he goes out of his way to tell me that he thinks I am beautiful. I contradict him 9 times out of 10. I am not teaching my boys how a person should respond to a compliment or to the love of a spouse. I know that John does not always think that I am beautiful. I can only imagine how bad I look to him when I am sick. But it doesn't matter. He loves me enough to tell me that to him I am beautiful everyday. I want my boys to think that their wife is the most beautiful woman in their lives and for them to tell her everyday. Not because looks really matter, but because helping her to have a good self image is important. But I also want them to have a wife who tells them that he is handsome. Who also builds his self image. Because all those problems I have with my own self image- I hear the same things coming out of John's mouth.

I also don't want to put a lot of pressure on the boys about their weight. Yes, eating disorders are a big deal with boys too. I have one son who is built different from the rest. He is more blocky. However, he is not fat at all. But he thinks he is. He has even been on a kick about not eating any fats or butter for a couple of years. It makes it hard. There is a fine line that is easily crossed.

How much importance am I placing on image overall by my attitude about myself? Am I teaching my boys that it looks are more important than character and values? Sometimes I really think that I am. And I hate it. I don't want that to be what they base the important decision of picking a girlfriend or spouse on. I want them to care about a person's character, beliefs, and values over what they look like.

I am truly ruining myself and my children by the emphasis that I put on my looks. I need to stress health, character, and a strong Christian faith more than whether or not I am fat or if my clothes all fit. I need to make some changes fast.


  1. You are not alone my sweet friend. I have struggled with this too. I have become more aware of how I put myself down because of my little girl. When I have started complaining, she just tells me that she thinks I am beautiful.I don't want to teach her the wrong things. I don't want her focused on just on her looks. I want her healthy, but I want her to focus on the other things that make a person beautiful. It sounds cliche, but beauty does come from the inside. It is hard to believe and teach that though when our society is so focused on the external stuff. We don't always eat right with our busy schedule, but we are trying to do better and teach our children to make better choices. It makes it harder though when your children stay with your Mom after school and she gives them anything they want. :-) I still struggle with the negative comments in my mind, but I am working on it. My goal is to try to eat healthier and exercise more, to focus more on feeling better than looking a certain way. I am here if you ever want to talk.

  2. A conversation from just last week...I asked my 10 year old if I was looking old and he said yes. I asked how old I looked and he said...Old, I thought you said gold. You don't look old, you look gold because you are pretty. :-)

    1. That is too sweet. My kids tell us all the time that we are old. But they also know how old we are. However, when they talk about their grandma she looks old because she's at least 100.