You Were Made: the truth about body issues, part 2

Psst…if you missed part 1, you might want to head here first.

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A couple of months ago, while in the midst of writing my book, and feeling about as thin as butter scraped against burnt toast, I was just low.  I found myself thinking on my workout schedule, about how guilty I felt for drinking so much coffee, and was having a good pity party for my body/self in general.

Then I walked in the girl’s room…

And I read her sign (thank you sweet Tiffini) for the millionth time, but this time…I recognized myself.

Now, I’ll digress for a second.  If you know me well at all, you know two things:  I seem pretty confident because for the most part I do feel self assured; I know from Where my worth comes (except when it comes to my body), and two, I recognize my ignorant plight and also love to learn, challenge myself, and man, do I ever want to grow in Faith so my little ones can along side me…I yearn for change.

So when I say I “saw myself” I don’t mean that I had this revolutionary moment of self-praise, no, I simply saw what my God sees in me.  He sees a working from home mom, a woman who loves her husband and family fiercely and protects what they share.  A woman who loves her work and her employees, and her readers, and a woman who wants to love Him more.  Even a woman who tries to be healthy and take care of herself and a woman who would like to do more of that.  That’s not what I see.

But that’s what He sees.  And He desperately loves that about me.

I sat on Ava’s bed, and for the first time ever, really, I sat in the knowledge that while my body isn’t what it “used to be” or my body doesn’t respond like “so-and-so,” I am everything I am, and I do mean everything, because of Him.

Does that mean I’m done?  That I don’t want to lose this 35-40 pounds? Nope.  I’ve got extra work to do.  But it’s just extra.  It’s not the good stuff.  The good stuff can’t be measured or weighed or pinched.

You see friends, real transformation doesn’t begin with the body.  Real transformation doesn’t even begin by realizing you are beautiful.

Real, lasting transformation begins by realizing you were Made beautiful.

At least it did for me.

As I thought on it all the next few weeks, even before changing more of my diet and getting serious about my commitment to my workouts, I really and truly began feeling different about myself.  I started seeing that while I was worth the time and effort it was going to take to change some habits and to make my workouts every single week, I also recognized how healthy I already was.  I began to see myself through a different set of eyes, and they were much less critical.

She is clothed in strength and dignity…

P.S.  I am already down 6 pounds, 2% body fat, and a several inches…just from the last few weeks.  Happy to share more (I have at least one more post coming) for those that want to know, but for today, I hope you’ll look in the mirror and remember that you were Made in His image, with His hands, and your beauty?  It’s everlasting.

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26 Responses to You Were Made: the truth about body issues, part 2

  1. Molly January 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing! I have been dealing with a poor body image since after my second child. Now I have five kids and realizing my body is never going to be the way it was before kids no matter what i do! I really needed to hear what you shared! Is very encouraging! God bless you! = o )

  2. Anna-Ruth Murphy January 26, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    Thank you so much for such beautiful words and meaning! Exactly what we all need to hear…;)

  3. Anne January 26, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    That sign makes me cry . . . I’m always so afraid . . . though I fight it and try to exercise faith. Thanks for writing this.

  4. Wendy McDonagh-Valentine January 26, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    I truly believe when the student is ready, the teacher will come. I found your blog this morning and I’ve been having the same struggles as you. I remember a few years ago I turned over my thoughts of needing to eat healthier and move more. I took a kinder, gentler approach and didn’t beat myself up. This lasted for a while and I lost weight in what seemed like an effortless way. This worked for me and I need to start to work it again. Thank you for opening up and sharing this with us. : )

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

  5. Jody January 26, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I can’t tell you how much I can relate to your last 2 posts. Also, it was everything I needed to “hear” at this moment!!! God has this incredible way of bringing exactly what we need into our life when we need it. I can’t thank you enough for having the courage to share about your own insecurities to help others. That in itself, says you are an incredibly strong person!!!!

  6. ashley @ the handmade home January 26, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    I love your heart and I love that you shared this. I’ve struggled with my body image my entire life. (Surprise! <–sarcasm) And I still do. I needed this today. Thank you for that sweet reminder!

  7. Mary January 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    I’m 47 years old and I still can’t accept my curvy athletic body. I’ve decided, also, to work on my heart first, then I’m sure the body will follow. I have to see myself the way Jesus sees me. I know many size 6 women who aren’t very attractive because of what their spirit shows. And I know so many plus sized women whom I think are the most beautiful. I want to be known for my spirit, not my pants size. Thank you for your encouragement.

  8. Marisa Franca January 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    We are so very hard on ourselves. We will never be what we were at 20 nor do I want to be. You are right in being the best you can be. Some people work 24/7 being an impossible image. What a waste of time. Be the best you can be — you can’t ask for anything else neither can the Creator.

  9. Gloria Kimball January 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    It is a journey, all of it. Our faith, family, friends, fitness and balance. Your posts reach to the heart of the matter. In Him we are complete, the rest comes in time. Such a process!

    It is so easy in our humanity to relate to Martha. The constant motion, endless to do lists that rudder our days. i am learning to ponder, balance, give time to all His goals for my life.

    Your honesty is infectious! Thank you!

  10. Karyn January 27, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    God bless you for sharing your story. It is beautifully honest and refreshing! That verse about how God sees us is perfect…I need to put it up in my house somewhere! Oh, and I am also 5’8″ with a size 10 foot and large hands, but it’s God’s design, so we joy in Him!

  11. Atlanta Shabby Chic January 27, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Beautiful said. :-) There’s not much better than being made in His image.

  12. Anna @ A Good Home January 27, 2014 at 8:09 am #

    Hi lovely lady! Love this post. I’ve been having major struggles recently with the way my body has been packing on fat even though I haven’t changed my diet. 30 basically killed my metabolism. This is such a great boost of encouragement; thank you Shaunna. :)

  13. BrocanteuseRose January 27, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    So true, we are all beautiful its easy to forget, but HE thinks so.

  14. ZoeAnn Yussman January 27, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Thank you for the reminder…

  15. Marian@Gathering Branches January 27, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Thank you for this! It filled me with light.
    The Other Marian

  16. Sandi January 28, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    Loved this post as it reminds me of much of my life. I am almost 40 and am finally grateful for every day He grants me in this body. I just told a friend that as the outside fades the inside has a chance to blossom. With Christ shining out, there is no way you will not be beautiful!

  17. Lisa E January 28, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Awesome post. I’m a middle-age women and have the menopausal mid-body spread which I abhor and is so hard to lose. Thank you for this reminder. Thank you. Thank you.

  18. Melody January 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Thank you and bless you for sharing. It’s something so many women, including myself, have such a hard time believing. That sign will definitely be going in my house!

  19. Bernadette January 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    So, let us each be honest- most of us have body issues. We are so quick to point out to ourselves the horrible problem areas, the unsightly spots, the one thing that if we had a magic wand we could wish away. We abuse, harshly criticize, and just plain be mean to ourselves. Sometimes we are completely unaccepting of who we are. The funny thing is this: we would never, ever treat each other so horribly so why are we treating ourselves like that?! We would never be abusive to our friends and family in that manner so why are we abusing ourselves so ruthlessly?!

    Easier said than done, I know, but the challenge I posed to myself was this: start being kind to yourself. Nurture your body and soul like you would your own child. Treat yourself as you would other people. You are special, wise and important NO MATTER WHAT.

  20. Jane Ann January 31, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Thank you for sharing in an area that so many of us struggle. Out perspective is so often clouded by the world and our own vision of ourself. What a beautiful reminder that we are truly beautiful because we are created by Him! God bless!

  21. Carrie -Curate by Carrie Corson February 1, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. You are right, I am someone who needed to hear it. I have struggled with my body image my whole life. I have fluctuated with my weight forever. I was also raised to be a strong confident young woman & I have always thought of myself that way, until recently. After changing to a job where I sit at a computer all day 5 years ago & undergoing a major back surgery 3 years ago, my weight has been steady increasing each year. Last year I thought I found the strength to really make a change & I worked out 4 – 5 times a week for the first six months in 2013 and lost 35 pounds. Man it’s a lot harder to lose in my mid 30′s than it was in my 20′s. Then we completed most of our renovations & moved into our home. I haven’t worked out hardly at all since. I think I just got too comfortable being back in our own space. But my health has suffered for it this Winter & I’ve been sick over & over. Enough is enough time to get back at it & find that self confident young woman inside of me again. I’m hoping if I become proud of that girl again she will be able to find the courage to shoot for her dreams again!

  22. Connie February 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    I love the comment from your reader (Mary): “I want to be known for my spirit, not my pant’s size.” I never really had to struggle with weight until this last year….(Oh thanks menopause!) BUT I realize (and should do so more often) that God loves me the way I am because HE made me :-) Yes, I too am working on some weight loss but realize my weight is only part of who I am.

    I’m healthy and happy and if the weight comes off, fine. If not, that’s OK too. I’m only 5 feet tall but I look a lot like my dad’s relatives: short and round :-) (Yeah, I only have 10 pounds to lose, but being “dangerously close to 60″, as I often joke, it’s not that easy to lose.) So what? Life is beautiful and seems to get more glorious every day, every year :-)

    Yup! God knows just what we need to hear at the right time. I haven’t read your posts for awhile and just today decided to do so again. What a blessing to read! Thank you Shaunna…and everyone else who commented too. Be assured: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God”. Romans 8:28

  23. Kristine February 13, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    This is just touching. I guess anyone would have normal body issues but wouldn’t even know how to handle them. This would be something they need to read to get past that :-)

  24. Tracie February 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    I visited today a store I never visit. And found a painted nightstand that I impulsively bought. And talked to the shopkeeper about the paint she used. Which led me to a Google search, this site, the FAQ on chalk paint, and then somehow this blog post.

    Thank you. This was beautiful, and I’m so glad fate twisted me toward your post. It has come at such a needed time.

  25. Kim February 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Thank you!

  26. Gotch from Plush Rugs February 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Thanks for the lovely post and strength you gave me by it.

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