In between my second and third daughter's pregnancies I lost about 50 pounds. Twenty pounds of it was baby weight and the other thirty were due to an extreme diet that I had to stay on due to my daughter's auto immune condition. It was the thinnest I've ever been. About 130 pounds, a size 2/4. Every single day someone (a female someone) commented on my weight. It wasn't just that I looked pretty, but that I looked "SO SKINNY!" or "super thin" and heard "Mini Mae" more times than I care to admit to. While the compliments brought on a vanity complex that I truly didn't have before, I sincerely told people not to talk about my size. I knew that I wouldn't be that size forever and with my history of eating disorders, I didn't want to get caught up in the self hate game later on in life. Ain't nobody got time fo' that. Fast forward to now, a year after my third pregnancy. I am 5'4", 155 pounds, a size 10. I eat a gluten free, dairy free diet (with a sweet treat once a week), and work out 5 times a week (though I don't run due to an injury). And after a few trips out for some new clothes... I found myself hating the skin I'm in. There aren't clothes for us girls in between "rail thin" and "plus size." I'm scoffed at when I say that I am curvy, but everyone agrees that I'm not skinny. Clothes for "curvy girls" tend to suffocate my thighs and bum, while showing off every inch of my 34 FFF knockers. Because "loving your curves" means "showing them off." And the drapey, romantic, modest clothing I love that is made for thinner girls have to be bought in larger sizes that just make it look like I'm wearing a tent. I don't read fashion magazines-ever. I don't have cable. I reject America's idea of beauty and cling to this passage
"3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves..."
But still, I found myself in the dead of the night wondering what good this body is. It carried on into the morning hours. I asked my husband to pray for me and he sent me a few verses to read that I just didn't get a chance to until late that evening. One of those verses was 1 Cor 6:19-20
"19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
The "Self Love" movement has always carried a negative connotation with me. For me, it often seems like an excuse for self obsession, vanity, or valuing one's self by their appearances (regardless of what size/color/etc they are) But as I read this beautiful verse, thinking "What good is this body?" I felt it. This body is loved by the man I admire most, my husband. This body housed, birthed, and fed the children we made together. This body serves the community around it by the conviction and motivation of Jesus Christ. This body was bought at the cost of His Love and is a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit! That, THAT, I can love.
Wherever you are today in your evaluation of self worth, I hope you see what beauty there is that radiates about you that is worth loving.