Over the course of my life, I've developed quite a deep passion for the issues surrounding body image and overall health and wellness. My perspectives and "wisdom" have come slowly and have changed dramatically with time. I hesitate sharing my feelings because I know (no.. I hope) that my perspective will change, grow and evolve as I gain experience being the captain of this body.
To understand where I am, I have to visit where I've been.
Growing up I was very "food obsessed" and remember not being able to focus on people in social situations because I was so tuned in on the food, "What was I going to eat?" "How will I get more dessert?" "What if I go somewhere and heaven forbid there's no food and I get hungry!?"
I was never severely over weight, but definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food. I've always loved to exercise because I love sports, being outside and being active. When my oldest was 1 1/2, I decided to go on a very strict diet of 500 calories a day and dropped about 25lbs in 2 months! Sound wonderful? Well it wasn't. I became primarily focused on food, the scale, and being skinny. I had always thought (been told) that I was just built "athletic" and "big". Dropping to 115 lbs and totally changing the way I looked gave me a huge sense of control. It really rocked what I based my self-worth on.
Skinny = successful, self-disciplined, in control, desirable etc.
In comparison, being at my "natural" weight = failure, out of control, undesirable etc. Things happened in my life at that time that reinforced my warped views.
Things got ugly. I gained all of the weight back (and more) in like a month through binge eating, depression, isolation, and overall despair. I felt like a total and complete failure because I was suddenly back at a weight that just 6 months before had felt pretty good to me. From that "rock bottom" moment until this moment, I've been on a journey changing the way I view my body and others' bodies. I've learned that the scale is not a measure of success and that food is NOT the enemy.
I'm not at my "skinniest", and I'm more confident than I've ever been. I love my body. I'm grateful for my body. I still am enticed by the thought that I can change and strengthen my body, but now it's not based on how I will look.
I practice looking at people for who they are - what their strengths are, what they are capable of. I don't focus on their weight, their clothes, their hair. I see them. As I give this gift to others, I'm really giving it to myself -- Permission to be more that an object. I practice recognizing the lies spewed by society that objectify these beautiful bodies God has given.
I love my body, but I am not my body. I am a lover of nature. I have a forgiving heart. I am full of compassion for others and now for myself. I am the chosen mom to 2 of God's precious children. More than ever I have a deep appreciation for this body I've been blessed with. I am JessBeQuick the beautiful.