Poor Perception

I absolutely love the fact that women today are speaking out against society’s demands that we must all be pin-thin, curve-less, unhealthy twigs.  The idea that being a size 2 is okay, 0 is ideal, and that 12 is plus size just blows me away.  12 IS PLUS SIZE?!  Crazy.

No doubt, this mentality and perceived standard is damaging.  I can speak from experience – it changed my life.  I’ve experienced dissatisfaction with being 120 pounds.  If only I could get to 118, then I would feel better.  But when I hit 118, suddenly it didn’t satisfy either.  115 became the new 118.  Then 112 was the greener grass.  Then fear struck at 110, and rock bottom came (as well as much needed professional help) at 106.  And all for what?  There are SO many things that are involved in an Eating Disorder (and it’s different from person to person); however, one component is this:  Thinking that I had to fit to some societal standard of thinness in order to be a better, more accepted and ultimately, more attractive person.  What a slough of lies.  Not to mention that my satisfaction won’t be found in size or appearance but in Jesus.  But we’ll save that for another post 🙂

This photo has been going around Facebook recently, and I nearly cheered when I saw it:

Now, let me be clear on this: it’s not about being “hotter”.  It’s about being healthier, and healthy is attractive!  However, this does illustrate my point.  When did skeleton come in vogue?  When did counting ribs become the thing to do?  I understand that some people are naturally thin, but there’s a difference between genetics and restriction.  I think you can tell the difference when you look into one’s eyes.  The naturally thin person has a healthy glow.  The self-starved person has a put-on twinkle which masks a sunken countenance and a deeper emptiness.

From my perspective, there’s a gigantic emphasis on non-self acceptance unless you’re perfect (whatever your image of perfect is).  Flat tummy, tiny thighs, toned arms, button nose…the list goes on.  There’s a great post over on Recovery Bites about actually LOVING our tummies.  Guess what!  If you love something, you accept it.  Love your tummy, accept your tummy.  It’s one step closer to body peace.

Something I’ve learned this school year is that big appetites are okay.  For my sake, let me say that again:

BIG APPETITES ARE OKAY!!!!!!!

Ordering a hefty meal at a restaurant?  Sure, why not?!  Gleefully finishing it off (and maybe even bragging about it)?  Even better!  My roomies are true blessings when it comes to being examples of this.  Seriously.  (And I wholeheartedly mean that as a compliment.)

See, I used to think that I could/should always/only eat stuff like this:

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And something like this might have been too much.

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But now, I can sit down and enjoy a healthy meal like this:

And dig into a dessert like this:

Who’s scared of an ice cream cone?  NOT ME!

Matter of fact, I can openly admit…I adore ice cream.  Yay for $1 cones at McD’s!

As a society, our perception has been completely demolished.  So much media supports (in one way or another) the notion that healthy isn’t attractive.  That thin trumps all.  That reaching thinness will solve all your problems and in a sense, be the ultimate nirvana.  To be honest, I still struggle with rejecting this mentality, but God is faithful to bit by bit, heal my mind and my heart.  And I’m so thankful.

Here’s to embracing health and right perception!

What do you think?  Do you feel that media puts undue pressure on thinness?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Something I realized while writing this post: I don’t really have any photos of me eating.  Sure, I have pictures of food, and pictures of me WITH food, but I couldn’t find any where I actually was putting food in my mouth.  Be watching for that to change!  And for that recipe I promised the other day…. 🙂

Blessings,

Beth

 

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9 thoughts on “Poor Perception

  1. This is one of the best articles you’ve ever done! It’s clear and honest and wise and so well written. The pictures are brilliant (as are you, btw) and I love that you note the difference between “hot” and “healthy” and that being healthy and comfortable in your skin ultimately what makes someone feel attractive and good and happy. I love what you said at the end, “God is faithful to bit by bit, heal my mind and my heart”– I know you said you struggle with this still, but you’ve express it all so thoughtfully and truly here that it seems to me like you’re closer to fully accepting it than you realize. 🙂
    Big step, beautiful girl!

    -Marisa

  2. AMEN!! I so appreciated this post!! Thank you for standing up for a good thing! My view was getting warped for a while too, but God loves me for who I am! Even if I’m not as thin as I was when I was 14 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on dynamicjoy and commented:
    This is a GREAT post on how you should view your body! God loves you! That doesn’t mean not to strive to be healthy, but do not hate yourself just because you don’t have a “perfect” figure!

  4. I also enjoyed this. What a clear view of the size misperceptions in our world today! A friend recently posted a status on FB saying a 6th grade teacher told her daughter’s class that if they weighed more than 98 pounds in 6th grade they were obese! Now her daughter thinks she has to diet and lose a bunch of weight! Our world is so out of whack! For those of us who do weigh more than we should we should be accepted for who we are, not what we weigh. I know the “world” does not see beauty in my dimensions so I need to see it in myself. By the way, when I weighed in Saturday I had dropped 3 lbs.! Love ya, Mom

    • That’s tragic. But you’re right – it’s when we’re accepted as we are that we can be our best – emotionally, physically, spiritually etc. Way to go!!! Love you –

  5. Interesting how thru the years different sizes have been found beautiful. And in my life time it has come to barbie being beautiful, yet if you look at her real dimensions they almost have to be air brushed as a real person doesn’t come in that shape. Good for you being so honest and as Marisa said you are probably closer than you think… God bless you as you continue to share and use your experience as ministry to others.

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