I don’t get stressed out very easily. And for the most part I usually am pretty confident. However, there is one part of my day, every day that stresses me out and lowers my self esteem. It’s getting dressed in the morning for work or church. Most of the time on Saturdays, I don’t have to feel this pressure and can just throw on some sweatpants for the day. But there are 6 out of the 7 days of the week, that’s 86% of my week, where it’s started with an overwhelming moment of standing in front of my closet feeling crappy about myself. I dread this moment each day.
You’re probably thinking, ‘why don’t you just set your clothes out the night before’. I can’t do this, I’ve tried. Most of the time what I liked in the evening, I hate the next morning, or I hate how I feel about myself when I put it on. Then you add Texas’ stupid unpredictable weather to it, and now it’s even more stress over getting ready. So not only do I have to deal with the anxiety of what to wear, now it’s what is the weather going to be like for more than half the day so I know what to dress like. For those who don’t know about Texas, it can be 30 degrees in the morning, than the beastly sun comes out and its 80 at noon. Seriously, you can’t ever predict. ORRRR It’s warm and sunny in the morning, by afternoon it’s hot and rainy with some tornadic activity and then the evening is winter somehow. You never know what you’re getting because the day before could be a high of 45 and the next day the high is 80. It really is a disaster. So I have to add this to my daily stress of getting ready in the morning.
What stresses me out about it??? It’s my perception of me. I feel and look fat in everything I wear and am hoping to find the magic outfit that makes me look less fat. Now my clothes aren’t too small or too tight, but when I get dressed and the outfit I thought would look good shows my pooch, I get angry….with myself. I hate that I allowed myself to get this way. I used to be active, thin, with martial arts, working out, or even running. I always felt good about myself. Then I had my first child and I was able to actually bounce back pretty quickly. Once I had my second and then my third one immediately followed, I’ve never been able to recover. Since having my third child, I’ve kept this belly that looks like I’m pregnant. I’m not being too harsh, ask the 543548 people who have asked me “when I’m due” or “how far along are you” or said “I didn’t know you were expecting again”. The response “Nope, I’m just fat” has become a second habit to me. My favorite thing is whenever I respond with that, their mortified and then try to cover it up saying “I didn’t mean it that way” or “No you’re not fat”…..then please sally, explain to me how I can look pregnant enough to be due but I’m not fat??? Sheesh. I know these people didn’t mean harm, but those few words will crush my esteem for weeks on end. My poor husband has to listen to me on all of this. Every morning we get ready for work together and I ask him how fat I look and I get frustrated when he says I look good or ok, because I think he’s trying to spare my feelings. That poor man. I love him to death, he is so supportive, but he has no idea how to handle my weight issues.
So yes, getting dressed in the morning is my least favorite thing to do. I HATE IT! I try to not let it set my mood for the rest of the day. But if I felt fat in two outfits, I’m going to sulk about my weight and pinterest workouts all day. It sucks! I don’t know how to get past this! It’s not like I don’t work out, I do! I actually love working out and I love healthy food! I feel so good after a work out and I find it fun! So why am I still fat? It’s called time. Yes yes I know people use that as an excuse all the time. My husband and I work our 40 hours jobs, take care of 3 kids, manage homework, sports, dinner, bath time, cleaning the house, taking care of a dog, and serving in the church ministry. Between soccer/baseball practice, spanish homework, potty training, making dinner, attending bible study and church services, and trying to squeeze in scheduled family visits on top of all of this, it barely leaves any time for anything! It’s so hard! I’m lucky if I get to sleep before midnight, only to wake up at 6 am. I try so hard! We took the kids to the park and my husband offered to watch the kids on the playground while I ran around the trail….then my girls decide they cannot survive life without me and demand they come with me in a crying fit. I’ll try to run one lap and when I past them, they are still screaming crying and my husband is trying to smile past it. So what happens….they either join me and my run becomes a very slow walk while stopping every 30 seconds to look at things and they cry about how tired they are or I stop altogether to help. It never works out. I will more than likely be fat forever.
I wish we wore uniforms. Then maybe this wouldn’t stress me out. Another great thing about working for a restaurant, I only had to choose between the black or khaki pants and which uniform shirt to wear. Maybe I should go into the medical industry so I can just wear scrubs everyday. That would be delightful. I don’t think I’d feel as fat in scrubs.
I am a distributor for Advocare, I love their products, I feel great on them and believe in the product. But you know what is sad? I don’t tell many people about their products because I’m always so worried about how someone will look at me and think “well she’s still fat so these products obviously don’t work for her.” How awful is that? I wish I could say this isn’t true but it is. I do it with my husband too. Guys, my husband is a hunk! Like he is so good looking it’s ridiculous. When we walk together, all I can think is that other girls must be thinking “what’s a guy that look likes that doing with a girl that looks like that?!” How horrible is this! But it’s all true.
In all of this, I beat myself up so much about it that I don’t even realize what it’s doing to me. If I can’t even love myself, how am I supposed to encourage others to love themselves? Yes I may be imperfect, but God loves me. I cannot allow this to continue to affect me so negatively because it affects my ministry. We are all on a ministry. We are here to share the gospel and if I’m allowing my self esteem to be so low that I cannot pick myself up from it, I’m going to miss beauty right in front of me. There are so many things that I can do and that I do have, but I allow my image to wear me down. I am more than this. I cannot allow this to define me.
I read something today that said “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love”. Wow. What a great point! We as women say such awful things about ourselves. We beat ourselves down so bad, why do we do this? I would never allow someone to say the things I say about myself to someone else, so why do I say it to myself? I need to focus that I am made in God’s image. What I think I look like, is not always what people see. It says clearly in the bible, ‘Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ This should encourage me! Empower me! Lift me up! This is what I need to focus on. I’m valuable to my Creator, why should I waste time on devaluing myself?
Lord help me. Help me see myself through your eyes. Help me be a good witness for you and grow me Lord. Help me fight this battle I created within myself. Amen.