Since my conversion in 2009, I have gained 60 pounds. I have never had a problem with my weight except that I was way too skinny most of my life. I didn’t even break 100 pounds until I was 30 years old, so I could have used about 20 or 25 of those pounds. But the other 40 really make things uncomfortable for me.
There are really a lot of practical reasons why I have gained the weight, such as me not working outside of the home. Up until 3 years ago when I got married, I worked 8 to 14 hour days waiting tables or bartending. That is a lot of walking and lifting. Not to mention that I don’t survive on Grey Goose anymore either, or going out dancing 6 nights a week. My old life was a lot different from my life now on a lot of levels. Not all of them are bad. I just haven’t really put anything in place of those things to keep myself active.
This weekend I went on a retreat based of the book “Cravings” by Mary DeTurris Poust, and I realized so many things about myself, my relationship with God and just how much I depend on myself and not the Grace of God. I also realized just how many women put their worth in what we eat, what size we are and how we look. It was an eye-opening day.
At the end of 2013 as I was thinking of New Year’s resolutions I couldn’t come with anything except that 2014 wasn’t going to suck. 2013 was a very hard year. As I stood at the bar with my husband when the clock struck midnight I could hear the voice of God in my heart saying “Do not be afraid”, and I took that as a sign that 2014 would be the year that I stopped being afraid. Those words came up again at this retreat and I sat and wondered what fear had to do with me stuffing my face with Lil Debbies. I don’t even like those things, but I steadily shovel them in my face. Suddenly it hit me. I’m afraid of men hitting one me, but even more than that, I’m afraid that a hot man will hit on me when I’m mad at my husband and I’ll be stupid enough to sleep with him.
I’ve been with my husband for 6 years now. This is the longest that I’ve ever been with any ONE man. And I was married for 8 years. I would get mad at my ex-husband and before I knew it, I would be in bed with another man. That was just how I rolled. I’ve rolled like that most of my life since I was 14 years old. Faithfulness is a very new thing to me and I’m so scared of myself. Nobody looks at the 5 foot, 170 pound 37-year-old in yoga pants who wears her hair in a bun with no makeup and looks like she needs a lot of sleep. I’ve made myself invisible because I have no clue how to handle men thinking I’m pretty and not sleeping with them. That is the God’s honest truth.
When I dig deeper, I have no idea how to be good. I have exhausted myself trying to earn God’s love. Even after everything that I know, I still feel like I’m not good enough for Him. I don’t go to Mass because I feel like I don’t belong there. There is still so much wrong with me and I do not trust that God loves me just as I am. It’s not because of anything that anyone has said to me or anything that God has said to me. It’s all about how I see myself. It’s a lie that I hold onto for some crazy reason. Even though that lie hurts, it’s comfortable. I feed that lie with Swiss Rolls.
I have resolved to kill that lie this year. The devil is the father of lies, they all come from him and I am not going to keep that lie alive any longer.
The way that I have decided to begin to fight it is by cooking dinner for my family. Nice dinners with a beautiful table that is set. I bought a new set of dishes at the Dollar Tree and place mats. I did it for the first time today. My daughter and I set the table with place mats, silverware and lit candles. It was beautiful. I enjoyed my food and my family as we sat down and talked during dinner. My kids loved it. I could feel the lie dying. Tomorrow I plan to get up, shower, fix my hair and put on makeup.
I may or may not start going to Zumba, and if I do it will be to get up and move, not to be “hot” and get the attention of men, but for my soul. To take care of the body that God has given me. That is such a strange concept for me. I look at women like Kim Kardashian who put all their worth on being hot, and I feel sorry for them. It has nothing to do with that for me; it has to do with the fact that as a child of God I am beautiful. Regardless of my size or anything, I’m beautiful because I was made by the same God that created sunsets and the moon and all things beautiful.
2014 is the year that I quit thinking that I am the sum of my weaknesses. If the weight comes off, then so be it, but I’m no longer looking back. I will no longer look at myself and think that I’m ugly. I won’t let my husband be married to someone who acts like a depressed “fat girl” because I can’t get my act together. I am blessed to have a man who loves me like he does, and I’m not going to waste any more time that I have with him sulking because I have this crazy idea that I need to look how I did when I was 19. It ain’t gonna happen, we all change as we get older. I’m not gonna look like Kim Kardashian either, I don’t have that kind of money or time to devote to my looks. I am going to be me and be happy about it. #10 on Pope Francis’ New Year’s Resolutions is to be happy, so that’s what I’m going to do. Stop being afraid and start being happy.