"I always thought that if you lost weight, you'd be really beautiful."
Said by an acquaintance, to me, on Sunday.
I was kind of amazed and said, "Thank you."
Why did I thank her for making me feel as if it was a compliment?
I think she was meaning for it to be. After all I had been talking with the ladies about Trim Healthy Mama, and how I was finding it doable. I guess maybe that, "opened the door" that made her feel she could say something? Like I don't know that I have been carrying the weight that would equal a small person around with me for 25 years, and if I could just lose it, then….
Then what? Would I be more loved? More accepted? More culturally accepted? More beautiful.
I know that I've always been 'cute.' I had a curvy figure on a small frame early in my life. Women always think that if their breasts were larger then all their problems would be solved. It isn't. It just draws unwanted attention, from guys in school who think they are so clever and call you Dolly Parton, to complete strangers hollering at you from their cars as you walk down the street. I hated it.
After I married I got busy and lonely while my husband worked nights and lots of hours. Small kids to deal with on my own, and a love of Coca Cola. And chocolate. And carbs.
My husband has loved me through it all. But I don't think I've really loved myself. Not enough. There was always the feeling of being too much, and yet not enough for people.
The comment on Sunday brought so much back. As a cheerleader and Student Council member in high school, some kids thought I was so popular. I didn't. That group over there - they are the popular ones. I'm too short, a bit chunky, too curvy, but never, ever beautiful, or cute enough. You know the thoughts you have in high school.
Now here I am facing that kind of thing again. I'd be beautiful if I just….Why wasn't it enough to just say, "I've always thought you were so beautiful, and I'm glad your happy about your weight loss." Does there always have to be a caveat?
I wasn't expecting it and feel blindsided. I am going to have to prepare to hear comments that are meant to encourage but that will just tell me how people saw me all these years. And by that I mean how they saw my weight and not me.
In spite of my weight I've been a good wife, mother, daughter, friend, leader, tea party giver and event planner fanatic. I'm happy, I'm fun, I'm serious about things. I'm tough when it's needed and great in a crisis.
Isn't that good enough? Or do I need to weigh 100 pounds less for it all to mean something?
I am going to lose the weight I need to, but I am not going to do it for acceptance, or for approval from others. I'm doing it for me, the me inside this person who weighs too much. So I can be free to be all that God wants me to be, by His grace.
Will you pray with me as I journey on this path? I'm going to need it as I sort through the emotions of it all.