I am not what I Weigh

Wanna know a secret? I have fallen in love with the Kardashian family. Head over heels, in love. It all started on an ordinary week day while this Mama was cooped up in the house, feeding her baby, like whoa. There are no hands free devices for babies, and I finished House of Cards, Blue Bloods, and like a press kit from heaven, a Keeping Up with the Kardashians Seasons 1-8 free ad magically appeared in my Hulu Feed.

Sounds interesting, I thought. It’s probably terrible, I thought. I’ll start with Season 6, Episode 1, I thought. First and last episode, I thought. Wrong… (At least I haven’t lost hours of my life to Snookie.)

Hilarious

Anyway, Cody would come home every day during Seasons 6-9, and I would download new developments from the baby. Then I would download all things Kardashian to my glazed-over-eyed husband. “Listen, babe, I know you are pastoring and stuff, but this Kardashian thing is super important. Rob is really having a hard time because he gained 65 pounds really fast and the media is all over him like white on rice. Kim is pregnant and she looks gorgeous, but the paparazzi is mean, calling her terrible names related to her weight. People tell Khloe she looks skinnier in person – so rude! Also, Kourtney pulled her own baby out of her body during labor… Yes, she really did. And I cried so hard! It was beautiful!”

Why are we so obsessed with weight?

Its as if we’ve all thrown our hands up in the air and agreed with culture: “Yes, you can tell me who I am, people who decide what’s cool, even though no one knows who you are (Ana Wintour excluded)! Critique me until I hate myself, drive me to jealousy and competition with all my friends, reduce me to a soulless image!”

I have a mind, a soul, a heart. I have hands that touch, ears that hear, a tongue to taste, eyes that see, a nose to smell. I have abilities to share, capacity to learn, desires to unleash, and faith to inspire. I love people. People love me. I struggle with others and they struggle with me. My past has some parts I’m not proud of; but I am proud of my life.

I am not just an image. I am not what I weigh.

Pregnancy gives everyone (and their mama) the strange idea they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, about a female’s body. Never in my LIFE did I experience more unsolicited comments:

  • “Wow! Your belly got big so fast!” (Thanks?)
  • “Just wait, one more month and your hips are gonna spread! (Please add a drawn out spread with hand motions.)”
  • “You look so good! You don’t even look pregnant!” (As if there’s a certain “look” to pregnancy.)
  • “Well, when I was pregnant (Fill in 1,692 different horror stories here).”
  • “Is that a decaf coffee, because you do know, that coffee is not good for the baby…” (I know this one is not about the body, but please mind your own business, Judge Judy.)

It’s a regular latte, you freaking… Nevermind. The point is, pregnant or not, male or female, our bodies seem a constant focus. I battled bulimia four long years. The years of mental combat that followed left me wondering if I could ever really be free.

I didn’t know my own worth.

I thought it was in my pant size, the skin I exposed, how I walked, a made up face, my hair fixed perfectly. I thought my worth was in who looked at me and what they had to say. It didn’t matter if it was good or bad, as long as they said something that could give me a standard to either live up to or to defeat. This fed my vicious cycle of fear, insecurity and failure.

The truth is, nothing but Jesus could have lifted me from the pit of performance. He rescued me, and as I said yes to Him, He gave me courage to face the truth, the real reasons I threw up my food. With a thread of grace, I pursued healing, taking recovery classes, going to therapy, choosing reciprocal, authentic relationships. Long story short, I lost my mask and gained my freedom. And free I am. The lie that you will always be an addict is an affront to the cross.

Post beautiful baby, my thighs are softer, my hips wider, my jeans a size larger. Maybe people notice; maybe they don’t. Who cares? Well, sometimes I do, but my heart is sweeter, my relationships are deeper, my marriage is richer, my purpose is more secure in the God that loves me so. Besides, I made a human and that makes me a bad ass.

I am not what I weigh. Neither are you friend and neither is the incredible person next to you. Can we agree to encourage who we are more than what we look like? Looks and style are important. I love a good shoe and a fabulous hair do like the rest of you. However, let’s go beyond the skin we live in. Let’s strain against our culture toward what really matters: The person.

Have you ever struggled with image and weight? Comparison and jealousy? How has that affected you?

_DSC7810

 

14 comments

  • So Good!!!! Image and comparison have been constant struggles in my life. Discovering who I am in Christ has forever changed me… There was a time in life where my flaws kept me from pursuing my dreams. It wasn’t until I accepted who I am in Christ that I began moving forward despite my flaws… Learning to embrace all of me allows me to selfishly love and embrace all of the people I come into contact with. Thank you so much for your transparency and wisdom… and welcome to the Hot Mommas Club! Love you!!! ~ DeShawne

    • Friend! I love you so much – its an honor to be on this side of mommyhood with you and the other gals! I am thankful for Christ who heals us. Love you!

  • Thanks for this Ashley! This definitely speaks to me (and not only because I’ve watched a Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode or two…or three…) 🙂

    This was a great reminder of how I may have played into the overall focus on how we look, or what we say, or what we do by words I’ve chosen to say to either myself or others. Whether on the giving or receiving side of statements about appearance that you would think were flattering (my personal favorite:you have such a pretty face), it still has the potential to lead down the road to comparison and or performance.

    Thank God I am learning that my true identity lies in Christ and that who I am is not how I look or what I do! Thanks for bringing up these subjects that stay with me long after I comment. And thank you for being a bad ass.

  • You have an amazing heart, thanks for sharing it. Your love and your journey, keeps me smiling.

  • love this!! Very encouraging. I have struggled with body image a few years ago and it even crept up on me a few weeks ago. It’s a scary thing.

  • I am 21 now but my eating disorder started when I was 7. It’s been a horrific battle from abuse. to sexual assault, to more abuse to being thrown out of my family. Here I am. Listening to Jesus and continuing to live and press on. Thank you for writing this post– it gave me a bit of a smile! I am thankful for strong women like you. I am also really proud of you for choosing recovery and Jesus. You’re a true bad ass, sweet friend! (:

Leave a Reply