I love when the weather starts to drop and things start to get cozy. Gloves, scarves, hot coffees, and yummy treats are everywhere. It’s also the time of the year that my self-control is nowhere! Food is my love language. No really, my husband knows the safest way to get me up in the morning is with coffee and bacon. Not my favorite quality in life by far, but it’s the truth. Not only is my self-control MIA, but my taste buds do this weird switch on me. Sugar suddenly becomes my number one source of nutrition — Buddy the elf has nothing on me. I go from a bitter-food, salt loving lady to a can’t-stop, won’t-stop, sugary sweet momma. It’s a cycle that comes year after year.
This cycle isn’t all candy canes and gum drops. Yes, part of the cycle is covered in sugary goodness, but the second part is covered in self-hating dread.
My body has always been something I’ve fought against. The issues have ranged from fighting to see how low I can get the scale to go to not owning a mirror just so I didn’t have to see the marks and changes three kids did to my form. My body was never my buddy. It was this awkward thing that couldn’t walk in heels till it was 20 and never seemed to find its rhythm. This body wanted to be fit, but it couldn’t run up the stairs with out taking a break or two. I loathed what my body looked like, but felt vain, selfish, and honestly stupid for wanting to take care of it.
I remember one of the first Bible verses I learned is about your body being a temple. It was also the first verse that I allowed to be used against my body. It was the arrow that was shot when I was holding a boyfriend’s hand for the first time, or looking at a tattoo or even a piercing. Your body = temple, so everything else = sin. Honestly, that religious, well-meaning perspective has bogged down my view of myself, the confidence I never had, and even the intimacy I wanted so badly with my husband — until I held my daughter. I looked into her little perfect eyes and knew that there was no way those arrows would be flung at her. She would see what being a temple looked like. She would see a healthy picture of women in her life.
I also knew I had to get my act together because I had to be that woman.
I don’t know where you are — if you are struggling with your body changing, if you are on the same crazy cycle I’ve been on for years, or if you are desperately in love with how God made you.
Your body is a temple. A beautiful, God made temple. You can love and protect it with out condemning it.
I can give my body grace and not demand perfection. I can run on Monday, have smoothies, eat green things, and drink enough water to drown a fish. But the next day I can drink a Dr. Pepper and down a few Hershey’s kisses with peanut butter just because I want to and not look at my self in the mirror with loathing. I can look into the mirror and see the beloved, cherished princess of Christ that I am.
Even if I’m a princess with little peanut butter on her chin.