Ladies – and the gents in their lives – I highly encourage you to read this post by Caitlin Kelly on her blog “Broadside”. Kelly does a fabulous job of sizing up – articulately and concisely – a major issue for women: Our constant conscious.
As someone who was in and out of treatment for three months (not to mention the 3 years before treatment) for my eating disorder, I’m well-acquainted with the mental processing behind weight and size. I can tell you the calorie, fiber, protein, and carbohydrate count for nearly any food item you can imagine. I have a list of foods that – as a rule – I do not eat. (Some would argue that this is another disorder in and of itself.) However, since beginning my recovery process, God has been faithful to bring a greater understanding into fruition.
Admittedly, I love food. But I agree entirely with Kelly – it’s too much of our focus. And, as a side effect, so is weight, size, beauty, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. As a society, we have done a pretty bang-up job of placing food at the forefront of every occasion. Studying? Best have some fiberful munchies to feed your brain. Heading for a workout? Stock up on a protein power-food. Family gathering? There’s a Paula Dean recipe sure to pack a week’s worth of sugar into one serving.
We are distracted. Fatally. Not only do we allow ourselves to become lost in the world of body image (building it up and tearing it down) and beauty, we trade health, adventure, authentic relationships, selfless service, and true meaning for fleeting conversations and obsessions over fleeting things.
“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 even more concisely defines beauty and the reason that the women of today often miss the mark (or rather they think they do). When it comes to food: Feed your body good things when it’s hungry. When it comes to exercise: Do it. Not too much. Not too little. Not every day. Not once a week. Not as a rule, as a lifestyle. Just move. When it comes to beauty: Love the Lord. Love yourself. Love Truth. Love with all the madness and passion your soul possesses. And when it comes to body image and everything that ensues in our pursuit of it: Forget it. If we take care of our bodies, it falls into place. If our lives are filled to the brim with what life was meant for – relationships, work, play, service, quiet – it falls into place. Let it be.
All in favor: Say “aye”.