Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Talking to Myself...

I'm sitting at my computer rather late tonight listening to Tenly explain to me that I must dress her in a pattern: Dress, Skirt, Pants, Dress, Skirt. Because we are having this insane, but appreciated, cold front (45 degrees right now) in South Florida- her pattern is out the window and she has no tolerance of my explanation of why.
I've been doing various tasks today, most of them tying up loose ends of various phone calls and appointments. A few of the tasks on that list is due to the new Bible Study we are starting in our Mom's Group at CCC. Joanne and I are ironing out the wrinkles and getting excited about walking through a book by Jennifer Rothschild, "Me, Myself, & Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover" . While looking through various things, and talking to God about "stuff", I began to remember a couple of things that made me realize some of the reasons I was drawn to this study.
I remembered back to when Tenly was only a couple of months old, and I was a very new mom. I'm sure many will remember being somewhat emotional during the early months of "new" mommyhood. Tenly must have been between 6-8 weeks old, and while I was breastfeeding her I began to have a moment of very mixed emotions.
I found myself crying tears of joy over this beautiful miracle in my arms, then I was crying over how I looked (ya know-wearing sweats, no make up, hair in a frizzy pony, and my flabby tummy), then I was having anxiety! Anxiety over the way I was thinking about me. I had a daughter now, I had to be sure I raised her with confidence and a good self image- the exact opposite of how I felt about myself, and pretty much always had. I began to make a mental list over what/how I needed to do this: always tell her she's beautiful and smart, never say the words "fat" or "diet", never talk about how I truly perceived myself, only speak of being "healthy" not "thin", never judge others.... Obviously, that list could of been 10 pages long.
Although, I do agree with most of the things I listed- we all know it takes much more than words to teach, especially when our actions, attitude, and outlook speak so much more loudly. This took me back to many years prior.
Back in 1993ish, my self image started taking a nose dive. I had never liked the way I looked, but all of a sudden it became more important than ever and I became even more dissatisfied when I looked in the mirror. By the time 1995 came around I found myself doing everything I could to fit into my roommates Size 0 jeans- most days that meant I ate around 10 Ritz crackers and had a desert of excessive exercise. My image conscious boyfriend didn't help either. I'll never forget the day I dared to see how much farther I needed to go to fit into those 0's- I not only got them on, but they were baggy. I couldn't believe it, those jeans were skin tight on my roomie, if they were pretty baggy on me, did that mean I was smaller than her?? The scary part was, when I looked in the mirror I didn't see myself any smaller than when I began trying to get into those jeans- although I did proudly wore them to work the next day! All the people coming up to me telling me I was to thin, asking me if I was sick, asking how I did it never clued me in to my issue(s)- but the night I freaked out did.
I had been laying in bed trying to calculate how many calories I'd eaten that day- because I dared to eat a dry piece of toast and a cup of dry pasta- and I just knew I was not going to be able to fit into my skirt the next day. Before I knew it, I was digging through the trash can trying to find the pasta package, although I found it and it was only a whopping 210 calories- I was in panic mode and then found myself puking in the toilet.
Not to long after all of that, I became very aware of my issues. Getting "real" help was so crazy expensive that wasn't an option. After trying on my own and failing miserably, I cried out to God, when I finally stopped crying and yelling and whining, I started listening. I spoke to a friend who I trusted to speak into my life, she told me I needed to renew my mind(Rom. 12:2) - it wasn't a matter of just not thinking that way anymore, but it was a matter of replacing those thoughts with God's thoughts and my actions with positive Godly actions. It was almost to simple.
I dove into The Word of God fiercely, whenever I would begin to get overwhelmed I would begin quoting the Word or picking up my Bible and reading. I had a list of scriptures on "Who I Am In Christ", I quoted those scriptures religiously (no pun intended). It worked. There were times after, that I found myself struggling- each time I would eventually go back to the root- which is God's Word.
When I think of what I want for my daughters, first, I want them to have a close and intimate relationship with Jesus and knowing who they are in Him and through that impacting their generation. Second, is probably a positive, strong, beautiful self image and love for themselves. I do not want my girls, or any other girls, to go through anything close to what I did- and sometimes still do.
SO, I am thrilled to do this study and strengthen the words I say to myself. Did you know that people, on average, speak 150-300 words to themselves an hour? That is crazy!! It's made me very aware of the things I'm saying, and very aware that I need some major improvement! Over the next couple days, do a little evaluation of what you are saying to yourself- you may be surprised and then again, you may not.

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