I’ve never really been a small person. At least not since puberty hit anyway.
I remember being embarrassed in high school because I was heavier than all the other girls. Or at least all the other girls who weren’t “fat.” At 5’10”, I weighed 162 pounds through high school and college. FYI, that’s not “fat.” I was pretty fit. I ran stairs for volleyball practice and swam laps and treaded water as a lifeguard. Add a little bronzing from all the hours at the pool and I actually looked pretty good in those days.
Then I quit being a part of organized sports teams and exercise wasn’t prioritized. I probably should have stopped eating like a teenager once I was well into my twenties, but I didn’t. The pounds started to pile on. Hormonal birth control didn’t help and I gained 50 pounds the year I got married. Then I had a baby. And another. And another. And a miscarriage. And a rainbow baby.
I went from tanned, toned and sexy to pasty, white, mom bod.
Please don’t try to tell me I’m not fat. Y’all, I have eyes and I have mirrors. It’s not a secret just because we don’t say it outloud. I’ve gained almost 90 pounds since graduating high school. I’ve struggled with it at times but mostly I’ve come to realize that although I do need to eat better and be healthier, my size doesn’t really matter. I will never wear single digit jean sizes and that’s okay.
I’ve said more than once over the years, “My husband doesn’t care. He loves my curves and this body that bore his children. That’s enough. Who else matters?”
But now that Vance is gone, I am struggling with body image again. I think that although I am nowhere near ready to look for a new relationship, I don’t really know that I want to be alone for the rest of my life. One day, maybe, I’ll be ready to find a someone else.
But who would want this me? This fat woman with stretch marks from bearing another man’s babies? This almost 250 pound, 43 year old, with graying hair, wrinkles, and lots of cellulite? Who loves the fat girl?
Hot, young, skinny widows with naturally blonde hair and thighs that don’t touch? Those girls get remarried. Their profiles get a swipe right. (Or is it left? I don’t really know. Like I said, I’m not actually there yet, so I’ve never even been on a dating site. Maybe you don’t swipe at all. I don’t really know.)
But my Creator knows me. He knew that I need to be reassured. He knew that I need to be reminded. He loves the fat girl. My roundness and my softness do not negate that I was made in the image of God. This week, he has reminded me. Through both an Instagram post from an old friend and a book I’m reading called The Dream of You by Jo Saxton. And then again, from a friend who straight up told me that listening to those negative voices was listening to Satan. That the enemy was out to get me and I was not to let him win!
Over and over, God has shown me that I’m so much more than the double digits on my jeans or the numbers on any scale.
I don’t yet know if I will ever find another earthly man who will look at my naked body and smile the way Vance did. (TMI? Probably. Sorry. Not sorry.) There may not be another man on this planet who can ever make me feel as wanted and loved as he did. But even if there is not and I remain single for the rest of my time here on earth, I still must be okay with who I am, how I am made, and whose I am.
I’m a princess, for goodness sake! A child of the King of Kings. And my daddy loves all his children.
Even the fat ones.