. . . for Lauren and Lauren: baby clothes, blessings and some wisdom

May 15, 2013

baby clothes, blessings and some wisdom






















This weekend Chris and I got two huge bags full of baby girl clothes.  And then a few days later a teacher at school gave me two other huge bags full of clothes.  I feel beyond lucky to have people that thought of us and our baby girl.  (As well as dressed their daughters incredibly cute!)  I am loving going through all these clothes and can't wait for our baby to wear them!

Another blessing is having Kaitlyn share on my blog today.  Kaitlyn is an Army wife that lives with her husband in Colorado.  They are expecting their first baby this Fall and I have loved keeping up with her weekly updates.  But my favorite thing about Kaitlyn is her honesty and ability to share her heart.  Today she is sharing about an issue I'm sure we can all relate too!



Hi everyone! I'm Kaitlyn and I blog over at Wifessionals. I was so happy that Katie allowed me to come over to her blog for the day and share a topic that I think a lot of us women struggle with.

Recently, I ended a study I was doing called "Living Beyond Yourself". It's by Beth Moore. If you have never experienced this woman, let me tell you...she is really powerful.
We concluded with talking about self control. The first thing I think about when I hear that topic is keeping my emotions (namely my patience and anger) in check. I used to have a terrible problem with getting angry very quickly and I have worked really hard to overcome that struggle.
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But Beth took this discussion about self control to a whole other level that I never really expected:

Weight.

I want to take a few minutes and just share the things that were put on my heart after doing this study. Our culture is obsessed with appearance. We are completely media driven. As I've gotten older, I've become more aware at how sad it is that women are made to think there is a right and a wrong way to look. Right : Skinny while Wrong : "Fat".

I want to get this out there right now: my views, comments, and opinions are dealing strictly with ME and my body. I say these things based on my frame, my height and so on. Just because something isn't "ok" or doesn't work with me, doesn't mean that is a standard for anyone else.

I have always struggled with my self image and weight. When I was in middle school, and the beginning of high school, I became very "chubby" (as my mom called it). I remember getting my first pair of Charlotte Russe jeans (all the rage back then) and being so excited...until I put them on. They were a size 13 and I had to take them back and exchange them for a 15. I was made fun of, had barely any friends and was so sad. I decided to start eating in a VERY unhealthy way. I had an eating disorder. I would eat maybe a banana for lunch...only a can of green beans for dinner. I was starving myself. And by the time I hit 16, I was down to a size 0. Do I think some of the weight was puberty? Yes. But the things I did to get "skinny" were painful, restrictive and consumed my life.

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To this day I always get scared of getting "fat" again. I try my best to eat healthy and stay in shape. I am not a size 0 anymore, but I feel good about my size. What I don't like is the guilt I feel after I eat something "naughty". I hate that I weigh myself almost every day to make sure I am staying relatively on track. I don't enjoy feeling bad about myself when I see rail thin celebrity staring at me in the grocery checkout line. This is not how we should live our lives ladies.

Beth shared a message that I think we all need to accept as truth: Your body is a lot more about freedom, than size.

Each of us is different. We all have different genes, body makeups and heights. You can't compare yourself to other people. You have to find out where you are happy...where YOU have freedom.

Am I free when I am counting calories and limiting myself to not enjoying foods that I love? No.
Am I free when I am so overweight that I have no energy to play with my future kids or I'm too out of breath to hike with my husband? No.

I am not free at size 0 or 2. I am also not free at size 8 or 10. For me, my height, my physical activity level, and where I can still feel happy about my body and in my skin...right now I am free at a size 4.
At a size 4 I can eat well balanced meals, but still get a Chickfila milkshake here and there. At size 4, I can keep up with my Army husband's active lifestyle. At size 4, I can look at myself in the mirror and feel happy and content with me.
Does that mean I don't have days where I feel "chunky"? No.

But figuring out where I am free has allowed me not to live in bondage to my physical image. It has given me the freedom to enjoy food and not obsess over everything that passes my lips from the minute I wake up until the second I go to bed. The biggest problem we share in this country is moderation. I do not believe in dieting and cutting out everything you find delicious and love. Because then what happens? You become so fixated on everything you can't have. Stop doing this to yourself! I promise you that wherever you are free, you can still have a cookie this Friday night...but that doesn't mean go eat 24 oreos in one sitting.

I really encourage you to think about where you stand on all this. I think the majority of women struggle with this, even if they won't openly admit it. Just because I am free at size 4, does not mean that is for you. I can tell you right now my sister is free at 00 or 0. No matter what she does, she is just so tiny. I can also tell you that a good friend of mine is free at size 14. She has a genetic makeup, no matter how hard she tries, that is how her beautiful body was created. She is extremely healthy, eats probably even better than I do, but that is where her body was meant to be.

Don't be a slave to your outside image. Don't miss out on enjoying food or waste countless hours obsessing over the 3 pounds you can't seem to lose. I'm not saying be a glutton, but I'm also begging you to not lose amazing minutes of your life wishing you were something that you weren't meant to be.
When you set aside this struggle, accepting yourself for who you were meant to be, I promise you will experience such relief, such life, such amazing, overwhelming freedom.
So where are you free?

**I want to say that I know that I am pregnant and should be gaining weight during this phase of my life. This post is reflecting on my thoughts and life before and outside of pregnancy. I do not condone dieting or weight loss when a woman is pregnant.


Thank you so much Kaitlyn for sharing your heart and your wise words!!  Take some time and go check out her blog

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16 comments:

ashleyelizabeth19 said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thank you for sharing such a personal, incredibly honest story. We all have those days, I too went through a similar time in my life. I wish you the best and hope you have a happy, healthy pregnancy and baby!

Head to Toe Chic said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I absolutely loved this post! I'm always so hard on myself when it comes to my weight and dieting and cutting out all the bad foods really doesn't work. I need to find the right balance and be happy with what i see in the mirror.

xo,
Angela

still being [molly] said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

thank you for sharing your heart! this is an issue i have struggled with BIG time... for pretty much my whole life - so it's awesome to hear someone else talk about it, too!

Allison said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Hooray for free baby clothes. I'm sure your baby girl will be just as styling as her momma! :)

TwoFourFive said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This was such a good post! And such a relevant topic. I think pretty much everyone struggles with this in some form or fashion.

Simply LKJ said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Beautiful post! Our pastor touched on some of this during his Mother's Day sermon as well. We really do need to quit beating ourselves up and comparing ourselves to those around us. We were all created as unique individuals.

Nicole @ Haute Runner said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Great post. I hate that we even put a number to our size. I always try to focus on how my clothes fit, and my energy level rather than the weight on the scale or what size my clothes are.

Kaitlyn looks so much like my real life friend that I do a double take every time I see a picture of her!

Alyx said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Yay for new baby clothes, especially cute ones!

I think we as women really need to take a step back and think about why we focus so much on body image. I am scared to death of the pressures that my little girl will face to have that "perfect" body, and I can only hope that my behavior and example encourage her to LOVE her body rather than loathe it.

Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is so great! Thank you for sharing :) So many women go through this!

Kelly {Sparkles and Shoes} said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

You are going to have SUCH an adorable baby - I can not wait to see photos!

xx
Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Valerie Tyler said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

It says a lot about what our society does to our brains when I read the part about you going from a 13/15 to a size 0. My brain first reaction was---"oooh, how did you do that? I can't imagine getting myself even near a 4 yet 2 or 0) Aargh. Then of course my rational brain kicked in and thought, how horrible she felt the need to starve herself (after I was trying to figure out how to do it!)

Interestingly enough, I feel the most free right now being pregnant myself. I haven't gained a lot, and part of me isn't worried because right now, the weight just isn't important as growing someone healthy. I hope I can keep this feeling post-baby!

Jordan Shaner said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is a great post, it is so easy to get swept up in one's own weight insecurities.

http://thattallgirlinheels.com

Kelly @ makingmaynardmemories said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thank you for this, I really needed this right now.

Denise said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Appreciate your honesty.

aimymichelle said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

wow thats awesome about the clothes!

Rand Hupper said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us , those little toddlers clothes bags are amazingly adorable.