Chapter 8 Reflection Questions:
We all have at least one physical feature we wish we could change. For some it might be a facial feature like the shape of one’s nose; for others it could be breast size or body shape. For Lysa, it’s “tankles.” What is your tankle equivalent? What’s your first memory of feeling embarrassed or ashamed by this aspect of your appearance? Are you now more or less at peace with this part of your body or is it still a source of painful dissatisfaction?
I was an early bloomer. Very self-conscious about my changing body, I chose to wear baggy clothes and try to hide it. Until someone my freshman year of high school thought I was pregnant…very awkward. I wasn’t even heavy then! I weighed about 110 pounds, but with the baggy t-shirt and my ever-increasing breast size apparently made me look pregnant. Over the years, I have looked into seeing how to get insurance to cover a breast reduction. There are a lot of hoops to jump through! Each time, I got so frustrated, I just gave up in the process.
I learned something about my body over the years though. I have confessed in my blog before my battles with sexual sin. Apparently, men really enjoy breasts. So, as much as I hated them in high school, I have felt very sexy because of them too, and the response men have to them. So the pendulum swung to the complete other extreme. Then about the age of 26-27, I had a breakthrough in the area of modesty. God gave me this body, every aspect of it. And He created men to be visual beings. Dressing modestly became my challenge (crazy-hard in today’s society), and layering became my best friend in the clothing arena. So glad I did this! When I met my husband-to-be, we had both been married before and knew the power of sex and lust. So we set very strict boundaries for our relationship, including no kissing until the altar. This first boundary set the tone for purity in our relationship, and I am so glad we did that! Our wedding night, I did learn my husband is one of those men who enjoy breasts.
So I have made peace with my body, partly because I know I am knit by the most awesome Creator in the world, and partly because my husband lets me know often how much he enjoys my body. I am so thankful God led this man to me! Brandon is a major blessing in my life.
Another body feature I always hated is my feet. Feet are so gross! Ick! I think I despise feet so much because when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was told not taking care of myself could lead to amputation of my feet. Today, I still dislike feet, but I don’t see my feet as ugly. My feet are really small, too. That used to bother me, until I realized size 6 shoes are a lot easier to find! And on occasion, I can fit into shoes in the girls’ section. Fun Halloween costumes and Spirit Week outfits at school! And, FUN SOCKS! I can wear girls’ socks that are super cute and fun! Bring on the sparkly butterflies!
Karen Ehman describes how she learned to shift her motivation from the delight of seeing diminishing numbers on the scale to the delight of obedience to God (page 81). When you consider previous efforts to modify your eating habits, what experiences or accomplishments provided your greatest motivation to keep going? Did those motivations ever backfire or become demotivators?
In previous weight-loss attempts, the LOSS of weight always kept me going! However, when the scale would creep back up, I would get discouraged and become depressed. So, the numbers drove me. Learning to look at my body as a temple instead of selfishly stuffing my face is helping me this time. One thing I want to start doing in my morning prayer time is to remind myself of the fact that my body is a temple of the Lord, and ask His help in creating a clean, pure “building” for Him, ONE BRICK AT A TIME. I need to get the cobwebs out of the corner, sweep and mop the floor, declutter this temple. And this time, keep up with the cleaning process so it is not so overwhelming in the future. I am learning that in my home too. A little bit at a time, and it is so much easier to keep things clean, decluttered, and organized. Life is the same way. Health even more so. Let’s tackle this!
Karen made practical her efforts to redefine progress by asking herself the questions listed below. As you review each question and reflect back on your eating over the past week, how would you assess your progress? Are there other questions you would like to add to the list?
- Did I overeat this week on any day?
Did I move more and exercise regularly?
Did I feel lighter than I did at this time last week?
Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration?
Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I’d had a successful, God-pleasing week?
I did overeat some this week: Super Bowl Sunday and the day before.
I did move more this week! My son is getting more and more active, so he is leaning on my legs while I do leg lifts (adding a 25 lb weight to my lifts!). Snow is coming down so I am shoveling! Zander loves when I gallop around the room holding him, while I shout, “Bounce, bounce, bounce!” He laughs so hard, I want to do this all the time! And it is exhausting!
I do not feel lighter compared to last week, but my jeans are looser. Losing inches is just as important as losing weight.
I did not eat in secret or emotionally at all this week! Victory!!!!!!
There are times I can work on going to God in prayer instead of grabbing a small, even healthy, snack.
Honestly, I forgot to hop on the scale this morning! But, I am learning to honor God. I’m not there 100%, yet: I am creeping ever closer to the at least 50-60% mark. Lord, let these words continue to sink into my heart and life! Spirit, transform me! “appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Lysa describes how it’s possible to park our brains in a place of dissatisfaction about our bodies or to accept our bodies and thank God for making us just as we are. Place an “x” on the continuum below to describe your current feelings about your body:
- My body is cursed with flaws vs. My body is a good gift.
With my struggle with diabetes burnout here in the very recent past and with my struggles with health and weight overall, my x is moving toward the right. I am actually doing something this time. Glucose monitoring is up. Carb counting is getting more accurate again. Weight is changing. Healthy choices are happening. Not where I want to be yet, and we are in progress to get there. God, you are my strength! You have given me these circumstances for a reason! May I cling to YOU, to Your strength, to Your plan for my life. May I strive to bring You glory in this!
Imagine for a moment that the placement of the “x” above was made not by you but by someone you love—s child, a friend, a sister. How would the placement of the “x” make you feel? What would you want to say to this person? How might you pray for them? Are these things you could say to yourself, pray for yourself?
If my husband were to place the x where I did, I think I would be confused. It would contradict what he tells me all the time: that I am beautiful. I would ask him about that. “You say this, but you placed the x in a completely different spot?” I don’t know what I would pray. I guess I would pray for the truth to be revealed. What truth is real in this instance? God, what is YOUR truth? Reveal YOUR truth, Lord, to BOTH of us!
Lysa describes the freedom and redemption she felt when she discovered the benefits of her larger ankles (page 79). Have you ever thought about your physical flaws from this perspective? What might be the hidden benefits to the physical features you wish you did not have?
I talked about this in Question 1 as well: small feet = more fun in the shoe and sock department! Large breasts = a very happy husband. 😉
If someone offered to grant you one of the following wishes, which would you choose? How do you imagine your life might change as a result of either choice?
- Instant and painless cosmetic surgery to change one thing (Like Lysa’s tankles) about your physical appearance.
- A permanent reorientation of how you think and feel about your body that would enable you to say wholeheartedly, “I’ve found my beautiful. And I like my beautiful.”
As tempting as the first option is, the second option will have long-term happiness. I want to “find my beautiful, and like my beautiful.” This is a journey I have been on for a while. When I look in the mirror, I am seeing beauty now. Everyone I meet comments on how striking my eyes are. God really blessed me with beautiful eyes. And my son has the same eyes. I love it. Thank You, Lord, for my beautiful eyes! May people see Your love and grace in and through them!
♥••*´¨`*•.☆• LetsDoThisTogether •☆.•*´¨`*••♥
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