am i thin enough?

my face is round, like a small child’s. my thighs are too big. my hips are too wide. child-bearing hips as they’ve been called. the more dead-lifts i do, the more bump i’ve got in the bum; which leads to jeans not fitting as smoothly as they did before. which leads to dissatisfaction that my cloths don’t fit. yes, i’ve laid off the dead lifts.

i am stretchy from bearing the weight & the size of two healthy children.

thinenoughfeature

tall can be wonderful but it comes with a number that can really suck. the number on the scale scares shorter people; gosh, sometimes it even scares me!

about 3 months ago i voluntarily was measured for “adipose” weight. aka: fat. non-muscular tissue. you want the truth? 27%. of course, there’s a 5% variable in there — so it could be between 22% – 32%. ooh fun. 27% means that just over 1/4 of my body is not muscle, is not bones, is not organs.Β  it’s fat stuck to me. fatty fat fat. the poor man measuring me at the gym… i think i saw him gulp when he had to deliver the news; and then the delayed reply that it could be lower.

that was a hard day.

zoom back 3 years with me…

i was battling weight. really, really battling. 3 months after delivering abigail i headed to my doctor’s office complaining of afternoon tiredness even though i was eating healthy, nursing, running, my pathetic attempts at zumba and more… not to see the scale budge in the least.

(forgive me but i must say… for YEARS i could make a few minor changes and instantly lose weight. i could be thin. really thin. not losing weight at all was a severe battle for me; yes, i’m type A + controlling)

i was diagnosed with autoimmune. hashimotos. where my white blood cells attack my thyroid gland. sure go ahead, read all about me here! then come back & finish up my post about being thin.

this disease trips up the thyroid gland. it slows hair growth. nail growth. life. it slows the metabolism making it nearly impossible to lose weight. oh joy.

so i did EVERYTHING they told me. if my doctor or my endocrinologist or my trainer told me to do something – i did it. i followed. i listened. i measured. i wrote everything down. i logged my gym work outs. i logged my measurements and my weight. i kept a list on the fridge of my daily intake/calorie intake.

more than 8 hours each weekΒ  in the gym on the spin bike or running at ridiculous speeds or weight lifting. killing myself to be thin.

calories in. calories out. right? wrong. not for someone like me.

for the first 2 years i maintained the SAME weight i complained about in the doctor’s office that winter day.

i was annoyed. angry. pissed. overwhelmed. daily consumed by weight. an unhealthy addiction to the gym. my calories. my thinking. i felt like a failure.

and yet i was strong. i had more muscle on me than ever before. defined chest muscles. strong biceps & triceps. thighs made of steel. lean. healthy.

but i felt fat. i wanted to be THINNER. “God, MAKE ME THINNER. look at all i’ve done. i DESERVE to be thinner.”

… oh, sweet deserving is a bad taste in the mouth. isn’t it? ick. spit that garbage out.

is there a lesson?

do you ever go through a struggle. difficult circumstances. a hardship.Β  a sucky friendship. and wonder, “God, what the heck are you thinking?” do you question Him like i do? there are days that i’ll walk around the house muttering to God out of sheer irritation that i have to experience this. that i have to deal with this. and i cry out, “Oh Lord, what are you teaching me? how will you use this for your good?”

i have spent far too many days angry with my weight. with the scale. with my waist measurement. horrified. promising myself and God that if i gain another pound i will likely just go make a box of brownies and EAT THE ENTIRE PAN.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 NIV

that maybe this difficult time will be used for good? He is offering me comfort through this so i can offer comfort to others feeling the same way? for His good?

how does that happen when in 3 years of battling hard i added 18 pounds to this frame? 18 pounds. 14 in this past year of hardship. moving thousands of miles from home. trying to establish new routines. finding new friendships. new schools. a marriage falling a part. children needing more attention. more of me giving away and leaving less of me.

value-worth-importance

can i get an amen? amen. & amen. & amen.

did i have to really gain 18 pounds to learn that? seriously? well, apparently i did.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4: 16 NIV

oh the sweet grace that God covers us in. that He welcomes us as we are. that He looks at our hearts and our minds. that we trust, obey & respect His commands.

He is not checking our scales. He is not going to welcome us at the pearly gates and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… please come back when you’ve lost the pudge!”

friends… love that body of yours. the curves. the wrinkles. the gray hairs. the changes that our bodies experience as we age. God made us exactly this way. how amazing to know that right where you are is enough. you are enough.

& finally…

i gave up. i gave it over. i quit. i threw in the towel. i shared my grievances with my doctor and she me a natural booster to help cleanse my system paired with a modified paleo-based eating plan. i no longer forced the gym time if it wasn’t going to fit into our schedule that day. i decided enough is enough.

and over the past 2.5 months the weight has slowly receded. i am happier 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight than i was 3 years ago. if i never lose another pound; i can manage.

now i can look in the mirror and say to myself, “how was i unhappy with this? why was i wanting to be thinner?” because ladies… today i have value and worth and confidence in this body. in this shape. in this size. with these stretch marks; reminders of those sweet babies dreaming of sugar plums in their beds.

it was worth it. these past 3 years. every single second was worth this lesson.

praising God today for His goodness. for my hope. for the peace in the scale… just a # telling me the pull of my gravity.

… but that # can NEVER tell me anything more than that.

thinenough

so, here’s me. at my heaviest. with my sweeties. at the beach that we love.

embracing these fleeting moments.

for tomorrow will worry about itself.

 

Comments

  1. What an amazing, truth filled post. Love this so much!

    You are gorgeous and your children are just darling. Love that photo of you all on the beach.

    I have a thyroid problem too, for about 8 years. It is a battle. Sometimes you work so hard for so little. Last spring I lost 25 pounds. That’s a lot for me, but hardly anyone noticed. At first I was really annoyed, because I worked for every single one of those pounds, but then I realized that it was kind of a gift. My friends and family saw me for so much more than my size or my number on a scale.

    The first time I went to my OBGYN, she examined me and exclaimed, “Oh, you have nice wide hips. Perfect for having babies!”

    I wasn’t quite as impressed as she was. πŸ˜‰
    ~FringeGirl

    • YES! i hear that Tricia. i am not sure many people noticed the weight gain… or the weight loss. and if they did, no one has mentioned it. it’s like this past year has been spent internally battling something that no one could see; oh the metaphor here.

      i am proud of you. losing weight alone is tough — losing weight with an uphill battle that seems like sysiphus is unbelievably difficult. you are gorgeous! especially in that striped dresss!!

  2. Oh how I love this post. I so needed it! I have been so angry with God about the struggles I have to lose weight. Thank you for this reminder and encouragement. What a gorgeous photo of your and your kids!

    • thank you Ginger. i know those struggles all too well and will likely battle for the rest of my life. i wish thyroid’s magically healed… but alas, we know the truth about being human! be encouraged — our contentment, our joy, our peace, our self worth is from Him alone. πŸ™‚

  3. You are truly beautiful–inside and out.

  4. I just found your blog through Twitter. The title of your post drew me in. As someone who spent many years battling the scale herself, gosh how I can relate to this post. What stuck out the most to me was this, “He is not checking our scales.” Amen!
    Oh, and how could I forget this part too, “praising God today for His goodness. for my hope. for the peace in the scale… just a # telling me the pull of my gravity.… but that # can NEVER tell me anything more than that.” I wish I could have known this truth many moons ago!
    Thank you for sharing such words of value, honesty and encouragement. I look forward to reading more! Be blessed, Kristin

    • i’m so glad you stopped by. i think i need to hang that as a quote on my mirror. i know i will need weekly… daily reminders that that # on the scale is just that. i am more than that. and so are you! may we both hold onto His grace for us and allow ourselves a little more room! πŸ˜‰

  5. I could bawl my eyes out right now after reading this.
    This is where I’m at and I hate it. It’s hard and it sucks.
    Thank you for your encouragement and truth!

    • oh Kassie… i know that. i still feel that. i am so sorry! it’s a burden that is so hard to push off because we battle it daily.. hourly. with each decision on what to eat, not eat, hit the gym, take a break. all i know… and i want you to know… is that you are amazing for sharing this (publicly!) and that you recognize the truth in the words i shared. if you ever need to text or chat this out – i’m your girl!

  6. I feel ya. Losing weight is such an rarity for me, I’m just happy when the scale hasn’t gone up. I exercise and lift weights, yet losing weight is just not in the cards. Sometimes I’m okay with that… and sometimes I’m all hurt over it. But I’m strong and very grateful for that.
    I loved reading this because even though we’re not ‘supposed’ to care about weight,I still do and that’s life for me.

    • YES! i know that feeling before getting on a scale just praying for NO change. no change is better than more weight… even after working hard for weeks. but girl, you are GORGEOUS — and we will always have a part of us care. i will always care.. but i just needed to post the reminder for myself that it’s not my value or worth. πŸ™‚ i’m so glad you stopped by!

  7. I’ve struggled with my weight since I hit puberty. Looking back at pictures I can’t decide what actually came first, my weight problem, or my concern about it but I know I started dieting far too young. When I hit 20 something happened and I gained a whole lot more weight. I gave up trying. I was tired of doing the right things, trying the latest diet craze only to have the weight come all back the instant I put something in my mouth not on the diet. And guess what? The same diet never worked twice. I finally went to a dr when I was 24 and having blood pressure issues. My thyroid was too slow she said. My hormones were out of whack. I had a yeast imbalance that I was feeding with everything I ate. So we started working on that and over a year 50 lbs just slipped off of me. It was so wonderful! Then I hit a plateau and there I sat for about a year. According to the dr I should really knock off another 25 lbs but now I never want to TRY dieting again because it was SO MISERABLE. If I knew all I had to do was eat this way and the weight would come off I would, but I’m so over depriving myself while the weigh just sits there and mocks. Meanwhile in the last year I have met and married a wonderful man who tells me every time he looks at me how beautiful I am and how sexy I am and how attracted he is to me and every inch of me. And it is like a little healing balm to my tired self. This world pushes so hard to tell us what beauty is but it isn’t being 5’10 and 110 lbs. It’s being healthy. It’s being confident. It’s being a woman. In the last six months the scale has begun creeping up again about 10 lbs but with my full time job, planning a wedding, and everything else I had no time to diet. Now as a newlywed I hope to establish good eating habits for us and hubby has told me he wants to walk/run with me so we can both stay fit and so I can be healthy for bearing our babies. He has already bought me a brand new pair of running shoes! So my new goal is no longer to be skinny but to be healthy and I’m trusting God to help me with that. Thank you for your encouraging post.

    • megan… i can totally relate. during the 2 years that i didn’t gain or lose any weight i would spend weekends eating donuts… because really, i wouldn’t gain weight from it. and i didn’t. i was cautious…. but tired of being so “perfect” with eating & exercising that i caved sometimes and it felt so good! πŸ˜‰ but i agree with you – it’s not about the ideal physical body… it’s about being strong & confident and being healthy. i am so glad you stopped by to read my post. thank you for sharing.

  8. Wow! Your post was an amazing & touching read. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, feelings, and story.

    Blessings,

    Jess

  9. Dear Aimee, what a great post that will call to SO MANY women! I have struggled with my weight for years, no thyroid issues, just have a hard time losing it (and not eating cookies) and at 8 months pregnant, I can’t wait to get back into “my routine” of working out, eating better, etc but I know, all-in-all, I’m ME and all of that doesn’t matter! Enjoy your babies, do what you can, that’s all you can do!!! <3

    • thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. routines for me are like drinking ice water every day. it’s going to happen. so i have to choose a “good routine” before the bad overtakes! πŸ™‚ i am so excited to see baby #2! πŸ™‚ before you know it — you’ll be back to YOU and a routine as a fam of 4!

  10. Oh, Aimee, this was a spectacular post! Thank you thank you for giving voice to what so many of us struggle with. I, too, am stretchy from bearing the mass of two healthy babies and I am grateful for the stretching.

  11. Oh you know I can sooooo relate to this as we have talked about this. Ugh! I am coming to terms a little more with where I am. I am not a spring chicken like yourself and I have birthed 4 babies so I know I should give myself some slack, but a lifetime of not being “good enough” or “thin enough” is hard to let go.

    And how right you are, God is not going to be checking the scale. He WILL be checking how I lived my life though and that is what I need to focus on. Am I the best wife, mother, friend, steward of “things” that I could be? Need to re-focus.

    Keep eating healthy and exercising to show your kids that being healthy is important. Plus, the joy we all get from hanging out spending good quality time together is immeasurable.

    • i just adore you friend and i love how much we are alike. the words from our pasts tear us down and sometimes keep us pushed down… and breaking from that to accept we are SO MUCH MORE and that it’s as much as it depends on us that we are doing as God calls from us. so yes, a re-focus to be the best at the “job” before us to honor Him.

      we need to hang out for a weekend girl. when?! πŸ˜‰

  12. Bless you, sweet Aimee! What a road you’ve traveled! My brother-in-law battled Hashimoto’s, too and of course, I can sympathize with that creep of pounds that happens during busy stressful times. Your faith is strong, you are beautiful, and you are loved. πŸ™‚
    sending hugs!
    xo Heidi

  13. Girl, you are fabulous inside and out, and this post just proves it to me more. I love your heart, your wisdom, and your transparency while sharing struggle. So glad you threw in the towel and that you are content now, no matter what! πŸ™‚

    • thank you Julie. i will definitely need reminders from my sweet friends like you. there are still days i struggle but the truth will set me & my purpose free. i am so thankful for you girl.

  14. thank you for sharing and writing! i just have to say, you are a gorgeous woman and mama. xo

    • thank you Rae. it means so much to me that you stopped over today! this was definitely tough to write but thankful for such an embracing community.

  15. Wow Aimee! I love everything about this post! You are beautiful the way you are! Not for the number on the scale or the percentage read by the reader but by your heart, your honesty and your love for The Lord, your family and friends! Be graceful with yourself and continue seeking the truth that scales do not define us but God does! You’re in my prayers on this journey!

    • thank you kimberly — it means SO much to me that you stopped by! grace for self is so hard… and yet, i know God expects us to honor His will over any body imagine issue.

  16. Love that when you share I can feel our your ups and downs through your words! As a fellow woman journey-er it is wonderful to be able to share parts of our lives through blogs. Thank you for your honesty! Xoxoxoxo

    • thank you Sarah. i am still amazed at how easy the flow of words are when it’s a one-way conversation with me and my screen versus hashing out details over a phone or in person. i feel it’s truly a clear reflection of my feelings & thinking. i love that you read my posts. thank you!!

  17. What a beautiful post. Something I think almost every woman, especially a woman who has had children can relate to. I am so sorry you have to deal with this auto immune disease. There are things in life that are just big patience trips. I am not fond of those things myself, but the strength they seem to give me in the endurance game of it make it worth the pain.
    I have struggled my whole life with worrying if I am thin enough. I have to say, getting really involved in strength training helped me back off the scale. I don’t think I will ever let this part of me go. If I notice a weight gain, I hop right back onto my regimen. I agree, being tall has so many wonderful things that come with it, but having added baby weight that won’t budge, that is a lesson in patience in itself.
    You look gorgeous in the picture, with your gorgeous children. Thanks for such a thoughtful post!

    • thank you Karen. your kind words always brighten my day! truly. i love that you’re tall too — you know this all too well then! and i LOVE weight lifting. i started about 3 years ago and although i have relaxed some lately, the definition in my chest, arms and shoulders is still killer! bring on the summer!!

  18. I’ve requested this “am I thin enough now?” to be on my tombstone.

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