Guest Post from Leah

Last week I attended a RS enrichment activity. We all got together and just sat around and scrapbooked or whatever else we'd be procrastinating at home. We've been doing this once a week for a couple months. Well as often does when women get together, the subject of fat came up. And while I can normally sit back and take it and sometimes even indulge myself a bit, last night I struggled to deal with it. And trust me, it's not because I don't have my fair share of weight battles and food issues. One sister talked about how before she had her first child she was 95 lbs and when she got pregnant with number two she was 115 lbs. And no matter how much I'd look great...er...ill at 95 or 115, I really don't want to go back to middle school...er...elementary school. Anyway that's not my point. My point is that I really think that we are all doing the best we can. That best may not be our best ever. But it is our best in our present circumstances: physically, financially, emotionally. My emotional circumstances might be such that I need a handful of chocolate chips 4 times a day. "But why can't my best be enough?" I asked myself. And as so often happens with me, I thought "oh yeah, the savior." I guess our best is never enough if we don't take advantage of the atonement. And while I don't think the atonement will necessarily help us lose those pounds, I do think that it will help lift some of that weight. I really think sometimes we, as women, are our own worst enemy. We are so dang competative with who's skinnier, who's kids don't wiggle in sacrament, and the list goes on and on. Let's take it easy on ourselves and one another. We've got enough obstacles, and I could use a break. Anyone else?


Blogger Mo Mommy said...

I hear ya!! My favorite is a friend of mine who says she can't stand people who are so self concious that they get surgery, but then she talks of nothing but her weight, her caloric intake, and her excercise regimen. I finally told her she is the most body obsessed person I know.
Maybe we feel like we don't measure up with the outside world since we are different, so we have to make ourselves feel better by pointing out our own superiority. Maybe we have to point out where others are wanting in order to ignore the things we feel we are lacking in. Maybe we just want people to re-enforce our worth so we point out our faults in the hope they will disagree. Whatever the reason, this is something we all have to pay attention to, since it affects our relationship with others and with ourselves. I thought you beautifully tied in our belief in Christ and lifting some of our weight. Wonderful post.

4/04/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Molly M. said...

Break granted.

4/04/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Amen and amen!

4/04/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I have noticed that in the ward we are in now in Maryland, the women talk about bodies a lot. There are a lot of young families and so a lot of the girls are in the midst of having babies, or just had a baby, etc., so there's lots of change going on.

Anyway, it has bothered me for some time the tone that many of the girls take about their own bodies and the bodies of others in the ward. If someone is doing really well losing the baby weight, the girls have to mention it with a roll of the eye and a "I hate her!" type comment. No congratulations for working so hard or anything. Even compliments about someone's appearance always seem to feel like there is a bit of bitterness underneath. And this is coming from women who look great too. After having my daughter, I worked really hard just to feel good about my new body and worked hard to get fit. A sister in our ward continues to have to make a comment about my body each time I see her and it really makes me uncomfortable. I'm pregnant again and now there's a whole new set of body comments on how I"m carrying as compared to so-and-so, etc. Eek, it is wearing.

It seems this kind of attitude/behavior is catching among women in this otherwise great ward because put a group of them together and that's all they will talk about. It really bothers me. I'm from a family of all girls and my sisters and I were fairly competetive about size (we were all little, sheesh!) but I thought I wouldn't see that kind of adolescent behavior once I became an adult. Those conversations always make me wnat to start quoting from Elder Holland's conference talk a year or so ago.

Long comment! Now I need a break...

4/04/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Starfoxy said...

I remember recently we had a lesson on the word of wisdom in RS that rather quickly devolved into a discussion on "what weight loss plan worked for me." Finally I raised my hand and said that the word of wisdom is a plan of *health* and health doesn't mean skinny. I have a friend who's mother died from a reaction to diet pills. It was a horrible drawn out illness and death, and not a way for anyone to go.

4/04/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger White Man Retarded said...

My wife weighed 95 lbs. when we met and got married. Alot of the members' (meaning well) said they were envious of her weight, or lack thereof. She was understandly hurt, but the real issue is: what is perfection? Why do we consider the standards of beauty what they are?

4/04/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I say the next time somebody says something about your body reply with: "I didn't know you majored in dietetics! That's so good to know! You must be wonderfully smart to be able to understand everybody's personal metabolism rate..."

As one that is overwieght who must watch what she eats and exercise regularly to avoid the obesity that runs in the female line of my family, I do think about my body. I'll admit it. And I used to be one of those people leah is talking about --those obsessed with something they can't or WON'T change.

When I finally chose to love myself (we're talking 2 months ago) for who I was and not what I looked like, things began to change. I've since stopped talking about "fat" and "skinny" and instead I'm focusing on "HEALTHY". (thanks for that reminder Starfoxy).

P.S. My pet peeve are women who literally FREAK OUT because their pregnant bellies are making them "fat". I'm almost angry when I encouter those women. DUH!!! There is another HUMAN BEING growing inside of you! And how many women out there would LOVE to be "fat" with baby?!?!?

4/04/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too don't mind hearing a comment now and then, but lately I feel like I am surrounded by women who are very obsessed with their body. I think it is great to want to eat healthy and excercise to have a healthy body, but a women who constantly talks about body image, it doesn't matter if she is "fat" or "skinny" or whether she talks of herself or others, it does a great diservice to all women. And frankly, it becomes very tiring to be around. I don't need to be dragged into anyone else's self-image issues - I got my own issues to deal with.

4/04/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Eowyn said...

I could certainly use a break from worrying about weight issues. Why are we so preoccupied with it anyway? Why, when I generally eat healthy and do my best to exercise, do I beat myself up so bad over a candybar, treat, large meal? I feel so guilty. Does anyone else feel that way?

Before 7th grade health class, I never worried about my weight. Then, with a caliper fat test, my health teacher determined that I, as a 7th grader, was obese. I seriously doubt that I was obese, but that really isn't the point. Though I might have started worrying about weight later on anyway, my worries started there. Should we really be telling 7th grade girls they are obese? Isn't this compounding a problem that girls and women suffer from anyway? Luckily, I didn't develop an eating disorder, but other girls might have...

Anyway, I'm with you! We really need to let go and cast this burden on the Lord. I don't know why I can't let go of it, but I hope as I try, I'll worry and feel guilty a lot less often.

4/04/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

The best thing about turning 30 was finally feeling like I could stop worrying about all of the 20-something body issues, whether my clothes were cute enough, etc., and just be myself. It was so liberating. Now we're thinking about trying to have a baby and I feel a real sense of responsibility about eating better and exercising so that the baby will have a healthy place to live for 9 months. Developing healthy habits seems easy and fun when I'm not obsessed with whether I'm losing weight.

4/04/2006 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I've been overweight my whole life. It was shortly before I got married that I realized that I had to stop comparing myself to others. It was at that time that for the first time since I was 12 I weighted less than 145 lbs. I got gardia. Yep not a recommended way to lose weight. Anyway after getting better my weight went back up. I went to a gym and they told me that my fat % was only at 19% which was great!! They were shocked and performed the laser test again and again. Apparently I had extreamly high lean muscle mass. It was only then after 21 years of life that I had stressed, cried, compared, stopped eating, dieted, exercise purged and compared myself because of my weight and size. I realized I was healthy. That's what mattered. Period.

When I moved to the ward I'm in now, I had a hard time because everyone was tiny and all they did was obsess about their weight. I didn't want to go there because it was pointless so I had a hard time making friends because I hate discussions like that, and they happened ALL the time.

Last October Conference Elder Holland said this.

"Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good. I mention adult women because, sisters, you are our greatest examples and resource for these young women. And if you are obsessing over being a size 2, you won’t be very surprised when your daughter or the Mia Maid in your class does the same and makes herself physically ill trying to accomplish it. We should all be as fit as we can be—that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size."

4/05/2006 09:25:00 AM  

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