Does God think I’m fat?

This facebook post by a beautiful friend of mine got me thinking:

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be a size 0, or 6 or even a 10 for that matter. But my body has remained healthy for 40 years, has endured several surgeries and healed remarkable well. It has carried, delivered and sustained three beautiful babies. So I have curves and jiggly parts, SO WHAT! My husband loves me. I am tired of the media making me feel like I’m fat! Why don’t all the magazines and commercials get models that are healthy sizes and shapes so our young girls will have realistic models to try and emulate. I’m 40 years old and still struggle with the fact that I don’t look like all the movie stars and models I am constantly bombarded with every time I pick up a magazine or turn on the TV.

Amen, sister!

I have been made to feel fat my entire life.  I was told by my grandmother that I was “pretty, but I’d never be beautiful” and that I would “always be a big girl.”  I took diet pills at 16 because I wasn’t the size of my other friends.  I was the biggest girl on the cheerleading squad.  I did the Atkins diet at 17.  I have sustained myself off of coffee, pretzels, and peanut butter crackers (college). I played softball, cheered, exercised.  It was never enough.

I brought a little girl into a world that teaches that EVERYTHING makes you fat.  No more bologna and cheese sandwiches like my mom used to eat, or standing in line for the ice cream man (who didn’t love hearing the truck’s jingle a 1/2 mile away– begging every adult within earshot for ice cream money?). Sample sizes are a 2 and a 4… and you probably should be 5’9″ in order for that to be really legit.  Anything over a size 6 is considered plus size modeling. I eat whole wheat bread, fruit and veggies, and I love everything green.  I drink unsweet (I know! It’s like I’m not Southern!) tea because it’s calorie free.  I exercise (not as much as I should… but isn’t that most everyone?) and I choose the calorie-burning option 90% of the time.

I am a size 16.

There. I said it.

Granted, I had a baby 6 months ago, but I was a 12/14 when I got pregnant.  That’s where I usually am.  My mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law are easily half that (and my mom eats ONLY junk food!).  I am usually miserable when any one of these beautiful ladies decide to diet… because it makes me feel like more of a failure.

Why in the world should I feel that way?!?

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Would God “knit me together” and think … “Eh, I could do better”?  Does God think I’m “fat” because I don’t fit modern society’s preconceived notions of beauty?  I have a friend who is 6 ft tall and is beautiful.  I have a friend who is 5’9″, a size 2 and is beautiful.  I have a friend who is 5’2″ and is not a size 2 and is beautiful.

How dare society tell us that we are not ideal?  How dare we believe the lies that society tells us?

I remember being a little girl, looking in the mirror, thinking, “I’m really cute!” Ha, I really did!  You know what?  I WAS! I AM.

My daughter is breathtaking.  I will not tell her that she will “never be beautiful” or “always be big.”  I don’t believe God made a mistake when she was made.  Why should I believe the same about me?


Thanks, my friend, for reminding me of this tonight.

More about April

8 thoughts on “Does God think I’m fat?

  1. Paula

    April, You are so right. I will always struggle with my image, but I will recite that scripture daily to remind myself that I am fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. And I too am a size 16. There I said it too! love ya girl! Paula

  2. Ali

    beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. i’ve always thought i was too self confidant to lose weight. i don’t think i’m broken. i think i’m pretty. it’s hard to stick to a strict diet when you feel like you’re torturing yourself and there’s nothing wrong with you. granted, there are lots of health reasons why its not good for me to carry around as much weight as i do and for that reason alone i’m trying to do something about it. but as you’ve said, eating healthy and exercising isnt always enough for everyone. i would have to live on nothing but celery sticks to have a healthy BMI i think.

    and if it makes you feel any better, 16 is my goal size. thats as skinny as i ever wish to be. i think its perfect!

    1. April McGrew

      I have always loved your confidence, Ali! It was one of the reasons I loved hanging out with you so much.

      Oh yeah, and I think BMI is a hunk of junk. When I am a size 8-10, I am considered “overweight” and I can see my hips and ribs!

  3. Marian

    Well said! I put myself through hell my first few years of college because of low self esteem related to my weight. I still have my moments of doubt and areas of my body that I’d like to tone up, but I’m not ashamed to say that I am 205lbs and a size 14, and I’m *happy* here. I maintain this easily eating foods I enjoy. I actually told my husband just yesterday that I don’t want to lose weight, I just want to be a little healthier. If I happen to drop weight in the process, ok, but I am determined to keep my curves. I was not built to be a skinny girl; I have a large bone structure, and I couldn’t be a size 2 if I stopped eating entirely. But I love who I am, and that will make me happier by far than knowing I am a size 8 or 6 or 4 and having to carefully plan what I eat and how much I exercise every day to maintain it.

    1. April McGrew

      Amen, Marian! Curves are beautiful!

      Trying to lose weight is exhausting. Granted, after I’m done nursing, I will try a little harder to fit into my old clothes, simply because I don’t want to buy new jeans! I like being a 12/14. I feel beautiful at 12, even though, like you, I have moments of weakness.

      I will gladly have a salad… but don’t make me give up my cheesecake! 🙂

  4. mandy

    Sometimes I still look in the mirror and think “I’m really cute” …(from the neck up)…
    I often catch myself thinking the reason I don’t have a boyfriend or am not married yet is because I’m not skinny enough. It’s hard to believe any guy would look at me twice let alone look at me and love me the way I am…fat and all. This has lead to a lot of destructive behavior that hasn’t helped anything at all…only made feelings about myself worse.

    I recently heard a teaching at church where the pastor encouraged men to step up and do their part to fix women’s body issues instead of add to the bombardment that they aren’t good enough/pretty enough. To give women permission to feel comfortable in their own skin…sometimes that means flip flops instead of high heels.

    I was really impressed the leadership in my church saw and felt the need to address this issue from the men’s responsibility…he addressed women too but I’ve never heard any of the responsibility for the pure torture that is women’s body issues being placed partly on the men’s shoulders. (A lot of blame goes to media and insensitive mother’s…but no one talks about how the men….even good Christian men…have bought into the lie that women should look a certain way to be beautiful and that their expectations and criticisms of women are just as damaging!)

    It’s still hard to overcome. I’m a size 18 (sometimes uncomfortably an 18) and I HATE it!! But I feel ok at a 16…14 is like dream world…is there really that big of difference between 18 & 16 that should affect my self-esteem so dramatically?? Probably not but it does…

    1. April McGrew

      It’s amazing and sad how we assume body size will fix things. When I was a 10 in high school… I always thought that if I was just an 8 or a 6 that I would get a date. When I was a 12, I thought that about a 10. I even told my husband “if I ever get to be ___ size, make me diet.” I thought that if I wasn’t pretty enough that he wouldn’t keep interest. I KNOW that’s wrong, but I still thought it!

      A woman who is comfortable with who she is … she is more beautiful than she could ever know. Confidence is sexy.

      You’re right. Some men are not understanding about it. They will tell you that you are not attractive because you are not a certain size and that is SO wrong.

      You are beautiful!

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