Thursday, January 5, 2012


So a facebook friend posted this the other day as her status:

Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it's absolutely cleansing. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain...once; someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. "pleasure??? I said" "I don't understand the question." I didn't do it for pleasure I did it for the pain. Lance Armstrong

I took some heat the other day for a statement I made about the obsession and self worship aspect of some people's views about their physical selves especially around January.  I must admit as I read this quote, that the first thing that came to mind was "that is exactly how a cutter describes cutting".  Perhaps it is because I have had the opportunity to work with people who are in Olympic training and have been able to see first hand some of the incredibly unhealthy things that become part of their everyday to win or even just qualify to compete and have also spent time with addicts and people in recovery, that I see so many similarities.  They are both entrenched in compulsive behavior.  It is simply that one is far more socially acceptable and so they are rarely encouraged to stop and are many times held up as an example for others to pattern after.  I believe that my friend posted this as she finds it encouraging and inspiring but to me I just see warning signs and red flags.

Then I was privileged to read a blog post written by a women I have never met but must come from the same cloth from which I was cut as we could be sisters of the heart. This is an excerpt from the letter that she writes to her daughters that was part of that post.

*see below
And so I will sing a song of wonder and beauty about womanhood for you to learn from my lips.

I will lead the resistance of these lies in our home by living out a better truth.

I will not criticize my sisters for how they look or live, casting uncharitable words like stones, because my words of criticism or judgement have a strange way of being more boomerang than missile, swinging around to lodge in your own hearts.

I'll wear a bathing suit and I won't tug on it self-consciously. I will get my hair wet.

I will easily change my clothes in front of your Dad, proud of my stretch marks that gave us a family, of breasts that nourished his babies.

I will prove to you that you can be a size 12 and still be sexier than hell.

I will prove to you that you don't have to be all angles and corners, that there is room for some softness because you all love to hug on my soft bits, burrowing into my arms and my breasts to rest for a while.

I will eat dessert and raise my glass and laugh my way to deeper smile lines.

I will celebrate your own beauty, my tall girls, but I will do my best to praise your mind, your heart, your motives as much as I praise your beauty.

I will not let the words "I'm fat" cross my lips - especially in front of you, my beautiful girls.

I will celebrate beauty where I find it, in a million faces uniquely handcrafted by a generous God with a big tent of glorious womanhood.

I will tell stories of women and surround you with a community of women who are smart and strong, crazy and hot-headed, gentle and kind, women who love and you will see that this is what is beautiful, that a generous love is the most gorgeous thing you could ever put on.

 And so I find myself looking for the balance between my own struggles with image and my desire for my children to not share them.  I find that I must curtail my rage toward those who push this crazy obsession before the eyes of my daughters at every turn and fight with the tools I have in the arenas I am given.  I ask you to help me by not posting what you eat for dinner of facebook and calling it "accountability". I ask you to not constantly talk about how you need to loose weight and how fat you feel and please stop using pathetic phrases like "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".    If you want to give me a compliment in front of my children, compliment me, not my image.  Don't look all excited and say "wow, you look great, have you lost weight?" JUST STOP.

*My daughter and I were selecting photos for  group frame and she said she loved this one "because we look so happy... those are our real smiles" and she didn't think they looked posed enough for the group frame... screw posed.


Olson Family said...

Amen, Sister. Just. Amen.

Sam said...

Such an inspiring post.

The Keevy Family said...

Thank you so much for inspiring me to really think through these issues this week. This post was timely, and beautiful and has inspired me in the way I think about myself and how I want to raise my daughter. I linked to your post in this post I wrote below. Thanks Amy!