Thursday, March 21, 2013

On the Subject of Beauty

    I am sure many of you Pinterest frequenters have noticed that many women out there are concerned about their appearance.  *ehem*  I am definitely one of them. :)  As you can see, Pinterest abounds with helpful hints on how to make your skin glow, how to slim down those thighs, how to get that perfect shine in your hair.... all completely natural of course.  It's so easy, right?  Just follow the five step routine on the image of the pin, and you'll look like a magazine model in three weeks.  Lustrous, thick hair is easily obtained by drenching your tresses in coconut oil.  Slim down that waist by drinking this two ingredient, but amazing concoction once a day and that weight will all drop off.  And to get that perfect, flawless complexion, just smear slimy egg whites all over your face and then peel it all off.  It sounds silly, but apparently girls out there are willing to do it to beautify their features.  Every girl wants to be beautiful, but what defines what is beautiful and what is not?  A perfect body shape and height?  Flawless skin?  Perfect hair length, texture, or color?  Fashionable clothing?

    One thing that is trending on Pinterest is the dieting/exercising theme.  It seems girls are never satisfied with what their body looks like.  And I'm just as guilty.  Even though I don't have a "weight problem"; I fit into the healthy weight range for a young lady of 5' 4", for a while I had tricked myself into thinking I needed to "lose weight".  I saw pins that told me the ideal diet which will let you drop ten pounds in a month!  I did't need to lose ten pounds, but it can't hurt, can it?  Being skinner is never a bad thing, right?  And then I would see that ten minute workout that's fast, simple, but will get you lookin' great in three weeks flat.  Why not?  After seeing more and more things like this I began to convince myself that I needed to lose weight.  I wasn't good enough the way I was.  I needed to improve myself.

   So, I started cutting back on what I ate.  A bowl of cereal at breakfast, peanut butter and jelly at lunch with some juice, and whatever mom made for dinner, with a snack later on in the evening (probably chips and salsa).  But there was a problem.  You can't last all morning on a bowl of cereal, or all afternoon on a peanut butter and jelly.  And when I went to exercise, I had no strength, and no energy.  And where does this all lead?  Breakdown.  One day I would be faithfully following my "diet" routine, then the next day I would feel so drained I would slip and not exercise and eat what I wanted.  You see where this pattern is going; after a whole semester I didn't look any different. In fact, I felt worse about myself.  Suddenly I thought that my hair wasn't good enough either.  Or my coloring, or anything.  I began to dislike the way God had created me, because I wasn't somehow measuring up to that "perfect" model of beauty that is being held up before us online, in magazines and catalogs, on hairspray bottles, basically everywhere we turn.

   That's when I decided something had to change.  These extreme measures I was taking were not realistic.  God did not want me feeling hungry all the time, or draining all my energy, or bending over backwards to get my hair to look perfect.  He made me a certain way and that's how he wanted me.  So I completely switched my focus.

   Now, instead of trying to follow some ridiculous diet, I focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly.  I can not begin to describe how good I feel each day.  Right now I am completely off of gluten and sugar, and have been eating a lot more fruits, vegetables, and meat along with exercising regularly every, single, day.  And I feel great!  And you know what?  I lost some weight without even knowing it.  But I don't focus too much on weight anymore.  I focus on staying healthy in what I eat, and keeping myself strong by exercising all the time.  And I even look forward to my exercise time each day!  Sometimes I run on the treadmill, other times I will do Blogilates.  If you have not heard of the Blogilates youtube channel, I highly recommend you look her up.  She's awesome.  She does Pilates workouts, but they are set to pop music so it's upbeat and fun.
   Try not to be too influenced by what you see out there.  The world will try to tell you that you must look this way or that to be beautiful, but in reality, it's God that made you the way you are and He knows you are beautiful.  Every girl is beautiful in their own way, no matter who they are.
   Like many of you I'm sure, I also have had people say things about me behind my back about me or my appearance that are unkind, but I don't let that bother me.  Even though it's hard sometimes, I don't care what those people think.  They are not important to me, and their opinion is of no consequence to me and my life.  Beauty does not completely consist of outside appearance, but comes from inside you, from a shining, beautiful soul.


God bless,


Lauren said...

Wonderful thoughts, Miss Elizabeth. It can be hard to be content with our appearance, and while it's not wrong to work at it a bit, it can easily get out of hand. I loved your post. Also, I love your new blog look!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!! And very well said-- I completely agree. Today must be "beauty day" in the blogging world. There is another wonderful post at Raising Homemakers and I am working on a post about beauty too. You should check it out if you haven't seen it already. :)


Aspirer said...

Thank you for the inspiration! It's hard to tell girls a message when they don't want to listen.

God bless you!


Raechel said...

Good post! And I agree. I have gotten caught up in how I look - often. I think I have to lose weight, to be skinnier, but one day, as I was just going about my normal activities, God said "Who ever said fat was bad? Did I ever say that?" - He was and is, reminding me that "fat" is not bad. (I'm not saying I think I'm fat; no worries! I'm talking about even just the extra skin we are told is bad)The world may tell us fat is bad, but since when did God ever say that? And of course He wants us to take care of our bodies and not mistreat it, but we can mistreat our bodies simply by having that mind-set.
Anyway :) Good post!
In Christ,

Amy said...

Oh, really good post.
It is easy to get into the mindset of "I should really lose some weight." Focusing on just being healthy is so much better. ;)

Hey, I nominated you for an award if you want it.


Mary Kate said...

What a great post! I completely agree. And it's so true, I've found when my focus is to lose weight and look better, I tend to just depress myself and get nowhere. But when I focus on trying to take good care of my body (regular exercise, healthy eating and a good amount of sleep) I end up feeling so much better physically and mentally!

Mallory said...

Thanks for this post! It is so easy to get caught up in the way we look, but this post reminded me that I sometimes get too caught up in the way I "am." It is good to try and correct your faults, but you should never get so caught up in it that you forget what a wonderful person you already are. Thanks again for reminding me!

Hannah said...

i really love your post! and that music starts playing when i open your page!! that is sooo cool! although before i figured out where the music was coming from it kind of freked me out! ;) god bless you!

Clare Ryan said...

Good thoughts! I totally experienced the same thing: when I stopped freaking out and just focused on being HEALTHY - namely eating good foods, keeping active in fun ways, and getting enough sleep - I looked and felt better than I ever have.

Blessings! <3

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