I put the following up on my Facebook blog thingy today. If I follow through, I reckon this naked dieting blog might read a little differently than it has until now (more consistent, but also different in other ways as well):
Among the various artists and very gifted people here at JPUSA, we have a guy whose art shows up on magazine covers pretty regularly (and no, I'm not going to name him here because I have no idea whether that would be okay with him.) Recently he sent an email around on the list that goes out to the whole house, calling for models. He is working on another magazine cover, and needed ordinary people of all sorts and ages. We were invited to come to the garden room if we wanted to be a part of this project.
He is an incredibly talented artist - I have spent a lot of time admiring his work. The way his illustrations go, though, is he draws real people in a sort of caricature. So certain features come out a lot more pronounced - you've seen enough caricatures in your Sunday newspaper political cartoons to understand what I'm saying, I hope.
I couldn't bring myself to go down and model. On one hand, I've never seen anything in his work that looks like he sets out to be mean or make people feel bad about their appearance. On the other hand, it was too easy for me to imagine which of my features he might choose to exaggerate...and even imagining pretty much filled me with horror. I stayed far away from the garden room that night.
Along about the same time, I was having a girly sort of conversation with one of my very favorite new friends here, the details of which have no relevance to my point tonight - except for the part where she said to me quite simply in an email that "God loves our bodies he created."
Oh. Yeah. He does!
I tend to forget that. The evidence of my forgetting is how much I tend NOT to love my body.
I don't love the way my body looks. True now, true when I was 100+ pounds lighter (and thought I was so large that I owed the world an apology for having to look at me.) Beyond even weight issues, I can pick myself over and tell you all manner of ways I am made that don't fit the airbrush model ideal currently held for how a woman is supposed to look.
I don't treat my body with love. Don't feed it right. Don't work it out enough. Don't stretch it like I used to. In ways both big and small, I am careless in the basic care and maintenance of this machine that transports my soul and spirit around every day. You know, the one He knitted in my mother's womb. The one called "fearfully and wonderfully made."
Many make body-related New Year's resolutions. They choose diets. They plan workouts. They pick numbers - weights, measurements, clothing sizes - and set target dates for them. I've made a whole lot of resolutions like that over the years. Some of that has been chronicled on my on-again, off-again "naked dieting" blog (http://nakeddieting.blogspot.com/ - never fear, the only things "naked" there are thoughts, not people).
Those resolutions haven't been total failures. I eat a lot better than I used to. I listen to my body (not as in "obey its cravings" but more as in "read its barometer of my health and well-being") much better than I once did. I don't live nearly as sleep-deprived as I have in past parts of my life.
They also haven't been total successes. I won't waste energy spelling out the evidence; if you know me, you know they haven't.
Setting aside appearance issues and such, the simple facts are these:
God loves my body he created.
David Crowder sings, "You make everything glorious/And I am Yours/So what does that make me?" I love the song. I sing along. I agree with it as an idea.
I absolutely never factor my body into that "glorious" bit. I pretty much keep it limited to my soul and spirit.
My New Year's resolution this year is not going to be a specific diet, a specific weight, a specific size, a specific workout. Instead, how about this:
This year, I resolve to press into God in prayer, to listen to what He tells me, to do what He shows me, to press on and run the race, to not give up until...until...
...until I love my body.
When I feel the way He cherishes it as a feeling me...that's an accomplished goal.
When I treat it like the gift it is...that's success.
When I can agree with Him for real that it is glorious (and not complain within myself about the way He decided to make it)...well, all I can say is that would be a miracle.
Good thing I know Somebody who is in the miracle business.
Here we go!
PS Yes that's right, if you're wondering... I am doing ONLY ONE resolution this year. The rest will just have to work itself out without a list to follow.
PPS Heck, who knows, maybe I'll manage to chronicle the journey of this resolution on the naked blog. Feel free to hang around and see, if that's you're kind of thing.