To the women who opened this article in the hopes of reading about some crazy new way you can lose a crazy amount of weight in a short amount of time in order to look more attractive in a bathing suit: THIS IS FOR YOU. Read all of it, every part. Yes, that means you are not allowed to exit out the article.

In order to look and feel good this summer, you need to detox from these things:

1. That boy who makes you feel worthless. Whatever he told you were lies, and it is time you let go of all the pain that he brings into your life. Delete his number, delete his Snapchat, and no longer allow yourself to be played by a guy who doesn’t realize how beautiful you are. If you keep looking back into the past, you may never notice the blessings in front of you. Your ex is your ex for a reason; if it was an “almost” relationship it wasn’t a relationship for a reason, and you deserve a guy who won’t make you feel insecure.

2. Letting the scale control your mood. Maybe you haven’t lost weight as quick as you’d like to, and maybe the scale doesn’t read the number you wish it would, but that shouldn’t determine your happiness. Live each day with the joy that God made you for a purpose on this earth, and live in a relationship with him, not with the idea of weighing 115 lbs by June 1st.

3. Your competitiveness with other girls. Life is not a contest of who can get more guys or who is prettier. Be happy for those around you when good things happen to them, and they will feel flattered. Do not envy them and try to out do them for the sake of competition. Guess what? I bet you will always find someone skinnier and prettier than you–that’s life. All you can do is be the best you possible.

4. Your desire for a guy in your life. As cheesy as it is, the best relationships do come when you are not expecting it. If you are currently single, there is a reason for that. Trust in God’s timing. He will write you a beautiful love story in His timing if you allow Him. Stop focusing on having the hottest bod for guys to chase you. Stop checking your phone every minute to see if the hot boy you are crushing on liked your Instagram photo. Let your personality attract them and seal the deal. Because at the end of the day, at your wedding do you really want to say, “well uhm he liked my photo of me in my bikini and then slid in my DMs”. Come on, you know you are worth more than that.

Whenever I was a junior in high school, I read every article about weight loss that I could find. I did it for two reasons. 1) To look good in a swimsuit. 2) For boys to think I was attractive. I soon found myself at the gym everyday for two and a half hours, sometimes more, not leaving until I burned at least 800 calories. I skipped lunch at school by making myself look busy, whether it was homework or just constantly socializing with others.

My friends would occasionally call me out about not eating, but I brushed it off like a pro, and no one seemed to worry. If I did eat lunch, it would be a granola bar at most. I would usually only finish half of my dinner, saying I just hated the food. Yes, I lost weight. Yes, I looked (what the world would call) “good”. But I remember looking at pictures of myself thinking I was so fat. One of my teachers even pulled me out of the classroom one day, to question my eating habits and how often I was working out, because that was all I talked about. She could tell I was finding my worth in my diet and work out plan. That was when I realized I went too far.

Here’s a picture of me at my lowest point of it all. I’m not saying that there’s no way you can reach a body similar to this in a healthy way, because I am sure you can. I, however, did not, and I am trying to get the point across that although I was a size 0, I still thought of myself as “fat”.

                   
I still occasionally struggle when looking in the mirror. However, I am better than I used to be. I work out when I get the chance but I don’t depend on in it like I used to. I don’t beat myself up for not sticking to 800 calories, and I don’t panic if I eat carbs. During this period of unhealthy dieting in high school, I went from 132 lbs to 104 lbs in two months. I started at a size four and ended at finally fitting into a 00, but I still considered myself “fat”. Now, as a sophomore in college, I weigh 141 lbs, and I can’t believe that I have the confidence to post that fact on my blog with millions of views.  A number that would have haunted me in high school, is now a sign of my strength and confidence.

I’m no doctor, but now I truly realize that the way I was living was not physically or emotionally healthy for me. And I have a feeling that many girls who are reading this article have experienced these emotions. I’ve seen my friends skip meals to shed a few pounds before a formal. I see girls sip on Jamba as if their 300 calorie small smoothie with little to no protein powder is enough to carry them over for the day. I see girls trying every new detox, weird wrap and overworking at the gym in order to look good in a bikini. Maybe, the problem we are having is we are neglecting the fact that embracing God’s love is more important than being a size 0. The problem is that we as women find more worth in what the scale says than what scripture says.

Maybe the boy dumped you and said you weren’t good enough for him, but scripture says you are altogether beautiful my darling. The scale says you have more to lose, but scripture says to stop focusing on the world. The world says you could be more beautiful, but God says He created you in the image of Him–and that is enough.

To the girl reading this who knows how I feel: please for my sake tell someone. I truly regret never opening up to someone.

If you asked anyone at my high school if they thought I was insecure, they would laugh in your face. I was the church intern, senior class president, voted Mrs. Fontainebleau High, homecoming court my junior year, I lead a bible study and morning devotion at Cafe Du Monde, and I was on prom court my senior year. On the outside I looked so happy, but on the inside I was still a girl, struggling with insecurities given to her freshman year by some mean boys, causing me to become obsessed with my physical appearance as a whole, leading me to become obsessed with my weight. I didn’t have control over the way my face looked, but I had control over my weight, and thought if I was skinnier I was prettier. I posted bikini pictures on Instagram, and despite what many may have thought, that didn’t mean that I was happy with my body. I was addicted to the compliments “how did you get so toned and skinny?!”, “teach me your ways”, and “you are the skinniest”. I craved those words.

Here’s the deal: at your funeral do you think the preacher is going to get up and say “wow Ashley had the best bod ever“, while in tears. No. They will talk about how much you loved others and Jesus, the joy you carried daily, and you ability to make others smile. On your grave it will not say “here lies Grace who once had a six-pack“.

You know what will be on your grave? A line. Your grave will have a day you were born and a day you died, with the line separating those two numbers. What matters is what you did in your life with that line. Did you love Jesus and others? Did you make others laugh? Did you do life with the One who created you and me?

So eat fresh fruit, go on a run and do your squats. However, never let the scale determine your worth or joy. Your joy comes from someone greater than looking hot in that bikini for the cute boy to comment the fire emoji.

Because I struggled, today I challenge you to remember that your worth does not come from your size. Your worth comes from your Creator, who created you in the image of Him.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

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Written by Grace Valentine

I love Jesus, diet coke and sunflowers. I wish I lived in the mountains, but love the two states I call home--Louisiana and Texas. I can watch Criminal Minds all day and dream of one day owning an ice cream truck for fun. However, my main goal in life is that more girls will realize the worth they have through Christ Jesus--and with Him and Him only we are enough.

124 comments

  1. Thank you for being open and sharing your struggles, I needed to read this as I am working on overcoming the same exact thing. I pray that you and I both rest in the fact that our bodies are simply God’s vessels created exactly as He wants them to spread His great love, which you are doing an amazing job at with your blog 😊

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  2. Thank you for being open and sharing your struggles, I needed to read this as I am working on overcoming the same exact thing. Our stories are so similar I almost felt that this was written about myself! I pray that you and I both rest in the fact that our bodies are simply God’s vessels created exactly as He wants them to spread His great love, which you are doing an amazing job at with your blog 😊

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  3. What an inspiration! and a beautiful young woman thru and thru! Your post made my day!

    Laissez les bons temps rouler! 😉

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  4. This made me stop and think. I have been doing the same thing but I always feel fat. But I am slowing realizing I need to put more energy into my faith than anything else.

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  5. Thank you Grace!! We don’t know each other at all, but I needed to read that so badly! We are created in His image!!!

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  6. Being able too connect with your story makes me emotional. I battle with my insecurities about how I look all the time, all day everyday. My boyfriend has been the best boyfriend I’ve had thus far because not only is he a child of god but he tells me everyday all day how beautiful I am, too stop beating myself up with harsh words because too him I’m a Queen, his queen, who loves every curve, every stretch mark, each pound placed on my body since day one of our relationship and with hearing the words of Jesus through the message youu shared makes me smile, like yes I can do this I can be beautiful in my own skin. I pray too god for him too continue showing me the worthiness that I most of the time fail too see. Continuing too let go of my horrible past and push through for what god has planned for me because my self worth means everything. I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me~ Philippians 4:13

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    1. Wow brea that is so awesome of Him to tell you that truth. Never forget though you are beautiful because of Christ, not because of what the boy thinks. You are worthy and loved by the king of kings never forget new friend ❤ God bless and praying for you to remember that each morning! You are so wise and strong

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  7. This one hit me pretty hard, I had a similar situation happen to me in high school. I avoided certain foods, eating less overall and noticed a similar bidy change. I have suffered with body image issues and low self esteem as long as I can remember. It is always comforting to know someone else struggles with a similar issue. Thanks for inspiring young women to love the body God gave them. Love your blog by the way! The woman leading a bible study at our school shared your blog about not being worthy so I thought I would try to read more. Keep spreading the news.

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  8. This is like lovely. I need prayer on the subject of body image and my dedication to the Lord. Please pray for me. Love you, sister!
    -Becca

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  9. I am absolutely in awe of this Grace. I know I am only thirteen but this has helped me so much. I wasted all my time of my physical appearance and it should’ve been on my heart. thank you❤️❤️

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  10. Wonderful post that hopefully reaches many more people. I wish we could all follow these seemingly simple steps to being happier with ourselves instead of allowing weight and other physical attributes control

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  11. as a mother of two young women… thank you. as a woman who still struggles with this at age 49… thank you. as a sister in Christ who needs to constantly preach the gospel to myself… thank you.

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  12. Grace, your words are always eloquent & true! Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful, vulnerable way. I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject of bikini vs. one-piece for spring break & summer! Any thoughts? Feel free to message me or even write a post! I know it’s a controversy 😏

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