We have a rule in our home, no F-word. No, not the 4-letter word...
Lent, a time of repentance, fasting and reflection; or a second shot at that New Year's resolution. I pondered: Is there anything I'd be willing to give up for 6 weeks? Reaching for a snack above the refrigerator, the thought crossed my mind, "ugh, you're so fat". How rude! In that moment I knew what I needed to give up and it wasn't the salt water taffy; I'm giving up the F-word: F-A-T
In the beginning I would accidentally let it slip out and immediately cover my mouth. I came up with alternative offensive things to say; It was amazing how hard my brain tried to find synonyms for "fat"! I became painfully conscious how many times a day I negatively thought of myself, and not just about my physical characteristics. It made me sad. Then, I noticed just how nonchalantly I spoke of other women. Every time I looked in the mirror, walked down the street, opened a magazine or turned on the TV, I was acutely aware of how mean I was being to myself and my judgement of others.
Midway through Lent, I had stopped shaming myself out loud and by the end I observed that my thinking started to change. In just 6 weeks I discovered compassion and confidence. I wasn't so focused on my "flaws" in the mirror anymore. I learned beauty really does start on the inside and that true beauty is kindness towards yourself and to others. I once saw a quote embroidered on a pillow that stuck with me, "Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions". In my case I had to create a better habit with my words first.
A year later I found out I was pregnant. When I learned I was having a daughter, I knew my 40 day commitment needed to be a lifelong vow. It breaks my heart to imagine my baby girl one day staring in a mirror, feeling disgusted with her thighs, thinking her belly isn't flat enough or her arm looks fat from the side; or even worse, less-than or inadequate. Daughters look up to their mommas and they think we're beautiful, despite how we feel about it. Imagine their confusion when they learn that's not good enough for us; imagine the bar that sets for them? My daughter is only 1 year old but I refuse to step on a scale in front of her, even if she might not understand what I'm doing. I try really hard not to shame my body or intelligence in front of her. I want her to learn from me what confidence looks like and how beautiful feels.
So I challenge you too, to give up the F-word and see if that one little action might shift your thinking... and if for no other reason than, it's just rude!