Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Muffin Tops & Kingdom Work

MAN WARNING: This will be a decidedly female post. Let me apologize to my male readers and assure them they need read no further. These are the murky waters of women's talk.

With Jude's first birthday, came the final break of a wonderfully smooth year of nursing. He drinks his whole milk from a sippy cup and eats off the kid's menu at restaurants. He's made every adjustment beautifully.

This has affected me in two significant ways: 1) For a few weeks I was feeling a bit blue, struggling to make up for the lack of happy hormones in my body. 2) In a matter of days, I've jumped a few pounds on the little scale in our bathroom.

Let's talk about the latter impact.

Those extra pounds mean a few things. My jeans are snugger, my swimwear looks pudgier, and in spite of my running efforts, a year's worth of eating what I wanted with no impact what so ever on my figure, is catching up with me.

Some of you are rolling your eyes. Let me clarify, this is not an "I am fat" lament. I'm not fat. But, weight is an area where I struggle just like the rest of the women I know.

This first began as a sophomore in college, when I gained about 15lbs in one semester. I was studying in Austria and developed a strong affection for Milka white chocolate bars and bread with butter. Since those days, God has worked significantly in my life in the areas of eating and body image. The struggle ebbs and wanes just like most of my struggles do. It's a journey too long for this little post. For now, let's just say that my post-pregnancy body has given me some fodder for deeper refinement.

I found some helpful thoughts recently in Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. I hope it will encourage you as it has me.

"Our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages....Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work....So realize that your body is a testimony to the world of God's design. Carry the extra weight joyfully until you can loose it joyfully. Carry the scars joyfully as you carry the fruit of them. Do not resent the damages that your children left on your body. Just like a guitar mellows and sounds better with age and scratches, so your body can more fully praise God having been used for His purposes. So don't resent it, enjoy it."


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post, Laura--thank you for sharing! :)

Lee said...

Did she really say loose the weight? =) Sorry you know I can't resist a lose/loose situation. It's a win, win. Or something =)
Anyway, you are beautiful and I'm sure those few pounds would never be noticeable to anyone but you. But I don't know any woman who doesn't have some issue with their body, even the small women. I remember getting to that part of the book and feeling both free and compelled at the same time. Compelled to keep going and do what I can to stay in shape, but free to grow older and a little more wrinkled, and let the baby weight come off in its own time.

Lee said...

oh and speaking of living out the country. . .let's not even talk about what going to Spain did to some of us that summer! Remember all the bread we ate?! I was as round as I have ever been after all that late night eating and so many siestas.

Laurin said...

Okay. I'm dumb: what are muffin tops? Something on our body?

In Definition said...

laurin. i am laughing so hard....a muffin top is the fat that hangs over your belt line:)

lee....she said lose:)

Lee said...

I knew she didn't really say "loose." I was just being annoying.
Laurin, I laughed out loud at your comment!!!! Clearly you have no knowledge of muffin tops because you have a slim and trim waistline and always have!

Lori said...

It was hard for me after I was done nursing Peyton. Unfortunately as swimsuit season has rolled around again & I've been going to the gym less, it's been bothering me too. Ugh!!! Dumb body image problems!!!

Eowyn's Heir said...

Heheheh.. next time, nurse longer!! :)