• Janelle

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Amen to that!! I lost 65 pounds and still felt terrible about myself and then it clicked to work on the me that was out of shape inside. Great post and great reminder to always be working out who we are where it really does matter and where it really will make us happy.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Janelle, Thanks for sharing your experience, Janelle. I love the way you described the ‘you on the inside.’ I don’t know why it’s so easy to overlook that part of us, but it is.

    Hugs,
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I read and reflect on Psalm 139 a lot. Reading this reminds me that God created me just as I am for a specific purpose; it reminds me that He loves me and, if the God of the universe loves me, that helps me to love me too.

    “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen, That’s beautiful, SnoWhite. I like to read Proverbs 31 and Jeremiah 29:11. They always remind me to have faith and to trust what’s in front of me.

    Hugs,
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • fat lazy celiac

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Inspiring post!

    [Reply]

  • Christine

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing your struggles. There are so many of us out there constantly judging ourselves. I have constant struggles with my body image and I believe I always will. I lost 33lbs, have great muscle tone and body fat percentage and can not afford to lose any more or I might just disapear : ) but yet now I focus on the other areas that are not as tight and perky from having 2 children 17 months apart and nursing both for over a year. I don’t focus as much as I should on how I feel amazingly healthy and I am feeding my family amazing healthy food that is not only nurishing but tastes amazing. I have been setting schedules for myself and a to do list every day for cleaning, cooking, bible reading,kids time (fun activities) and me time (exercising, reading etc) so that I can continue to grow and focus on the more important aspects of my life my kids and my husband. I really enjoy reading your blog I like how real you are and I love your focus on a healthy balanced life! Thank you for touching my life and helping me change my sugar habits for life!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Christine, Isn’t it wonderful how when we’re honest we happen to be so much alike? It’s sometimes difficult to drop the veil of perfection and show my true self (ugly stuff too!!) but it’s who I am. The neat part is that I get to connect with other women who have the courage to be authentic, like you. So glad you’re enjoying your family – we only have today. :)

    Much love, Christine.
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Tara

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Bravo! to you for sharing your healing journey to help others to heal as well. Sharing these insights is definitely part of your current personal healing. Kudos for recognizing it and bringing it forth!

    [Reply]

  • Ashlie

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    What a great post! After losing about 50 pounds gradually over the past 5 years I don’t love the way I look (who truly does?), but I’ve learned that what’s most is important is feeling good (I have quite severe irritable bowel syndrome), energized, and healthy not looking perfect. Of course, a lot of what makes me feel good also keeps me on the thinner side (fresh produce, no refined/processed foods, lean proteins, probiotic rich foods, etc.) – but I see that benefit as secondary to feeling good. There are some things that no diet can change (e.g., my nose), things that one could always choose to harp on as a negative aspect of her appearance, but after years of suffering from digestive issues and always feeling tired, feeling good came to overshadow all of that. It certainly helps that I have an amazing husband who always makes me feel like I am the most beautiful woman in the world. I do have a resolution this year, but it has nothing to do with weight. I am setting aside 10 minutes (not much I know) to meditate everyday, to simply slow down, breath, and clear my mind. I am a worry wart, so this year is about working on that :) .

    [Reply]

  • Julie Bates

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Amen, Amy! Those are the things we should really focus on in life, instead of what size we wear or how good we look like in a tank top, because it will never be perfect no matter how much weight we lose! I appreciate your honesty and your point of view – a great reminder for me to be happy with me :) just how God made me!

    [Reply]

  • Heather @Gluten-Free Cat

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    What an inspiring post! I think it’s nearly impossible to live in today’s world and not struggle with body image issues. We are constantly bombarded with who we should be and what we should look like. I echo SnoWhite’s reminder from Psalm 139. We ARE fearfully and wonderfully made. And I think sometimes we forget that. Thanks for reminding us to focus on who we are and how we can use who we are to bless others.

    [Reply]

  • Linda

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    May I just say that you are an amazing woman!

    I’m so glad to have met you and am looking forward to getting better acquainted.

    Blessings to you!
    Linda

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Linda, The feeling is completely mutual, Linda. Can’t wait for our next gluten-free gathering.

    Hugs,
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Gluten Free Betsy

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    This was just what I needed to read! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They definitely echo mine and you worded them perfectly.

    I also agree with Heather and SnoWhite about Psalms 139. I always try to remember Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Gluten Free Betsy, My friends recently gave me a card with Philippians 4:13 on it…I tucked it in the back of my bible. It’s one of my guiding philosophies.

    Hugs, Betsy.
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Christine

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I love how you’ve come to the realization that how you view yourself depends heavily on how you think of yourself as a person and not just what you look like.

    I know I have body image issues – much better than they used to be – but I know that part of it has to do with me not liking myself in general. Fortunately, compared to even two years ago, I’ve grown a lot and I’m a lot more comfortable with myself and who I am. I think it’s one of those journeys that continues to happen your entire life.

    Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Christine, Progress is a good thing, Christine. And the fact that you can see it is progress, too! I am always reminding myself that the journey is the fun part, that constantly evolving is part of my lifetime work.

    I remember telling my dad that I just wanted to get finished with decorating my house so I could say I was done. He was really sick at the time and knew the value of life – and he said to me, “Amy, why are you always in such a hurry to get there? What are you going to do when you’re done with everything? Enjoy the process.” Words from a very wise man.

    Hugs,
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Ricki

    posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    What a fabulous post, Amy. After years (decades!) of really liking myself only during my “thin” phases, I finally began to look at things the way you describe here. Of course I always knew that the person inside is most important–isn’t that how I feel about my friends and loved ones, regardless of how they look on the outside?–but it’s not always easy to embrace that realization about oneself. Thanks for this insightful, honest and inspiring post. So glad I got to know you this past year! xo Ricki

    PS Replied to your last email earlier this week–hope you got it! :)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Ricki, Yes!! Got the e-mail…have had no time. I’ve been in class all week. Like 27 hours since Tuesday. Will respond tomorrow.

    I’m so glad we got to know each other too…our journeys are so similar. And, yes, hard to embrace this stuff for ourselves but so easy to do it for everyone else. What’s that about???

    Much love!
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Saundra

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this post Amy. Your insights are really true. I have many favorite quotes,but one that comes to mind immediately is, “Do not focus on who you are not, instead focus on who you are and who you can become.” I gained about 20+ pounds a number of years ago. I have fibromyalgia and epstein barr virus — both autoimmune diseases. I wasn’t active, was eating wrong, and getting older. I worked hard to lose it and, like you, still wasn’t happy at how I looked. We had a family reunion and I still wouldn’t put on a swimsuit. I have sisters and sil who are thin and tall. I am short (5’3″) and small boned so I can’t carry very much weight in order to ever look thin. I had a big relapse in my health and gained the weight back and more! And here I am today, trying to eat healthy and trying to get healthy so I can get through the day. I’m realizing that’s what is important — being healthy rather than what size I wear or what the scale says. Of course I would love to lose weight, but eating right and keeping healthy is what has become the most important. Thanks to all who share here and to the references made from Proverbs.

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Well said Amy! Your blog (and recipes!) are such an encouragement to me . . . what a blessing you are! =)

    [Reply]

  • Mary

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Excellent post and insights, Amy! I have lost 50 lbs in the last 3 years and still have about 30 to go. It is such a process to align the inner with the outer. But it is a journey and there is no timeline when it has to be done, just to live in the moment and enjoy the life we have. Thanks for that reminder!

    [Reply]

  • Julianne

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

    We ARE fearfully and wonderfully made…we are body, mind and spirit all intricately connected into the unique person we are. As we work on a healthier body, we too must nourish our minds and spirit with healthy words, thoughts and actions. It’s all part of the healing process…a journey into the wholeness God created us to be. “Be who you are, and be it well” is a favorite quote of mine…and it is in this heart realization that we are created through love, with love and in love that we can then look in the mirror and see ourselves through the eyes of God – a creation of love that becomes a gift of love to others. Thank you Amy for your heartfelt post and sharing with us your wonderful inspirations that are leading you to wholeness. May they be a blessing to all who read your words!

    [Reply]

  • Annette

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    be who you are….everyone else is taken. :)

    [Reply]

  • Miz Helen

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Well said Miz Amy! Its an inside job that makes our outside better and you are beautiful inside out. Thank you for sharing your inside today and everyday with women all over the world to make their life a little better.
    God Bless You and special love!

    [Reply]

  • Christianne

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Don’t know how I missed this yesterday Amy! I love the fact that you decided to like the way you showed up in the world. Now that is something I can do and live with. Thank you so much for your gift of showing up for me each and every time!
    Big hugs,
    Christianne

    [Reply]

  • Pat @ Elegantly Gluten-Free

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you, Amy, for sharing this, and also thanks to the rest of you who have commented. You’re all inspiring!

    It’s so easy to recognize how unique and wonderful our friends are on the inside…because we don’t ‘see’ their insides like we see our own.

    Amy, you mentioned such valuable ways to show inner beauty — love in action. I can’t think of a better foundation for true confidence…confidence that we are precious.

    [Reply]

  • Cristina

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Amy,
    Thank you so much for sharing this post! I was diagnosed with celiac disease 4 years ago and since then have struggled constantly with my weight. Upon being diagnosed and changing my diet to gluten free (and mostly sugar free), I found that I gained weight very quickly, and learning to love my body as it is now and as it’s actually supposed to be because it’s healthy has been a HUGE struggle. As an undiagnosed (sickly) child and teenager, I was always too thin, and although I yearned to be taller and have curves, being “tiny” was a part of my identity that I hadn’t realized until all of a sudden I wasn’t. Eating “healthy” and natural foods, I found, made me gain weight, of course because they do not contain gluten. I was diagnosed when I was 18, and the weight gain (25 pounds, 10 of which I needed) made me feel like someone else. I soon resented my body (and myself) and lost so much confidence. Although I have since lost all the weight, gained some back, and am now at a healthy 110 pounds, I still struggle with body confidence everyday. Sometimes my fiance asks me why I am so un-confident, and I know that low self confidence and poor body image go hand and hand. I want to tell him that I just don’t feel like “me”, that I am supposed to be super skinny and not have cellulite and not have overly-muscular thighs, etc… but that would not be the truth, and I’m on a path toward healing and acceptance not only of my body but of my self. And as you have stated, being the right person is so important! In a book by Joyce Meyer on being a confident woman, she shares that God created each of us to be who we are, not to be someone else, and now every time negative thoughts about myself or my body creep in, I think of that, and it helps me ignore the nagging negative voice telling me that I have too much cellulite and that I’m fat, and helps me look at myself in the mirror OBJECTIVELY and see how healthy I am, how wonderfully I have been blessed in life, and so many of my accomplishments!

    [Reply]

  • Alta

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Amy, this post brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful – thank you so much for sharing. I think we all struggle with body image issues – I know I still do – but we do need to remember what is most important. I feel I make progress all the time – my shift in focus towards a healthy, strong body (and not the quest to “be skinny”) has made for a healthier self-image. But you’re so right – focusing on WHO we want to be, not how we look, is so much more attainable and so much more fulfilling, peaceful, and powerful. Much love!

    [Reply]

  • Nicole

    posted on January 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks, Amy, for the gift of self disclosure. Your story is a well-timed encouragement to me, as I struggle with all of these things too. It is the inside of us that is expressed outwardly in healthy lifestyle and care for others. Thanks for the reminder, as it is a fight to remember this, especially at the gym and while watching television.

    Hugs to you,
    Nicole

    [Reply]

  • nicola @ gfreemom

    posted on January 23, 2011 at 1:07 am

    It’s good to be perfectly imperfect. On reading this, however, I’d argue that you are perfectly perfect. A beautiful post and a true inspiration. I hope everyone remembers to smile at the person at the check-out next time. ;-)

    [Reply]

  • Brandis

    posted on January 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Amazing post! I’m going to share it on my blog, Facebook… everywhere I can think of. It’s something that every woman needs to read. The heart of it is that Women (generally speaking) want to make everyone happy and not worry about their own needs, and the result is stress, anxiety, and insecurity (because we listen to what other people say we should be like and what other people say is wrong with us). In fact, we can serve people better (which is really what we want to do) if we take care of ourselves, love ourselves, and work on being better people. And you have expressed that in a way that I have never been able to- this post is about so much more than body image. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  • cheryl harris

    posted on January 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    love, loved this post! thank you so much for opening up.
    I haven’t given enough though to self love lately, and this post is a great reminder of how important it is.

    [Reply]

  • Amanda

    posted on January 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Amy, thank you so much for sharing. With all of the reality shows, self help books, and the like out there that promise to turn people into the body they want to be, I find it refreshing to hear you talk about the struggle to also be the person you want to be. I think a lot of us can relate to you!!

    [Reply]

  • Cara

    posted on January 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Wonderful post, Amy. I can relate on so many levels. From losing 70lbs and still not having the perfect body (and isn’t it funny how so many people don’t understand this?!) to trying every day to be a little kinder, a little smarter, and a little more accepting of others. While this may require a little extra effort, it makes me feel a heck of a lot better (most of the time.)

    [Reply]

  • Debi

    posted on January 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Beautifully said, Amy. Our body image really is about how we feel about ourselves, regardless of what we think others think about our bodies. I’ve always done the positive things you are doing. But, I just got to the point where I didn’t care anymore. My thyroid made me gain 20 pounds in months? I don’t care. Well, I did care in the midst of trying to get healthy. But, I realized I was going to keep fighting a battle of weight I wasn’t going to win if I resisted. As soon as I stopped focusing on it, everything fell into place. I did what I knew I should do without focusing on how much weight I lost each week. I’ll go a month without weighing myself. As long as I FEEL good, that’s what matters.

    [Reply]

  • Alex@A Moderate Life

    posted on January 25, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Ames! Oh baby cakes, If I could hop on a plane and come down there and give you a HUGE hug right now I would! What a wonderful, heartfelt, intimate look at your thought processes that brought you to love yourself both inside and out. I am in tears here and I would LOVE it if you would let me share it on my Baby Steps to a Rockin Life which I share on wednesdays, so more people can understand that small steps in the right direction to loving yourself make all the difference! Kudos to you for your candor and for being the WONDERFUL person you are! HUGS! Alex

    [Reply]

  • Johanna B @ Gluten-Free Kansas

    posted on January 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

    This is a great post. I shared the link with Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point. She writes about body image often.

    [Reply]

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