What is the perfect size? Does the perfect size really exist? So many ladies say “If only I could be a size ___, or if only I could weigh ___ I would be happy.” It seems that there is a perfect size and weight that could magically make us all happy.
Guess what ladies? There is no such thing as a perfect size. Why? Because none of us were created to be the same. Isn’t that wonderful? The Good Lord decided to create us in all shapes and sizes. He created some tall and slender and others He created short and sqautty. It is the beauty in His creation. How boring would it be if we all looked the same?
For some, a size 6 looks great. For others, a size 12 or 14 is just as beautiful. Let’s also not forget that a size 6 in one store may equal a size 8 in another store. Even after a 40lb loss, I can tell you that I have 2 different size shorts/ pants in my closet and 3 different sizes in shirts. I recently watched a video created be a lady who went into a department store and tried on multiple pairs of pants in a size 16. Not one single pair of pants fit her the same. Some were great fits, while others were too big and some too small. Even if you get into a certain size in on store, you may not in another and it’s ok.
I do know that if I want to feel great about myself, I head into Eddie Bauer and go straight to the clearance wall. The clothes in there run much larger to size than most other stores and I walk out feeling like a million dollars based on the smaller size I can buy. The Loft tends to run pretty true to size. The Faded Glory brand at Wal-Mart runs small and I loathe trying on that brand.
Society and the media tells us that we need to be a size 2 and weigh 100 lbs. Reality is that most of us are no where near that size. They tell us that if we look like that then we will be loved and have all the friends we could ever desire. Again, reality paints a totally different picture. Think about your inner circle of friends. What do they look like? Are any of them what the media tells you is “perfect?” My guess the answer to that is “no.” When I look at my friends, I have 1 who is tiny, but she is shorter than me and petite. She also runs almost every day. I have another friend who is larger than me, but I have always thought of her as beautiful and probably more beautiful than most of my other friends. My other friends come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are larger and others fall somewhere in the middle. The funny thing is, I don’t really stop to think about their looks when I am with them. Why? It doesn’t really matter. When we look at our friends, we see their hearts and this is what we value the most about each other. The best thing is that our worth is not caught up in our size.
So, how do we know what size we “should” be? Can we go by the BMI (body mass index)? Well, not really. The BMI was actually created for European males. They tend to be leaner and they are MEN! Women were blessed with more curves and a higher percentage of body fat because our bodies were created to carry children and we need the extra fat. Can we go by the height/ weight charts that so many doctors use? Nope. Not those either. According to that chart I was still 21lbs overweight even at my lowest weight last summer. If I weighed what that chart says I should, I would look severely underweight and unhealthy.
Again, how do you know what is healthy? Your body will tell you, based on some of the following things:
1) Do you have a healthy blood pressure? This means is it 120/80 or less? A little higher than this puts in you in the pre-hypertension category and a great deal higher, 140/90 can mean that you are at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
2) What is your cholesterol level? HDL (good) should be above 60 and your LDL (bad) should be below 100.
3) What is your resting heart rate? A healthy adult will have a resting heart rate somewhere between 60 and 100 BPM.
4) Are you healthy or do you tend to stay sick?
5) Do you have the energy you need to take care of the basic needs in your every day life or are you always exhausted?
There is so much more to physical health than a number on a scale or on a piece of clothing in a store. If you take 2 ladies and place them side by side, with one being a size 4 and the other being a size 12/14, most people would automatically assume that the smaller of the 2 is the most healthy. In some cases you may be correct, but in too many other cases you would be completely wrong. Reality is that the smaller person may be blessed with a high metabolism, but due to what she eats and her lack of exercise, she may not be at all healthy. The one who is a size 12/14 may eat healthy meals and work out several times a week.
Too many ladies spend too much time obsessing on their size and neglect to take height, frame and build into consideration. For some this may lead to unhealthy thought patterns, unhealthy behaviors and for some it may it even lead to eating disorders (a blog post coming soon). It’s time we redefine beauty and focus on health, rather than size. If you need to make some changes, then make those changes (see previous blog post). If you are healthy, but struggle because the number on the scale and the size of your clothes don’t look like you think they should, it’s time examine your definition of health, learn healthy self-talk and learn to love your body the way the Lord created it.
13 For it was You who created my inward parts,You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know [this] very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. (Psalms 139:13-15)