TRUTH TALK: I used to photoshop my body.
Wow, friends today I am coming to you with my second ever TRUTH TALK post and this time, it is a VIDEO…. *happy dance*. Today’s topic is deeply and truly from the heart. As I have mentioned to you before, this series is meant to reveal some hard things I USED to believe about myself, rough things I’ve been through, or some current things I STILL struggle with. I will then share the TRUTHS I have now learned about these situations and things. My hope is to shine light on some areas we often do NOT want to talk about, but often DO struggle with.
ALSO, if you want to subscribe to my youtube channel, I would LOVE you forever. I will be releasing #truthtalk videos bi-weekly as a means to get ultra up close and personal with you lovelies!
So here we are today on this lovelier than lovely topic. I feel like I say these words and it feels like a bomb just went off. For anyone on social media, it is the ultimate GASP to admit to this unfortunate truth…. but the reality is, I HAVE STRUGGLED WITH IT. And, I know for a fact, many on social media struggle with it behind closed doors. So why did this happen? How did I succumb to this awful faux pax of “photoshopping myself”?
Well. let’s start by defining what I am talking about. By “photoshopping my body, I do not mean that I changed the colors int he photo, upped the brightness, reduced the warmth, opened the shadows, increased saturation. Basic photo color edits is NOT what I am referring to. That kind of editing seeks to only enhance the beauty that is already in the photo.
Rather, what I am truly referring to by “photoshopping” is actually that I quite literally have edited parts of my body so as to appear different to people online. I wanted to look more ideal. I wanted to look like the girl I pictured in my head would look. I was not satisfied with the thickness of my thighs, or the measurement of my waist. I did not love the softness of my jaw line, or the fat around my arms. I hated how large my calves were. As much as it quite literally pains me to write these words right now, I feel like it is so very important.
You see, I was tapping into the lie I found through comparison. I compared myself to others on social media. AND, I compared myself to what I USED to look like in the past. I used to make excuses for myself thinking, “5 years ago I was perfectly skinny and didn’t even have to try. Since I have looked like that before, it’s okay to pretend I look like that now… right?!” Wrong, Kait, so VERY VERY veryyyy wrong. I tapped into the lie that the way my body was NOW was not good enough. When it comes down to it, I felt embarrassed to show the “real” me, for fear of what OTHERS would think.
As a blogger and social media brand, this is a SUPER difficult moment for me to share with you. Admitting that some of my photos both on this blog, and on social media have been edited to showcase my body in a way that seems more desirable actually pains me because I know the unhealthy state of my mind and heart while I was doing these things. Ugh. just Ugh. It is tragic to think about, but I truly hope you see my heart in why I am doing this.
Underneath the surface of it all, there are a few deeper elements. On one side, I was struggling with health issues and imbalances. My body was constantly inflamed and for no apparent reason at all I would gain 5 pounds in 2 days. I would be eating the same, but it didn’t matter. Even if I got the perfect amount of sleep and reduced ALL stress in my life for the week, the inflammation would not subside. It can be overly frustrating to eat right, sleep well, and practice mindful rest and relaxation and STILL not be able to shake inflammation in your body.
Another behind the scenes look at what was going on: I was struggling with self worth. Though it ended years ago, I had been through an abusive relationship that truly brought me to my lowest. I have spoken about it before, but in realizing the actual desperation for my desire of LOVE, I cried out to the Lord and desperately grasped for Him when I had absolutely nothing else. He answered [of course] and comforted me. But there was a long journey ahead. I spent years trying to truly let self love sink into my heart and soul. I have to say, deep self love is a process that takes time and a ton of conscious effort.
The reality is, life likes to tell us we are not good enough. Every day we are sent mixed messages that we are unworthy, and that our bodies are not up to par in terms of “cultural” standards. Social media plays a huge role in perpetuating these lies because it allows us a window into the so called “perfect view” of others and their lifestyles. What it doesn’t often show you is the status of their HEARTS.Click To Tweet
Someone could be posting a picture of themselves on white sand beaches of the Caribbean with perfectly chiseled abs and a flawless tan…. but they might not be telling you that they just went through a breakup and have barely been able to eat from the grief of the heart ache.
Someone might be posting a photo of themselves at the gym with a perfectly toned everything… but they might not be telling you that they secretly are never satisfied with their body and have become obsessed with perfecting every aspect of it.
Someone might be posting a selfie of their gorgeous face and flawless makeup… but they might not be telling you that they have been struggling with acne for years and rarely go a day without makeup because they don’t feel beautiful without it.
I am not saying this happens every time. BUT what I mean to show you is that we fall into a place of comparison with people where we are only getting one HALF OF THE STORY.
The TRUTH that I learned through this is that there is a BATTLE we are fighting when it comes to comparison and self love. When we compare, we take away what we have CLAIM over, which is the truth about who God says we are, and how He sees us. Every time we engage with toxic thinking that we are “fat” or “not beautiful” or “gross” or that we “wished we looked like that” or “could never pull that off”… we are feeding our souls with lies about ourselves. In essence, we are letting lies tell the narrative about what we see about ourselves, and we are in the process pushing away the truths that God tells us about ourselves.The TRUTH that I learned through this is that there is a BATTLE we are fighting when it comes to comparison and self love. When we compare, we take away what we have CLAIM over, which is the truth about who God says we are, and how He… Click To Tweet
Some truths that I have truly learned through this process are the following…
I am wonderfully crafted and created for fearlessness. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
I was CHOSEN for something great. “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
I am different, we are different because we NEED one another. “So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” Romans 12: 5 MSG
I am BEAUTIFUL, just the way I am. [thanks’ Bruno Mars!] “How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are!” Song of Solomon 1:15
So today, in ending this ultra vulnerable #TRUTHTALK series, I want to end with a note of sincere repentance for my comparison and shame and guilt for every moment of doubting my worthiness and my love. Today I want to end with a note of encouragement that I have chosen to embrace the woman God crafted me to be.
APOLOGY LETTER TO MY BODY.
I had to start it off by saying you are lovely, because you truly are lovelier than lovely.
But here’s the deal. I know I haven’t treated you as lovely in the past. I feel it wouldn’t be sufficient to just call you lovely, unless I actually earned the place to call you that now.
You see, what I was doing to you was so unfair. I was frustrated with you. I saw you as ugly. I felt shame because of you. I tried to cover you up. You were the one thing that brought me down, and I began to resent you for it. I was afraid to be seen with you by certain people, and you knew it. I even try to morph you to hide the truth about how you made me feel to the public world.
I give and care and love with my whole heart to so many people, but I never did it with you. I didn’t love you, because you brought me shame. I didn’t care about you because you were not doing what I wanted. I stopped giving to you because I thought you’d never change. It must have felt insufferable to be treated as second best all of the time. It must have been exhausting to be compared to an impossible measure.
I was the worst friend to you. If I were you, I would have given up on me a long time ago. But here you are, standing strong, loving me anyways, giving me a way to continue on living this gift of a life. When I really think about it, you have shown me what it looks like to never give up on someone despite their constant wrongdoings. You’ve taken the hits time after time again. You’ve never abandoned me.
So when I think about all of that, I am brought to tears. THAT, is true love.
So for that I have to say to you….I am so very sorry. From the bottom of my heart.
I am sorry for hating you. For hiding you. For speaking poorly about you to others. For resenting you. I am sorry for treating you like an enemy. For comparing you to others. For voicing every single flaw. For
To be more specific, I every part of you should know what I am sorry for.
I am sorry butt for never thinking you were firm enough. I am sorry thighs for hating on your width and despising your stretch marks. I am sorry calves for thinking you were too bulky. I am sorry love handles for wishing you’d disappear. I am sorry tummy for hating on your flab. I am sorry torso for thinking you were too short. I am sorry arms for never thinking you were thin enough. I am sorry torso for thinking you were too short.I am sorry jaw for thinking you weren’t defined enough. I am sorry face for thinking you were too round. I am sorry skin for thinking you were too red and scarred. I am sorry hair for thinking you were too thin. I am sorry BODY for thinking you were not enough.
The thing I realize now is, you are enough. The thing I can finally see is that you are beautiful JUST the way you are.
AND YOU and your body are beautiful JUST the way they are!