Destiny In Bloom

Redefined

Redefined

posted on June 7th, 2010 / by Melissa Aulds / 20 Comments

Ever since I was a little girl one of my main objectives was to be beautiful. I wanted to be Ariel with her long red hair, tiny waist, and perfect …. Seashells. This desire to be found beautiful is natural but as I got older it took on an unfortunate bent. In high school I was completely preoccupied with looking as good as I possibly could and drove my parents crazy with my vain and shallow pursuits. When I became pregnant with my son I was 17 years old and very slim. Everything about me was slim except for my very … er, generous, behind. By the time my son was born I had gained nearly 60 pounds and there was nothing tiny about me, the rest of me had finally caught up with my backside.

To this very young, self-absorbed, and shallow now 18 year old it was utterly unacceptable. I gave the whole ‘diet and exercise’ thing a flimsy try but I didn’t get instant results and within a few months I had become bulimic and was severely abusing diet pills.

The first five years or so it wasn’t even a fight, I had no problem with my eating ‘habits’ as I called them. It wasn’t true Bulimia, I reasoned because I could stop if I wanted to. I just didn’t want to. I had found the perfect solution. I could eat whatever I want and stay very thin. I scorned other women with their self control and diets. No, I had found a better way, I was sure of it.

All during this time I was new Christian, seeking God and trying to become more like Him, but it’s a process. I do not discount the validity of my Salvation back then just because I was stupid. It was sin, but at first I didn’t even know it! He is gentle and walks us forward into new levels with Him as we continue to draw nearer to Him.

It wasn’t until I had been a Christian for nearly six years that conviction began to really weigh on me. I felt God speaking to me daily telling me I was beautiful to Him and would remain so without my ‘special habits’ if I would just trust Him. It was another few months before I even made the decision to stop and found to my complete surprise that it wasn’t just a matter of deciding to. It took me picking up my sword, so to speak, and fighting with everything I had.

I brought everything in to the light. I told everyone; my husband, my parents, my friends, and life group ladies, anyone that I might possibly be around when I ate. I told them all my tricks to avoid detection and signs to watch for. I withheld no avenue by which I might later, in weakness, continue my destructive habits. But even so it still took several years to reach any level of freedom in that area and then came the really hard part … the part I’ve been wrestling with for the last two years. Accepting the weight I can healthily attain. *sigh*

For some reason I see beauty easily in others. I love me some plus size beauty, hotties with ample breasts, soft curves, and big backsides are easy for me to appreciate when I see them. I root for and cheer on any plus size woman I see taking on the entertainment world or stepping out in to the public eye. Even within my church I get really excited when I see women who don’t fit the size 2 mold on our worship team at church or joining the dancers for our annual Christmas musical at Gateway. You don’t have to be a tiny woman to know how to movvvvvvvve it. :)

But when it comes to myself all that evaporates and  for the longest time I would get depressed and just SO upset when my clothes from before didn’t fit me.  When I stepped into my latest level of freedom from eating disorders my weight settled at one size larger than before. It was just big enough of a gain that nothing fits quite right but not bad enough that I had the undeniable need to get new clothes. So I continued to try to ‘diet’ the right way and get back to my previous size. Over and over I would try to squeeze into my old clothes and barely manage- just to feel disgusting as the clothes squeezed all the wrong places and created bulges that just affirmed my feelings of disgust.

It wasn’t until recently that God began to show me that for the last two years I have been praying a prayer for less than His best in regards to myself. I had been praying for Him to help me lose the 10-15 pounds I had gained when I quit my destructive habits for good. I had been begging Him to help me fit in my old clothes again. I would strive and strive to try to get back to the weight I had maintained while Bulimic, eating the very minimum of what I could and still stay in the ‘healthy’ caloric count.

It was only within the last month that I began to see that what I need is to ask Him to redefine Beauty for me.  Where did I get my definition in the first place? From Ariel. Perpetually 16 Ariel. Never having borne children Ariel.  Ummm, I had never really thought about it, but that’s really stupid considering …  She’s a freaking CARTOON! It makes me laugh but I had never realized that as a child I had set my ideal for beauty based on the Disney princesses with their long flowing hair, (but I am still SO not cutting my hair!) tiny waists, and perfect breasts.  They have perfect skin and manicured nails; they have beautiful voices and always win the prince. To me that was beauty.

I’m not bashing the Disney princesses, I think they’re fun; the damage was done by me. When I became a Christian I never went back and asked Christ to redefine some very important issues for me. The main two being beauty and sexuality (but that’s a story for another blog). So I tried to fit my new self into my old definitions and it brought nothing but pain. The world’s definition for a lot of very important words is a complete mess.

So here I am, starting from scratch, asking my Father to help me discover what He says is beautiful.  I am relearning and having to take every thought about myself captive and hold it up to the measuring stick I have in the Word to see if it’s a keeper or not. It’s a lot of work but I am confident that as I discover His truth, I will discover again that the freedom I have attained is only the tip of the iceberg- He has so much more for you and I!

20 Responses to “Redefined”

  1. You are so beautiful and courageous! Thank you for the transparency with which you write.

  2. Love the shout out to the curvy girl on the worship team–that’s me! I will take your compliment and carry it with me always because being on the other side of the weight scale as you, I too struggle with seeing myself as beautiful. It’s a constant battle with my weight and I feel like I am losing most of the time. However, I know God, my husband, my children and my true friends see the beauty in me and that gives me hope and the courage to get up on that platform every weekend at church and worship my King in this plus size body! Knowing that you, a teeny weeny beautiful dancer sees me as beautiful means more than you could ever know. Thank you, thank you!!! And yes, I will be joining you the next time you need dancers cuz I can move it no matter how big “it” is!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your story Melissa! You are beautiful!!!!!

  4. Mel, this is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl. For whatever reason some people in my family can eat "whatever they want" and not gain a single pound and I can look at the food they're eating and gain 10 lbs! :) I am learning to find a healthy balance and not obsess over being a certain weight. It is very hard though! Thanks for being open and honest and encouraging me with what the Lord is teaching you! Love you!

  5. Marci…I love you so much!!! I too can move "it" no matter how big "it" is:) woo hoo!!!!!

  6. I love your story!

  7. Wow, Mel! This is amazing. Thank you for being so transparent. It was very encouraging to me. Especially as I sit here frustrated over a silly 9 pounds. It broght things back into perspective. You are beautiful inside and out. I’m so thankful for you and to hear your heart in these blogs. =)

  8. Melissa –
    Thank you for sharing your story and the grace you have embraced to see life through the lens of our Father! I am passing this on to my girls so we can all ask God to give us His definition of beauty and sexuality and not one the world provides or we conjure up ourselves.

  9. Melissa,
    You shine through and through!!:) Thank you for your amazing heart full of love for others to be walking in such freedom! Your real story I know is touching many!! Love You!!
    ~Maree

  10. You are beautiful inside and out! You are brave to share this story of yours and it will help many others in their struggle of the same. Louise

  11. Love ya Marci!!! You are one of the most beautiful women I know!! And Gateway worship would be incomplete without you! Thanks for sharing your gift each week.
    Love – Kisha

  12. Oh wow melissa! I was JUST talking about how i am so unhappy with my current weight! Ive struggled with my body image my whole life and somehow i always felt so close, but SO far from what i thought was "perfection". Your story speaks volumes to me. Your awesome!

    P.s. I identify alot with your stories how your desire for attention, alters how clothes, and such looked just a little different on you. I have just recently been set free from that. Thanks for all your posts!!

  13. (cont.)Those are still too raw… All the while, I overly ate, unhealthy foods at that, to try to gain the weight I felt would be acceptable to everyone else. Until I met my husband and found Christ, did I start to even consider that others may find me to be beautiful. It is something I struggle with everyday. Thank you for opening yourself up to allow me to read about the other side of my situation. I related to it more than you know.

  14. One thing that has always bothered me is how people act like if a woman struggles to keep weight ON her that it is somehow less valid a fight. As if somehow her fight isn't good enough and she should just shut up about it. Well, I just want to tell you that I recognize that your trying to keep weight on you is just as valid and important as any other issue! And I know God sees your struggle as well.

  15. You are so welcome. It's exciting to me that you are getting a handle on things at a younger age than I am… It's exciting that you won't have as many wasted years! Go for it with everything you have- it'll be worth it!

  16. Melissa, this is my favorite of your DIB posts so far! So honest, so true, and well written! I like your new picture too. Whether small or large, I think sooner or later most of us women struggle with our definition of beauty and accepting ourselves. Thanks for opening up your process to us and the truths you are finding along the way!

  17. Melissa,
    Oh my goodnees, that was so good!!! I loved reading it. You are so amazing!! Thank you for your honesty. Good point about Ariel just being a cartoon. I laughed so hard, because I know that I have thought the same way….what a "perfect" body. I love you dear friend.

  18. Love it my friend! You are BEAUTIFUL!!!! I am so glad that the Father is restoring what you see as your true beauty. The world LIES!!!! I love you….press on!

  19. Way to go! That was so right on, way to say it like it is! This world has raise the bar on standards of 'Beauty" but to me you're the real deal! This is something we ALL go through as women and yes, even men go through it. I can truly relate, thank you for your honesty!

  20. This really spoke to me. I struggle often with whether I am beautiful or not because I'm not a size 2 and I have not met my husband yet while pushing 32! As I get older I just seem to think it must be me. I must not be beautiful enough b/c Im too fat and therefore unattractive. This helped shed light on what real beauty is and it definitly needs to be redefined. I think youve gotten a great start! Thank you!