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my tainted view…

July 15, 2009

i noticed something this week from a few things ive said. i have a terrible self-body image. i mean, terrible.

wednesday afternoon brent and i were driving home from our church camp and i noticed he had posted a picture on twitter with me in it that i hated. not the picture. just me in it. during the rest of the trip down the moutain i started to recall all the little things ive said this week about my body, age, skin…anything. and it was so negative. so, self deprecating.

then i started thinking about times in my life, mostly as a child, when i was insulted or made fun of cuz i was taller than everyone else. or because i looked like a giraffe. or made fun of when i had cystic acne in high school. yah, that was treacherous when you live on the beach in So. CA. or the time when i was 16, my best friend and i went to a modeling agency together and they wanted to sign us both. i rushed home to tell my mother only to hear her say, “tam, who said you were pretty anyway?”

sigh….

its amazing. i view myself as a pretty strong woman. ive worked through a lot of crap in my life. a lot of crap. but why do things like this stick with me? ok. i really already know. so you dont have to answer. in fact…i really dont want you to respond at all. this is not a post to get people to tell me nice things. thats not what this is about. im just thinking outloud.

i guess its more of a confession. and, honestly, i dont mean to be negative about me. but i suppose im not setting out not to be negative about myself either. so…the choice is up to me. see me how God sees me – or keep looking at myself through my own critical eyes. missing out on all the beautiful things about me. all the growth that has taken place inside, the place that matters the most.

so, i apologize. to you. to me. to God.

do any of you deal with stuff like this?

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62 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2009 9:25 pm

    my beautiful friend — simple words can’t change one’s idea of how they see themselves… and i know that… but you are beautiful. not just outwardly (which dang… you’re SO hot… brent scored way outside his league). but also inside. the wounds inside are the hardest to heal and ugliest parts of ourselves. and by the beautiful grace of God, He’s seen you through to so much healing and yet, the enemy knows exactly what buttons to push to keep us down. crush him, friend. the beauty of Christ’s redemption and your own is inside of you — and radiates through each movement of your body, your smile, the words you speak… every part of who you are. everyone knows it. everyone sees it. and many of us — are pretty dang jealous of it. πŸ˜‰

    • July 15, 2009 9:59 pm

      thing is…i rarely think about those past incidences. yet, this week, they surfaced. so…theyre still there. and that really ticks me off. i have some work to do. gotta get raw and ugly before the Lord, i do. (oooo, yoda alert)

      thank you, friend.

  2. July 15, 2009 9:27 pm

    I still remember the first time I saw you. I have very particular tastes. I am pretty critical. I thought you were the most beauitful woman I Had ever seen.

    As a guy, we go through life and can be very insecure. We think that the most beautiful girl in school would never notice us. There is no way she’d date us. But that girl, married me.

    I am still blown away everyday. I am married to this incredibly talented, confident, intellgent woman. And I swearouTou. Are. Stunning.

    I still remeMber the day I first saw you. I though you were the most beautiful thng I’d ever seen. Then you noticed me. Then I got to know you. And the beauty on the side outside just conifrmed the beauty on the inside.

    I am the most blessed man alive!

    • July 15, 2009 9:56 pm

      seriously. what do i say to this? you had me at..hello?

      πŸ˜‰

  3. July 15, 2009 9:32 pm

    Do I deal with that? Um.

    Dreadfully. Yes.

    Today I was watching the video you guys made last night, and I was thinking, man…Tam is drop dead gorgeous! I wish I …..

    I’m not saying that just to say nice things to you. I know that wasn’t your goal with this post. I’m simply using you as an example of people I look at and wish I looked like, due to my own terrible self image.

    I was teased for my looks, all growing up, too. I’m sorry you had to endure that heartache from people that you should have felt affirmed by and secure with.

    I love that no matter what we go through, we can go to the Word and see how GOD sees us. How He looks at us, with all our flaws… and in love, calls us His child. Thank you for posting this and reminding me of that.

    ❀

    LeAnn

    • July 15, 2009 9:54 pm

      i think at some point weve all been heckled about our looks. why? why are people so cruel? insecurity i guess. we’re are just insecure. about something. so we tear others down to build ourselves up. so human, isnt it? πŸ˜‰

      leann, you are beautiful! i am so looking forward to meeting you and wayne someday!

  4. July 15, 2009 9:38 pm

    It’s been that week for me too – I came across a pic of me that a friend posted 2 days ago and nearly lost it… I’m NOT photogenic, and this was quite possibly the WORST I have ever seen of me. Negative self image? I’m right there with ya.
    BUT
    God sees us and loves us.
    Our husbands see us and love us (and even think we are beautiful!)
    And my dear, you are – inside and out.
    And I, well, I have decided to go on a diet so I can be beautiful in MY eyes as well as God’s and Eric’s.
    πŸ˜‰

  5. July 15, 2009 9:38 pm

    kinda dont have words right now….

  6. July 15, 2009 9:39 pm

    I suffer too, awfully.

    • July 15, 2009 9:51 pm

      i think we all do, if we’re being honest.

  7. July 15, 2009 9:41 pm

    Oh, and before you comment that the avi pic looks good (and I would agree…) please know that for every “acceptable in my eyes” pic that is on my facebook page or used as an avi I took AT LEAST 30 pics trying to get it.
    pride… self-image… etc. we just had a conversation about that this evening & decided that we all wished we could project the image we have in our minds of what we look like rather than what we really look like. For some reason I still see the girl I was right out of high school… thin, long, thick hair, good skin, no glasses, great legs…
    working on it. πŸ™‚

    • July 15, 2009 9:50 pm

      wow. that was quite honest of you. i mean, how awesome that you were able to confess this. i do the same thing with pics too. it really is silly i guess.

      and yes, you are a cutie in that avi πŸ˜‰

  8. kristi o permalink
    July 15, 2009 9:44 pm

    this is a lot to think over, its so good, i mean real, kind, honest, scary and yet you take us right to the foot of the cross. mercy… i am going to have to dwell

    • July 15, 2009 9:50 pm

      i am glad that is where this post took you.

  9. July 15, 2009 9:54 pm

    Tam, I deal with that all the time… I know I shouldn’t, but it is so hard. It is so ingrained in all of us by our own insecurities and the media just seems to confirm our worst suspicions at every turn.

    And I know you weren’t trolling for compliments, but allow me to say sincerely that you are a gorgeous, gorgeous woman. πŸ™‚

    • July 15, 2009 10:02 pm

      as are you! i have always thought that, brooke.

      it is ingrained in us. and enforced by media, magazines, billboards. it sickens me really. i look at young girls today and wonder whats really going on in their minds. do they feel it is a vicious competition with the next girl to look better, thinner and have the best clothes? its out of control.

  10. July 15, 2009 10:11 pm

    Now that I’m a grown up, I worry mostly about that…girls today. My 13 year old daughter who already looks 18. So consumed with her looks, and with acceptance, and with the comments from people, good or bad.

    …as her step-dad, Wayne really has his work cut out for him.

  11. July 15, 2009 11:22 pm

    I’m human…of course I have moments like this. It’s gonna happen.

    But, as you say, we have a choice how we deal with it. The world’s way, or God’s way.

    I’m not exactly thin now, but I used to be big. As some know…the exact figures is that I’m now 72% the size I was … or 39% larger than I am now. (yes, the maths is correct for those who may be thinking that second number should be 28%) When I was a kid, I scored it all.

    Then somewhere along the way (no doubt when I asked Jesus to live in heart when I was very young) I became fearless for a while, and the teasing stopped. Then as a teen I lost some of that confidence and it started again (not just for size). And round and round it went until I was 26, when I made a conscious choice this wasn’t going to rule me.

    So it doesn’t, but I have to make that choice every day. Daily dying to my flesh. And like Crystal said, no amount of words from anyone could make that happen, I had to make that choice for me.

    Gotta argue with Brent though … cos I’M the most blessed man alive πŸ™‚

    And I was gonna be brief here today …………… :/

    • July 16, 2009 10:37 pm

      i definitely dont see guys strugglin with this as much.

      and i agree….you ARE truly blessed…that diane is an amazing woman. and HOTT!

  12. July 16, 2009 12:01 am

    do i deal with stuff ‘like’ this?

    not ‘recently’.

    i used to ‘deal with it’ on an almost daily basis.

    clearly it did not make much difference 😦

    i deal more with my own ‘stuff’ now. As i should.

    <B

  13. July 16, 2009 12:16 am

    This is why even on my own blog(s) I hide behind a fake picture. I don’t think I own a single acceptable photo of myself. So I try not to let it bother me.

    But it does.

    • July 16, 2009 10:39 pm

      thats the thing…YOU dont think its acceptable. same thing with me. i got upset with brent for posting that pic with me in it. cuz i didnt like the way i was standing. he thought i was out of my mind. we see ourselves so much differently than others do. thats for sure. i bet you have plenty of great pics of yourself! πŸ™‚

  14. July 16, 2009 2:16 am

    It actually amazes me how my self-image has changed over the years.
    I was always the fat kid….picked last for everything….had no friends….Toby Toby 2 by 4 couldn’t fit thru the bathroom door…was something I heard every day of my childhood. Yeah, my self-esteem was pretty much nonexistent. Somewhere between 9th and 10th grade (moving from junior high to high school) I lost a bunch of weight, girls all of the sudden had an interest and I went from no friends, to an arrogant, full of himself, don’t need any friends, kinda guy. There’s really no excuse for who I became, but I was so tired of being made fun of, in my mind, it was time for payback.

    Now then, some 20 years later, I’m fat again….it’s ok, go ahead and laugh…LOL. The big difference is I know what God thinks of me, so what the rest think is TOTALLY irrelevant to me. I still know I’m purty…especially with clothes on :-). And most importantly, I see the beauty in everyone else. I didn’t see that as a kid, cuz I assumed what they thought of me and reciprocated that thought back at em.

    Wow, long comment….I’ll stop now :D.

    • July 16, 2009 10:42 pm

      i didnt know you then. i wouldnt have cared what you looked like anyway. but what i know of you now, and have seen, you are one of the most confident people ive come across in a long time. it truly is whats inside.

      you are also one of the most caring and loving guys i know too. actually…all you guys here are. thanks for that.

      ok. that was a bunny trail.

  15. July 16, 2009 2:24 am

    do i struggle with self-image? daily…

    • July 16, 2009 10:44 pm

      and i have no idea why. not from what i can see at least.

      i am so fortunate to actually know you. talk with you, hang out with you, do life with you. you are beauty defined!

  16. July 16, 2009 3:42 am

    I struggle daily with body image. And it is funny because growing up I mever did and it only became an issue in the past year or two. I never umderstod how/why women struggled so much and one day I woke up and hated everything about how I looked. A few weeks ago a friend and I took a picture and everyone was saying how great it was and all I could see was how bad it made my mid section look.

    I think for me I avoid mirrors. :/. Not that that’s the solution, but you can’t dislike something you choose to not look at.

    But Tam you are one of the most beautiful people around. And I think your beauty comes from Gods love, grace and mercy shining through you and your experiences. You’re pretty much hott!

    • July 16, 2009 10:48 pm

      that is still one of my favorite pics btw. you look beautiful in it. so shut it. (that was me being sensitive)

  17. Heidi permalink
    July 16, 2009 5:13 am

    Do I struggle…..
    I live in Southern Ca. Do I need to say more?

  18. July 16, 2009 5:29 am

    I went shopping for jeans this weekend and asked the sales women can you wear these if you are over 30? Its hard to see the aging process right before you everyday. And I find that we are our own worse critic. We see the tiny things that those around us will never see. I think my tainted view of myself goes beyond body image to feeling like I need to be perfect or to always please other people. To meet everyones unrealistic expectations of me. And when you can’t meet the expectations the feelings of failure that go along with it. Working through this and its a process…Trying to change the view of how I see myself versus how God sees me.

    • July 16, 2009 10:51 pm

      yup. the things i pick on myself for my family cant see. and my family is an honest bunch of misfits. so, why dont i believe them? such a doofus!

      and jean shopping. its the worst. have you noticed that even skinny girls have muffin tops these days? jeans are not flattering around the waist anymore.

      πŸ˜•

  19. July 16, 2009 5:48 am

    I totally struggle with this.

    I do not tend to have a great outlook on how I look, feel or where I am right now…it is driving me crazy but I have not quite found a way around it.

    I tend to look to my past quite a bit which is making it worse. I spent my early 20’s as an athlete and at that time had an amazing fitness program, trainers, traveled, and always felt on top of the world. In the past few years that level of fitness has plunged (seriously plunged), I don’t have an exciting job (although a very good one) and overall just feel like crap.

    I am fairly sure I will pop out of this soon, I always do…. but it is frustrating.

    So…to sum up…I kind of know where you are coming from…but am probably not a great person for advice right now πŸ™‚

    • July 16, 2009 10:53 pm

      why have you backed off from your fitness routine? what happened?

      i find it very hard to stay consistent and motivated in exercise. and this last month, when i was totally into it….i inured both my feet. seriously??? sheesh.

      but, it makes me sad that you feel like crap. what do you think could help that?

  20. July 16, 2009 5:57 am

    So I guess telling you that I think you’re hott just won’t help things here…?

    • July 16, 2009 11:01 pm

      it wasnt what i was looking for. in fact…i struggled with writing this cuz i didnt want a bunch of compliments. this was a confession for me. i needed to get it out. not that i oppose a nice word. so, yah, bring it on, woman! πŸ˜‰

  21. Melisa permalink
    July 16, 2009 6:25 am

    Girl I know your struggle very well. Honeslty I think it’s from the devil all these negative thoughts. It’s like he sits there and tells us we are not good enough,skinny enough,pretty enough etc! But you know what our problem is we believe it. It’s like everywhere you look in a magazine girls are skin and bone and there skin looks perfect! Lately I have been struggling with thoughts like “oh Melissa if you don’t get going in ministry soon your going to be to old and no one will listen.” So irratating! Anyway those are a few of mine too. Hang in there we will get through it!

    • July 16, 2009 11:06 pm

      the devil sure does spot where we are weak, then he taunts us. but, we choose to bite. and i bite. too often, i bite.

      and i have been feeling the same way, melisa, about feeling like its too late, or im too old, for certain ministry opportunities. that is NOT of the Lord. that i know for sure.

      we need a fire lit under our butts girl.

  22. July 16, 2009 6:29 am

    i’m struggling to glimpse in a mirror let alone let my closest friends come visit me. yes. i struggle with self image. especially when my image is no longer myself.

    says the girl who had her dog as her avi long before steroids and cushings.

    • July 16, 2009 11:11 pm

      confession. i struggled writing this post for 2 reasons. i didnt want compliments and i had you on my mind. and thats not a bad thing. i know what youre struggling with and i thought…the nerve of me, complaining about this. then i thought…if there is one thing you and i are…its real, genuine. and i know you would have yelled at me if you knew i was second guessing posting this. so, i posted.

      and can i say…as cute as riley is…that thumb eating little turd, you are way hotter!!! you are.

  23. July 16, 2009 6:46 am

    I know this is going to really surprise you, but I used to get comments about my height as well…oh wait, still do.. πŸ˜‰

    Think about the people that say things or are determined to see you physically before getting to know you spiritually and emotionally. It is really not our issue. That pre-conceived stuff, I do it too…not saying I don’t, yet I really try to get to know someone first. It’s a constant battle for me to see myself and others the way God truly sees us…but it is possible. Wounds from the past are always gonna be there, we just don’t have to let them control us any longer. I know that I “feel” the most beautiful when I am in complete surrender and service to the Lord. Love to see you on stage, leading worship with Him pouring out of you as well, when you disappear and He is shining through, that’s when your full beauty shines. Thank you for this post, it made me aware of how probably everyone struggles with this at one level or another, and will help me focus on something positive to find and share about the people I run into today.

    • July 16, 2009 11:13 pm

      “I know that I β€œfeel” the most beautiful when I am in complete surrender and service to the Lord.”

      and that is where we all have to come back to. plain and simple.

      thank you debbers.

      youre not tall. 😯

  24. July 16, 2009 6:52 am

    I’m so glad you posted this, and thank you for being so open with us. (as if you aren’t normally) πŸ˜‰ I too struggle with this every day. It sucks!

    • July 16, 2009 11:15 pm

      i know. me being open…how strange, eh?

      i dont know you very well…i read your blog, your twitters, and all i see is confidence in your words and beauty in the pictures.

      but most importantly. you love God. and thats the really beautiful part!

  25. July 16, 2009 10:53 am

    Like Love as I grow older I am less concerned about body image than I was as a young man. My guess is that this was tied to the fact, however unfortunate it is, our appearances affects our status, probably more so in Western culture, and more so with women. Being older, and retired, I am less concerned with my status than when I was younger.

    We are bombarded daily with advertisements that tell us we need to improve our body image by buying their product. Our culture seems to encourage us to feel we our bodies aren’t as healthy, attractive, as it should be.

    With women the message has always been the more attractive you look the better your status will be. With both men and women the message is now that how our body looks reflects our health.

    It is interesting that in the past for men the heavyer you were meant you could afford to eat more. “A fine figure of a man”, was a heavy set guy, the better, more desirable provider. Being thin, “skinny”, meant you were more likely to be poor.

    In many Eastern cultures, where marriages are arranged, there is less stress on a young women to look attractive to get a husband, I am not sure that “dating” is even allowed in the more traditional eastern cultures.

    It must be very hard for someone who grew up being told they were too fat, too skinny, just plain not good enough, to change how they view themselves, and their body.

    Even Kermit the frog said, “It’s no easy being green..”

    • July 16, 2009 11:18 pm

      as i read this comment tonight i listened, in the background, to an infomercial tellin me how i can be more attractive and confident if only i would buy this product.

      crazy. happiness in a bottle? really?

      i dont think so. my significance has to come from my position in and with God. and sometimes….i choose not to live in that. and this week, i caught myself.

      i love kermit!!

  26. July 16, 2009 3:48 pm

    Oh do I ever…

    • July 16, 2009 11:18 pm

      welcome to the club. maybe we can start a support group πŸ™‚

  27. July 16, 2009 5:37 pm

    We all do, Tam. And based on the responses of others, it’s a tactic that’s working for the enemy. But God has given us the victory!

  28. July 17, 2009 1:10 pm

    Oh, friend. Hey – remember that time I told you that you look like Ashley Judd? Yeah.

    Anyway. I deal with this. A LOT. If I’m being honest (and if I can’t be honest on Tam’s blog, then, well, where can I be?), I hate my physical self.

    Yep. Hate.

    And that’s messed up! Even if I AM overweight due to poor health choices, I’m still a beautiful woman who God created. But I won’t lie – I don’t truly believe that. Not deep down. Not where it matters.

    This is a hard one. Hard to work through. And in the meantime, in the now, hard to talk about.

    • July 19, 2009 10:14 pm

      “But I won’t lie – I don’t truly believe that. Not deep down. Not where it matters.”

      i understand that. i struggle with that too.

      so, what can we do to help each other?

  29. Jennifer permalink
    July 17, 2009 4:33 pm

    Deal with it as well…daily. Even just the little things that our culture magnifies and I take in as truth. Even finding a picture of me back in 2003 and I didn’t even recognize me cause I have gained so much weight since then. I got so mad at myself and hated myself even more. I feel so disgusting and question why anyone would want to know me and if I will ever find someone to truly love me for who I am. Not fun at all. 😦

    • July 19, 2009 10:19 pm

      thats the thing right here…in your comment…we have been fed that the only way to be valued, or of any value at all, is to look like a celebrity. shoot, celebrities dont even look like celebrities. theyre so doctored up.

      who said you (we) were/are disgusting or not beautiful? who defines what that even is? people? why?

  30. July 17, 2009 8:06 pm

    why are females so like this?
    most of the time i feel really pretty….from the neck up. πŸ˜‰
    because compliments of any kind are like my pudding, i try really hard to give them to myself every day. no lie. because if i don’t, i will freely give myself more criticisms than i’d know what to do with.

    • July 19, 2009 10:20 pm

      that is a great idea! give yourself a compliment. i mean, why not. its positive reinforcement, right?

      πŸ™‚

  31. July 19, 2009 8:02 pm

    Ughhh, yeah all the time.

    Your husband said it best… you are beautiful my friend. I know you weren’t fishin’ for compliments, but I remember distinctly when I met you in person and thought you were more so stunning.

    • July 19, 2009 10:22 pm

      thank you…

      confession = when i first met you…i had instant envy. woman…you are smokin!! and i mean that in the best way possible πŸ˜‰ i told brent…”dude, nothing jiggles on her!”

      i aint lyin, jenni.

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