Guest Post: April Annette

7:14 AM

April is a sweet new blog friend who kindly wrote our last post for Body Image week about working through our insecurities. I've had a fabulous response this week and had a lot of people ask if they could contribute, which I LOVE so much that I'm going to make it a weekly thing for a while. So, stay tuned! XO
I have really enjoyed this series and reading what Danielle's guests have written in regards to their journey through body image. I believe by sharing our stories, we encourage other women that they are not alone. Hopefully in sharing you see how unique and wonderfully made you are.

For me it all started with my buck teeth that I humbly inherited from one of my parents. As far as I know, I neither sucked my fingers and I couldn't stand having a pacifier in my mouth.

As I grew a bit older, I was called Bugs Bunny and bunny rabbit by some of my peers and sisters alike. When I was nine years old, my mother took me to get my pictures taken with Sears photography. The photographer kept telling me to close my mouth. I tried my hardest to but I couldn't. I remembered feeling pretty when I walked in but shamed even before that session was done. Even though that made an impression on me, that didn't stop me from smiling and making friends.

Even though I had friends, I still wondered what it would be like to have straight teeth to the point I took paper clips, unfolded them to try to make retainers and would put them in my mouth. I dreamed of having braces. Some of my friends who got braces complained on how ugly they made them feel and how they couldn't stand having "tracks" in their mouth. I would do anything to have "tracks" in my mouth.

That time did come and my grandmother blessed me by paying for the down payment for my braces! So four teeth pulled, spacers put in for awhile and molds made, I finally got my braces. And it was worth every bit of pain!

Within a matter of two years, I finally had straight teeth! Yay! But then puberty hit and friends started talking about their weight and looks. You know normal girl talk.

I went through what, I think a lot of young girls go through when they are teenagers, especially when it came to body image. But I don't think it really hit me until my middle twenties, when a friend's mother had asked do I eat. "Of course I eat", I replied.  She said I was looking on the skinny side. Well, I thought that was great! My sister, who was also my roommate at the time thought I was starving myself.

That time in my life, looking back, was about what I could control in my life when other things seemed out of control. And I could control what I ate. 

I can't say that I was by any means anorexic but I had lost enough weight to have my family concerned. I was even concerned when in between my periods I would spot, like as if I was about to start my period. My doctor said that he could prescribe me birth control so that my hormones could get back on track. But I knew what the problem was. I wasn't eating normally.

I restricted what I ate at times because I was getting noticed and it felt good to be noticed. 

But I had to come to a point where I was okay with who I am and live what I say I believe about what God says of me as His creation, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

As time went on, I put on some weight. Looking more healthy, though I felt I was getting fat. But I had to be comfortable in who I was. 

Thankfully, I married a man who loves me just the way I am. Sometime after we got married, I berated myself about my weight and he said something to the effect, "I will still love you if you gain weight". I laugh about it now, but I think I may have taken what he said a bit far.

But that's okay. I know what I need to do to be healthy through diet and exercise. The body I have is mine and won't look like the girl next to me or the girl I see on the magazine. And I'm learning that, it's okay!

To all of you ladies out there, know this: YOU are Beloved and Beautiful!

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