Wednesday, May 15, 2013

About a Girl


I'm thrilled to share this space today with my friend Emily Wierenga who, along with Dr. Dena Cabrera, recently published  Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy, a poignant and important look at restoring healthy body image in women. Though I haven't experienced pregnancy, I am a woman hauling around the complicated baggage of learning to love and accept exactly who I was created to be. I'm also a woman with a precious daughter of my own. I want to do justice to the honor of mothering her. I want her to understand her beauty much sooner than I understood my own.

Soak up Emily's poetry-words and leave a comment below to enter the giveaway for a free copy.




Maybe it’s one of the reasons I whisper hallelujah each time I find a boy in my womb growing long and limber, although I know eating disorders are just as real for them, 25 per cent real in fact, and we just don’t realize it… 

That men sometimes hide in toilet bowls and candy wrappers and weigh scales, but 75 % of women struggle with disordered eating and I never really wanted to have a girl. I never really liked the color pink, and I still struggle with OCD and I joke that it’s like ADD only different acronyms but when the stress becomes high it’s truly debilitating. 

Prayer is the only antidote and if I did have a girl, I fear I’d always be adjusting her pink ribbons. Or purple or whatever I would insist on her wearing, and I’m still thin. Too thin, my husband says, the one who saw me through my anorexic relapse. The one who prayed me through nights of insomnia, and days of only eating supper, the one who gave me the ultimatum on the side of the highway after I tried to drive us into traffic. It was him, or food, he said. He couldn’t do it anymore, and I chose him, and every day now, I choose him. 

I have two boys of my own now, and I’m trying not to mess them up. I’m trying not to let my OCD or my dislike of cooking or my struggle with portion size affect them or their understanding of value. I’m trying to sit with them at mealtimes, and eat with them and place my hand lovingly on theirs and to remember that food is much simpler than it seems. 

I’m 32, and I like a piece or two of dark chocolate just as much as the next person along with a glass of red wine (or two). But I catch myself looking in the mirror too long after I’ve had a shower, or sub-consciously feeling the bony parts of my arms. 

I remind myself of my mum, in many ways, who’s re-teaching herself things like balance and moderation after eight years of brain cancer. I have to re-learn things too. I know I’m recovered in the same way that I’m being healed, in the same way that I’m saved even as I’m being perfected. And it’s all grace, they say, but I say it’s all God. 

Because that’s what is growing inside of me now. God. All warm and dark and mysterious.
And I’m beginning to wear pink, because I’ve realized it brings out the blush in my cheeks. And I dream about her sometimes. A girl. With her chubby cheeks (yes, I said chubby, even though I still struggle with eating even though I just wrote a book on eating disorders) and her soft voice singing, as she toddles down the hall and her brothers laugh when they see her, laugh and dance with her to the music on the radio.

She’s wearing lots of ribbons. All kinds of colors. And they look like freedom.

***

I’m giving away a copy of my new book today, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy, co-authored by Dr. Dena Cabrera, and foreword by supermodel Emme.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Giving birth produces life in more than one sense. It’s the baby powder, milky-breathed spirit found in the softest limbs you’ve ever felt, and it’s the respect a man feels for his wife as he watches her give up her body for another.
And it’s the deep-rooted soul satisfying feeling of knowing you were born for more than the mirror. That you were born to see the face of God in your child, and to know, you yourself are a miracle.

I want you to have this book! Tell me ONE thing that you love about yourself, and you’ll be entered into the draw!
Otherwise, you can order it through the book’s website, here: www.mominthemirrorbook.com.

Emily Wierenga is a mom to two beautiful boys, wife to a handsome math teacher, and author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder (www.chasingsilhouettes.com) and Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy (www.mominthemirrorbook.com). To learn more, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.

64 comments:

  1. i love that i am a good listener, and like to be in the background rather than the foreground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. true humility... thank you for sharing nichole! "the last shall be first"

      Delete
  2. I love that every year I like myself more and pick at myself less. That is grace!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so beautiful, friend! it is so important to show ourselves grace!

      Delete
  3. That was beautiful!
    I like how I look like my mother but think like my father. I have my dad's patience and my mom's face!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like my curly dark brown hair, even with the hints of premature gray! :). This book looks so very good...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks friend! i've always wanted curly hair...

      Delete
  5. I feel as though I'd really love this book . . .

    One thing I love about myself . . . Does it have to be physical? If so, then maybe my legs. They're long . . .
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) I like your smile, friend... You are beautiful!

      Delete
  6. i love that i get giddy about going to the library, sharing books with my girl, and learning something new every day....

    hint: leave the books lying around the house, talk about the storyline, but don't force the reading :)
    young lady will happen upon the novel eventually!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's such a great idea, Layla! thank you for the tip!

      Delete
  7. I need this book. Such beautiful words. I get her and understand the desperation of wanting my little girl to truly fall in love with how she's been created.
    One thing I love about me? I like my shoulders. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for the encouragement, Jodi! i love that you love your shoulders. such a unique response. bless you.

      Delete
  8. I love my smile, really, I do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm so glad! thank you for sharing, friend!

      Delete
  9. I love my big ol' ninth month belly--but I really love the way my freckles on my leg line up so nice and orderly. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh amanda, congratulations!! and i LOVE your description of your freckles... that is so beautiful.

      Delete
  10. I love my strong legs that can pedal a bike or help me run up a hill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. strength is such a gift! thank you for sharing, michele!

      Delete
  11. I love my blue eyes. I have 3 daughters and, given all I still struggle with at 48, I am driven to stop the madness with them! Would love your book Emily!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "i am driven to stop the madness with them"... this brings me to tears friend. thank you for your heart.

      Delete
  12. I can make people smile. My patients tell me all the time what a beautiful spirit I have. Something physical I like is my face. Large cheekbones, and nice lips. I really like my lips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i LOVE that you "really" like your lips! so wonderful!

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. strength of muscle and spirit... beautiful.

      Delete
  14. I love that my hazel eyes seem to turn either blue or green depending on what I am wearing. I love my optimistic spirit, that comes from my Dad and my nurturing spirit that comes from my Mom. That combination has helped me through a lot of struggles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this is so tender and honoring to your parents, Kait. thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  15. Yes I am following you around the internet and entering to win a copy every chance I get :)

    I love my head full of gray hair. The beloved Swede encouraged me to embrace the gray and, believe me, I earned every single strand. He likes it, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i love your head of gray hair too, beautiful nancy :)

      Delete
  16. I love the freckles on my face. And I would love to read this book!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love that after 58 years, I don't care what I look like anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love that I'm a problem-solver, detective type person.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My loyalty. Oh, and my hazel eyes. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love that my eyes have changed color as I've gotten older. They're hazel, but seem to read green on a more consistent basis. Sometimes I'm still surprised when I look in the mirror and see how pretty they are.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for making me cry this morning! Such simple truths- so hard to accept. The thing I love about me... After struggling with sudden RA and not being able to do simple tasks. That now my arms are strong enough to rock my daughters. My legs are able to dance with them. My fingers can braid their hair and hold their daddy's hand. I may not be able to move as big of mountains as I used to. But my body is strong enough to do the things that are important. And after I thought I wouldn't be able to do them again. I am grateful for a body that fought through. Even if its not the shape I want it to be. And I fight it every day. I am learning to love who I am.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love my legs. They are strong, help me run distances I never thought I could, and look pretty darn good in a skirt. I am learning to embrace fitness over shape. As a 48 year old mom of four I will never look as I did in years past but I am working to be the best version I can be at this moment in time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love my left leg, that ends 4 inches below my knee. I love that as a result of the accident causing that leg, I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. And I love that while my body doesn't look exactly like I wish it did, I try to remember that what is on the outside is less important than what is on the inside. And that other people's struggles are harder than mine.

    ReplyDelete
  24. As someone who always (and currently is) struggling with "embracing" that pregnancy weight and keeping my glances in the mirror quick and not too condemning, I know this would be a great read! I would say I like my wavy hair best... it was one of those gifts that came along with highschool hormones!

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a beautiful story. I love my smile. The genuine smile that comes when I look into my daughter's eyes or my husband in the morning. The one that shows my dimples, my big teeth and my true heart.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My sense of humour. That's what I love about me.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love that my body supports what I want and need to do...it is strong and sturdy, soft and pudgy! And I like my graying hair!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have natural empathy for others, and I would love to share this book with someone dear to me who suffers from anorexia.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love my loyalty. If I call you my friend I will bend over backwards a hundred times for you forever. In college it's hard to come across

    ReplyDelete
  30. Isn't it silly how hard it is to come up with something positive to say bout about ourselves? I love my stomach, even after bearing two babies I am proud of how I look and how I have carried them.

    ReplyDelete
  31. When I was a 17 and at the beach a boy friend (not a boyfriend) said I had nice hips. I'm 58 and I've never forgotten it because I believed he meant it. But at the time I thought I was too skinny, very flat-chested, awkward and clumsy...but hey, I had nice hips! Now even though they are much wider and differently curved after 4 sons I still like that curve from waist to thigh - my nice hips. It is part of what makes me woman. And I like my expressive face for making silly faces in the mirror!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love my eyes, and Italian once told my I had beautiful Spanish eyes. I am not Spanish in any way, but it made me feel exotic. And I love my heart - metaphorically and literally. I love that it pumps blood to all things necessary for life, and I love that I FEEL with my heart.
    I would love to read your book. I've put it on my "must read" list! As a mom of 4 boys and 1 little girl, I'm still struggling to love how 4 pregnancies have changed my body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, you're our lucky winner! Congrats! Email me your shipping addy and I'll pass along to Emily. (shannandmartin@gmail...)

      Delete
  33. I've always loved my shoulders, not for any particular reason...I.guess now I would say its because they are the resting place of my five sweet cbildrens heads <3. I've always loved my hair and eyes too....I'm learning to live the rest of me!! I love that my husband loves me just the way that I am <3

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love that I have learned to be emotionally strong along with the blessing of being physically strong - traits I got from my Dad, who just passed away. Now I'm learning another strength - to face the world without him.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love my hair. Thanks for sharing on Shannan's blog and for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  36. The "one" true thing I really love about myself is that I became the mother my own mother never was.

    Thanks for sharing part of you and sharing your book!

    God Bless,
    Sandy

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh Emily, I would love to win your book! I like my eyes. And I'm learning to wear pastels again. Your Friend, Beth

    ReplyDelete
  38. Beautiful post..Honestly I love my smile when i got a call from my love.:)

    christian sermons

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love my blue eyes that I inherited from my father. He passed away last summer, and I love remembering his eyes and how they looked at every person with compassion. I pray that I will have even an ounce of the compassion he posssessed!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Pregnant with my third and would love to read this. This is a hard gig for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow! I had two little boys before I became pregnant with our little girl...I felt the exact same way. I love my height, I always thought I was so tall, but I think 'feeling' tall at 5'5 speaks more to my outlook on life! ha! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. couldn't we all use this book? for sure.

    hummmmm. i like my skin tone.

    ReplyDelete
  43. After 4 years of struggling with infertility, I LOVE my growing belly. We're pregnant with our 1st child (and waiting for our other miracle from Uganda), and every day it's a reminder of God's faithfulness. This book sounds great; would love to win it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. i never thought i struggled so much with this, but after having my first, i'm realizing how much i need Christ in the way i see myself. at the moment, i like my ears, and i love that my little baby girl has my ears.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Looking for Best and Trusted PTC Site..?
    Here is a Best and Trusted PTC Site where you can earn money online without any invesment, earn with Just Clicking and Earn upto Daily 10$, Earn More with Referrals, Paid to Click System, Best upgrade plans and Best Advertising Plans. Legitimate Earning Website for ever you want
    HotProClicks.com

    ReplyDelete