Note: This is the first chapter of my book, now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
~You have a higher calling than chasing Skinny.~
“Freedom from the body image wars and body obsession begins with the truths in this fresh new look at making peace with your body.” –Dr. Greg Jantz, best-selling Christian author and psychologist
What if you and your tooshie could finally make peace? You have dieted, exercised, and poured it into jeans three sizes too small. Maybe you, like me, bought a pair of yellow plastic bloomers designed to hook up to your vacuum cleaner and suck the fat off your hiney. Unfortunately, the Girl Scouts showed up during the procedure. Seeing you through the window, they were traumatized for life. You waddled to the door anyway and bought a year’s supply of chocolate mint cookies.
Face it. Many of us spend enormous amounts of time dwelling on our derrieres. On some level, we believe the world actually cares about them, but in reality other people are too busy to ponder our plunder.
I imagine our love-hate relationship with food started in the Garden of Eden. Eve’s hormones whacked out and she had a craving for chocolate that wouldn’t quit, even though she had never tasted it. Bible scholars believe it wasn’t a red delicious apple but another type of fruit. I think it was actually a large handful of chocolate beans, coffee beans, or hybrid chocolate-coffee beans that tasted like a mocha. Now thatwould certainly be tempting.
Can you picture Eve getting up on the wrong side of the hammock? Stepping out of the TigrisRiverafter bathing, a bee buzzes by. She turns to swish it away with her long hair and sees for the first time one of the great wonders of the world: a woman’s derriere in the reflection of the sunlit river. Realizing it belongs to her, she cries out “Good gosh!” The same thoughts you’ve had in the mall while trying on jeans. I had no idea my derriere was that expansive. I’d better do something about this thing before it gets totally out of control!
The other possibility is that Eve argued with Adam the night before, and he lashed out with his tongue, saying, “Eve, you better do something about that rearie of yours or I’ll …” He never finished his sentence because he knew if he left Eve, the pickings were slim, and he didn’t know how he could work the garden without her to come home to at sundown. After all, television and remotes wouldn’t be invented until much later.
Maybe part of Eve’s desire to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the hope it would be the fad diet of her day. Somehow its fiber would operate like liposuction and she would have her dream body.
So began women’s preoccupation with the conceptual size of their derrieres and other unassorted body parts. Now don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, because I know you do. You’ve exercised and dieted and some of you have binged, purged, and/or starved yourself in search of the perfect body, or a skinnier one or perhaps a downsized version.
But if you actually succeeded in molding your dimensions into perfection, bizarre men started clinging to you like chocolate on chocolate-covered raisins. The fabulous derriere acted like a creep magnet, and bizarre guys came from everywhere to meet you because they loved your packaging. You resented this. It led you to drive through all the fast-food places in town and gorge yourself with sugary, fatty foods until you thought you would pop. The bottom line is the more you obsessed about having the perfect packaging, the more you attracted guys who wanted you for your looks and not your heart.
Maybe you’ve worried about how your body measures up to photo shopped and airbrushed standards of models and movie stars who are sometimes eaten from within by the beasts of bulimia and anorexia. Eating disorders form an imploding black hole that-without proper treatment-ends in darkness and has swallowed up many lives due to heart failure and other health complications.
This book is for anyone who has been weighed down with feelings about body image. Stories, faith, and humor will enable you to fend off the Body Image Bandit –the Father of Lies. You will experience resounding joy when you realize through and through that God is much more concerned about your heart than your tooshie. Of course you already know this in your head; but when you truly feel it in every cell of your body, you will be much better at battling the Bandit, who continually works to convince you that your value comes from outer beauty as opposed to inner beauty. We are drowning in a tsunami of cultural messages that say, “To be thin is to be beautiful, and beauty is almost everything.” The truth is,”Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7).
Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC, 2007 – 2019. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC and Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.