Fearfully and Wonderfully

It started in the second grade. I remember sitting in class. I looked over at the girl beside of me, and thought to myself, “At least I’m not fat like her.” I have no idea where that came from. I don’t remember thinking anything like that before that moment-but there it was.

Fast-forward through the summer, a move, and a school change. I remember walking into class and thinking, “I am the fattest girl in this room.” I never had anything nice to say to myself. My internal dialogue was disgusting.

By high school, I had enough, and decided to take matters in my own hands. After a bad break-up {with my now husband} I began severely limiting calories, and worked out several times a day. Anorexia became bulimia, and my high school planner’s goal for  every.single.month. was-

“Lose 5 pounds.”

So how did I gain the 78 pounds I have since lost?

Pregnancy, a happy marriage, I was more concerned with a healthy pregnancy/breast milk. I baked too much. I was afraid of spiraling into my previous unhealthy ways to lose weight.

A funny thing happened a year or so ago, remember that third-grade class, the one I knew I was the fattest girl in the room? A photo was shared with me on Facebook of that class.

I was the smallest girl in the row.

I wonder where this came from? It wasn’t from God!

When I decided to lose my weight, I knew I was going to do it the right way. No surgery, no pills, no cheating. Just healthy food and exercise; and it worked. The problem is the dialogue remains the same.

My husband tells me I’m beautiful-I roll my eyes.

He tells me a dress looks good and I add a layer to cover up my flaws.

I gain a few pounds and literally think the world is ending-I know everyone is looking at me.

I want to love myself, but I struggle so much with that. I am going to start a book with my Good Morning Girls group called “You’re Already Amazing“. I almost didn’t get it, trying to avoid the whole subject entirely, but I bought it last second instead.

I know this is not what God wants for me. I will keep praying about it, praying about it, praying about it. One day, I hope to look in the mirror and miss my flaws. I want to see value, not a number. I want to see God’s creation, not a clothing size.

I want my soul to know this very well.



© 2012, Sam. All rights reserved.

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  1. says

    That was our new memory verse this week. “And that my soul knoweth right well.” Isn’t it beautiful? And aren’t you? I certainly think so!

    I’m on my way to trying to lose weight soon, too. I’ve never really struggled with my weight, though I’ve been skinny and obese and everywhere in between. I was “blessed” with very little regard for the mirror. LOL. This is actually not the best way to go through life, though. Must find balance, right?
    Cindy latest thoughts..Friday Links and ThingsMy Profile

  2. says

    You are beautiful! You are fearfully and wonderfully made! And you are human. The human part kind of sucks for now, but someday, remember we will be transformed, and the damaging self-speak will end. You are a Child of the King, Sam. (((hugs)))

    I do second the recommendation for Captivating. It is an amazing book. Beautiful. And I’m going to check out You’re Already Amazing. Thank you.
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  3. says

    Sam, God must have been pointing me here tonight. I am so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open, but for some reason I clicked the link…you have no idea how I needed to hear this! I have been thinking about writing a post about my eating disorder. It started when I was 12, the age my daughter is now which scares me to no end. Lots of prayer. lots and lots and lots. But more than that, the last few days I have been feeling crappy about my weight. I can’t hit that happy spot of being able to eat healthy without obsessing, of being able to exercise without having it consume me, without telling myself over and over what a fat slob I am because I didn’t go that little extra. ugh…I needed to hear this tonight. I needed to know I am not alone. I am going to pray for God to help me change my thinking patterns.

  4. says

    Oh, girl….while I was reading your post I immediately thought “Sam needs to read You’re Already Amazing”…(I’m giving one away on my blog right now) and I was so thrilled you had already planned on that!

    I read your heart here and realize…the enemy isn’t so crafty after all. he seems to whisper a lot of the same things in all of our ears. even when they’re not true, doesn’t he.

    Love how real you are friend. you are truly beautiful.
    Nikki latest thoughts..You’re Already Amazing {Giveaway!}My Profile

  5. says

    Wow Sam, I really applaud your honesty and vulnerability on this one. It must have been hard to write. I think it’s incredible that you have accomplished what you have when like you say, “the dialogue hasn’t changed.” But I really believe it will. Sounds like it’s already made it to your head. As you continue to renew your mind to His thoughts, it will make it to your heart. Know that it’s already there in the eyes of others. You are beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Carey Jane Clark latest thoughts..Greetings from the Other Side of the EarthMy Profile

  6. Rachel says

    Every week at our church the teenage girls stand and repeat their motto. The first line is this: “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him!” I am amazed at how Satan manipulates our thinking with the perfect lie. Each lie is designed to hurt us and make us forget the God who loves us and made us. The true danger comes when we accept his lie as truth. By listening to that lie it pulls us further away from THE Truth and our true potential to be daughters of God. While my struggles now are not the same as yours I needed the reminding very much!

    PS: Read the first few pages of “You’re Already Amazing” on Amazon. Its hitting remarkably close to home. I think that it may be my next book purchase.

  7. Patsy Ryan says

    Sam, I do not read all your blogs, but I was drawn to this one. I am so sad that you had such a struggle as a young girl and a a teenager. The teens are so difficult wihout additonal struggles such as these. I believe that all women worry about some imperfection,whether it be weight or any other physical appearence deficiency or perceived deficiency. Please believe Rick when he
    says that you look beautiful because I am learning that you are indeed a beautiful person, both
    outwardly and spiritually. In other word, girl. GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT1111

  8. Meredith says

    I love you.
    Thank you for your honesty. I will be praying for amazing healing as His truth begins to take the lies and throw them into the pit where they belong.

    Meredith latest thoughts..When stress attacks your bodyMy Profile

  9. says

    You know this! I just want to remind you. God created you. In His image. You are Beautiful for ALL that He made IS very good.
    Genesis 1
    ” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
    “31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

    I too have an internal struggle with self. But it is not an outward beauty that I struggle with. Rather, I struggle with the unseen and hidden parts of my body. My barrenness. I read your posts about your 6 beautiful children and thing, ‘why her, and NOT me?’ That isn’t to say I am jealous of you but rather wonder why I am not worthy in His sight to receive such blessing. This is my struggle with self. I’m learning, His path for my life is enough. He granted me the child meant for me. I must trust in Him.

    You are beautiful Sam, don’t roll your eyes. He found you worthy to mother 6 children because you have both outer and inner beauty! You are beautiful to Him.
    Renee latest thoughts..Praying for Pa… er Wisdom.My Profile

  10. says

    Yes, Sam. What a powerful post, and one that many of us need to hear. It may not be weight with everyone, but so many women struggle with the “loving of self”- the Biblical side of loving self, not the vanity side. I’m so glad you’re doing this book alongside of us!

  11. says

    This is a very good post and thank you for sharing about your life! You definitely are beautiful inside and out! AND your work outs are an inspiration to me! You’re doing wonderfully! :)

    Take care!
    Emily latest thoughts..Weekend in ReviewMy Profile

  12. says

    ugh…can you make it so your blog doesn’t erase our comment but kicks it back if we forget to mark that box? i’ve written many times, then been frustrated and not rewrote it…

    anyways, i JUST posted about the book captivating. have you read it? it really opened my eyes to satan’s deception and the lies he feeds us as women. i too, felt the way you did at a young age…thanks for being brave!
    mandy latest thoughts..captivating…My Profile

    • says

      I’m sorry. :( I didn’t know it did that, I thought it just didn’t post and you had to come back and check the box. I will look into it-and take it off if I need to.

      I have not heard of the book-but will read your post-thank you!
      Sam Kelley latest thoughts..Fearfully and Wonderfully My Profile

  13. Joann Marchand says

    What a beautiful and inspiring post. I doubt there are too many women who can’t relate to this. What an encouragement to pause and remember –I (yes, me and every other saved woman reading this) am the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8), I am WONDERFULLY made, chosen, forgiven, redeemed, ACCEPTED, LOVED, and adopted. (((sigh)))…Thank you Sam for reminding me today of who I am!

  14. says

    Oh my Samantha….you are very much like me. I avoided that book as well. They offered it for free at Relevant last year and I dismissed picking it up. I didn’t want to hear it. (Still skeptical, but I’m drawn to it).

    I didn’t have weight problems until after I had my 3rd child. According to my BMI, I am considered overweight—and to be honest, I’m in denial about it.

    But my vice growing up was really my teeth. My mom couldn’t afford to get me braces, so while everyone I know has a beautiful, straight-teethed smile…I don’t.

    Plus I beat myself up over my failures every.single.day. There are many days I question my own salvation because I can’t ever get it right. I feel so deeply sunk, that I need something like Holley’s book to pull me out.

    (((Hugs))) friend…

  15. Sherrin says

    I can totally relate to this post.

    But having weight loss surgery is NOT a “wrong” way to lose weight. It’s a life-saving miracle.

    Just saying.

    • says

      I see too many people take that road when they don’t have to. I don’t think it is the “wrong way” for people who are going to die without it, but I think it is over-used. For me, I knew I could lose the weight, and trudged on.

      I am surprised at how many people CAN relate to this post. It makes me feel less crazy. :)
      Sam Kelley latest thoughts..Fearfully and Wonderfully My Profile

  16. says

    Thank you for baring all with us. I know it isn’t easy. We all struggle with something and the reality is, there is beauty in the struggle. I am blessed to know you sweet lady and am thankful for your ability to allow us into your journey. Praising God for you my sister and the victory that is yours. And yes, your soul will know this VERY well – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL from the inside out – how can you not be? Look who your FATHER is :) ((HUGS))
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  17. says

    Sam, I can relate. All my life I thought I was fat. I dieted myself to my obese state. When I look at pictures from years past I wonder how I could have thought I was fat. Now I am decieved the other way, I look in the mirror and I know I am fat, but I think I look okay. Then I see a picture and I am huge. I know that none of it comes from God. It is such a hard battle. You are an inspiration and every time I see your workout posts on FB I am a little more inspired.

    Great post!
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  18. says

    Thanks for sharing your heart. It’s amazing how the thoughts and words of the past can have bearing on who we are today. Reminds me of those Hey Ugly words that I wrote about — who knew how much power simple words and thoughts have? But, once they are led to the truth — who we are in Christ — then we can find true identity.
    Blessings to you, my friend.
    rachel @ finding joy latest thoughts..sticks and stones may break my bonesMy Profile

  19. says

    Sam, what a beautiful post! I know the hurt of words….i was called pizza face in highschool….my Mom said I would outgrow it….ok, – I just turned 40…..still haven’t outgrown it. It is totally hormonal….and genetic and I refuse to take drugs…..Sending up hugs and prayers for you! So thankful for the way you are stepping up and taking charge of your health and body!

  20. says

    UGH, that check the box to prove you’re humam box gets me every time! So here I am retyping my reply again!! Anyway, AMEN to what you’re shared. I share many of the same struggles of self doubt and appreciate your honesty. I shared this post with my ‘get fit for life’ friends on FB, such an encouragement to us all! THANK YOU!
    Kath y
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  21. says

    You are beautiful inside and out! You ARE a wonderfully created, child of God. The older I get, the more life issues (kids, health, finances) take place, I no longer focus on those 5 extra pounds I gain, lose, gain, lose. I strive to keep my focus on God and where / who He wants me to be. And, if it be a size 1 or a size 11…As long as you are healthy and happy, that’s what matters. :)
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