/ / Learning To Accept My “Muffin Top” {In Opposite World}

Learning To Accept My “Muffin Top” {In Opposite World}

 WLW in Opposite World

I hate my muffin top.  It makes certain dresses and shirts fit ALL wrong.  So I resort to ruffled shirts, A-line dresses and anything that hides it. I wish I had a flat stomach… a flat stomach is only some self-discipline, exercise and a bit of lipo suction away, right?

But I’m learning…

I’m learning that I don’t have the discipline it takes to make this muffin top go away any time soon…maybe that will be next years New Year’s Resolution…{again –*sigh*}

And maybe you don’t have a muffin top – but you carry extra weight somewhere else…maybe in your thighs, arms, chin, or bottom.   And maybe, like me when you look in the mirror, you judge yourself for the food you ate yesterday –cause Opposite World tells you –you really should work on that “trouble spot.”

Well, recently I was comtemplating my muffin top –deep thoughts right? lol!  I was thinking – why in the world is that still there? I’m on the eliptical 5 nights a week and I don’t drink milkshakes or eat fries!  And then it hit me –because God has given me my daily bread.  Actually I have a  fridge full of food –he’s given me my weekly bread!

My muffin top is evidence of God’s goodness in my life!

You see, when I make a meatloaf for our family of four –after we each have an appropriate portion for our body size – there’s a few slices left. And guess what happens –I eat a little extra.  And after my son finishes a game of basketball at the gym, we take the kids through the Dairy Queen drive through to cool off (I always get a kids sized cone).  And in the fall there’s candy corn, at Christmas there’s cookies, Valentine’s Day there’s chocolate –and the list goes on!  Pizza Bread, Crock Pot Mac n Cheese, Taco Salad, Burgers and Hawaain Meatloaf grace my dinner table every month. 

Now all the dieting books say the above eats are the reason I have a muffin top –right?  You may be thinking, “goodness — don’t make meatloaf and mac n cheese.  Those are not on the healthy food charts!”  Well, I do cook chicken and fish and lots of veggies too 🙂 .

And I get it – I do.  I get that I am making choices that keep me from getting rid of my muffin top.  So I need to stop whining about it.

Those overflowing plates of food –those are evidence of God’s abundant blessings in my life. 

Now you may wonder if I feel this way about other’s muffin tops.  Nope – yours doesn’t bother me at all!  I have a double standard.  Yours looks great and if you complained about it –I’d tell you, you are beautiful. I’d probably point to your children and tell you, they are SO worth the muffin top!!!

But Opposite World whispers in my ear –every time I look in the mirror, “you should not have eaten that yesterday.” 

First world problems right?  They don’t have to set up treadmills in third world countries where women are working themselves to the bone to survive or worse… starving.  I’ve read of women in Haiti whose children are so hungry they feed them dirt cakes just to stop their hunger pains. 

My muffin top is evidence of God’s abundant blessings.

And so we bow our heads and give thanks for our daily bread.  And we eat –not as gluttons, but we never miss a meal — and we get to eat an abundance of fruit, vegetables, meat, and bread.

Thank you God for these blessings!

 Jen Wilken writes

The expectation of physical perfection hits modern females early and often. In middle school, girls cut themselves to deal with the pressures of conforming to the ideal. In middle age, women do, too—but allow the surgeon to hold the knife.

Oh that is so profound – is it not? 

Jen goes on…

We carve the record of our self-loathing into the very flesh of our bodies—a self-marring, a literal carving of an idol. Increasingly, physical perfection is the legacy of womanhood in our culture, handed down with meticulous care from mother to daughter, with more faithful instruction in word and deed than we can trouble to devote to cultivating kindness, peacemaking, and acceptance that characterize unfading, inner beauty.

What are we passing on to our daughters?  This weekend I attended the sobering funeral of my beautiful Aunt Lori. She died at the age of 54, after a brave 5 year battle with cancer.  And you know what…no one mentioned her waist size at the funeral. 

Do we get that –no one cares! And certainly God does not care! He is not going to greet me at the pearly gates and say —you should have never eaten those Christmas cookies!!!

I don’t want my kids to look at my picture after my death and say “our mother was so beautiful“, I want them to say ” My mother oozed with the love of Jesus.  She loved God, loved Daddy, loved us and loved people!”  That’s what I want my legacy to be!

Christian women should be the most joyous and cheerful women in the neighborhood. We have hope, security and a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally! Let’s not torture ourselves with the Opposite World’s lies…grumpy because we’re famished from dieting.  I have learned that I need to eat and have energy to serve God heartily.

Oh friends and foodies and marathon mamas – I am NOT saying we should not strive to be healthier or eat healthier.  I love the way you take care of the temple of the Lord.  I love reading your blogs and learning off of you all.  I admire your diligence and discipline and let’s be honest –I dream of having your waist size!  This is not a post dissing healthy living.

This is for all the women who feel like they are “less than” because Opposite World says –strive for your dream weight that is–just.out.of.reach…And maybe…

Maybe I’m trying to learn to NOT hold that double standard…

Maybe…just maybe -I’m trying to tell myself…

.

I’m

okay

 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” ~ Proverbs 31:30

Thank you Lord for my abundant blessings that my muffin top represents.  Help me to stop fearing food and Opposite World and to fear YOU only.

Walk with the King,

 

 

100 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post tonight! I’m at the end of a weight loss journey. I’m not the weight I wish I could be, but my body doesn’t seem to want to lose anymore. I know I’m healthy, and I’m doing my best, so your words were an encouragement to me tonight. I’m not going to get stuck on what a number on a scale says – I’m going to be healthy and love Jesus!! You are a blessing, Courtney!

  2. As always just what I needed to hear at the perfect time. After having 4 kids (two of which were twins) my muffin top seems to be here to stay. (At least for a while anyway.) And yet it is ok to strive to be healthy and we shouldn’t be discouraged about our muffin tops because thankfully we are at least getting the nourishment we need.

  3. Courtney, thank you for such an honest post! What a great way to view “muffin tops”. Taking an honest look at my own struggle with food and my weight a couple years ago I found that I had set up food as an idol in my life…going to it for comfort in sadness or stress…when in reality I should have been going to God first. It had control of me until the Lord opened my eyes. The Lord has really helped me put food in the right place since showing me that. I have found, too, that with my GMG Bible studies, He has filled me so with the goodness of His Word that I am truly satisfied and no longer need food in such an unhealthy way. I’m so thankful for your ministry! 🙂

  4. I love this and I so need to hear that! I feel the same way. I often wonder why I am still where I am at- and now I know 🙂 I love the outlook! Thanks Courtney as always!

  5. how funny… i just had my third baby a few months ago and have been stressed over the “muffin top” that i acquired after having her. i have never had a muffin top… and, this one isn’t going away. i have two girls (and, one boy), so i do not utter the words in front of them, but i know they see me look in the mirror and pull at the skin. i want to leave a legacy of “Jesus loving” for my kids too. great words!

  6. Thank you! This was nestled in my Pinterest feed filled with friends pins of paleo recipes, and I needed it! Thank you again!

  7. Wow! What profound thoughts. I see my middle-age thickening waistline in a whole different light. Thank you.

  8. What a profound message! I enjoyed this thoroughly and couldn’t agree more. Sometimes it’s hard to look past our physical appearance and think of it as a blessing but this put a whole different outlook on the subject. I am a thicker girl and I have struggled with this issue my whole life and regrettably wasted too much time worried about my outward appearance ( not vainly) rather than what I could be doing to build up my treasures in Heaven and sharing the gospel. Thank you for this gentle reminder that its ok to love yourself just as you are and remembering our blessings!

  9. Oh love this post Courtney. I have been knee deep in “fitness and diet” stuff for 5 years now and I was on the roller coaster going up and up, with so much success and then I crashed and had something out of my control happen to me and I gained so much weight back. I have gone through depression and hiding away from people who care about me because of the shame. The devil was working on me big time, but I kept my eyes firmly fixed on God and we are coming out of this. I know my worth is found in Christ, not in the size of my jeans or my spare tire 🙂 Keep on talking love to yourself because you are beautiful!

  10. Thank you! After having five kids, I have continuously berated myself for not losing the baby weight right away. My youngest is now a year old, and I often feel like a failure for not getting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes yet. It is such a challenge to retrain my mind to how God sees me or even how my kids see me. I am a work in progress!!

  11. Thank you! After just having my second, getting the weight off has been nothing less than a struggle and all consuming too many days. I am so thankful to be reminded every day as I look at my beautiful daughters and my body that my muffin top came as a result of the wonderful blessings God created in my womb!

  12. This is a great post. We DO need to remember how fortunate we are to have good things to eat and share with our friends and family. I have also found that once you take the focus off food and self loathing you may find that you eat less because when you are kind to yourself you don’t have to eat nice things to cheer yourself up! Even more importantly – we each have to remember that the way we treat ourselves is teaching our kids how they should feel about themselves. If you ever saw your daughter staring at her body in the mirror with a sad face as she tried to suck in her belly or pinch her thighs, it’d break your heart, right?? I certainly don’t ever want my little girl to have the issues with her body that I did. There are some fantastic books out there which are so encouraging – one of my favorites is Beyond Chocolate by Sophie and Audrey Boss. Highly recommend it!

  13. Dear Courtney, you are such a blessing and such a wonderful and special woman in so many ways. Your blog is such a source of encouragement and delight. I always look forward to reading your posts. I encourage you to give thanks to God every time you look in the mirror and praise Him whenever you are choosing clothes to wear, for ‘you are fearfully and wonderfully made’ by Him! Everytime you look and critise yourself you are also telling God you aren’t content with what He has given you – a beautiful complete and physically healthy body. You ARE beautiful and the world does not hold the ultimate standard of what a woman’s body should look like, God does, and He has made a beautiful job of you! God has not given us one scripture that says women must be slim! It’s all lies! Keep on as you are doing so beautifully, your heart centred on Him giving thanks always for all he has done. You are such a blessing and God truly truly loves you just the way you are. And I love you all the way from New Zealand. Much love, Nicole

  14. Court, I always enjoy reading your blog. Even from far away you know how to communicate. Thank you. I have been thinking of Botox for the wrinkles I am starting to develop and I could feel God speaking through your words. I am blessed for each of those”laugh” lines or whatever the opposite world wants to call them. They are mine and I will be happy with the way He made me.

  15. Oh Courtney! Last year in October I still had about 20 lbs if baby weight from my third blessing hanging on, and I was frustrated by it. And then God gave me a dream. Somewhere along the way of life I learned that when we stand before God in heaven, we will be standing in all our (HIS) glory. All of our imperfections will be gone and we will be truly beautiful. So imagine my surprise when I stood before the throne of God – 20 extra pounds and all! And so clearly I heard Him. You ARE beautiful, because you are MY daughter. I love how our God loves us!!!

  16. I WISH I just had a muffin top! I’d GLADLY accept that!! Instead I am very overweight and SLLLLLOOOOWWWWLLLLLLY counting calories (LOVE the Lose It app) and working through decades of pounds. The Lord has allowed me to have this struggle and I have learned recently how very much I LIKE controlling my food instead of it controlling me!!! Ive never had this perspective before and am thankful He has let me learn this.

  17. Thank you! As I sit here eating my banana chocolate chip pancakes this morning I was wondering if maybe I should have had oatmeal instead. I believe as a culture, we are way to hard on ourselves when it comes to our image. Most of the times others don’t judge us nearly as harshly (not that that should matter, but it does). God has given us all different gifts and talents and those are the areas in our life that we should be focused on. This isn’t to say that if God gives you a love for running that you shouldn’t use that passion to proclaim the name of Jesus, because you should. But we each have talents that we should be using for God’s glory, and I believe most of those have nothing to do with how much extra we have around the waist.

  18. Oh…if we only put a fraction of the time we spend thinking, worrying, obsessing with our bodies into thinking and obsessing about Jesus…Can you imagine what He could accomplish through us? Thanks for bringing a reality check to us!

  19. Well said, Courtney. Even as a Trainer I often tell people that focus should be on unseen benefits because increasing activity and not overly focusing on what we eat is both liberating and biblical. Having been in the field of fitness I find it disheartening to see the direction and trends leading to extremes instead of balance. We as Christians do not adhere to the standards of the world, yet many entangle themselves and get distracted by the pursuit of activities that border on idolatry. Anyway. God just loves us too much for that. Good word, sister. Let our focus be on His grace and the fatness of our souls as we seek balance in all we do this side of eternity.

  20. Courtney, this was so well written.

    Thank you. Today, although I will continue to make good and healthy food choices, I will also embrace my abundance…..even if it happens to be around my middle! 🙂

  21. This was a great post!! I have a HUGE muffin top but even after THREE kids, I never and have not ever been skinny! I am a woman who embraces her curves (they are just in all the wrong places right now!! :-). I love how you put that you are blessed, well we all are. I really felt horrible hearing about the mud cakes or sorry dirt cakes. That breaks my heart, this post has inspired me to NEVER waste any more food and to thank GOD wholeheartedly and abundantly for my blessings. Thank you for this post.

  22. Thank you so much for your well-written article. It truly was a comfort to know I’m not the only one who feels like this. Having four children after thirty, the body doesn’t bounce back like a twenty- something. Our lifestyle, farming, requires long hours during different parts of the year and I feel it is more important to eat as a family with their terrific father at nine o’clock at night, than to eat alone, watching the others eat. Trying eating a full course dinner at nine or ten o’clock at night, even eating small portions. But the laughter around the table is exercise right? And the joy of being together around the table is priceless! So I’ll put on my spanx, but never give up our time around the table even if it might be a really late night.

  23. God might say “Why did you love Christmas Cookies more than me?” For years that is how I lived my life – going from one meal to the next. I was fully submerged in gluttony. God freed me from the bondage of that sin, His forgiveness is new each morning. Those thoughts about what you ate yesterday are to distract you from good of today! Along with gluttony, I also had envy for the “perfect” body. God has worked wonders in me with this as well. To accept what He has created in me and in others. We’re all beautiful. My daughter said at age four, “You are a beautiful part of God’s creation.” I hold that in my heart and share it with others.

    You ARE a beautiful part of God’s creation!

  24. Great, great, GREAT post! I’m stopped tying to “diet” and instead am trying to make better choices and, as I do, I see the excess pounds drop off one at a time. I’m learning (or at least trying to learn) to love myself as I am now . . not always easy 🙁 Thanks for this great reminder!

  25. Courtney, thank you so much for always inspiring me each time I visit your blog. The Lord has used you more times than I can count to tell me things straight out with a gentleness from Him. God bless you and your family~

  26. Thank you for this, Courtney! I am on a journey to lose some weight. I do not want to be super thin. I just want to be healthy and a little smaller than my size now. I am thankful to have a husband who wants his woman to have some curves. 😉 And thankful for the four children and delicious food that have put these pounds on me. 🙂

    Sweet Blessings~
    Jenifer

  27. Ooh, I needed this. The 40’s and 5 kids and homeschooling push workouts way down on my list. I find myself fighting against my jeans and wishing for that body that I didn’t appreciate in my 20’s…I would SO appreciate it now!

  28. Thanks for posting this! I am crying while reading this. I REALLY needed to hear this today! I am 5ft, 4 in and considered overweight. I workout 6 to 7 days a week pushing myself to exhaustion on my elliptical. I starve myself and record every single calorie that goes into my body and the scale barely moves. All I can say is Thank you!

  29. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I have been struggling with my weight for about 2 years now (although really most of my adult life). I am not obese by any means, just a little fluffier than I want to be. But I am doing Beth Moore’s Fruit o the Spirit study -Living Beyond Yourself. I have felt pretty convicted since opening the book…if my first concern of the day and last thought at night is about my weight…how is that living beyond myself? If I don’t want to eat the meal one of my children prepared for me as a surprise…that is certainly not living beyond myself. And your post just cemented it.
    While I will continue to exercise most days and I’m sure be concerned with my weight…I don’t have to be CONSUMED with my weight!!
    A person who is all wrapped up in herself makes a very small package!

  30. I am trying to lose the baby weight, but baby turns 8 this week!! I cannot just throw anything on to wear anymore. I’ve got a muffin top, love handles, and veiny legs now. Thanks for showing us we aren’t alone in our high standards for ourselves, yet forgiving for our friends. I cringe when I pick up my kids from school and see all of the ultra thin moms still in spandex from their run while I’ve been home baking cookies and getting dinner ready–and maybe sampling just one cookie with some coffee. I feel less worthy of having new things and find myself buying only for the kids and my husband when it comes to clothing, socks without holes, moisturizer, good shampoo–I stopped buying it all because I felt like I didn’t deserve it because I’m not a perfect size 5 anymore. I am thankful that I don’t have a little girl so she doesn’t copy me–it takes the pressure off. I couldn’t believe when a friend from church told me that she went to buy her 9 year old a bathing suit and found “filler” in the top part to make a little one appear more developed. Thanks for your words of truth. I’ve been reading your blog for years and have had to give up other Christian mom blogs because I felt like their lives were perfect. You and Jenelle are both so humble and uplifting. Thanks!!

    1. Julei you are in my prayers today. I know how you feel – I am there right now. I beg God to open both of our eyes and see that we are making a huge difference by loving our family and caring for our home. Running, swimming, and staying fit is a big deal where I live and yet I have very little desire to join them. I am busy with my two blessings, a part time job and taking care of my house. At the end of the day when my babies smile and tell me they love me and ask questions about Jesus I know I’m doing a more important thing than worrying about my fluffiness. You are beautiful honey and honored for being a wonderful Christian woman. Hugs.

  31. I enjoyed this post so very much…thank you! I have struggled with my weight all my life and am currently following Weight Watchers on-line. I love the acceptance you offer in this post to yourself and to others. I am trying to get myself healthy in hopes of better keeping up with my son and to get off some medication. In the long run, however, it is our spiritual heart that is what matters not so much our physical one. Thank you for reminding me that God has blessed me in so many ways!!

  32. I really enjoyed this post!!! You spoke to me, I too struggle with muffin top and it’s a very hard emotional thing I deal with but now I know I am not alone in this struggle. I too am very blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. My heart is overflowing!!! Thank you.

  33. Tears on the verge of streaming down my face, but I won’t let them go. I can’t. For if I do the image of failure at this “game” of perfection becomes who I am.

    Thank you Courtney for sharing this story. I am living in Opposite World as well. I pray that I will be able to see myself as God sees me.

  34. Hi Courtney,
    Thank you for your words. I too struggle with my muffin top and hold a double standard. Thank you for a new perspective, thank you for the redirection, thank you for turning my thoughts from me to He.
    Charlene

  35. I have been going through this exact same thing latley! I just was having a conversation with my best friend and she pointed out my scale had become my idol. I paused when she said this, she was right. I have been going to the gym everyday after I drop my kids off at school for the past three months and I haven’t lost a pound. I was so discouraged. I was so discouraged I hadn’t even notice my clothes getting looser and I was quick to roll my eyes when my husband would compliment me. This past weekend I felt like God was telling me some of these same things you just wrote. Thank you for confirming God’s words. You are such an inspiration to me.

  36. Thank you for your message. I was at a Women Alive Conference this week-end and the speaker spoke about all the lies Diet companies tell you. It is so easy to become trapped because you listen to their lies and begin to be self absorbed. After being on a continuous diet for the last five years, lol, I’ve realized my focus is dieting, and my outward appearance, instead of on God. I will continue to eat healthy, and work out, BUT I have decided that I want to place all my focus on my Creator who made me and loves me.

  37. Thank you, Courtney, for your honest look at God’s blessings. Although I would like to eliminate my expanding muffin top, I realize I am healthy and feeling better than I have in a long time — more evidence of God’s goodness. As I continue to eat right and exercise more wholeheartedly now that spring is really here (is IS, isn’t it???), I need to continue to thank God for ALL the evidence of His blessings in my life. I needed this reminder!!!

  38. I had our last three babies after I was 40 and just never lost that baby weight between those pregnancies. I was in really good shape before those last three so its been challenging for me to accept being overweight. Thank you for this fresh look. It doesn’t eliminate the need for proper eating and exercise, just puts it in its proper place – opposite worlds.

    Blessings, Phyllis

  39. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I am currently in this exact struggle, and am trying to lose a few pounds that I’ve been carrying around since I had my twins almost 3 years ago. I am attempting to eat healthier and exercise but I also now see that food is a gift. I just need to be smarter with that gift! I know I need to let go of this image I have in my head of ” the perfect size”. God loves me just as I am.

  40. So did you hear me just look at my “muffin top” in the mirror and sigh…???? lol 😉 I have been struggling with this So much lately. I have also been struggling with the guilt of not following everyone else with the gluten free… eat only raw…ect… I am not against this at all, I think it is great. It is just not where I am at right now. Like you we eat plenty of chicken, fish and veggies but I am a southern cooking momma! So until then I will continue blessing my food and thank God for it and blessing me with it!
    My Sister passed away 1 year ago of cancer at the age of 42, she struggled with here weight off and on through her life. But before she passed she was so sick and only weighed 54 pounds. She said if she beat cancer she would never worry about her weight or her size again….

  41. Great post, especially as I am catching my breathe after doing The Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD 😉 I can so relate to the muffin top! There is no perfect size that fits everyone. I am trying to get myself to my perfect size which may be too big for someone else. Hoping to stick with it this time 🙂

  42. This was such great timing. I just started a program called Losing to Live. We use the book Bod4God by Pastor Steve Reynolds (I am also bless to attend the church he leads). It is so hard for me to learn that God loves me no matter what. I’ll learn… one day at a time!

  43. This is such a great post! Not only is it important to accept our “flaws” in a healthy manner for ourselves, but if we have daughters, it is doubly important. After my sixth child I became obsessive about getting in shape, and I did it. But at what cost. My oldest daughter was just going through puberty and I gave her the wrong impression about what it means to be a “beautiful” woman. I now carry around an extra 10-15 pounds which I still want to get rid of, but not at the expense of wrong priorities or messing my girls up in how they see themselves. Gratitude is at the heart of both healthy self-image and accepting those things about ourselves that are less than perfect.

  44. This really spoke to me–it is one of the biggest stressors I have in my life. I have WAY too much weight. It is a result of bad decisions in the past. I am eating better and trying to increase my activity level. I eat fruits and veggies every day, and try to watch the carbs I eat (diabetes runs in my family).

    I feel inadequate many times–I don’t fit in to the world’s idea of pretty at all. I will likely never be that thin gorgeous gal.

    But–

    This overweight middle aged body carried and nursed my beautiful boy (who is perfectly healthy, tall and slim) 4 years ago, and, Lord willing, might do so again for another baby. I can walk with my son outside. I am still able to enjoy God’s blessings.

    I am NOT going to stop making healthier choices. I AM going to be more thankful for the food we eat and the body I have been given. This post gave me a little lump in my throat.

    Blessings!
    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  45. This is great! Especially after I noticed my 3 year old checking out her backside in the mirror right after I did today!!

    Thank you!

  46. Amen!! Thank you for this post! As I sat here, finishing up my Bible study, checking email, trying to figure out when I was going to fit exercise into an already jammed-pack schedule, I saw your email. It was refreshing to read. You’re right, we are totally and completely blessed, and the legacy we leave our family is most important. Yes, we need to be healthy and take care of the body God has given us, but we also need to stop and enjoy our family and friends. Will I fit exercise in sometime? Absolutely. But it will be to help show my children that a healthy lifestyle includes eating well and exercise, not to fit in a certain size.

  47. Thank YOU this was SO encouraging! I want to shout these words from the roof tops over here in Southern California where so much focus is on appearance and “perfection”!! It breaks my heart sometimes.
    All glory to God- we are SO blessed!

  48. This subject is so-o important right now. The world screams “get skinny” and God whispers, “I love you just the way you are!” I have found that eating right and exercising without the pressure of what the world says keeps me happier and my husband doesn’t have to listen to how I feel about my body all the time. I’m doing what I’m doing to please God, first. I know He loves me very much!

  49. Oh Courtney! This post is my hearts cry. I just spent a weekend as part of a team on a Women’s Emmaus Walk. I had the honor and privilege of getting to know six women at my table and walk alongside them. There were 34 women (not including the team) and over and over and in different ways I heard the same thing from MANY… I am not worthy because…. I wanted to shout from the rooftop, ” You Are Daughters of THE King! You ARE worthy!” I did tell that to those women at my table (no shouting involved). I literally wept because my heart broke as I listened to their stories of feeling worthless because of others sins against them. All I could do was pray for healing. I know God has placed a burden in my heart for women and that is to be my ministry (long story on that one). I don’t know what that looks like but my eyes and heart are open as God prepares me. Thank you for sharing your words and your heart!

  50. I’m “envious” of your blog, Courtney! Sure I have other talents that others admire (organization, cooking, baking, hospitality to name a few) but I cannot seem to manage a successful blog! Not exactly a mirror image sort of thing, but a reminder to me that I have the talents God has abundantly blessed me with. He has provided abundantly for me and for my family.

  51. Courtney, I LOVE your blog!! I have just come off of 2 sessions of the First Place Bible study and although I lost 30 lbs in the fall and close to 10 more this spring, I have still not gotten rid of my muffin top! But I have changed the way I view food and the priorities of my day to day life. I have gotten more active, and at the age of 49(50 this summer!) I will be running my first 5k in May! 😀
    I feel better and I have stopped dressy frumpy as my 19 year calls it! I have learned that I can dress and look good, and simply hide that muffin top! And most importantly I can give thanks for God’s blessings in my life, and keep that as my focus rather than what I did or didn’t eat, should have or shouldn’t have put on my plate!

  52. oh how this resonates with me!! I have had the “muffin top” ever since I can remember. It has been something I have struggled with all my life. Thank you for your godly perspective. Next time I start to judge myself when I look in the mirror I will instead try to thank God for the causes of it…plenty to eat and the privilege of carrying our precious babies. 🙂

  53. Courtney, your perspective on “muffin tops” reminds me of how I look at the dinner dishes. I used to think “what a mess”! Then someone reminded me that dirty dishes meant there were friends or family meeting around the table and enjoying the meal. Now as I’m cleaning up after the meal I think of the people and our time spent together and can be grateful for the mess. After reading your post, I have this better perspective on my and another’s, physical appearance, too.
    Thanks so much!!

  54. Thank you,Thank you, Thank you and again I say Thank you. It’s about time the truth was in print for all to see. You are a wonderful sister in Christ to write these words. We are truly blessed to have an abundance of food to eat, houses to live in and clothes to wear. I have made peace with my body and have turned it over to God’s care to show me what is His perfect weight for me. Liking what you have to say and the things you share on this blog.

  55. I was nodding so much as I read this post!

    I have a muffin top too and fluctuate between feeling bad about it and starting a diet and then giving up as I never manage to get very far telling myself that I should just be content the way I am.

    I’m not unhealthy, I walk about 3 miles a day and it’s only our culture which makes me feel like I should be different.

    However, I never looked at feeling bad about my shape as being ungrateful for what I have before. Thanks for the profound teaching (and for the reassurance that I’m ok as I am!).

  56. Thank you so much for this post! I have lost a little over 100 lbs, and I feel great. But I have never quite reached the main goal number. This makes me feel much better about where I am. Although I will continue to try to live a healthy lifestyle, I will not beat myself up when I decide to enjoy myself with my family from time to time. 🙂

  57. What an amazing post, thank you so much 🙂 Sometimes we just need to step back and realise how good we have it, how we are provided for.

  58. First of all I need to say what a beautiful blog you have.You are such a blessing to me and many others.
    I don`t have a “muffin top”,in fact I can count my ribs,but I also have severe food sensitivities.So many that I need to cook 2 meals :1 for my family ,1 for myself most of the time.I can not enjoy all those yummies they are munching on.Not fun at all.So enjoy if you can.:)

  59. I enjoyed this post so much that I shared it on facebook, and I share very little on facebook. It apparently has a wide wange of appeal because it is being read, reposted and commented on by a number of women and not necessarily Christian women. Thank you!!

  60. Thanks! Yet — I want to please God and not man, but it’s very hard to live with a Christian husband whose opinion of my appearance matches Opposite World’s.
    I’ll keep trying to please God and maybe eventually husband will be pleased as a result.

  61. Take it from a “marathon mama”– we feel like we’re “less than” too. Thank you for this–you are speaking to us all.

    1. Actually now that I think about it, it is that “less than” feeling that drives me to run. And run. And run.

  62. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for posting this brave message. I am printing it out and putting it in my Bible. Thank you so much!

  63. This is a great blog post. It is a very difficult thing to accept ourselves in the moment. If you cannot love yourself when you are 300 lbs (or with a muffin top of any size/shape), then you will not love yourself when you are 120 lbs and no muffin top. I know. I have lost over 100lbs, gained a few back, but work to maintain a fairly healthy weight. Do I love the new body I have? Of course. But I loved me when I was heavier as well. I do have a little more confidence. I enjoy shopping for clothes more than when I was heavier and I actually enjoy exercise more now. But if you cannot love yourself now, then losing a ton of weight will not change your true feelings about you. I have friends who have lost weight and think that this makes them a better person – more desireable to men, more likely to be selected for jobs, etc. While there are some prejudices against the overweight, who you are on the inside is who you will continue to be no matter what size you are.
    I agree that the legacy we leave is important. I do not want to be remembered for how I looked but for how I lived. Thank you for your post.

  64. This post hit home. I just took a long hard look at my closet in the past two weeks. It was full of lost hopes. I took a hard look at myself and those clothes and realized that being a size 8 again at 51 was probably not going to happen while they were still in style. So I bagged everything that was not my current size and donated it. Then on Monday, started packing yogurt and fruit and a light and healthy lunch. Even though my darling husband still thinks I’m attractive, I’d like to resemble a healthier and less tired wife to him.

  65. So needed this today! I have really been beating myself up for the extra pounds lately! Thanks for sharing and your encouragement! We are God’s children and He loves us no matter what our earthly body looks like, and that I am truly thankful for.

  66. The Devil does not want women to love themselves. GOD DOES. Anytime you feel negative about a certain body part, bounce your thoughts away. Don’t let your mind settle there! And think instead of the million ways that you KNOW your body is truly fearfully and wonderfully made. I’ve used this technique for many years and it works wonderfully. I simply do not allow myself to wallow in that negative space.

  67. I want to also share that I have not had cable tv for 11 years and for the past 3 years have rarely watched commercial television (yay Netflix!). This means I have been spared SO MANY COMMERCIALS and INFOMERCIALS! yay! So I encourage ALL FAMILIES to do the same thing. You’ll be so much happier without the diet commercials, fitness products blah blah blah constantly harping into your livingroom.
    Also, my husband isn’t constantly watching this stuff either so we are free to enjoy each other as we are w/o having our minds warped by what we “should be”. This definitely takes some effort but it is well worth it.

  68. I think your articles are biblical and wonderful!! However…I don’t think we HAVE TO accept our muffin tops if we don’t want to. Losing a muffin top requires dedication and changing the way we eat and seeing our current corporation controlled grocery stores as cancer, obesity, and heart disease driven who care not about our health but profit…. (Check out the many Netflix documentaries on our toxic food supply – Foodmatters, frakensteer etc..) Anyway, I understand the point of this blog and women should not hate their bodies of course. But I don’t want to accept my muffin top and I have lost a few inches already by making the majority of my plates organic fruit and veggies. Just my 2 cents. I in no way want to be divisive. I just LOATHE the way our society has been conditioned to eat and all our mom and pop farms have been taken over by factory farms, chemicals, GMO’s, pesticides, nutritionless fruit and veg, and antibiotics. Losing inches in the midsection happens naturally when our diets are healthy.

  69. I love this so much! This is something God has really been dealing with me on lately. This post spoke to my heart so much. I keep trying to remind myself that I am indeed fearfully and wonderfully made even if I am not perfect by the world’s standards. Thank you so much for this post.

  70. I’m reading this while eating sour cream and onion potato chips. I have this little voice inside me telling me to stop eating them and it’s probably why God had me reading this post today at this specific moment. 🙂

    Couldn’t agree more with each and every word. We have to embrace who we are and what we look like. No matter what the world thinks, God thinks we are beautiful and his opinion is what matters most.

  71. Wow, Courtney, just read this oust today. I have been trying to change the way I think of my body and my muffin top. I feel like I have. Full on fight happening in my head most days over this. It is a big challenge to change the way I think about the life lines my body shows from a negative to a positive. Thank you so much. You are a blessing xxx

  72. Bless your precious heart!! I have been struggling with a chronic disease that has just ‘put me in my
    Lace’ for the past 3 1/2 years and since them, have gone through menopause!!! REALLY!! My poor body has gone through sooooo much, and the weight has managed to keep ‘UP’ with the ever changing issues that my Lord has chosen me to bear ~ this muffin top has been my issue lately, and your post here has blessed me so much!! I THANK YOU for writing from your heart and keeping what is really important in the front of our mind ~ May God bless you and may we all keep ‘shushing’ that OPPOSITE WORLD!!

  73. Wow, I’m so amazed how God uses the words of others, to show us that we aren’t an island. We as women have some of the same battles. I’m glad the Lord accepts me for who I am.

  74. I am not a mommy yet, so I really cannot comment about a post-baby body, but I can comment on what it’s like to be a young girl watching her mother absolutely loath her own body. I have never heard my mother say a single good thing about her body or the way she looked in my entire life… And I am now 30 years old. The way my mother expressed her body image issues still haunts me to this day. I truly do not believe she was trying to damage the way my sisters and I viewed our own bodies, but I still hear the horrible things she would say about herself in my memories to this day.
    Ladies, your daughters are watching you to set a Godly example of a healthy body image. Please, please keep your unhappiness regarding your body under wraps when little eyes (and teenage eyes) are watching you!

  75. Thank you so much for this article. It is perfect timing. I exercise but still have a muffin top because I enjoy what God has given me. But sometimes it is hard to block out the world and their ideals.
    As a teenager, I was a cutter; putting scars on my flesh to prove that I existed even though I didn’t conform. As I got older the cutting changed to drinking. After God’s grace and mercy, I am happy with me.

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