Posts Tagged ‘beauty


An Open letter to new gym members

Hi.  You don’t know me and I don’t know you.  Still, I have been watching you. 

Not in a creepy way!  Just noticing you and praying for you.  See, I know how hard it is to walk into a gym.  Everybody looks like the cover models for Men’s Health or Women’s Fitness.  TTTH.  Tanned. Toned. Totally hot.  It is enough to make even the most confident among us hide in the locker room.

I am going to tell you a secret. The hardest part of working out is wading through the masses of beautiful people.  A word of caution- don’t gaze upon their beauty to long.  You might start feeling inferior.  Just hold your head up high.  Look straight ahead and walk to the machine you have chosen. 

Ask for help when you need it.  You actually draw more attention to yourself trying to wing it on your own.  In the off chance that you fall off the rowing machine, just remember to laugh.  Roll over.  Get back up and try it again. Next time use those foot straps.  That is what they are for. 

Some folks might be snotty. Hostile even.  As though you are Satan himself because you are on “their” treadmill.  People get weird about that kind of thing.  They spend a lot of time on a machine.  Sweating, praying. A kind of relationship develops. The person wants it to be exclusive, not realizing the machine is just doing it’s job.  Nothing personal.  So when Mr. Biceps or Miss Ab’s see you on “their” machine, it is only natural they feel irritated. Don’t take it personally. In a few months from now you may be having a one-sided relationship of your own.

Stop pulling on your clothes dear.  It makes you stand out.  Wear clothes that fit.  Not clothes you wish would fit.  Trust me.  You will feel better if you can move in your pants.  Same with shirt.  A misguided error of those who weigh more than average is that by wearing form fitting clothing one looks smaller.  It’s a myth.  I know.  :)  Pick nice clothes that are flattering on you.  Not the “Biggest Loser Fantasy” you.

Remember, it isn’t high school.  It’s a gym.  You are there to work out.  Not to be “seen”.  No one is looking at you.  They are busy.  Working out and worrying if someone is looking at them.  :)

Don’t be a hater.  Yes there are incredible humans crawling all over the gym.  Gorgeous.  A few were born with it.  Most have worked for it.  Be happy for them.  If you can’t be gracious on your own, pray for God to help you. 

Don’t envy.  Thou shall not covet the neighbors pec’s.  Nor glutes.  Nor ab’s.  Focus on being healthy.  Not looking like _____.  You are not a number on a scale.  Your life in not measured by inches lost or gained.  You are God’s beloved creation.  His masterpiece. 

Keep coming.  In a few weeks, you will be sore.  Maybe a little or a lot discouraged. Not to mention the droning questions from well meaning, and not so well meaning, friends and family members.  For some reason, when people find out you go to a gym, they always ask the same question- “How much weight have you lost?” As though, just by signing the contract you automatically loose five pounds as a bonus!

Don’t slap them.  I know it would feel really good, but don’t. Pity them instead.  They have bought into our culture’s obsession with numbers.  Which is ridiculous and dangerous.  Take a deep breath and say “I am focused on being healthy.  Not numbers.”  It is okay to sound a little superior when you say this.  You have my permission.  This will either end or seriously curb their obsession with your progress. 

The most important thing  to remember is to be grateful.  Thank God you can move.  Pray as you run.  Exercise can be a spiritual discipline.  A chance to be mentally quiet and still while moving.  Worship.


All I want

This Red Hot Momma doesn’t consider herself high maintenance.  Actually, it takes very little to make me comfortable.  Being comfortable makes me happy.  When I am happy, my husband is happy.  So, I am making a list of things that I really, really want…because I want my husband to be happy!  See how that works?  :)

I want jeans that make me look twenty pounds lighter.

I want a bra that keeps the girls high and in front.

I want panties that don’t ride up.

I want to never, ever have to wear thong underwear.  If there comes a female underwear shortage, I will be the first woman in line for men’s boxers.

I want lipstick that feels fabulous, looks fabulous and stays fabulous.

I want clean skin.  Without using 11 different products. 

I want less chemicals in my food and more for my hair.  :)

I want a really cool t-shirt that I can wear with jeans.  A tee shirt that is unrelated to where my husband works, my children attend school or karate.

I want a hot car.  A car that is super sexy and fast.  Clean.  Smells great.  Two seats.  One for me.  One for Greg.  Paid for.

I want a to go one day without applying band-aids to phantom “Boo Boo’s”.

I want to sneeze without the consequences of having given birth three times.  :)

I want shoes that are so sexy I blush when I put them on.  So comfortable I forget I am still wearing them.

I want a cute little black dress and someplace romantic to go while wearing it!

I want to look like I could run a marathon, if I wanted to…

I want to have a whole day to spend in bed with my husband.  Oh, and room service.  Oh, and cable.  For him.

I want peace on earth.  Peace in my house.

I want my kids to be loving, responsible adults.  I want them to be long on forgiveness.  Short on regret.

I want my life to have made a difference.  To have helped someone find healing through the Christ.

Now, really… is that too much to ask for?   :)


From Surviving to Thriving

The further I make it in life, the more aware I become of how much my body has to say.  The words and emotions that I chose not to express find a way to make themselves heard.  One way or another.  My body speaks what is on my mind.

Some women are so in tune with their bodies that the above statement would seem ridiculously obvious.  But this Red Hot Momma was not raised to honor her body.  Let alone listen to what it was saying.  I was raised in an environment where body hate was the norm.  Even encouraged.  Subsequently, I abused my body in various ways.  From depriving it of food to over feeding my body.  Ignoring its pleas for rest.  Quiet times and exercise. 

Lax boundaries and emotional abuse from those I felt unable to stand up to culminated in weight gain, insomnia, hormone imbalances, panic attacks and ultimately, depression.  I found myself an emotional and physical wreck. My body was screaming out to me. Pleading with me to tune in but I did my best to ignore it.  Until, I was too sick to fight what it was so desperately trying to tell me. I had two choices: Listen and change or die.

I chose change.  As I began to recover from a series of life threatening illnesses, God began to open my eyes to the lies I had believed about this body I inhabit. HE replaced ugliness, disgust and guilt with beauty and truth.  HE showed me I was made in the image of the Creator of the Universe.  My body is beautiful and honorable.  My body is holy.  The temple God has chosen to indwell.  It is worthy of respect, honor and love.  It is not to be starved, carved or denigrated.  I am to care for it out loving respect for the Father and myself.  Not guilt or vanity. Out of love. 

So here I am at 32 feeling childlike delight in my body.  Joy at my ability to do three times as many push ups this month as last.  Wonder at my muscles ability to move my body in ways that were not even imaginable last year.  Excited to break out into a run and not care if anyone is watching. Instead of berating myself for the abuse I have endured and heaped on myself, I choose forgiveness of others.  Most importantly myself.  My favorite quote from Maya Angelou sums up how I view my past, “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

I now feel safe to care for myself. After being told my whole life that being kind to myself would make me selfish, I am finding the exact opposite.  Loving myself makes me able to love others. Admitting I am weak has made me stronger.  Facing conflict instead of running away brings peace. Confidence. Health.  Regardless of the emotional crap that is heaved my direction, I am not backing down. The Father has blessed me with free will and I will not hand it over to anyone. Ever again.  I own my own space. Without apology.  For the first time in my whole life.  My body cannot help but glow with this knowledge.


Tales From the gym

Red Hot Momma’s are always being confronted with new situations.  We assess the situation and make adjustments where needed.  We find a way to make things work.  I dare say problem solving is the Red Hot’s best skill. 

But…(and isn’t there always a “but”) even we have our moments of where we just want to run hide in the closet.  I think that going to the gym is one of the most trying times in a woman’s life.  Most of us spend way too long in the restroom, tugging and stretching on our workout clothes.  Psyching ourselves up to walk into a hotbed of beautiful, toned, tanned bodies.  (Can I get an Amen?)  It takes great courage to take our fluffier selves into the middle of what appears to be a super model photo shoot everyday. 

This Red Hot Momma pumps her music really loud in her ears, closes her eyes, and asks the LORD to give her the courage and strength to do what she needs to do today.  She also gives herself a pep talk.  Mrs. Red Hot says things like “This is about you.  Not them.  Yes they are beautiful.  So are you.  GOD loves you all equally.  You can do it!  You are worth the effort!”.

Once immersed in our own fitness routine, our confidence returns.  We are worth it!  We feel awesome!  Look out world!  Until a size 1 woman, who happens to be our age, sits down on the machine beside us.  She is fabulous looking and blowing us a way on the rowing machine. 

 Red Hot Momma’s are tempted to feel jealous.  This is where the rubber meets the road of Christianity.  We capture the thought and dissect it.  Often at the root of jealousy is fear.  Fear that we do not measure up. Pardon the pun.  Fear that maybe the world is right, our value lies in our looks and we will never be enough.  Fear that we lack something that every other woman has or has figured out how to get.

So if anyone out there can relate, here is a simple soulution.  Pray.  Pray for GOD to change our heart.  Pray for Miss Size 1.  She needs prayers too. Chances are she is feeling just as inadequate as we are in some area.  

 Ask the LORD to remind us we are all on the same team.  Fighting the real enemy, the world and it’s master, not one another.  Carry this truth with you today, Red Hot Momma.  You are loved by the King.  He thinks you are beautiful.  Just the way you are, right now.  So do I.


Love Your Body

I want you to love your body.  Really, truly love it.  (If you already do, congratulations! Go grab a latte.  If not… If you blushed…shuddered when you read the first sentence, keep going. ) 

Why do I want you to love your body?  Because GOD does. That’s right.  GOD loves your body.  HE looks at you and sees a beautiful miracle.  HIS chosen child.  Created by HIM.  For HIS pleasure.  I want you to see yourself through the only eyes that matter, GOD’s.

You and I have human eyes.  Fallible.  Eyes that automatically see what is wrong with our bodies. Not what is right.  We are a visual culture.  Everywhere we look there are images of unattainable and impractical “beauty”.  “Looks”, we are told,” are everything.  And yours just don’t measure up.”

We berate ourselves and often, each other.  Maybe we have arms that sway in the wind.  Bellies that make it through the doorway before we do.  Thighs that rub together so furiously that small fires break out. It doesn’t matter.  It is not our job to judge our bodies.  Love, honor and care for.  Yes.  Degrade and abuse.  No. 

So here is my challenge to you, ask GOD to help you love your body.  Love it like HE does.  See it for what it truly is- a masterpiece designed by a loving Creator.


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