Thoughts on fat and double chins and baby hairs

I do what has been done or thousands of years. I look at myself, feel my body, and I shake my head, and the tears, they fall fast and angry, and I wonder how he can even stand to be in the same bed as me."How long is it going to take?" I ask myself through gritted teeth and bleary eyes. "To love myself? To accept myself? To not see ugly, but to see what He sees?"

I've been called porker and ugly and pimply and fat and worthless my entire life, by those who were supposed to be my truth-bearers. And I hear those words as I look at myself in the mirror and I see a belly that shouldn't be there, or a chin that shouldn't be there or hairs short and wild that I have no idea what to do with. How do you love this? How?!

When I say the words, "I am a daughter of God. I am loved by God. God rescued me." I weep. A part of me, that part of my heart that was sliced through with daggers of ridicule and abandonment, it shrivels at those words. "LIAR!" it screams! "Don't believe it, Marybeth! You know what will happen! You will get hurt! He will leave! He will die! He will call you names!"

But a bigger part of my heart, that part that has found abundant life, life breathed in and out and all around this once dead corpse, it clings tightly to that promise with white knuckles. I AM A CHILD OF GOD. I AM LOVED. I AM BEAUTIFUL! I scream these words at myself, at those voices that want to poison me with their lies, that want to destroy my worth. The enemy of my soul, he knows that to destroy my self-worth, he destroys my hope, my peace, my future.

Who told us that flat is beautiful? Who told us that hairless and tan and complexion free of imperfections and perfectly tamed hair and taught skin forever was beautiful? All of that isn't reality...When my husband, the only man I need please, tells me I am beautiful and I don't need to change a single thing about myself, why isn't that enough? Because I don't love myself. How can I accept the love of man if I haven't first accepted it from God, then myself? How can I give it freely, unhindered and unashamed, if I'm first not freely loving myself? I love my friends unconditionally, I don't care if they have bellies and pimples and no tans and crooked teeth. Why can't I love myself with the same unconditional grace?

To lay at His feet, to drink in His words of life, to hear Him say, "I chose you. I chose you. I created you. You are mine. There is no flaw in you. I am enraptured with your beauty. The beauty of your soul. Your body is wasting away. It is but a shell. It is your soul, your very soul that is of more worth and value than rubies and diamonds. You are beautiful, because your soul is beautiful." that is where I run to when I feel ugly and fat and no good (no good, for whom? the world? myself?)

I am learning to love this belly, this belly that held one boy right after another. This belly that declares, "I'm human! I'm not perfect! I grew 3 hearty boys!" I'm learning to love my chin{s}...slowly. I know it's not who I am. I am not my chin. I am not my pimples. I am not my love handles. And the truth is- all of those things, I could change. But it would never be good enough, until I learn to love myself in the ugly. As He does.

We need to take care of ourselves and put good, healthy things in. We need to drink more water and eat less donuts and blah blah blah. All those things are so true. But at the core of it is this: We need to erase our definition of beauty completely, and relearn what God deems beautiful.

      But the Lord said to Samuel,
“Do not look on his appearance
or on the height of his stature,
because I have rejected him.
For the Lord sees not as man sees:
man looks on the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

Do you struggle with self-worth and believing you are beautiful?

It's The Love Dare, a dare to love yourself, and we're doing this every Monday until the release of Emily's upcoming book, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy (now available for pre-order, HERE) Link up your posts below, on how you're learning to love YOUR self.


  1. This, I needed. Yes. For so many years I struggle with this too. I see my ugly PCOS body full of things that don't seem like feminine beauty and cry, and Jake doesn't understand, because he loves me regardless. It's overwhelming in more ways than one.
    I go through periods where it bothers me less and bothers me more. I generally think I've become pretty good at accepting my imperfections and telling myself that my heart is more beautiful anyway and that's what matters.

    But it's hard. I still struggle with short sleeves. With clothes that are too right or too short or too frumpy. My lack of clear skin and my long frazzled hair.

    I try. One day at a time.


    1. You are beautiful, Nicole. I wouldn't have you any other way.

  2. "I am not my chin."
    Or my different-sized eyes or my crooked nose or my flabby thighs.
    Yes, I struggle, too, and when my husband tells me I'm beautiful, I wonder how he can say such untruths. I want to get past it--and sometimes I do--but not often enough. Oh, for eyes to see ourselves as the beautiful creatures God sees. It's easier to see in others than in ourselves. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. I think it's a more common struggle than most let on. Thank you for your vulnerability, Lisa.

  3. oh Marybeth this is the most powerful post I've read on body image in a long time. i love how you wrestle through it and how you end with such hope. you ARE beautiful. thank you for this.

    1. Emily, thank you for reading my post and commenting. Your blog has been a source of inspiration and encouragement for a long time.


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