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Overcoming the Pooh Belly Complex

This is the worst time of the year to care about that extra pudge around the middle, but I can’t help it. The scale registers a little higher and my pants fit a little bit tighter. And I’m not real happy about either.bathroom scale

It has always been fairly easy for me to maintain my weight where I want it. I’m a relatively active person with a fair amount of willpower and discipline. But I’ve hit that magic age of extra cellulite and reduced metabolism.

And. It. Is. Hard!

Enter my sweet girl, who sees everything through a slightly different lens. We’re going through our bedtime preparations of facewashing and teethbrushing while I’m lamenting my bulging middle. In a reassuring manner, Rachel pats my belly and then pats her own and states “Pooh.” I’m torn between laughing and crying. Laughing because … well … because.

Crying because her one word is loaded with meaning and perspective. You see, Rachel adores Winnie the Pooh, and on occasion she’s been lovingly told she has a Pooh belly. rachel and pooh picking up eggs resized

Apparently, in my daughter’s eyes, my less-than-flat tummy helps me rank right up there with her all-time favorite teddy. And who wouldn’t want to be equated to that cuddly little cubby all stuffed with fluff?

In the eyes of the innocent teenager with trusting brown eyes and a loving heart, I am special even with a belly bulge. Rachel sees the beauty in who I am, not the size of my waist. She loves me, imperfections and all.

Yet more encouraging is I am special in the eyes of the One who knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb. He created me beautifully in His own image. And this is true whether I’m carrying a few extra pounds or not.

The Lord could have made us all svelte, blonde, and long-legged had He so desired. But  He didn’t.  Instead, he created each of us uniquely special for His own special reasons.

Knowing that what I look like on the outside does not define the degree of love my Father has for me is incredibly freeing. It brings security unequaled in this broken world.

And this incredible love is for all of His children—whether we’re tall or short, pear shaped or oval, smooth skinned or pockmarked, showered or carrying a stench, confident of His love for us or stumbling around in the dark. Jesus Christ died for each and every one of us … not just for the model and athlete, but for the ordinary and the least as well. (←Tweet this!)

Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but my daughter’s eyes and the eyes of out heavenly Father find me—and you—lovely and worthy, Pooh belly and all. And His opinion should be the only one that really counts.

“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8).

Share in the Discussion: Have you bought into society’s lie that beauty is a certain outward look? What is one thing you can do today to remind yourself that God loves you just the way you are—sin, wrinkles, Pooh belly, and all?  

Linking with Ann Voskamp for my Joy Dare list  for Multitude Mondays (#1224–1244, read them all by clicking here):

  • Work that I know how to do and do well; Difficult transitions to stretch & grow me; Greeted w/ joy after a long day
  • Walking home in the coolness and beauty of twilight; Charlie Brown theme music; “Shaken-up” days
  • Teenagers watching Veggie Tales Silly Songs With Larry; Playing a game of pool; Season’s reminders to live joyfully
  • Withered leaves of autumn hanging on; Rustle of critters settling in for the night; Deep quiet of twilight
  • Sharing the kitchen w/ 3 of my children to make homemade pizza & candy; Christmas candy is all made; Pumpkin spice chai 1000gifts
  • Red velvet cakeballs; Quiet evening home; Winnie-the-Pooh bellies
  • Christmas caroling; Sharing sweet treats w/ my 3 shopping kiddos; Safe deer hunt weekend in the park

Grace Laced Mondays

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

10 comments on “Overcoming the Pooh Belly Complex
  1. Ah…is there such a thing a Pooh thighs and booty? Cause those are what I think I’ve got! Ha! It certainly does make a difference where your perspective lies. I see a woman who has wrinkles and pudges in places that didn’t pudge before. My husband sees his beautiful wife. 🙂 I like his perspective much better than mine!

    • juliesunne says:

      I’m with you, Mindy! We are generally harder on ourselves than others are. Sounds like your husband is a good one. And, yes, I think we can coin “Pooh thighs.” 🙂

  2. Janis Cox says:

    You speak write into my heart. Exactly – it is not what is on the outside but what is on the inside – that’s what God looks for. I changed the name of my website to He Cares for You. My children’s story is based on exactly this – God loves you just as He made you. God sees beautiful of the heart. I can see you have that beauty. Enjoy the coming of this special season of advent.
    I can’t log in with my self-hosted wordpress so logging in with my blog.

  3. withalljoy says:

    Oh man, I struggled with this so much. I’ve always been really active but never able to take a compliment. Now, post baby, I don’t know what I was thinking, or, how I had been so fooled. I’m more comfortable now than I have ever been, but I’m still not a societal ideal. Sure, I’ll bounce back and forth with being comfortable in my own skin for the rest of my life, but I am so thankful that it is not in the forefront of my mind now detracting from time with my daughter. I so hope that my daughter will not struggle with this as well. Thank you for an honest post.

    • juliesunne says:

      I hear your heart with your daughter. It is so important to let our daughters know they are special for who they are and Whose they are, not what they look like. Yes, spend that precious time with your children. They grow so fast!

  4. Thanks for linking up! Your daughter is getting to see the example of a “real” mom and one who cares more about what God thinks over the world’s opinions!

  5. Ruth@GraceLaced says:

    Did my comment go through? Hope so…shared your post as a feature of the linkup! 🙂

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