It was a day pretty much like every other day, except for one big difference…I had birthday money burning in my pocket. If there’s one thing I love more than money in my pocket…it’s blowing that money that’s in my pocket on new clothes.

I was scheduled to speak to a group of woman in Hot Springs in just a few days and I wanted something new to wear. My need for a new outfit, coupled along with birthday money just waiting to be spent created the perfect storm….a shopping spree!

As I entered the store I felt good, confident, energized and focused… however…this optimistic attitude had not always been there. For the past few months I had lost my desire to go shopping…due to a few extra pounds that had somehow attached themselves to my hips…I just hadn’t felt like going into a dressing room, under bad lighting, looking into a “fat” mirror and trying on tons of clothes only to end up with one “SO-SO” piece of clothing in black!

But this day was a new day!

A confident day!

Today I would put all those negative thoughts of big hips and bulging belly out of my mind and find the courage to love ME for ME…hips and all!

As I began to make my way through the store I quickly realized…that I would have no problem finding something I liked. It was just one of those days when everything I saw was perfect! The perfect piece. The perfect color. The perfect size. I felt like Goldilocks….everything was JUST RIGHT!

With my arms loaded down with my newly found treasures I entered the dressing room….and there it was…the “fat” mirror…you know what I’m talking about…the mirror that makes you look ten pounds heavier? I quickly told myself that what I saw in the mirror was just an illusion and not to worry about it…focus Tonya…focus. I quickly hung up the 274 pieces I had gathered and began the task of trying on clothes.

As I reached the half way mark I realized that I had not found one piece! In my frustration, I had the rejects categorized into three different piles…

– there was the “you’ve got to be kidding me” pile

– the “I wouldn’t let my worst enemy wear this” pile

– and the “why is the universe against me” pile

After a brief, but very serious pity party, I gave myself a little pep talk that sounded something like this:

Come on Tonya! You can do this! Get your game face on! Surly you’re NOT the only woman in this world who’s put on a few extra pounds and feels like a cow! Every woman feels like this at one time or another. This is just for a season…it’s probobly just water weight gain anyway! You’re ok. You’re just like every other woman wishing she could lose a few pounds…you’re no worse…as a matter of a fact you might even be smaller than the average woman…actually, you’re perfect just the way you are…PERFECT!

About the time I had calmed myself down and convinced myself that I look like Jennifer Lopez…the sales lady came in to ask if I needed anything. (Not unless you have a water pill on you, I thought!) “No”, I said, “I’m fine thank you”

The lady in the dressing room next to me, however, did need something. She spoke up and said, “ma’am, could you get me another size in these pants?”

See there, I thought, ANOTHER woman having a hard time finding something to fit (It made me feel a little better).

The sales clerk said, “sure, what can I get for you?” “well”, she said, “these pants are a size 4 and they are just too big, do you think you could find me a size 2?” She then opened the dressing room door to show the sales clerk her problem. “see this?” she said, “this size 4 is just so loose and baggy I think I’m going to need a smaller size…if you could find a size 2 that would be great!”

There I stood…in my stall…with a fat mirror, bad lighting and 273 pieces of rejected clothing and SHE wants a size 2! Are you kidding me? Is this a joke? Wait a minute…am I being punked? Is this Candid camera? Do they even make a size 2?

A few minutes later the clerk returned with her glorious size 2 pants and handed them to the lady with the tape worm. She tried them on and begins to mumble to herself, “oh, these are still a little baggy, I really thought a 2 would work.”

Well, by now my little pep talk was long gone and I felt like I weighed 500 pounds! She just kept on a talking about how little she was and how hard it was for her to find pants. I was getting madder by the minute…I just wanted to bust through that dressing room door and force feed her a donut or something…geeze! Go eat a hamburger lady!

Frustrated with myself, I looked at all the clothes I had in the dressing room that didn’t work and then at the two pieces that did. I wish I was I size 2 I thought!…if only.

Finally, a few minutes later, she found her a size 2 and left the dressing room. I too was finished and left with my final choices. As I was walking to the checkout I saw the lady who was struggling to find the right pair of pants just like I was…but in two very different ways.

Sure enough…she was a 2!

And sure enough…I was not!

When I saw her, I felt bad for wanting to bust through her dressing room door and force feeding her a donut. She was a woman just like me with her own set of issues. I felt bad for thinking badly of myself also. I was convicted and was in need of an attitude adjustment.

I guess it’s human nature (for woman anyway) to get caught up in the negative body image trap every now and then…we just don’t need to stay there. Thank you Lord for reminding me that you love me (and her) just the way I am 😉

For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Thanks for reading! I love you more than flip-flops!