I’m 5'1 and 92 pounds but I feel so disgusting.

Subject: Self-esteem/body image

Message: What is a good way to feel good about one self? I have to gain 10 pounds and I already feel too fat. I’m 5'1 and 92 pounds but I feel so disgusting. I go to a therapist, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about how I feel in person. I feel so bad and always feel like I have to exercise. If anyone can pray for me so I can be healthy again and this may sound weird, but I also need a prayer for my period to comeback— 2 years without it.

 

Response:
Struggling with feeling good about ourselves—especially our weight—is a huge battle for many of us women. The world around us puts a lot of emphasis on weight and appearance, and this often causes us to feel stress or pressure to look a certain way or to be “thin enough.”

Proud of you for reaching out and connecting about your battle. You’re definitely in our prayers! And proud of you for going to a therapist. Talking to someone can really help us figure out why we think and feel the way we do and give us tools to become healthier. But it does mean talking about your feelings. If that’s hard to do in person, would you feel comfortable talking to a therapist over the phone? We can connect you to a great counselor whose struggled with her own battles with weight and appearance who “meets” with people over the phone.

You already understand that at 5’1” and 92 pounds, you’re underweight. Being so underweight can also impact your period and cause it to stop. Once you’re able to get to a healthy weight, your cycle will probably start again. You already have a goal to gain 10 pounds. So the real battle is with how you’re feeling about yourself. Learning to appreciate your body and not be disgusted by it. How can you change your thinking and feeling about yourself?

  1. Be aware of your thoughts. Recognize when you’re telling yourself that you’re disgusting or fat or the other things you think about yourself. Reject those thoughts as lies. At first it may help to even say out loud, “No! I won’t talk about myself like that!” Replace those thoughts with positive thoughts. Tell yourself things that you like about yourself. Like, “I’m strong.” Or “I’m smart.” Or “I’m creative.” It may be hard at first to begin talking positively but try it. Push through. Even if you don’t believe it at first. It’s also helped me to repeat scriptures like Psalm 139, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

  2. Make exercise fun. It may sound crazy to exercise when you’re trying to gain weight, but exercise can help you feel better about yourself. Setting goals. Learning new things. Growing physically stronger. Exercise can also help you tone your body which can help you feel good about how you look. I took up running 5Ks with friends. It gave me a goal to work towards and people to have fun with while doing it. I am definitely not winning awards for speed! But every time I cross the finish line, I’m proud of myself for pushing and getting there. I feel stronger for it. I also love weight lifting because I love the feeling of being strong. What could you do that would bring your more confidence?

  3. Enjoy food. All too often when we are struggling with our weight and hating how we look, we make food the enemy. We try to limit what we eat and/or which foods we eat. Instead, enjoy food. Give yourself permission to savor the tastes and textures. Find things you enjoy eating. I love creating plates that are colorful and healthy and have lots of flavors—so it’s not boring! LOL. Eat with friends. Make foods your friends love and enjoy it with them.

  4. Focus on who you are. Your weight is not who you are. You are so much more. What do you enjoy? What are you good at? Focus on those things. If you are creative, make time to create things—paint, draw, write, sculpt. If you enjoy reading, get a library card or download great reads. Join a club at school or a group in your community and do what you love with other people.

  5. Get involved in helping others. Okay, so maybe you’ve heard people say you just have to stop focusing on yourself and focus on other people. I know that it’s not that easy. The thoughts about yourself are going to be a battle to overcome. But it is true that helping other people does slowly help you stop thinking about it for a while. Volunteer in your community. Get involved at church. Go on a mission trip. Read to kids at the local library. Serve food at a soup kitchen. Get connected with something that impacts the world around you. You’ll meet new friends and as you help others, begin to feel better about yourself, too.

  6. Talk to others. A counselor. A local support group where people who are struggling with their feelings/thinking about themselves and meet to talk and encourage one another. Your mom or another adult in your life who you trust. I know it can be hard to be honest with other people about how you think or feel about yourself. You may worry that they won’t like you or will be disgusted with you, too. But a counselor, others battling, too, trusted adults—they won’t think less of you or be disgusted with you. They’ll be glad to listen and help.

  7. Pray. I know you’ve asked us to pray—and we are. But God hears your prayers, too. He loves you. He’s created you to be uniquely you. He doesn’t want you to struggle and is right there wanting to help you see yourself the way He does. He delights in you. He will never give up on you. He thinks you’re beautiful. He has an amazing plan for your life—you just need to trust Him and let Him lead. I know that can be hard to believe. There was a time when I definitely didn’t believe it. I didn’t like myself. Couldn’t figure out how anyone else could. Especially God. Wasn’t He mad at me for not getting it right and being a better person? But I kept praying, memorizing scripture about what God thinks/says about us, rejecting the lies and telling myself a new story about me, and allowed God to move me out of my comfort zone and hiding and wow, He has amazed me with what He’s invited me to do and how He’s used me in the world around me. He WILL do the same for you. Trust Him.

I know it will be hard. But you can do this. I’m praying for you. Reach out to us here at gorgeous2god any time. You are not alone in this battle.