"How to Lose 10 Pounds of Belly Fat"

I see this posted in magazines in the checkout line all the time: “How to Lose 10 Pounds of Belly Fat.” I’ve tried to lose ten pounds of belly fat because unfortunately, that’s where I gain it. I gain it in my belly. My belly becomes huge and I look pregnant all the time.
But I can tell you, after three months of hardcore labor and healthy eating, the belly fat is the very last thing to come off of you. It wants to cling to you like a baby, nursing all day and all night. It’s got a hold of you. It’s not going down in a ten-day fast. It does not shrink; it does not disappear.
Yes, you can lose some bloating, you can lose some water weight, but you’re still going to have belly fat until you work your butt off, doing a million sit-ups and eating healthy every single day, every single meal.
There is no magic formula for getting rid of belly fat. Stop wasting your money by buying the five-dollar magazine to figure out how to get rid of ten pounds of fat; instead, start working hard. Work your booty off—or your belly, as it were. Value yourself enough to do hard work.

I Hate My Reflection

What is wrong with MY internal image?
I gained two pounds over my vacation. I was being critical of myself. 
Now – keep in mind that I had just lost 26 pounds and taken my health back in a very hard journey. 
Instead of celebrating that and the victory and finishing strong, I was critical of the weight that I had gained from my gluttony over my vacation. Why did I choose to do that? 
1) Because I had gained weight and I could feel it in my stomach. 
2) The way that I ate, even though it was only one meal a day, it was gluttonous. It actually didn’t even feel right. It felt like a betrayal to my body. It felt like a sin. Like, I’m not supposed to be doing this. I need to hide. You know how kids hide when they are doing something wrong? That’s how I felt like. I felt like this was shameful because it was. I didn’t just have food and dessert. I had food, dessert, dessert, coffee, dessert, dessert. It was as if, literally, I was a starving person and I was never going to have another meal. So of course, I gained weight. 
I was ashamed of it.
In my shame, I ended up speaking self-deprecating words over myself, criticizing the back fat that I put on, my new pooch, and the swelling that I felt from all the sugar that I consumed. And my daughters were watching. 
I am now a tiny mom who wears a size 3 and here I am complaining about two pounds and about how I look. 
I am NOT the only one who does this. I hear it all the time. Admit it – is this you?
Why is it that a woman can be large and find something that is flawed in her body or she can be small and find something that is flawed in her body? How do you know it’s a flaw? What are we comparing ourselves to? Is it the most youthful, best version of us? Or is it pictures of these young girls with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect colored skin, perfect muscle, and perfect tone? Are we comparing each of ourselves to each other? Are we comparing ourselves to a friend, a trainer, or our children?
Why is it that we look into the reflection and we can leave the house thinking, “I look all right?” But we look at a picture and we just think, “When did my knees become wrinkly? Why do I look swollen? I don’t look as good as I did.”
What is the perfect image we are trying to arrive at in our head? Where did that picture come from?
When we look at a photograph, we shouldn’t be picking apart every crevice, every spot, and every flaw. That is literally like looking at a painting and criticizing every curve, every paint, every shadow, and every part of the picture. At the end of the day, it’s not criticizing the painting; it’s criticizing the person who painted it. I know I was handcrafted by God. My body shape might not be like a model’s or my friend’s body that has a potential being, because that’s not the way I was originally designed.
I don’t know why some got the perfect, gorgeous, beautiful body and others have a different, perfect, gorgeous beautiful shape. I don’t understand that. But it’s okay because I have to look in the image, the picture of myself and see that I am loved and chosen and perfectly the way that I should be. I’m adored by God. I’m a masterpiece.
Every time I don’t do that, I speak negatively, self-deprecating thoughts about myself. I’m really criticizing the creator of my shape, my skin. I’m not being thankful that I can see or smell or hear. Yet, day after day, I see myself look in the mirror and stand sideways and criticize the pouch on my stomach or the wrinkles over the tops of my knees or my dry skin. I criticize my face.
Can you imagine if our body parts were children before us? Let’s say we have ten children before us and we look at them and we’re like, “Oh my gosh! Your knees are wrinkly and you look terrible today.” “Your stem is so dry. Go in there and put some lotion on it.” What we’re really doing is speaking death over our own bodies. No one can survive hearing that discouragement all the time.
Every cell of your body is active and alive and it responds to the sound of your voice. For me, I am sick of it. I’m sick of speaking negatively about myself or pictures about myself because the truth is the tongue has the power of life and death. Every time I speak death, I am speaking death into the atmosphere and death into my own body. My Jesus, he is renewing my youth everyday but I have to cooperate with them. The only way to cooperate with him is to start agreeing and speaking life over me.
I cringe when I hear myself speak critically about myself. My daughters are watching. They are listening, they hear everything I say and everything I do. Do I want them to have the same, horrible image? How do we change that? I know I am creating a legacy of that right now.
SHUT UP!!! Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to SHUT up! You have to throw out the TRASH talk and instead, speak the TRUTH!!! 
What is the Truth you might ask?
I am who God says I am – regardless of my appearance. 
I am fit. I am strong. I am healthy. I was chosen by God before the creation of the world and I am enough, I am worthy. I am worth it. I am worth shutting my face and speaking life over myself because I can guarantee you I can have better results from speaking life than I ever will from beating myself down and speaking death and frustrating, disgusting words over myself.
You with me?
Father, I just pray today that you would remind us how beautiful we are and that you are enthralled in our beauty in Jesus’ name.
Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
    Forget your people and your father’s house.
The king is enthralled by your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord.

Psalm 45:10-11 (NIV 1984)