Ready to stop stressing over body image? Compared to Who offers community for women who want to overcome their struggle through the Gospel.
My name is Heather Creekmore. I'm a wife, a mom of four, an author, a speaker, a grammar rebel and a former comparer! What do I mean by that? Simply that . . . (Oh my, this is embarrassing) I used to compare myself to other women. All. The. Time. I compared my size, my clothes, my nails, my marriage, my mothering skills, my children, my social media posts . . .I think you get the idea . . . This page is an outreach of my blog--also called Compared to Who? It's geared towards Christians who are wrestling with issues of comparison and body image. (Perhaps I should also add that I do have decent grammar skills- I just didn't want to call the page "Compared to Whom?" because it sounded stuffy. Stuffy isn't me.) Now don't misunderstand and think I've got it all together. Though I've come a long way in my journey to defeat comparison and poor body image, I'm still a work in progress. Some days I eat too many M&Ms and feel really guilty about it. Some days I fight the mean thoughts that flood in after I see a "hot" woman on a billboard with thighs that don't touch and sculpted abs. Yet, I'm freer than I've ever been before. And, that's why I write: to encourage other women who are struggling like I was. Anyway, I'm glad to have you on this page. Now that you know way too much about me, I'd love to learn about you too! Chime in on posts and let me know your thoughts! If you've got a story of body image, eating disorder, or related struggles to tell -- I promise you -- someone on this page can relate! I hope, in this way, we'll encourage each other! Welcome!
From the archives! (Going on 15 years of marriage now! But the lessons still apply!)
I thought a husband would save me. I mean, I knew the "God and Jesus" answer, but I just knew once I got married I wouldn't have body image issues anymore. Boy was I wrong!
Jesus is the only one who truly saves. ❤️
To celebrate Valentine’s Day and raise a little money for the student council, our school held an annual carnation sale. Order forms went home and you could choose to buy a flower in either red, pink, or white for one you loved, liked, or considered a friend, respectively.
Truth: That annual carnation sale was the bane of my existence.
On Valentine’s Day, student council members (usually with smirks on their faces because they were the ones who processed all the flower orders and knew who was getting all the flowers) would stop at each classroom, read a name from their list, and hand that person the appropriately-colored carnation.
And if that color turned out to be red? Whispers, giggles, and teasing ensued.
My stomach felt like a Vitamix on full power.
While it would be dejection to not receive any of the $1 flowers, the thought of receiving a red carnation from a “secret admirer” or a boy I didn’t like seemed equally terrifying. Embarrassment was the only possible outcome.
And every year when they finished calling all those names, I felt both relief and sadness.
To this day I still hate carnations. But Valentine’s Day?
I never hated Valentine’s Day. I just knew that my time to love it had not yet come.
When you are single, Valentine’s Day can grate on your heart like an over-played song on a pop radio station. It’s the one tune you can’t stand to hear again, yet it blares from the speakers, everywhere you go.
But I didn’t check the “married” box until age thirty-one. On top of that, I called someone “my boyfriend” for only two of the dozen Februarys I faced as a single adult.
And I remember this one thing very clearly. Valentine’s Day sucked. It only offered a reminder of my single status.
Yet, in a strange twist of my life’s plot line, Valentine’s Day didn’t magically get better after marriage.
In fact, I now know a truth I would have never accepted as a single woman–many married women still struggle through the annual hype of February 14th.
Sure, it was better in some ways. I no longer dined alone–feasting on M&Ms and peanut butter by the spoon–that fated evening. Now I often received roses, a meaningful card, and a nice dinner out. We’d even spend Valentine’s Day evening doing what you would expect most couples to do after an attempt at romance.
My Valentine’s Day let down had nothing to do with a lack of appropriate celebration of the holiday. Instead my struggle was deeper. Like the seventh grade girl waiting for the carnations to be handed out, somehow, I still didn’t feel chosen.
Chosen. Webster defines that word like this: Having been selected as perfect or most appropriate.
Sure, I had a Valentine. But had I really been chosen? Maybe he was tired of dating around and willing to settle–for me. I was no where near perfect. And, after a few months of marriage, “most appropriate” for the job seemed like a stretch too.
I wondered if the other women he dated were better–hotter (I was sure of this) and likely nicer, too. I wondered if he secretly knew there were superior choices out there but decided that it took too much effort to keep hunting. (“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” they say.)
He gave me his name. He gave me access to all he had, and yet, I still felt like the single girl on Valentine’s Day. For years.
On my mantle sat the wedding photos, on my left hand the ring he put there. Yet, on the inside, I daily reverted to the wall flower at the dance–nose pointed down at the fancy shoes that would never touch that dance floor.
Will I ever feel like someone picked me?
What’s a girl to do when she doesn’t feel chosen?
I’ve learned a few lessons during my married life that I sure wish, somehow, I would have known (or believed) when I was single.
The biggest of them all is that having a man–any man (whether he be just a notch away from “perfect” or a “diamond in the rough”)–doesn’t answer the questions of our heart. As women, as humans, we still wonder:
Am I needed?
Am I wanted?
Does anyone really love me?
Have I been chosen?
Each of those answers can only come in a satisfying way from one source, and it’s not a man who shares your last name, bed, or large order of nachos.
It’s only Jesus. He’s the only one with the power to change the rejection paradigm.
He says: You’re no longer the last one picked in gym class. You’re the one He died for.
He says: You are no longer the only girl without a prom date. You're one He will never leave nor forsake.
He says: You're no longer the only girl without an invitation to the “cool” kids’ party. You're the one He wants to spend eternity with.
He says: You're no longer the only girl to not receive a carnation. You're called out to be His.
Dear friend, you have been chosen.❤️
Oh friends. Valentine's Day used to break me in this department. How about you? My new motto is, “Hope completely in grace.” Jesus is the only one who will never let us down. He’s the only safe place to put our expectations.
Feel like you've hit a brick wall with your resolutions? This can help you get a new view of you, even if you've fallen "off the wagon."
Who's with me? (That Amazon prime is so easy though!)
Compared to Who's cover photo
If you LOVE change - raise your hand. Not me, friends. Though I hate for things to get boring, I love being comfortable, settled, cozy . . . When God shakes the ground I'm standing on and I no longer feel settled, I tend to panic! If this sounds like you, then you'll want to check out this brand new book by my friend Gina Butz. It's so good. Gospel-centered, biblical truth, encouragement, permission to be authentic while walking through the hard stuff of life. Gina and I had a super fun conversation about life, saying "at least . . ." and many other topics related to her new book. Check it out on the latest episode of the Compared to Who? podcast -linked in comments. Then get this one. It's a good read!
Season 3 is here and getting rave reviews already. Are you listening yet?
When are you comparing? Start to take notice. Write down your triggers. You can't get free of something until you acknowledge it.
Lord: Please help me put it all in your hands! Is that your prayer too?❤️
Stop comparing, friend. Just use your gifts. We need to hear your song. ❤️
Not just good advice, it's science! https://dailyhealthpost.com/gratitude-rewires-brain-happier/?fbclid=IwAR1attr0wUIKstEUHh-bq4bUFscd5uAKUVPjCJtj1C_P_65g0gHgkjx8wz8
dailyhealthpost.com Neuroscientists have found that if you really feel it when you say it, you'll be happier and healthier. The regular practice of expressing gratitude is not a New Age fad; it's a facet of the human condition that reaps true benefits to those who mean it.
Wow. That's something to think about. 😳
Expectations get us in trouble. Every time.
My favorite reminder. ❤️
Here's how to get your eyes off the size of your thighs, my friend. ❤️❤️
January's ending but there's still so much of this year ahead! What are you going to do with it?
Have you listened yet?
I go a little bonkers over the lunacy of body positivity and the "love (and flaunt) what you got" folks. Friend, flaunting your body isn't a sign of true and healthy body confidence or freedom--it's just pride. Over and over in the Bible God tells us exactly what he thinks of the proud. It's not good. (Psalm 5:5 for example.) Jesus doesn't need us to love our love handles. He just wants us to love others and him.
How many of these habits are you practicing? #10 makes a HUGE difference. Seriously.
comparedtowho.me “How She Lost the Weight: Her Secret Revealed!” That headline sucked me in. Every. Single. Time. Unlike the best practices of a celebrity diet plan, if you battle your body image, there are practical things you can do to help. These aren’t tasks to be accomplished one time and forgotten. Rathe...
Even psychologists agree that improving self-esteem and all the self-esteem "training" of the 80s and 90s has done more harm than good. (Know any narcissists!?!?). True freedom doesn't come from loving yourself.
From my archives. But, still solid truth for today.
Choose joy. This week. Every week.
Are you waiting for God to do something in your life? You're in good company!
One of the things I love about exercise is how just it is. (Most of the time, at least, if you're fighting health issues, different story.)
Generally though: you work hard, it shows. You never exercise. It shows. Your results are determined by what you put in. You determine your destiny. "No pain, no gain." "You get out what you put in."
I used to see the world entirely as black and white, right and wrong. If you asked me what I was most passionate about when I was in my twenties, I may have answered, "justice." I valued fairness, equity and at the end of the day knowing that whatever you got, it's what you probably earned. Raises and promotions were for those who worked hard and deserved them. Only slackers got fired.
It was all so clear to me then. The good guys always win. The bad guys always lose. Wasn't that even a Sunday School song or something?
But, when I was just 24 years old, my view of the world got turned upside down by politics. I had the opportunity to run a U.S. Congressional race for a candidate from Abilene, Texas. He was clearly (in my humble opinion), the good guy. We played fair, the other guy played dirty. We were neck and neck in the polls until our opponent took out an attack ad campaign that lied about my candidate. It hurt us a little but we were able to hang on, that is, until the weekend before Election Day. That Saturday the opposing party did phone calls to every senior citizen voter telling them that my candidate wanted to get rid of their social security. We lost the election by a few percentage points.
I didn't understand it. I was good. I was on the good guy's team. I was a "King's Kid" - shouldn't I always win? Why didn't the bad guy lose? How could this happen to him? Yet alone, how could this happen to ME?
Why didn't I get what I deserved? Which was, of course, victory? God led me to that place, gave me that job. How and why did he allow me to fail?
For me, this was one of my first true crises of faith.
Now almost 20 years after that miserable Election Day, I'm a different person. I see the world with different eyes. I see that good things don't always happen to good people and that bad things don't always happen to bad people. I've had to learn to accept that the God I serve sometimes allows good and bad things to happen to those who don't deserve either one.
I still wish I had a good answer for why. To be honest, I'm a lot more comfortable with my system of meritorious earning and reward because then I'm in control. I choose my destiny. I think this is the mindset of most. If I do good, am good, be good...then a just and fair God will only give me good. And, vice versa. The bad will get what they deserve too.
But, if I am good enough on my own. If I can do "enough" good to get good, then I don't need savior, do I?
I think that's called self-righteousness.
That's the crazy thing about salvation through Jesus Christ. The God of supreme justice created a system where we don't get what we deserve if we believe and follow his son. We get grace instead of Hell.
He sees our sins and says, "I'll wipe them clean and never mention them again."
And, the truth is, it's really not fair.
Thank, God it's not.
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
I just saw an ad asking if I'd, "Gotten off track" with my weight loss goals. I've used this language all my life. "I've gotta get BACK on track" and "I fell off track . . ." Said those words a million times. But, today something struck me. What track is that? The weight loss track? The path to Skinny-ville? Is this "track" that I've been on and off of taking me to the destination where I REALLY want to be and where God wants me to be? Sure, I understand that I may be muddied up in messy semantics here. But, I know for too many years of my life, the track I was on was the one towards self-improvement. That track dominated my thoughts, my money, my decisions, and my heart. I thought that "track" would lead me to everything I wanted out of life. If I could just stay on that "track" then I'd find love, peace, joy, rest . . .all the things I craved. Getting "off track" too often meant I was jeopardizing my chance of having all that I wanted.
I wonder how things would change if we spent as much time worrying about and talking about being on or off of God's track for our lives? I wonder what our churches and communities would look like if women were as determined to be on the path God created for them, as they were to lose weight or get in shape?
I don't say that to be snarky. Not at all. Rather I know my own heart can't follow two tracks. I can only have one primary track I'm on. Everything else kind of has to fit into that path in order for me to stick with it.
Too many times, my eating restrictions or my exercise obsession didn't leave room for anything else substantive on my path. I know that what my heart longed for more than God's purpose was a thinner body. And, I pursued that path as if it was the road to righteousness.
But friends, thin is not a destination. There's no eternal crown for being skinny. Jesus wants so much more for his daughters than for them to be consumed in the "get a better body" contest.
Which track are you on?
You just be you. That's so much easier.
Maybe you feel like January is almost over and your resolutions for a "new you" this year are already slipping away...Can I encourage you? You don't need a new you. You just need a "reNEWed" you. Renewing your mind and unveiling the places in your heart that keep you separated from God's truth is the absolute only way to change your body image, permanently. Friend, you could get the hot body, and still struggle with feeling "good enough." But, renewing your mind and allowing Jesus to topple of the idols of your heart will never fail. It took me way too long to learn this. I spent decades chasing diets and exercise plans that would "fix" me. Nothing worked. Only Jesus. That's what I write about in my book. If you're tired of trying all the things and feeling frustrated that nothing's changed. Would you check it out?
I'd make a lousy soldier. A few years ago my children and I attempted the light version of a tour of Gettysburg. After some quality time in the gift shop picking out an Abraham Lincoln top hat, union and rebel soldier caps, pretend muskets and swords, (Grandma was along and buying), we ventured towards the battlefields. As we walked up the hill on a part of the battlefield called "Little Round Top" a thought occurred to me: Fighting battles is hard work.
When I think of a battle -- I usually picture this wide open field with two sides, dressed in different colors, standing and facing each other head-on. But, that wasn't the way it looked the majority of the time. There was a whole lot of moving, marching, taking cover, hiding in the bushes and behind the rocks, and climbing., reality is, if you believe the Bible, it tells us that we are each, daily engaged in a war. We are in an on-going battle for our souls. Some days we are crushed, bruised, and defeated. And, still other days, it feels like it's just too hard to go on.
The voices of despair get louder. Their screams of, "You'll never make it." Or, "You aren't good enough." Or, "Why don't you just give up?" tempt us to retreat and wave the white flag of surrender.
We want to quit.
Sometimes our battle doesn't even feel like active fighting, it just feels like climbing. We take one difficult step after another slowly trudging our way up a hill without knowing for sure when we'll arrive at the top. And, we get tired.
Maybe you've never thought about the fact that you are in a war before, but if your battle is your body image, I hope you'll understand it in a new way today. The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy and that's exactly what he's accomplishing through his work on the body image front.
Just last week I got an email forwarded to me from a woman who said she was grateful for my blog. Her sister had lost her life to an eating disorder, leaving two young children here on this earth without a mom to love and raise them. My heart breaks to even recount this story. Her sister believed the enemy's lies that told her she wasn't enough. She accepted the lie: that her body size--the look of the house that was holding what was truly of eternal value (her soul)--somehow wasn't what it should be.
Some of us fight not to believe that every day. Some of us have a voice feeding us lies about our value-- or lack thereof--every single day.
If you are tired of fighting. If you are climbing and climbing and hoping there is a way out of the body image struggles you face...If you aren't sure if you can win this battle...If it just seems too overwhelming...
Let me encourage you to hide behind a rock.
You see one of the distinguishing characteristics of Little Round Top on the Gettysburg Battlefield was the giant boulders scattered up it's ridge. These made for great hiding places and offered some protection from the enemies fire.
We have a rock always available for our protection as well. He is the rock of our salvation and in his shadow we are safe. The enemies bullets can fly but we can rest safely in his care. We know that our climbing, our struggles, or battles are covered by his sacrifice for us and that we have no need to be afraid of the future or what's coming next. He's holding our hand on the climb even on the days when it feels too hard to keep going.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2 (NIV)
Hi! I’m Heather Creekmore--a wife, a mom of four, an author, a speaker, a grammar rebel, a Netflix failed baker (just watch “Nailed it” season 1, episode 1, you’ll see...) . . .
Oh, and I’m a former comparer! What do I mean by that? Truth is, (Oh my, this is embarrassing), I used to compare myself to other women. All. The. Time. I compared my size, my clothes, my nails, my marriage, my mothering skills, my children, my social media posts . . .
I think you get the idea . . . This page is an outreach of my blog: Compared to Who? It's for Christian women who are TIRED of fighting with issues of comparison and body image.
(Perhaps I should also add that I do have decent grammar skills- I just didn't want to call the page "Compared to Whom?" because it sounded stuffy. Stuffy isn't me.) Now don't think I've got it all together. Though I've come a long way in my journey to defeat comparison and poor body image, but I'm still a work in progress. Some days I eat too many M&Ms and feel guilty about it. Some days I fight the mean thoughts that flood in after I see a "hot" woman on a billboard with thighs that don't touch and sculpted abs. Yet, I'm freer than I've ever been before. And, that's why I write--to encourage other women who are struggling like I was. If you battle body image, I can help you find new freedom.
Start by taking the body image quiz on this page: www.comparedtowho.me/follow It’s free and it will help you get a good understanding of the areas of your body image that may need some fine-tuning.
Then read my book, Compared to Who? if you’re tired of cliche answers to your body image struggles (“It’s what’s on the inside that counts!” or “Remember God made you beautiful, that’s enough.”) then this book is for you!
I also offer body image personal training. Email me about it here: heather (at) compared to who (dot) me. Welcome! Can’t wait to lead you on a journey out of comparison and into freedom!
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