What is it with women and food?

A question for you:

What is it with women and food? I’ve been having fun conversations lately with people like me who love chocolate, and who in snowy weather want to sit around eating all the time. Oh me.

What do you think a godly woman should look like? Should she be a model of self-denial, at the perfect weight? Or comfortable with wearing the shape that time and life impose on her?

Be kind. Others reading this blog will have sensitivities you do not. Especially if you are effortlessly skinny. Or male…

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9 years ago

I recently heard a nurse who works in an eating disorders clinic share a presentation on healthy body image. She said that currently the fastest growing population struggling with eating disorders is post-menopausal women… women who have cared too much about body image all their lives and cannot let it go, even when the hormone changes in their bodies are calling for more healthy fat – apparently healthy levels of body fat are needed for health in old age… She also challenged the perfect weight myth – even the body fat index is a hoax according to her. She is a professional, concerned about how continued dieting impacts the body negatively. She certainly made me see my own fallacies in understanding and caring for my body. She talked about how body strength is far more important than body appearance -media hype plays tricks on Mennonite women too. 🙂

9 years ago
Reply to  janelle

I’ve had a bone to pick with BMI for a while already. I try to ignore it and work toward a weight that feels healthy, makes me feel happy and vibrant and is do-able for me at 32 years old with 5 kids.

9 years ago
Reply to  Shaunda

The BMI is a bunch of… no, seriously. NEVER go by the BMI index. It doesn’t take muscle into consideration for one…and muscle weighs more than fat.

9 years ago

Amen Janelle. Body strength and INNER strength much more important. But I DO believe in healthy eating and exercise. Godliness with contentment is a beautifier in itself.

Mary Yoder ( turning 60 in 2015!)

9 years ago

My confession: Women aren’t the only ones who like to sit around and eat.

9 years ago

The problem is that a “model of self discipline and perfect weight” has many sizes and shapes. I have felt judgement towards more robust women from women who haven’t struggled with their weight…. ever. I know what it’s like to exercise discipline and still not be the skinniest girl on the block. Naturally, I take up the cause of the robust woman.

I’m all for being disciplined and getting adequate exercise, both of which I believe allows a person to live a ‘full life’.

I’m all against spending my primary energy and passion on trying to force my body to become something that it never was intended to be.

All that to say, there are seasons and times (such as after a baby) that I need to work hard to maintain or regain what I feel is a healthy weight for myself.

9 years ago
Reply to  Shaunda

I like this, Shaunda.

9 years ago

Ahhhh…watch the snow and eat chocolate? I think I found a kindred spirit.

I’m one of the maddening women who are skinny without trying. (My doctor said after one of my babies “women will hate you.” So please don’t hate me. I can’t help it!)

I think I still need to use self-discipline and not eat chocolate as often as I crave it. And give grace to those who honestly struggle with weight.

Hope this is a conversation that you plan to continue.

Mama Zook
9 years ago

I also did not have to work too hard on regaining pre-pregnancy weight following the birth of each of my 5 babies, although I used the little gismo that you hooked to a doorknob and put your hands and feet in stirrups and pulled the legs up and let them down gently!! It was a gismo that the children loved to also use while I was not. Now that I am 50 something (for a few more months) I have this maddening torso that is making me understand what others have had to deal with all their life. I’m really convinced that a persons metabolism has alot more to do with weight than anything. As for chocolate, I love the little snickers in the fun size, because it’s fun to be able to eat more than one of them, but only with my cup of coffee!

9 years ago

…avidly reading this while eating my daily chocolate with coffee. 😛

I like what Shaunda said about working towards a weight that is doable and healthy for your stage in life. But I know I fall prey to the expectations I feel placed on us by the media or other women. I’ll be listening to further discussion here!

9 years ago


THIS book. It’s good for anyone to read, whether or NOT they have struggled with an eating disorder themselves, or have known someone who has… I don’t agree with everything, but I really appreciated the honest story of a woman who became consumed with food and allowed it to control her life. I found her story/thoughts/knowledge to be insightful.

That said, I think a godly woman can be godly without doing either of the things you suggested…a woman can hide behind her “perfect weight”, “effortless weight”, and “picture of self denial” AND a woman can hide behind her “comfortable wearing the body shape that time and life have imposed upon me”.

9 years ago
Reply to  Renee Shafer

I like what you said about women hiding… I’ve hidden behind both ideal and frumpy images… Who said, “frailty – thy name is woman”? When it comes to issues of body image, they may have been right on.

9 years ago

What a timely post! I just started a diet. It got to the place where I knew something had to be done then when I was one the scales at the doctors I KNEW changes must be made. And when I saw the number I was embarassed I had let myself gain so much weight.
I am not out to be skinny and trim, but not hazardous to myself.

9 years ago

I’m one of those who eats like crazy to try to gain weight (yes, please don’t hate me). At times I’ve been a horrible glutton, but no one would ever know. For me the question is this: am I delighting in God’s gifts of food, or am I losing control of myself and eating way more than I need–esp if it’s not healthful foods.

9 years ago

Interesting the comments on BMI. I was denied having my baby at a hospital I had planned to all because my BMI was too high and they imagined all the possible things that could go wrong!! Funny thing is that I could have chosen a home birth and the midwives would have been fine with that. What frustrated me most is that they had me marked as a no, no, before they ever saw me. They went by the numbers only and had no idea if I was active physically or not. Even though I am over weight I know that I am likely healthier and more fit than some skinny people. Numbers don’t say everything. And yes, big chance we deny ourselves far more than those who just lose it after baby without trying!!!

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