Getting Real About Self-Image & Our Worth

In this issue:

In this issue, we take a lighthearted look at the complicated emotions that go along with how honest we are about weight loss or weight gain and have a heart-to-heart about self-image. Explore why Michelle loves vintage cameras so much, and learn about the resource that was the inspiration for this blog.





Inspired Life: Getting Honest with the Scale

In this issue, I want to lighten it up a little while staying true to my mission of inspiring and encouraging readers. Let’s chat a little about getting real. Some of you got through Christmas and then realized you were going to have to kick it into gear in the New Year and get rid of the Christmas cookies and buckeyes and fudge that are gone from the long-ago washed and put away candy trays and now residing on your back side.

If you’re like me when you decide to drop a few pounds – or fifty – you have had to get on the scale. Thus begins the games of leaning side to side, claiming water weight, and so on.

And then the scale moves. For. Real.

And some clothes start to fit.

You wonder if anyone will notice, but you don’t really want anyone to notice.  Let me explain.

It’s great when friends rejoice with us.

Unfortunately, it is more likely that someone—typically someone about your size who has no intention of dropping any pounds—will look you up and down and then accuse, “You’re losing weight, aren’t you.”

It’s uttered with the same tone someone might use to say, “You stole money from my wallet, didn’t you!”

By the time I get back in my skinny jeans (like as in lower size and not what we now call skinny jeans), they might be back in style again. Those stonewashed, pleated, belly-button-high jeans are coming back. I saw some at Target the other day.

So back to the story. This is when my insecurity begins to kick in.

I have discovered that once some moderate weight-loss takes place, people begin to gush and carry on about how great we look. For some people this would not be a problem, but for me it’s where my more complex side comes out.

We like it when someone notices we’ve lost weight.

On the other hand, if someone says the smaller version of me looks fabulous, this would indicate I have looked like a water buffalo for the past six years.

When I gain twenty pounds does anyone say, “You’re getting really fat. What plan are you on?”

I am waiting for the opportunity to say, “Oh, I couldn’t be happier since discovering the South Beached Whale Diet.”

The Real You

Let’s just get real for a few minutes about hiding stuff. We have perfected the art of bluffing, counterfeiting, and playing games, and we do it so well that we have no idea where authenticity leaves off and the façade begins. Why is it so hard to be authentic?

I can’t even be honest with the department of motor vehicles! My driver’s license reflects my pre-baby weight from eighteen years ago. Mercifully, the tactful workers at the DMV never tell me I’m the fluffiest 134-pound woman they have ever seen.

I think we hide the truth, because it reminds us that there is more pain under the surface. The script in our head says: “You’re worthless,” they say, “Ugly. Flawed. Worthless.”

Perhaps your pain comes from years ago when someone caused you to be insecure about your physical appearance—your nose, your chin, your lack of curves, too many curves, your hair.

Whatever the source, we’ve packed away perceptions and ideals that make it difficult for us to be authentic with even those closest to us. It makes us skeptical of loving words and compliments, too. When someone says, “I love you,” we think they must be bluffing. When our spouse tells us we are attractive, we curl a lip, narrow an eye, and say, “Yeah, right!”

Unchained from the Pain

When we’re chained to the hurt, we experience depression, lack of joy, and a sense of hopelessness.

This is why I wrote The Repurposed and Upcycled Life.  It’s why  I started the Life, Repurposed podcast.

I want to help ALL of us get comfortable with who we are, flaws and all, and let people love us.

Let it go.

The scale doesn’t define you.

You are beautiful and wonderful, even if you have some lumps and rolls that have been hanging around – literally hanging – since you had a baby 24 years ago. Ask me how I know it takes 24 years to drop the baby weight.

Let’s have a joyful life filled with grace for us and others.


Life, Repurposed: Through the Lens of a Vintage Camera 

I don’t love having my picture taken, and yet I love old cameras.

They are artistic. I think of all of the photos that were taken with them! Photos tell a story. They capture a moment, but they don’t give us all of the details. They can artificially show happiness where pain hides. Or they can be brutally honest and show emotion.

I think of all of the digital photos I have photoshopped, when that didn’t happen with the old film camera prints.

We live in a culture where it is easy to fake anything. To merge two scenes and crop people out of photos. We can present perfect sunsets through the stroke of a mouse in the right software.

The old cameras remind me of when what you see is what you get. A real, tangible picture.

Repurposed items can tell their own story when we let our imagination run wild, which is why I love to collect old junk!

If you have something you collect or you have repurposed, I would love to see it. And I’d love to share it on my Trash to Treasure Facebook page, too! Send me a message with your before and after pictures or a link to your post that can be shared.


Recommended Resources 

I’m going to use this opportunity to give a shameless plug for my  book, The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. [affiliate link] If you enjoyed the first part of this post, you’ll find more in the first chapter of the book.

With humor and practical examples, I want to help you see how some of your greatest disappointments, mistakes, and hurts can be beautiful treasures from God. Part memoir, part inspiration and self-help, this book will help you: 

  • Unpack emotional baggage and deal with the past
  • Confront perfectionism and negative attitudes
  • Change your perspective on your circumstances
  • Let go of regret and shame
  • Build positive healthy relationships
  • Dream big and live with purpose

Through inspiration from God’s Word and examples from everyday life, you’ll discover the joy-filled, hope-rich way of viewing your past, present, and future.

Released in 2018 – A Small Group Bible Study
This workbook was created for a small group Bible study and heartfelt discussion, with doodles to color and creative exercises on every page. This is where faith, creativity and everyday life collide!

This 15-week small group Bible study is designed for busy women who want to build relationships as they gather around the Word of God to grow in their faith. There are optional at-home activities that help apply the content, but no assigned homework. Leaders can facilitate discussion without extensive prep for each session.

Get a Free Download of the First Chapter of Both Books

Both books are available on Amazon. If you’re ordering for a small group in a larger quantity, please contact Michelle for a price quote. You can save up to 20-25% when you contact Michelle for your group order. Otherwise, for regular orders, here are some convenient links:

The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure
The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: A Women’s Small Group Bible Study
[affiliate links]


(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book.This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.

Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.

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This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.

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