'Skinny Woman' photo (c) 2011, Eden, Janine and Jim - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Some days I believe
I am more
When there is less of me,

That my words
Bear more weight
When I bear it less,

That my deeds
Tip scales
When I don’t.

And untruths
Are easy to buy
When I am feeling cheap,

So I bring plates
Filled with lies
As fragrant offerings,

And make myself
A sacrifice
To all the wrong gods.



65 comments

  1. beautiful and haunting. . . and so much raw, painful truth in these words.
    it almost hurts to read, yet i find more with each reading.
    thank you for the sharing.
    steph

    Reply
    • I’m grateful you’re going back to read again even when it hurts– I hope it starts to heal.

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  2. Beautiful writing.

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  3. Very nice!

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  4. Your talent pool is very deep. My admiration for you grows deeper each week. Thank you for sharing.
    Buddy

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  5. Lisa G

    I will be reading this again and again and again and sharing it with some teenage girls (including my own daughter) who swallow that same lie. Thank you for being a truth teller.

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    • Oh, thank you so much for sharing it with those precious girls. They– we– need to hear the truth from our mothers and sisters and friends.

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  6. Thank you for this. Such pressure we live under. And we feel we can’t even talk about it. Thank you for talking about it.

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    • You’re welcome. That’s why we tell the stories.

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  7. Wow. This one hits hard and close. Weight has been my personal albatross/nemesis/enemy my entire adult life. And that’s a lot of years. I’ve carried many extra pounds, most of the time as a kind of protection against the world, some of the time as an act of rebellion against the pressures of my own home growing up and the world at large ever since. It’s a complicated thing and the source of so, so much pain, fatigue, angst, struggle. Thank you for putting these beautiful words around such an ugly, hard topic. These layers of insulation have kept me ‘safe’ (whatever that means) and have helped me to be ‘big enough,’ maybe just plain ‘enough.’ Though I don’t fight this battle in the same ways that you do, I fight it nonetheless. And I have lost that battle, again and again and again.

    But, by the grace of God, 40 pounds have fallen since retirement. And I am trying to wait patiently for another 40 to follow. But I grow weary in the waiting. So I thank you for the encouragement of these words and will offer up myself yet again – hopefully to the only God who knows and cares and not the small ‘g’ ones who play such horrendous mind games with the likes of me.

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    • Thank you for sharing your struggle, Diana. I so appreciate that you say our struggles aren’t the same but you offer solidarity. We all need more of this from each other.

      Isn’t it true, there’s only one God who can heal any of it?

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  8. Beautiful words about a horrible struggle…telling the truth vs believing the lies. Thank you for this, So well done!

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  9. Amazing clarity. Once again, thank you Tamara!

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    • Thanks, and you’re quite welcome.

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  10. Beautifully written Tamara :) It strikes a chord with so many of we women – thank you for sharing.

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    • Thanks for saying so– I thought it might. So many of us fight these battles, and it does no good to keep them quiet.

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  11. Amy

    Just beautiful and wonderfully true. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  12. This is so moving and blunt in all the best ways. What a wonderful piece!

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    • I’m glad it moved you, Bethany.

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  13. Love this. It speaks to my heart & soul at a time when I’ve been hoping to jump back on the weight loss wagon. Thank you.

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    • I am so grateful it speaks to you, Stephanie.

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  14. Dan McM

    Can we submit this to publish in high school English text books? Please?

    Great writing. Poignant message. Seriously, wish there was a way to get this to high school english teachers for submission/discussion in their classrooms.

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    • I love it. Why can’t we? Send it to all the teachers you know and ask them to send it their colleagues. You have the author’s permission. :) God’s done bigger things with less.

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      • Dan McM

        I just forwarded the link to the English and Health teachers I know (not a lot of them.) Good stuff, my friend.

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        • Thanks so much. Love this idea!

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  15. You’re beautiful. <3

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    • Thank you, Julie. So are you. xo

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  16. Sarah H.

    I’m so glad you brought these lies into the Light. I pray that doing so has lifted that particular burden from you right now.

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    • Thanks, yes, not feeling as pulled as I sometimes am by the lies enabled me to bring them into the Light to share with others. We can fight so much more ably there than in the darkness alone.

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  17. I am more
    When you write.

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    • Humbled, grateful tears. Love you, friend.

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  18. Whoa…and wow.

    Thank you, Tamara. I think you just expressed the inner struggle of 99% of women. American women, at least. And it doesn’t even have to be about weight or size. We beat ourselves up for any number of perceived shortcomings.

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    • Yes, yes. This is not just about eating disorders; in fact, I don’t even have one. But I have struggles with not being “just so,” and I think we all do, and I’m glad we’re talking.

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  19. Jlunardo

    Really good poem, Tamara! The whole “weight/size determines one’s value” thing is such an insidious problem, especially for females. Society teaches us at such a young age that our value is determined by our beauty, weight, shape, size…and that is such a hard mind set to fight against, even when we know better. If only we were taught from the get-go where our true value comes from, and if only society reinforced THAT TRUTH rather than bombard us with lies.

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    • Yes, society is awfully loud and awfully wrong. I think that when we know the truth, we have to try to speak it all the louder.

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  20. So true and so close to the bone…

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  21. Looking at some holiday snaps of smiling faces, white beaches and blue skies, I showed one picture to my partner and said, “What do you think of this pic?”. She said, “We look fat.” I was expecting her to say, ‘We look happy!’ So started a battle with my weight, which I (thankfully) gave up on when we split up. I’m now almost 50, and so what if I don’t look 20 any more? Content now in the shape I am (and a partner who loves me even when there’s more to cuddle).

    (love the picture you’ve put beside your wonderful poem btw – reminiscent of today’s catwalk models)

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    • How heartbreaking that that’s what she saw; I am so happy you now see it differently and that you have someone who sees you simply through eyes of love.

      As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I had to use it. A skinny golden idol. *sigh*

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      • Sarah W

        It is interesting that you chose this image to accompany your poem. Giacometti has always been an artist close to my heart because – for me – his sculpture mirrors the tension, the slenderness, the precariousness and fragility of life. He said his figures were not meant to be people at all, but their shadows, which began evolving into the elongated shapes with which we are most familiar after he bore witness to the horrors of the second World War. Your poem, slender itself, resonates peculiarly with this sculpture in my mind. I do not see it as an idol, but as the shadow of a soul without substance. When we sacrifice ourselves to the wrong gods, our shadows become tenuous as our hope. Thank you for your poem.

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        • Sarah, thank you for that rich insight into the art– I had no idea. Funny, I found it by searching a database for “skinny woman,” and it reminded me of the golden calf– but perhaps this says more about my own idols than it does about the art itself. And either way, I see the tenuous shadow.

          Awesome thoughts– thanks.

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  22. This is a beautiful, poignant piece. It is an awesome thing to know that we are not enough, will never be enough–in fact, are worse than anyone else knows.

    And yet are still completely, absolutely, irrevocably loved anyway.

    Because He is enough.

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    • “Irrevocably loved”– awesome. If only we could just rest and be satisfied in that.

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  23. Sadly beautiful. Why, oh, why do we sacrifice to these gods? Brings tears to my eyes…

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    • And there are enough of them to fill a pantheon. Even when we know the only God worth seeking, it is still so easy to turn time and again to the others.

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  24. Sarah

    Wow, this is beautiful and so honest…been here many times. Thank you for sharing this!!

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    • So many of us have. You’re welcome, Sarah.

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  25. This is such a powerful post.
    Especially for those of us who have struggled with body image all of our lives.
    That’s probably the majority.
    Thank you for spreading your light darling.

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  26. Thank you for sharing your work with the world. ‘My deeds tip scales when I don’t.’ – remarkable sentiment. I hope to read more of your poetry at some point. :)

    Best wishes,

    Casey

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    • Thank you, Casey. I have another one or two on here and several at my personal blog. I appreciate your reading!

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  27. Wow. Just found your page (from a comment at churchrelevance.com). Powerful words.

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  28. I sat here and read it. And read it again. And again. And I probably will read it YET again. Because I need to hear it and think we all do. It’s brilliant!

    So that probably sounds like shameless sucking up, but I really LOVE this piece. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Not at all. I’m so glad it touched you!

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  29. Aidan Stoltzfus

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post. Really Cool.

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  30. oh tamara. how this struck home… an incredible write friend. would it be okay if i posted it on my eating disorders blog sometime? bless you… xo

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    • It would be more than okay. Thank you. xo

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