Picture courtesy of Amy taken in Pensacola Beach, Florida

My crazy and chaotic week is halfway over! Speak Up With Confidence is in full swing (and I am having a blast! Woo hoo!) Today is Manda’s last day of horse camp, and my Jake comes home from Detroit tomorrow night. Yippee!

Thankfully I have family and friends helping to carry the load this week. I’m exhausted! Enjoy another one of my most requested, previously shared posts!!

Have you ever felt not good enough? Not pretty enough? Not thin enough??

For most of my growing up years, I wrestled with a positive self image. At a very young age, I was introduced to “girlie” magazines. I would sneak off and hide under a large office desk and pour over these magazines ~ unknowingly accepting the magazine’s definition of beauty and self worth. I grew up believing to be beautiful meant long, flowing, amazing hair, and having a body that was pencil thin with amazing, vulumptious curves.

Unfortunately I was a shy, chubby, red head, and didn’t look anything like those magazine girls. And no one ever called me beautiful.

Twenty five years later, only after I was in the midst of a cocaine addiction and lost nearly 70 pounds….did I start to look like those magazine images. I was empty physically, emotionally, spiritually and drowning in the midst of illegal drug use ~ but I was thin.

My grandma said, “Oh Cindy, you are so beautiful now.” Really?? Beautiful, now??

The lies, addiction, self-loathing, and negative self talk continued.

Thankfully, in 1996 I met Jesus and my life was forever changed. I now know my worth and value comes from Him! ~ and that His definition of beauty looks NOTHING like the world’s. I am beautiful to Him!! Woo Hoo!

I am extremely grateful for a “do-over” in my own life, and the opportunity to raise two daughters who (Lord willing) will have minds filled with the Truth of who God says that they are and what BEAUTY looks like to Him.

But let’s be honest. It’s not easy.

For me personally, I must continually fill my heart and mind with Truth. I must be intentional about what messages I am allowing into my head. I am extremely careful about what I view on TV, the magazines I read, and the company I keep. (i.e. I cannot look for hours at fitness magazines without picking up the lie that “I’m not good enough”….so I don’t read them). I have great friends in my life who let me know if I start to get “crazy head” again. And daily, I speak aloud words of Truth to myself, my children, and others.

How do you remain victorious in this battle for beauty that we are faced with in our culture today?

A few weeks ago I almost squealed with delight when I came across Operation Beautiful. The goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.”

The editor, Caitlin shares, “If (Operation Beautiful) only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is…. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!”

Here’s an awesome video from the Operation Beautiful site with amazing statistics about how “Fat Talk” is impacting our world….

So how is Operation Beautiful making a difference?? With post-it notes around the world!! 🙂

Caitlin shares, “I began Operation Beautiful by leaving positive messages on the mirrors of public restrooms — at work, at the gym, at the grocery store. I scribble down whatever comes to mind — “You are beautiful!” or “You are amazing just the way you are!” My personal goal is to leave as many Operation Beautiful notes as I can. Maybe some people read them and just smile, but I bet some people are truly touched by the effort of a random stranger.

Operation Beautiful is simple: all you need is a pen and a piece of paper. If you want to join the mission, send me an e-mail at with a photograph of your Operation Beautiful note or a description of your experience, and I’ll post it on the Operation Beautiful site for thousands of others to read and enjoy!”

Isn’t that awesome?? I love how God is using Caitlin and THOUSANDS of others around the WORLD to be a voice of TRUTH to others!

Check out this video to watch Operation Beautiful in action…

Thank you, Operation Beautiful!! May you continue to wallpaper our world with messages of True Beauty!!

And please know if you wrestle with feelings of insecurity, low self worth, or believing just plain old lies, there is LIFE and FREEDOM apart from the Fat Talk. Take it from one who knows ~ LIFE is so much more enjoyable when we are not allowing the world (and/or others) to define us. May we all walk in the TRUTH of who God says that we are! *Beautiful!*

Have an amazing, Truth~filled day!! Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*!

God’s richest blessings to you!!

P.S. Who can YOU share “You are beautiful” with today?? Please share a comment after you’ve shared TRUTH with someone! I’d love to hear from you!

P.S.S. For more Things I Love Thursday ideas, hop on over to visit Jill @ The Diaper Diaries!

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