Band Aid & Bare Arms: My Current Unfiltered Photo of Me

{6 minute read}

I’ve finally gotten enough bravery to post a current picture of myself. Not of my wound but of me.  I’m alive, but not thriving…. not yet at least. 

I came to Robert with my idea of 40 days.  Conversations with Robert happen in our kitchen and usually over a cup of coffee. He is a professional listener. Yet there are times when he gives me the look…….. “get to the point!” His eyes lovingly, of course, scream. 

So that’s what I’m going to do. Bottom line is this. 

I am going to document my life for 40 days. Not all of it, just three parts.  I will share my approach to how I get stronger in three areas: heart, soul and body. More specifically? What I read with God, who I spend time with, and what I eat.

Why? Because I want to be back to the place I was in these pictures below; and actually to an even better place. One with more grace, understanding, depth and beauty from the realities of life. 

This was a time in my life when I felt like I was in my groove. It was before a miscarriage, before the next two babies, before facing the $194,400 in debt we had, and before skin cancer.  I was a wife, mom, employee, daughter, sister and friend but I also wrote and published a women’s bible study, spoke in various venues, and was a strong 12.5% body fat at lean 5 ft 7, 130 lbs.  I felt strong in ALL three areas of life: spirit (heart), soul, and body. 

Through my recent hiccups of life with my weight gain, post partum emotions, and skin cancer, I’ve struggled with what I see in the mirror. You can read about that here.

I really want to show you this photo but it’s not my most vulnerable one.

So here it is.  This picture was taken of me on Sunday afternoon. It’s really hard for me to wear tank tops, better yet post a picture of me in them without a filter on this blog post. I’m embarrassed. 

It was a beautiful day with family. I felt gorgeous inside and out.  My bandaid is getting smaller which means my hole on my forehead is getting smaller.  This felt good. 

Then, of course, I looked at the photo. I thought for certain it was the angle, then I realized that’s what Benjamin looks like, so I guess it wasn’t a photography error.  I fought feelings of insecurity. I fought them so well that I went and threw on a jacket, of course. 

It doesn’t even look like me. It reflects a woman that isn’t her strongest. A woman that is overwhelmed by a new baby and feelings of fear and insecurity.  A woman who is not in control with her emotional eating. 

The inside and outside aren’t matching. You ever felt that way too?? I’m not trying to be vain by any means but completely honest with you.  It’s not about a six pack, although a flat non-jiggly tummy might be nice.  It’s about being strong enough and healthy enough to pursue my God-given potential.  I am tired all the time right now.  My recent blood work shows an incredible imbalance in my body due to poor diet choices. My body is not in optimal health. And as a result, I pack on the pounds and don’t feel my best. 

This is actually a good thing for me to feel this way. Why? Because as I share about in this post, I was so defeated in life that I didn’t even care about the weight gain. I just cared about the hole in my forehead. And as this hole fills in, I realize there is hope. Hope to get back to my optimal health and my strongest. 

But here’s the kicker…. I KNOW what to do but I’m not doing it. I’m so darn tired! I find my flow with the gym and then one of the kids gets sick and I can’t go. It doesn’t take much for me to derail right now. You felt that way too?! 

The Best Idea Yet

Then early Sunday morning, I was reading my Bible while sipping a warm dark cup of coffee and I got a visitation from an angel. He walked into my living room and said “you are called by God and He wants you to spend 40 days doing this…” Oh my goodness! I’m joking I’m joking. That didn’t really happen at all. Not even close. 

What really happened was that I was reading my bible and I realized how 40 days seemed like a good idea to do something.  Ha!  I mean, my goodness, Rick Warren did it for millions of people with “purpose driven life” so I had an idea!! 

What if I strengthened myself for 40 days?! What if I actually listened to my own teaching and strengthened myself for 40 days in three areas?! 

In my message “Unlocking Your Potential“, I share the 4 practical steps it takes to unlock our potential based on the Proverbs 31 woman found in the Bible. 

Practical step #3 is the challenge to “strengthen yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically” (proverbs 31:17 amp) which can be summed up as spirit (heart), soul and body. 

What You Can Expect 

For the next 40 days I am going to practice what I preach. What a concept, right?!  {insert sigh} I kind of see this as a personal and practical social experiment. 

But here’s the kicker (I think this is the 2nd kicker, right?! Btw-whoever came up with that phrase?! AWE-some!) …. the 2nd kicker is this…. I don’t want to do more of anything! I get overwhelmed SO easily right now. I get paralyzed with life and just sit and stare at the wall or my phone. 😬 So I’m actually going to do less; Less of what’s best. 

  1. Spirit – I’m going to create conversations with God by talking to Him and reading His word, even if that’s in our 4 year olds preschool devotional. I don’t need fancy, I just need filling by my Father in heaven. 
  2. Soul- I’m going to become aware of the beautiful time I spend in relationship with PEOPLE. Believe it or not, I’m an extrovert INTROVERT. I like being alone and it’s very natural for me. But I really do love when I spend time with my friends and family. The problem is that it’s just not the first thing I think of and I have to be very intentional with it. Because if not, I’ll just socialize with my 6 year old, 4 year old and 6 month old thinking that’s good enough. But I am SO blessed when I create time for conversation with friends. There is so much beauty in each shared story, laughter, tears and connection. How could I live life without PEOPLE?! Wow, I’m feeling rather sappy right now. I just love you. Really, I do. 
  3. Body- I would rather just lift weights and eat what I want. But the truth is that that will never transform my body. 80-90% of the transformation comes from what I create on a plate and put in my mouth. I’ve transformed my body at least 4 times so I know this from experience. So I’m still going to workout, but my priority is to be intentional with what I eat. How? I’m going to share with you the simple way I carb cycle and enjoy 4 free/cheat meals a week. 

Conclusion. My 40 days starts tomorrow, April 26th, ending on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th. Don’t expect too much from me. I hope you’re not disappointed by the fact that I’m not seeking God right now for hours on end, or eating clean with every meal, and bless people non-stop. I’m just trying to survive the day and with a big win for the day being able to get a shower in! 🙄

I hope I’m making sense. If not, then I hope I will make more sense in 40 days. Here’s to getting strong. She’s strong in Him. She’s strong in Mind & Body. Proverbs 31:17 amp. It’s kind of my heartbeat right now.   

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Check out our current 40 Day Journey here!


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Comments

  1. Carol Abreu says:

    Thank you Jamie! You are an inspiration to so many. I too am struggling with being strong in mind and body, and will enjoy this journey of yours. And I will look forward to your sharing of how to eat well, and get on to my own journey of gaining strength!
    And congrats on your beautiful baby boy!!

  2. theroyalconcept says:

    Your are hands down one of the most beautiful people I know!!! Proud of you mama!

  3. Joyce Dowding says:

    That’s very bold, and raw and open of you to admit those very heart-felt feelings Jamye!
    I’m proud of you for writing it and letting people come along side you. Boy do I remember the days of which you speak!!! They are tiring, hard, and all the things you described. So now it’s MY turn to bless the next generation, YOU! I am putting a prayer reminder on my cell phone for you 🙂 Everyday you are on this journal I will be covering you in prayer. Bless you girl ❤

  4. Thanks for sharing!!! Seeing your true beauty helps me so much!!! I totally understand those struggles. Your words are so powerful and uplifting.. i love that you are doing the little things and not everything!!! We love you Jamye and you are amazing!!!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing. There are so many who can identify. Cheering you on, praying for you and loving you!!

  6. Thank you for sharing. I struggle often with my choices and my insecurities yet do little to change my choices which lead to those insecurities. I am blessed to have a husband that constantly tells me how much he loves me and that I am beautiful regardless of how I look. That all being said the voice inside my head is louder than those coming from others. I’ll be praying for you and I will continue on my own journey to becoming the best me I can be 🙂

  7. Sarah Bradbury says:

    Cousin! I love this post and I love you!! I forgot you you were taller than me… btw. Not an important detail… I guess it means we don’t see each other often enough. Anyway… I’m inspired by what you’re doing. How is the best way for me to stay tuned in to your meal plans? Watch for posts on Instagram or what?

    • Ha! I do have to stand tall to get that extra 1/4 inch to the 5′ 7! But so worth it, right?!

      Thank you for your kind words! Can’t wait to see you this summer!

      You can follow my meal plans by signing up for these blogs to go directly into your inbox! You’ll find the sign up on the home page (by clicking the “life with jamye” header and looking in the right column of the site.

      This website will be my “home base” for the next 40 days! I will also post at various times for the 40 days on instagram at @shesstronginmindandbody.

      So good to hear from you! Much much love! 😘

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  1. […] Introduction Story to 40 Days{6 minute read} […]

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