It takes up too much of my thought life.
Especially the negative zings, which don’t belong in my head at all.
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that in 2012 I started paying attention to my body and lost 55 pounds.
Unfortunately I’ve found some of those pounds again. To be honest, I don’t know how many because I’m afraid to get on the scale.
I learned a lot about where I turn for comfort in 2012 and 2013. I mean you can pray and read Scripture and love your family and talk to your friends and all of that but still try to eat your negative emotions.
I got a lot better. I learned to pause to think about what was really going on when I craved food. And usually I could let go of the craving.
So here we are about 5 years later.
I haven’t totally gone backwards, but I’ve shrugged off more fresh veggies and healthy exercise choices than I am willing to admit.
And lately I’ve given space again to the negative “I’m fat” thoughts.
This has been going on awhile, and has really cranked up in the stress of the aftermath of my husband’s heart attack.
So why I am writing about it now?
Today I browsed blogs written my folks who’ve recently followed mine. I’ve had some new follows by people talking about health and weight and body image, including a young girl from another country. She’s only 15 but, like me, she’s focused on her body.
I don’t know if it will comfort or discourage her that I still think about this stuff.
I was reminded this weekend of a blog post I wrote a few years ago. I posted a picture of how I really looked and a picture of how I thought I looked, which was much heavier. This memory made me wonder how much of my weight gain since that day is related to never truly being able to see myself as I truly was.
It’s hard enough in your 50s with these struggles, but what about this young girl–and all the others like her? What would it mean to all of us if we saw ourselves as we really are?
Not just our real weight.
I mean the real weight of our existence.
What if we saw ourselves as amazing, strong, worthy, and beautiful?
What if we understood our value?
Ladies, we are God’s treasure. The Creator of the whole universe had us specifically in mind even before the world began. GOD dreamed us up. He not only loves us, He likes us. He thinks we’re beautiful and unique and of great value.
He also knows all the wonderful things we are capable of–the ways we can impact our world for good–if we can break out of negative self-focus and live fully aware of our value and how He’s wired us to live in this world.
I was recently talking to Him about all the stuff bugging me. When I got to my weight, I swear I heard Him laugh. Not at me. Not in a mean way. Just a laugh that seemed to include a shrug, as though I made way more consequence of it than He did. As if all the things I found unattractive were not even an issue for Him. As if His focus was somewhere entirely different than those pesky extra pounds.
As if He thought I had better things to think about and do than to worry about how I looked in the mirror.
I’m not saying He doesn’t care about my weight or health. He proved His personal attention to this area of my life time and again as I lost weight and learned to make healthier choices five years ago.
What I’m saying, is that He isn’t hung up on my weight.
It doesn’t limit or diminish His approval.
He isn’t wringing His hands or spending precious thought time on the number on a scale.
He’s thinking about His women in a whole different way.
Sure, He thinks we’re beautiful. He designed us to be beautiful! It’s just that He knows beauty isn’t a number on a scale or a perfect figure or perfect outfit. Beautiful is being fully present in this world.
Taking up our own space.
Living out our destiny of bringing goodness in our own unique way to our little corner of the world.
So to my new 15 year old follower and to myself, this is what I have to say.
Be healthy. Eat well. Live active and strong. It’s good for you!
But it is not your totally and need not be your world.
(Your world is so much bigger than a number on a scale!)
It is not your identity.
It doesn’t deserve undo focus in your thought life.
You have so much more to think about. So much more to do.
Like notice a sunset or a shaft of bright light.
Like laugh with a friend or encourage someone who needs a bit of help.
Like enjoy amazing music or art or poetry.
Or create it.
Start by loving yourself.
To do that you receive love.
You believe you are of great worth to your Creator.
You tell your Creator you want to believe you are valuable.
You ask Him to help you change your thinking so that you don’t focus negative thoughts about yourself
You start seeing the gifts, the strengths, the beauty, the courage you possess.
As as you receive God’s love, then you share it.
You help a friend see his or her worth. See that there is more to them than what people think or say (and that’s what I’d tell another new follower, this one from India).
There is more to you than even than you know.
And it is good.
Until Next Time,
PS It’s not too late to download that free Easter devotional on my website, Soul Scents: Selections for Easter.