Real talk time folks. (As if I ask for any other kind). Over the last few months, I've had a pretty full schedule. But, to be fair, this is the life I've chosen. I love diving in with people, sorting through hard things, finding solutions, showing up for people - all with this standard of excellence I hold myself to.
I'm also one of the least disciplined people on the planet when it comes to my own physical care. With the exception of regular check ups and visits to the dentist, it has been seriously hard for me to latch on to exercise and eating right for the long term. It's a vicious cycle. I dive into a diet first. Cut out the carbs and weigh myself daily. Then, some party, week of travel, or some other extenuating circumstance interrupts my schedule. The cake, delightful libation, or freshly baked something or other in the name of celebrating with others gets in the way and we're back to square one of "This will be my last day eating like this" talk.
And then comes the guilt. "I feel like an elephant" or "I don't look huge right?" or my passive way of slipping it into conversation "I know I'm not fat, but..." But do I? Do I know? Is this the actual point?
I had this revelation yesterday. I've been 3 weights (give or take a few pounds) over the last 10 years. Facebook has been kind to remind me of this fact. Today, I'm weighing in at the heaviest I've been in those 10 years. But that's not the point. You see, I remember being 2 sizes smaller, 20lbs lighter - even 40lbs lighter and feeling the EXACT SAME WAY. I felt massive. I hated the way I looked, always aware of my midsection. I scrutinized every single photo of me.
I can't help but see that this thought process - this self-defeating, self-destroying stuff actually serves not as a check point for when to kick the diet back into high gear, but rather a tool the enemy uses to keep us from being free to see what God is doing in our lives. Does our obsession with weight keep us from seeing His love for us and others?
There's this great verse in 2 Corinthians 10 that gives us a response to these thoughts. It says, "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God. We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ."
Romans 12:3 tells us to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to but, "measure yourself by the faith God has given us." This also means that we should see ourselves as we are. Loved sons and daughters.
So here's the deal. I don't want to suffer from diabetes. It runs in my family as does a plethora of heart issues. So I'm taking it a day a time, trying to be kind to my body. Because if I do, I get to love people longer. And that's a good thing. So eating junk and not exercising just isn't an option. But neither is killing my spirit through abrasive and judgmental thoughts. Because I'm pretty sure the only thing this goofy girl cares about is that I'm there, playing with her, giving her the space to stick her tongue and be silly. And ultimately, the best way to keep "being there" is to take care of myself.
With your permission, I offer you a prayer for the person who suffers from this constant battle of feeling gross - regardless of size or weight.
It's hard for me to do this, but I want to thank you for the way you have made me. I don't feel comfortable in my own skin today, but I do know that your word says you knit me together. So, thank you for making me and giving me life.
God, I need your strength to be a good steward of my body. I need your strength to get up and get moving even when it's literally the last thing I want to do. But more than that, I need your courage to shut down the defeating thoughts that constantly plague my mind. I become so worried about physical appearance and weight that I lose sight of you and your calling on my life. In Jesus' name, set me free from this. Give me discipline to care for the gifts you have given, but to never become consumed with the gift itself.
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Lord, I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.