Throughout my teenage years, I’ve had one specific enemy.. The scale. For the longest time this rectangular thing would determine my happiness, my confidence, and overall my worth. Growing up, it was almost expected to make negative comments about your body with your friends, and eventually, I began to believe them. Im not going to lie, up until I was 16 I was on the chubbier side. But even now to this day this is something I struggle with.
A lot of people ask me how I did it. How did I go from pushing 140 to 110 pounds? I know ever since sophomore year in high school started, I just began making changes in my diet. I stopped buying hot cheetos with nacho cheese, cup noodles, and everything else that’s delicious but so bad for you. Instead I would get salads or wraps with some water or green tea. This made a huge difference for me. It was a slow process, but it definitely showed results. Also during that time I began exercising a few times a week. So if you were still wondering how I lost 30 pounds, its literally because I ate healthy and exercised. There’s no “quick” way to do it. If you want weight to stay off, thats the only way to go.
Fast forward two years. I have never been in better shape, I felt confident all the time, people were always making such positive comments regarding my body and asking me on advice. because of this, I felt important, like I had worth because of what I accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely encourage the healthy lifestyle. But it became more than a lifestyle for me. It became my identity. When my weight was lower than usual, I would smirk to myself and leave the bathroom with my head high. When I saw that my weight would go up, panic would fill my mind. I understand that weight fluctuates depending on a number of things, but fear would overcome logic. By now I felt this pressure to stay the same image of the “fit and healthy sana” people would see me as, so if anything would threaten that, I would be filled with anxiety and fear. And of course it never helped when I saw girls skinnier and more fit than I. It is nearly impossible to go on social media and NOT see anything fitness related. I never thought I had a problem with this because it wasn’t the physical part I was struggling with. It was spiritual.
Fast forward another year. BOOM, now I’m engaged! the pressure is really on now! Wasn’t this part of the reason why I wanted to lose weight in the first place? I needed to workout even more, even though my schedule was twice as filled with wedding planning. Half the times I failed to do so. I was getting a little concerned about it, but my mind was occupied with so many other things, for once it was not my top priority. What I failed to realize was that as a young woman, your body is still growing and is going through changes. After getting married, I noticed my weight was starting to go up again. I was confused, because I still eat healthy and exercise (not as much due to knee issues). I was horrified whenever I stepped onto a scale. To someone else, gaining around 5 pounds doesn’t seem much, but to me it was everything. It put me into a state of a lot of shame. Often times I cried because of how much hate and disgust I felt over myself. The lies in my head started sounding more and more too. “You are nothing.” “You are fat and ugly.” “Your husband won’t find you attractive anymore.” It felt like these lies were eating me alive. I thought I was past all of this? But I clearly wasn’t. I hadn’t accepted the fact that I was trying to make my weight my identity. I thank God for my husband who would wipe away those tears and tell me that I’m beautiful, and that even in 50 years I’ll still be beautiful in his eyes. God was trying to tell me something in that moment as my tears were being wiped away. He was trying to tell me that my Identity has always been rooted in Christ. Even when I would wander from that truth, it would still remain the same. GOD is my rock. He tells me who I am and that is His child that was fearfully and wonderfully made. Satan will try to tell us lies that almost sound like the truth. For the longest time I believed I would be more fulfilled in life depending on what the number on the scale is. Losing weight doesn’t seem harmless until it consumes your entire thinking.
God set me free from the chains of approval. He crushed and triumphed over the fleeting idol in my heart. Jesus was hung with the most shame so we wouldn’t have to feel any. His body was and beaten and torn, so we wouldn’t have to do that to ourselves. We are His Beloved. He calls us to find rest in Him. You cannot hate yourself if you believe an infinite God has infinite love for you.
God is working on me to this day on this issue, to constantly be reminded where my identity lies. My weight doesn’t define me. I am more than a number. I can have confidence and feel beautiful regardless of what the scale tells me. Because Christ accepted me at my worst, He enabled me to accept myself in this season. Beloved, Christ is your true rest. You won’t find rest in numbers or compliments. You won’t find rest in seeking approval. You will find rest in Christ and Christ alone. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“My should finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2