Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
One of the things I have been learning lately is that this weight-loss thing isn’t primarily about what the scale says or how many inches I have lost. Sure, it’s fabulous and exciting to watch those numbers tick down, but really, what does that number mean really? Does the number define me?
I used to think so. When I was in high school (about 15 years ago) I was very thin and active. I wore between a size 4 and a size 6, never weighed more than 130 pounds and did all sorts of things to stay active. But when I looked in the mirror, what I saw disgusted me.
I was convinced I was fat. I nit-picked every little area of my body. I especially detested my thunder thighs. 130 pounds people!
I remember one particular occasion when my dad took me to get my driver’s license. And of course came the dreaded question: how much do you weigh? I told the clerk 130 pounds and my dad audibly snorted. He thought I was lying.
That number on the scale has always been hugely (pardon the pun) important in my family. Most of my family members struggle with weight issues, and those who are less overweight than others have no problems letting the rest of us hear about it.
At my grandfather’s funeral, my grandmother told my daughter she needed to suck in her stomach. She was 4.
Situations like that were a common part of my childhood experience. I grew up in a hyper-critical environment. I always felt nothing was ever good enough which probably explains my perfectionistic, people-pleasing tendencies. Being raised in that environment I eventually became my own worst enemy. The one who criticized me the most was the one staring at me in the mirror telling me I was fat.
When I went to college and was finally out on my own, the pendulum swung the other way. My eating was out of control because for the first time in my life I had all this freedom and no one telling me when and what to eat. And eat I did. Food became my comfort and my friend. I was finally able to have all of the things I had been denied as a child and I went overboard.
It wasn’t until I got a job in an upscale women’s clothing store in college that I realized I had never been fat in high school. I started to learn how a woman is shaped and could tell by looking at a woman what size she wore. The biggest revelation came to me when women who were size sixes would come in and I would look at them and think they were so skinny and fit. Yet, when I was that size I was convinced I was a cow. Moo.
I don’t tell you all of this to make you feel sorry for me or to place blame on my parents/childhood situation for the way I am. I am a big girl (in more ways than one) and every bite of food I put in my mouth was a conscious decision made by yours truly. I refuse to play the victim and I take complete responsibility for the way I am.
BUT. I still have those self-defeating thoughts. I still think about what a failure and disappointment I must be. I am still convinced that I am not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough. Sometimes, I look at that number on the scale and am thoroughly disgusted with myself.
I have a feeling there might be a few of you out there who can identify with me. You know, since we’re not alone and all.
You see, for far too long I have been defining my worth by those three numbers on the scale. I have been calculating my value by the number on the tag of my pants. And too often I’ve come to the conclusion that I am worth nothing.
But, if there is one thing I know being a Christian, is that it isn’t about how pretty, smart, good, thin, or whatever I am. It is about what God thinks of me. And you know what? Whether a size 6 (c’mon I know there are a few of you reading) or a size 26, what He says about me NEVER changes. My value is not determined by the number on the scale, but by the love of a savior who went to the cross…for me.
Believing anything else is nothing less than believing a lie. Today, I choose to believe the truth. One of my favorite Christian bands, Casting Crowns, sings a song titled “Voice of Truth”.
Here’s what the chorus says:
“The voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, ‘Do not be afraid.’ The voice of truth says, ‘This is for my glory.’ Out of all the voices calling out to me. I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”
Today I choose to listen to THAT voice, instead of the ones in my head that always condemn. With Paul, the author of Philippians, I will choose to listen and think on things that I know to be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. And that has nothing to do with a few insignificant numbers on a scale.
What about you? What voices do you choose to listen to?
I’m linking up this post at Confession of a Snowflake for Weight-Loss Wednesday.