I was very young when I had an experience that changed me. I was never a small child, but I was also never an extraordinarily large child. I was simply a child, happy and oblivious to the battle to stay thin. Then one day, a friend, made a comment about my weight and stopped being my friend.
When this happened I realized that weight and beauty and love and acceptance were all intricately tied together. If you were not beautiful or weighed too much, you were not lovable nor were you acceptable. Rejection was bound to happen if someone found out that you really weren't pretty and love was very conditional.
From that point on I struggled with my weight. It was an up hill battle. A battle that I handed myself over to in surrender for months and years. I used phrases like I'm just not or I'll never be or I won't ever experience or I am not beautiful, athletic, sexy and also found my self using the this phrase as the follow up, "therefore, I am not valuable or lovable."
The negativity did not drive me toward loosing weight to feel better, instead it drove me to gaining weight, causing a cocoon of sorts, enveloping around me, ensuring people would reject me for my body, before they would get to reject me in reality.
This trap kept for the majority of my life. Only recently have I made a switch. It has been a powerful switch. One that is literally altering the way that I live, act and eat. For many years I have know that my weight was about much more than a lack of self control or even eating too much.
I have known that my weight was a reflection of my own attitude towards self. I felt trapped. I felt as though I was suffocating and couldn't get beyond this straight jacket. I would pray and fight battles in my mind.
I knew that for generations the women in my family have battled their weight. So I felt that if I were to over come this, I would have generations behind me that I'd be fighting for as well.
There is something to the things handed to us by generations. But those things do not have the power to entrap us. They have the power we give them.
So back to the life change...
I was walking with a friend this year and we were speaking of food. One of us, I can't remember which one, said, "food just has so much power over me. It's like I always say yes to it when it speaks. Food traps me." When I heard or spoke those words, I immediately responded out lout, FOOD IS INANIMATE! It doesn't have emotions. It doesn't have control. It can not do anything to us. It doesn't have a soul! The only power food has, the only power, is what we give it. And I for one am taking it back!"
That day my entire attitude toward body and weight and beauty changed. In reality it had taken years to get to that point and many other conversations, but that day, everything came together and I bought back that which I let slowly slip into the hands of a lie and an inanimate object. Since that time I have lost 35 pounds. I had allowed the cocoon of my body raise up to 255lbs and it has slowly and steadily crept its way down. I have 65 more pounds that I'd like to loose, but for now, I'm happy with what has been lost.
I'm happy with what has been lost because much more life has been gained. I feel beautiful. I know I'm lovely. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I no longer feel as though I have to pray those into existence, but I get to simply sit in them as truth. I can write this blog and tell the world without with out shame my weight because I am not any more valuable today than I was at 255 nor than I will be at 150. Weight and beauty do not give me value. Weight and beauty do not determine value.
My value has been given to me by my Creator who made me with intention, love and fine craftsmanship. He knew exactly what He was doing and I'm so thankful. The truth is, we each are valuable, no matter what size we are, how much money we make, the acne we have or the lack of hair on our head. Our value does not rise and fall on any of these things.
For God so loved the world that He SENT his Son to us that we might not die, but live in everlasting life. Amazing thought. This says nothing about for God so loved the skinny blonde with great boobs. It is all inclusive. Our value gets to rise and fall on that love. A love that does not ebb and flow with time, experience or outward appearance. It is a love that is unconditional, all of the time, and in every circumstance.
Jesus did come to save us. We need saving. I need saving. I needed saving from a self who desperately wanted my appearance to change so that I could be valuable. I needed saving from the idea that value and love were conditional. I needed saving from my body that trapped me into a cocoon of pounds that truly made me hide.
I have been saved. And I am currently living into the reality of that salvation. As I loose weight I feel like I am becoming more and more of the true and authentic me. The me that I've been hiding. The weight was a mask, it was evidence that I had not let go of my belief that my value was derived from appearance. I no longer wear that mask, it is slowly melting away.
I am so excited as I see me, the true me, come out with every step, with each day and with every pound lost.
What do you think?
Where in your own life do you need salvation?
What has kept you from believing Jesus has given you love and value?