Whenever I feel like I have to be skinny I gain weight. Something about the dilemma of trying to meet the world’s expectations for my body just makes me want to eat.
Have you ever felt that way? You have a special event you’re planning to go to, and you feel like you just have to lose a few pounds before then? I haven’t truth journaled much for these kinds of things, but I need to, because they honestly always make me gain weight.
Today I want to look at the lies that make me feel like I have to be skinny for certain things. I want to prepare myself for those events ahead of time, so I don’t get swept into the idea that who I am on the outside is more important than who I am on the inside. Care to join me?
The Lies That Precede Special Events
1. I need to lose x pounds before this event.
Truth: This is actually a bad time for me to try to lose weight. It will feed into the idea that I have to be skinny for this event. Knowing my track record, the pressure will probably make me gain weight instead. (Note: This is true for me, but it might not be true for you—I imagine each of us is different in this regard.)
2. I have to be skinny for this event.
Truth: Any time I say, “I have to be” or “I have to have,” I’m in danger of making that “have to” an idol. God wants to be the only “have to” in my life. It’s presumptuous of me to say I have to live up to someone else’s standards (even if that someone else is me). I need to forget Hollywood’s take on life and embrace God’s view of life. If I’m going to work on something before the event, my character might be a better choice! (Something about this truth is making me want to grab some pom-poms and start cheering.)
3. If I’m x number of pounds I’m skinny, but if I’m y number of pounds I’m fat.
Truth: X and Y change throughout life. The number on the scale I now see as “fat” looked skinny to me a year ago. Weight is relative. I need to remember that.
4. If I’m not skinny, people will condemn me.
Truth: I can't change how others see me, but I can change how much I let it affect me. I'll have to be careful to steep myself in the Word before this event, so I see myself through God's eyes and not the eyes of others. Plus I'll need to be careful to love those who condemn me, and not condemn them back.
5. It will be terrible if I’m not skinny.
Truth: It will be life if I’m not skinny. After all, haven’t I been “not skinny” at these events before? It’s not the end of the world if I’m not skinny!
6. It will be embarrassing if I’m not skinny.
Truth: It will be an opportunity to grow if I’m not skinny. If I take my embarrassment and go to God with it and use it as an indicator that I’m not seeing life through His eyes, it can spur me on to greater intimacy with God as I work on lining up my thoughts up with His.
7. I might as well keep eating, since I’ll never be able to lose weight by then (this is said, of course, after the diet has failed a few times).
Truth: If my goal is to break free from the stronghold of emotional eating (and possibly another stronghold of focusing too much on appearance), I might as well use this event as an opportunity to carry my thoughts captive to the truth. This whole experience can draw me closer to God as I work on all these thoughts and emotions that are racing through my mind. I need to remember—the goal isn’t to be skinny. The goal is to learn how to live life the way He wants me to live it.
I don’t know about you, but this is making me want to put on a swimsuit and go to the beach! Breaking free from the need to look good all the time is just as important as breaking free from the need to eat all the time.
Why don’t we make a choice today to view ourselves through the eyes of God and not the eyes of the world?
I hope someday I won't care what people think of how I look, but only care what God thinks. It is so ingrained in me. I enjoyed this blog very much and will apply it to my life. That number on the scale though is so hard to get past!
I feel the same way. It's sad how just a couple pounds one way or the other can make or break your day. There have been different times in my life where I've asked my husband and kids to hide the scale for me so I'm not tempted to weigh!
Hi Barb, I wanted you to know I left that first comment under "Anonymous" because I tried to send it like before, under Kathy, and it wanted a name and password. So I just checked it under Anonymous and it took it. It did that one other time! But thanks for the feedback you gave on your email, and for writing this blog. I can't believe I let the number on the scale Sunday almost cause me to eat outside my boundaries! All day I felt that way. I can't wait to read your next blog. Kathy
Hi Kathy, I have no idea why it wouldn't take your comment before. Computers are a mystery to me - often a very frustrating mystery! I've done that before on people's blogs too - tried to comment and it won't post. Any techies out there have advice for us?
I wonder if it would work if you tried Name or OpenID. I know when I comment, I have to check google and put in my username and password.
My daughter just made white cake from scratch, and she's taking it out of the pan as I write this at the kitchen table. My son made pizza for supper, too, so it's a high calorie night. Good thing I have boundaries!
This is a re-post of a comment I put on another blog. But I thought it fit well here too. As I struggle with my boundaries and lies, the one lie that I am free from is this-
I just recently finally understood that God loves me right here right now even at this weight. I was judging myself by man's standard thinking that well of course God loves me, BUT He'll really love me lots more if I am thin. I finally realized that no, God really really loves me as much as He always does right here right now, not later, not thinner, not anything else my human mind can think of. And He grieves for my pain and insecurity because He loves me so much. He grieved that I thought that I had to do something to make Him love me more. And with that I think who the heck cares what the world/man/mean church lady thinks! :o) Praise God!
Elizabeth, That is incredibly profound. I can't tell you how happy I am that you believe that now - to the core of your being it sounds like. It's a wonderful thing to experience that intimate love from the Father, isn't it? You can feel cherished even during a time when no one else is cherishing you. I'm praising God with you.
Yes, I do believe this to the core of my being! Praise God! Sometimes I wish the other lies would be replaced with truth so easily. But then I remember that this is a start. This is a wonderful truthful start. The rest will come in time!
I had the same experience - some lies went away easily and others took more work. It's not a bad strategy to work on the easy ones first - I found that some of the easiest ones were ones that had a big impact on my life. For example, I think the emotions (worry, anger, etc.) are easier to work on than eating and procrastination. At least that was my experience!
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