Today I told someone my weight. Someone who is skinny and younger than me and taller than me and absolutely stunningly beautiful. And while I told her not to tell anyone else my weight (as if she would do that), I didn’t totally cringe when I told her.
Part of it is because I’ve been seeing success on the journey I’m on, but I know a bigger part is because I am learning that my worth is not measured by the numbers on a scale.
That was huge for me. I’ll be honest that it still bothers me when I step on the scale and don’t see much movement over the course of a couple of days. I have been instructed to not step on the scales at all but to let my clothes tell me how I’m doing. I just can’t seem to stay away from the scale’s immediate results or lack thereof. While I still want to lose a little more weight, a few more inches, and drop another size in clothes, I fully realize my worth is not measured by any of those things. It wasn’t measured by those things when I started my journey and it’s not going to be measured by that when I reach my goal.
In Chapter 7, titled I’m Not Defined by the Numbers, Lysa shares a poignant paragraph that I put a simple note beside: “Type this out.” I don’t want to forget it. I don’t want to go back to thinking my worth decreases as the numbers on the scale increase. I also don’t want to risk thinking my worth increases as the numbers on the scale decrease. None of this journey makes me worth any more or less in the eyes of the Lord… I was always His precious daughter and He is simply thrilled that I am finally giving this part of my life to Him.
If we make the choice to be Jesus girls who offer our willingness to exercise self-control and perseverance to the glory of God, we can lose weight, get healthy, and walk in confidence that it is possible to escape the cycle of losing and gaining back again. We can be victorious. We can step on the scale and accept the numbers for what they are – an indication of how much our body weighs – and not an indication of our worth. Emphasis mine.
Within the Personal Reflections section, Lysa asked what I thought God would say to me if I could clearly hear His words throughout the day, or what would I like to hear Him say. My response was, “You got this! You can walk away from that bread because I’ve given you the strength to do so.”
I have a funny to share with you. If you have never read Jon Acuff’s stuff, I suggest you start with the Hand Raising Worship blog post. So funny! It’s what I think of when I run in the fields and find myself needing to call on the help that Jesus has promised me (Philippians 4:13… I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength… you remember that one?) When I get really close to quitting, I will audibly call out the name of Jesus, hoping that I don’t scare off any other runners, and immediately think I’ve left my Southern Baptist roots and joined in the way-more vocal Gospel service! Hey… it works! I usually get the sense that He’s saying, “You got this!” and I keep on running. I know the article is about how the different styles of raising hands during a worship service, but I think there could be another blog post about the different types of “Amen” or “Jesus” people in a service. Some of us will whisper it, some will say it emphatically. I’m a whisperer, thanks to my Southern Baptist roots.
As I mentioned earlier, Lysa asked what I would like to hear God say to me when I find myself struggling during the course of a day. She also asked what sorts of self-defeating thoughts or hurtful comments I have run through my mind. It hurt to write these. “Why do they want to be friends with you? They’re so skinny/petite/small. You’re several sizes larger than they are!” “So-and-so would be so disappointed in you.” There are other thoughts… but when combated with the questions Lysa wrote next, I have to eliminate them from my mental script:
- Is this true?
- Is this beneficial?
- Is this necessary?
Those self-defeating thoughts are not true, beneficial, or necessary. They are not helpful. They do not cause me to want to win, they just keep me feeling guilty, ashamed, and already defeated.
In the past two months I’ve begun to hear these thoughts less frequently because I’ve learned to combat them with these three simple questions.
When I go to bed feeling somewhat defeated, I ask myself another set of questions:
Did I overeat? Did I eat in secret? Did I exercise (or if not, was it an intentional day off)? If I am pleased with my answers to those questions, then the defeated feelings are the enemy trying to attack me, and I have to replace those thoughts with the ones that God has intended for me.
“You got this… you can do all things through ME who gives you strength.”