First, let’s start off with a victory. I have a serious fear of unknown places because of my arch nemesis, chairs with arms. There’s always a chance those stinkin’ chairs are just too small for my rear end, resulting in an embarrassing situation (that usually only I am privy to, but it hurts nonetheless). This week I went to a doctor’s office that I had never been to for my foot and I was faced with the potential of an embarrassing situation. I came in, signed in, and looked around and saw it: a waiting room full of little butt chairs. I sighed to myself and looked for an “out” for sitting down–a display or something I could pretend that I was engrossed in to avoid taking a seat. But something in my head told me to try and sit down. The waiting room was empty, so no one would see if I failed, and I would only have to endure the inner self abuse if I couldn’t sit down, so I took a chance. Take a deep breath. Sit in the chair. Wait a second. I’m sitting? I’M SITTING IN A LITTLE BUTT CHAIR! COMFORTABLY! The smile on my face was ridiculous, I’m a little glad there was no one there to witness it–and a little sad when they called me back into the exam room, but I did it. I sat in a little butt chair. I didn’t have to feel subhuman this time! Hooray! And to top it off, I was relieved to find out the problem with my foot I was having examined was not weight-related, as I’ve feared for the several years that I’ve put off having any type of exam to avoid the embarrassment of hearing, yet again, “lose weight, it will feel better.” The doctor was very kind in commending my weight loss and exercise in spite of the occasional pain I’ve been having and assured me that my size was not a contributing factor. That made me feel really good.
But, all good things must come to an end. In my study this week, I’ve been concentrating on what is dubbed “the curse of the skinny jeans”–the idea that physical weight loss success will solve all the problems of the world. As you know from my previous posts, I do not believe that to be the case. I know that there needs to be an inner transformation for outward progress to be sustainable. However, that belief aside, I fall prey to the curse of the skinny jeans. After some ugly soul searching, these are some of the lies that I believe/have believed at one time would be the result of living at my ideal weight:
- I would look good in my clothes and have more clothing options
- I would look more like I fit in with my family than being the fat outcast
- I would be more comfortable in social settings and less self conscious
- My relationship with God would be thriving
- My husband would be more attracted to me
- I would be more focused, less tired, more productive
- I would be more outgoing, more likely to step out of my comfort zone
- Negative self talk would be gone. I would feel good about myself
LIES LIES LIES!!! Okay, so there are little smidgens of half-truths in there, like the fact that “normal” women’s clothing is certainly much more flattering than plus size clothing…but really now, let’s have a reality check. A number on the scale is not going to make any of these situations change for the better. Everything in my life is not tied to an external view of myself. A “normal” weight would not make my life easier. My problems in life will not magically vaporize because of the number in the back of my jeans.
So what then brings about truth?
Finding joy and completeness in God.
John 15:9-12 says, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
The promise of obedience and remaining in God’s love is that our joy may be complete. I’ve done a little brainstorming as to what joy and complete mean to me, and have been able to come up with a couple statements that are truth, no matter what size I am, no matter what place I am in life:
- I recognize joy in my life when I feel content in my soul despite what’s going on around me
- I recognize joy in my relationship with Christ when I am not grasping at straws in my own strength, but rather fully relying on God for my support.
- If my joy is complete through my relationship with Christ, my spiritual life reflects that through discipline that makes healthy choices an effortless decision. I would have peace in my mind and heart through obedience.
There’s no lasting, fulfilling joy that comes from those lies manifesting themselves in my life. Yes, some of them can bring some temporary happiness, but there’s no magic in reaching a specific number on the scale. Life will still go on in the process to reach those tangible goals, and it’s my choice how to live in the meantime. I choose joy.