I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit about how I will feel when I finally reach my goal weight. Of course I’ll be elated, but a part of me is worried that even when I reach my goal, I won’t be completely satisfied. I have lost 43 pounds, and yet I’ve only lost 2 pant sizes, so I’m concerned that losing 60 more pounds won’t put me in a size 12 like I’ve been hoping. And I’ve had to ask myself, will I be okay with that? Last week is when I actually realized I’d only lost 2 sizes, and I have to admit that it’s kind of been bothering me, as I feel like I should be a smaller size than I am right now. Discontentment about my size lessened the excitement I felt about reaching the 40 pound mark, and something tells me I don’t have the right attitude if I can let a HUGE victory like losing 40 pounds fade away so quickly. Why am I always quick to focus on what is still lacking, what is not up to my standard, instead of thanking God for how far I’ve come? Why am I so quick to dwell on the negative instead of celebrating the positive? And my tendency toward pessimism isn’t merely related to weight loss; it’s an issue I’ve struggled with in many areas (anyone remember all of my blog entries stating that I was sure to fail out of grad school??).
Basically, I’m struggling with the realization that I’ve been relying on this weight loss to finally make me completely happy with myself. But the truth is, the day that I reach my goal weight will not be the end of my struggles with my body or my self-image. My senior year of high school, I lost about 60 pounds, and while it was amazing, I still hated a lot of things about my body, and I still constantly compared myself to everyone else and found myself lacking. Weight loss is not a panacea for all of my emotional insecurities. As much as I hate to confess, I have bought into the lie that appearance matters, that a clothing size matters, that a number on the scale matters. I tell myself the lie that if I can just reach that weight, everything will better. I tell myself the lie that losing this weight is the most important thing.
I must, I must, I MUST remember that I am ultimately doing this not to see a magical number appear on the scale (because let’s face it, I’ll probably just wish a smaller number were in its place), but that I’m doing this to be healthy. Health is not just about the body, either, but about the mind, heart, and soul. If my body is fit but my soul is not fixed on Jesus, what have I truly accomplished? I do not want to forget that God’s priorities should be my priorities, and Scripture tells us that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Does God want me to take care of my body? Absolutely, for I am the steward of this earthly vessel, but does God want to me to obsess over my body and make exercise a god in my life? No, and I fear I am allowing that to happen.
Oh God, my heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8)