I’ve had a rough year with weight loss. On the flip side, I’ve had a great year with weight gain. Between illnesses and unexplained back pain I’ll admit I’ve at times sought comfort in food that probably would not normally qualify as healthy. (gotta define that first!)
I’m back to the YMCA working out in spite of my struggles (since I’ve determined I’m not doing any damage in spite of the ongoing pain issue). The biggest workout has been in my own thinking and I’m not there yet. I wish there was an easy way to suck the bad messages that have been force-fed into my brain all my life. There’s really no lipo for that though, is there?
But the last few days I was thinking about some of my friends that are not a size zero either. I’m not going to set a bar for weight or dress size that determines whether someone is “fat” or not.
Here’s what I realized. Some of the sweetest, most encouraging and beautiful people I know–are overweight.
Yup. It’s true. I adore these people. I want to be around them because they smile and they know (I hope) that their BMI is not what God is interested in. They have won me over because of their positive attitude and the way they graciously treat and encourage others around them, including me.
A few years back I had mentioned the name of a gal who sang on a worship team. Someone else didn’t know who she was. I said “She’s on the short side and has the biggest, sweetest smile” and another person said “Oh, she’s the fat one.” Is it any wonder I didn’t really “like” the person who would make a comment like that?
I wish there was a correct way to say to my fellow ladies who tend to larger-than-normal sizes: “Hey, I don’t know if weight is an issue you struggle with, but the first thing I think of when I think of you is how much I enjoy being around you.”
I have to turn this around to look at my own self-condemnation over my weight. The number on a scale or the size on a pair of jeans is NOT the measure of my character or worth. It has little to do with the way I treat others. I am more gracious to those around me with similar issues, than I am to myself.
I’m not my own best friend but sometimes an even bigger enemy are those around me that keep telling me I’m fat and need to lose weight.
News flash: I already know that.
I love the idea that if someone tells you you’re fat – you should eat them. Except those kind of people are not nice. The probably wouldn’t taste very good, even well seasoned. Even if they are skinny and dress well. Their character stinks. Their words pollute. I don’t want to be around them. They might even call themselves “truth-tellers” but there’s a big difference between encouraging someone and putting them down and it goes far beyond the words that come out of someone’s mouths.
I am NOT saying that all “skinny” people out there are evil. Some are delightful and I even call them friends!
So why am I writing about this here? Maybe so that if someone I know, who struggles with this issue and reads this post, they’ll know that what I see in them isn’t their size, but their attitude and smile and their love of God and other people. And maybe together we can encourage each other, not to lose weight, but to savor the value we truly have, that goes beyond the scale.
After all, the heart is what God looks at too, so why should we be any different?