Me, after a gym sesh: I literally feel so good right now. Like, so flipping good. I just love how I feel after a good, hard workout!
Also me, one day later: Wow, the scale didn’t budge. Never mind going to the gym, I may as well just stay home and eat cake for breakfast, because what’s the point?
Can you relate to my reality?
Why do I try to punish the scale for not cooperating by punishing myself by not going to the gym? The scale doesn’t care if I feel energized or not. The scale doesn’t care if I feel strong and healthy. The scale doesnt care if I feel empowered, focused, and inspired. The scale only cares about how much gravitational pull is on my physical form. It doesn’t care if that pull includes water, muscle, fat, jeans, sneakers, wet hair, or all of those things. It only gives me a number of measurement for how much my body weighs. Right then. In that moment. Regardless of how I feel about how far I’ve come and where I still have to go.
The scale is unfeeling. It’s just…a scale.
Intellectually, I know this. Scientifically, it makes sense. But emotionally? Heart wrenchingly? It keeps showing me where I went wrong, how many times I messed up, all the decisions I could have made differently. It taunts me with a year of floundering identity and lost pregnancies. It teases me with body dysmorphia and self-contempt. It whispers of failure…to maintain, to gain, to lose. It reminds me of beginnings that slid into endings as quickly as they started.
The scale continues to haunt me with tales of body betrayals.
Although I know it doesn’t know, it can’t help but tell me all that I’d rather forget.
It’s all very dramatic, right? Poor little lady who’s always been a size two having to find some sort of okay-ness being a size six. Blah blah blah 20 pounds of “stuckness” to my 50, 75, 150 pounds of “need to lose just to be healthy.” She has no idea.
But don’t I? Aren’t we all fighting the same thing? Isn’t the battle more about how the scale makes us feel and less about the numbers actually blinking back at us? If you feel thin at the weight that I feel heavy, but you do have a number that makes you feel that same sort of defeated I feel there, can’t there be some common ground?
Hasn’t the fight always been in our minds, anyways?
Friend, how many times have you allowed your millisecond with the hunk of metal beneath your feet in the morning dictate how you felt about yourself the remainder of that day? And how have you possibly treated others because of how you felt about yourself because of what you saw on the screen between your toes? The problem, then, cannot be reduced to who’s allowed to feel upset over their BMI and who isn’t, but rather why we feel any level of upset over it at all.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Handiwork. Achievement. Masterpiece.
This does not say, you who weighs between this and that are capable of being used by Father God. It does not say, when you wear your skinny jeans, you are more magnificent than when you’re not. Our problem does not lie in how much we weigh (unless it actually does, love, because health truly is a gift worth fighting for).
But we cannot fight for God’s Kingdom, we cannot walk in the light of Christ, if we’re still allowing the devil a foothold on our scale every morning. It isn’t the number. It’s the way that number directs our day. It’s when that number becomes more of a focus than Jesus. It’s how that number determines whether or not we’ll be able to spread love or negativity.
If our hearts are in conflict, they are not at peace.
Sisterfriend, we have it hard. Every where we turn we are told how to look and how to get there. We are consistently swayed by too good to be true offers of quick weight loss and immediate results. We are manipulated by a generation of selfies and self promoting selfie takers.
We are trained to want the validation that we are worthy to show up in some numerical form: scale, tags, likes on the only flattering pose I could barely muster in the most awkward position in the store fitting room.
God says we are already validated. We are already in perfect condition to do what He wants to do through us. With us.
I’m not advocating we stop caring about ourselves, our health, the way our bodies can move, and what we’re nourishing those God ordained temples (1 Cor 6:19) with. I’m not saying that if you are in a dangerous place with your physical health, that you shouldn’t make it your mission to get to a place where your organs can handle your lifestyle, help your body run optimally for a longer, more fulfilling life doing the work of God.
I’m simply suggesting we stop fighting the scale; that we stop fighting our husbands when they tell us that they love how we look, that we stop pushing compliments away because we can’t stand what number currently represents the clothing for our lower extremities, that we stop letting body hatred be okay at a certain weight or at any weight.
Today, I’m putting my scale in my garage. Traveling necessitates that I have one handy as I’m always dangerously close to having to pay an extra $50 for stuffing 5 pounds too many into my suitcase…
But it is no longer allowed in my life on the day to day.
The scale is no longer allowed to be a part of my story.
Will you demand that it no longer be a part of yours, either?