Last week I blogged about Riley dropping a ball with excited abandonment in order to fall into my open arms (read post here). Ever since then I have been thinking about the spiritual implications and have been asking myself, “what things am I still holding onto that are keeping me from falling into God’s open arms?”
Well yesterday I believe I found an answer.
I went to the gym in the morning and, as usual, got on the scale before my workout to see where I am in my weight loss efforts. I was so excited to see that I am only 7lbs away from my pre-baby weight! It felt like such a victory. That means that I have lost almost 50lbs in the past year.
With a big smile on my face, I grabbed a magazine from the magazine rack on my way over to the elliptical. The magazine was called, “New Beauty,” which I had never heard of but it had a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover and it was more appealing to me than all of the ESPN magazines surrounding it.
I was disappointed to find that the whole magazine was basically a big endorsement for plastic surgery. I mean, I’ve never seen even the shallowest of periodicals be so blatantly in favor of going under the knife. There was even an article titled, “The Mommy Makeover” detailing the best plastic surgeries to get right after having a baby to “correct” all that the childbearing does to your body.
In realizing that this was not going to be helpful for me to read, I closed the magazine and instead turned on the TV on my machine (I know, right? I mean, can our workouts get any more luxurious these days? It won’t be long before you can order a smoothie and get a massage while using a cardio machine…). The Today Show was on and they were interviewing Anne Hathaway, asking her about how she lost the weight for her role in Les Miserables. I will say, I genuinely appreciated and respected the way that she answered the question. She didn’t want to give details because it isn’t helpful for women when we are so bombarded by stuff like this in our media and she wanted to clarify that she did what she did to lose weight for the role, not to look “hot,” but rather to look like she was dying. But the interviewer was not satisfied and kept pressing her for details, probably so that they could promote their show by saying something like, “We have Anne Hathaway’s secrets to weight loss! Coming up next!”
Fast forward to later in the day when I had the opportunity to go hole up at a coffee shop to do some reading and writing while my mom watched Riley. I ordered my drink and started to head to my corner table when I caught a glimpse of some US Weekly- type magazine sitting on their reading rack. I picked it up and started to browse. Of course the feature article was about “Stars that have gotten too skinny!” Sheesh, we cannot catch a break, can we? I suddenly remembered why I’ve stopped reading magazines over the past year.
As I shifted gears and started reading my daily Advent devotional, it hit me: the ball that I need to drop to run to Jesus right now is my weight loss. 7 pounds away from pre-baby weight is great! I’m healthy, I look fine, my husband is very attracted to me, and further pursuit of weight loss for me at this point would be out of the motivation to make people say “wow” at me.
Well, it’s time to be done. I want people to say “wow” at Jesus, not at me. I really don’t know how it is helpful for my sisters struggling with body image issues for me to be “wowed” at. Maybe I am more approachable for women at 7lbs more than my pre-baby weight than if I lose it all and if that’s the case, I’ll keep the 7lbs, thankyouverymuch. I’m sick of fighting against myself and being passive about women fighting against each other or competing with one another as if our worth depended on it.
More than ever in my life, I want Jesus more. I want Him way more than I want to look a certain way or lose a certain amount of weight. More than ever in my life, I want to get in the ring and fight for my sisters. Thought I struggled with the baby weight, God has done so much in my heart through it. I wouldn’t change a thing in retrospect. He has brought me so far. I refuse to get swept back in now, just because I’m closer to my goal. There are so many bullies in the world against us as women and the way we look. I’m ready to use the strength and security that Jesus has been giving me to fight against them, joining Him in setting women free from this bondage.
I will continue to exercise, yes. I will continue to eat healthy, yes. But not to lose weight. I will do it so that I can run after my kids (and hopefully grandkids one day), and glorify God by taking care of the one and only body He has given me. But today I am going to quit Weight Watchers. And I’m going to stop getting on the scale. Because there are just more important things in life, and they actually feel more important to me now.
We hold onto things that offer such empty promises, void of hope. And yet our Savior stands, with arms wide open, full of promises fulfilled and hope for the weary. In His own words:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has annointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
He has set this captive free. I am dropping the ball, and running into his arms. Unworthy, but being sent to continue to set captives free in his name.
Take that, “New Beauty” magazine. All the plastic surgery in the world cannot restore my image in the way that He has restored my soul.