Saturday, January 23, 2010

Over a year ago, a childhood classmate stopped me to talk in the middle of WalMart.   Before we parted ways, she said something that I have thought about often since that day:   There was a time when she would not stop people to talk to them, especially if she wasn't dressed nice, or didn't have make up.   Now, she said, she won't pass up an opportunity to catch up with old friends.

At the time, I was wishing that she hadn't stopped me because I was ashamed of how I looked.   Oh, I had my make up on, and there wasn't anything wrong with how I was dressed; I was very ashamed because of my weight.   The reason her statement was so profound for me was because I'd spent the last 10 years avoiding old friends.   When invited, I'd find a way not to get together.   If I caught a glimpse of them a public place, I would go to great lengths to make sure they didn't see me because I so hated the way I look.  I was obsessed with it.   I thought my weight was my identity.  This obsession has consumed a great deal of my adulthood....years...and there are so many missed opportunities to speak to an old friend that I can't get back.  Places I could have gone, but didn't, because I didn't want to face anyone...or face myself.   Family get togethers that I shunned because of what I looked like.   

My appearance doesn't define me.   It's been a long road to this discovery, and there are still days that the wrong thinking rears it's ugly head, but just because I have the negative thought, doesn't mean I have to invite it in and give it coffee. 

It's very important for me to "get over myself."  I have a choice.   I have the ability to make better decisions.   I may not always do it, but I am working on it every day.   Better food choices.   Saying hello.  Getting involved where once I would have stayed in the background.  Not letting my identity be intwined with or defined by my appearance. 

I am not counting calories.   I am not counting fat grams or carbs.  I don't always make good food choices.   I am not dwelling on every morsal of food I put in my mouth.  I am learning how to enjoy a meal without guilt, without planning my next meal, without planning my next diet, without hating myself for eating.   I am losing weight. 

I have been praying for a long while about freedom from this obsession.  My freedom story is an entry for another day, but this much I know:   If the Son sets me free, I am free indeed.   (John 8:36) 

8 comments:

  1. we often do get wrapped up in our physical body, don't we?? the pastor at church was just talking about this tonight; how we sometimes spend so much time taking care of that, we forget our inner soul and we forgot that our body is decaying and it is only temporary. You know what God looks at, the heart, and I think he is very pleased with the heart he sees in you. He indeed is working in your life and he will indeed set you free :)

    betty

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  2. Not letting my identity be intwined with or defined by my appearance.

    I am happy for you that you have made some positive discoveries; I hope they spur on your new good habits.

    For me, my identity, or what I feel is my identity & the very essence of me is closely intertwined with the condition I allow myself to devolve into. The less I think or care about Mary, the worse I look, feel, act, behave...etc.

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  3. Thanks for the encouragement. I have avoided old friends for years. Time to stop, my weight does not define me.

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  4. Amen sister! My favorite line... I am learning to enjoy a meal without guilt! Lurve it!

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  5. Oh - the comments about avoiding people strike very close to home for me too. What wise words your friend shared. I needed to hear them. Bravo to you for good choices and a changed heart about yourself. Take care!

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  6. great entry! ya know i struggle with many of those same thoughts, but i've also come to realize that i've got to start accepting me as i am and go from there. i'm really proud of your progress!!

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  7. I picture myself as "Jabba the Hut" and sometimes I have the same types of feelings that you shared. I've tried, though, for the past several year to not look at myself in a way that keeps me from being friends with and praying for others. I think my husband and my family's love for me, even though I look the way I do, has shown me that God really CAN love me (if they can, then I guess He can, for he loves me more than they do)

    I may still have moments of, I really don't want *** to see me, but I try to do whatever God wants me to do in spite of me. The Bible says HE sees my heart, so I need to be sure that my "heart" is beautiful and becoming more like Him.

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