For the past 5 years, I have weighed around 150 pounds. I have fought with this number, cried about this number, lied about this number, hid my eyes from this number, Googled this number, avoided this number, and envied other, smaller numbers. I like my body, but I hate that number.
When I see 150 on the scale, any positive thought is destroyed. I have heard doctors, trainers and family tell me that weight is just a number and “muscle weighs more than fat.” I agree with them on most days. But not the days I see 150.
For some reason, the number 125 has always stuck in my head as the weight I should be. I know if I lost 25 pounds I would look skeletal, but that number has been the ideal. From adolescence to my adult life, I have been in a battle against my body weight.
I am tired of anxiety before the doctor’s office wondering what the number is going to say. I am done writing the wrong weight on forms because the real number is too shameful. Goodness, I have even lied about my weight on Treadmill machines at the gym; as if a machine would judge me!
Letting go won’t be an easy feat. I want to focus on things in the world that have eternal value, but I know I am here and God loves me even when I focus more on my legs rubbing together than how to further advance His kingdom. What have I missed while I was trying to lose 10 pounds? I know God is ready to show me.
The number on my scale makes up two strong, muscly legs that squat 185 pounds. It consists of two arms that do real pushups, two hands that create, two feet that dance, one heart that loves recklessly and hundreds of other functions that can only be described as miracles.
We are more than a number; if yours is above mine, below mine or right around mine, know that you are beautiful. Focus on what our amazing bodies are able to do: every single pound of them.
Jenna Wiley is a Spanish teacher, Jesus follower, and coffee lover living in Grand Rapids, MI. She worked with “A Beautiful Me®” internationally as the program was introduced to young Guatemalan girls. She would love to connect with anyone interested in hearing more about her journey to love herself in a culture that tries to make it impossible. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org