3 Reasons I’ll Never “Try to Lose Weight” Again

1. Weight does not equal worth.

I’ve said it before, but regardless of what we look like or what we do or don’t do, we are already enough. It can be so hard to accept that we aren’t the ones with this control, but that we are all already worthy of life, love, acceptance, and success precisely where we are at right now because of what God has done for us, but it’s true!

I think a lot of people get it in their heads that “Once I lose this ‘extra weight,'” or “Once I look like I did 2 years ago,” or “Once I can fit into those jeans again,” or “Once the number on the scale says ___ lbs,” … “then I’ll be happy with myself.” “then I can celebrate.”¬†“then I’ll be able to go after that goal.” “then¬†I won’t feel insecure around people anymore.”

The truth is…. none of that is true. Speaking from experience and from what others have told me, it appears that a lot of times the opposite actually happens. Once the weight is lost, you just want to lose more weight. You find you’re not actually happy with yourself, and that you don’t look as good as you thought you would, and that you don’t feel as confident as you thought you would, and that it’s still “not enough.”

If anything, now you’re more insecure, because there’s this pressure to upkeep an image that isn’t realistic long term, and the fear of backsliding into who you used to be actually causes more problems in your life, and not less. There’s a reason we feel like we’re fighting an impossible battle when we try to make ourselves enough…. it’s because it’s not our battle to fight. The battle is already over, and we’ve already won, because Christ has won for us.

2. Weight loss does not equal health.

There’s a very big difference between trying to lose weight, and trying to be healthy. Trying to be healthy is a good thing. God wants us healthy, and to do what we can to best take care of the bodies he’s given us to do his work is a goal worthy of our time. But when we just try to lose weight, we lose sight of the fact that we should be working to balance mind, body, and spirit, and instead get caught up in looking at our bodies as a problem to be fixed.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that weight loss is inherently bad. I’m not even saying that I’ll never lose weight again myself. I’m just saying that I’ll never “try” to lose weight again. Weight loss is not a goal deserving of my time, while health is.

When health is the goal, sometimes that means weight loss comes with it, and sometimes, that means weight gain comes with it. And neither of those are a bad thing! Far too many people who are underweight are actually trying to lose weight because society tells them skinnier is always better, but are actually hurting themselves physiologically (and psychologically) in the process.

Bottom line: weight loss or weight gain should never be anything more than a byproduct of trying to be healthy. It’s a side effect. It’s not the focus.

3. It doesn’t work.

Let’s take a step back in time, shall we? Before grocery stores at every corner and farmers’ markets every weekend, we humans used to have to work for our food. We were hunters and gatherers, and ate with the seasons. We experienced times of famine and times of feasting, and our weight fluctuated as our food supply did. In times of scarcity our bodies knew to hang onto their fat supply until food was readily available again, since it needed that fat for fuel.

Biologically, we’re still wired this way. So when we place rules and restrictions on our eating, we trick our brains into thinking there’s a scarce amount of food available. We create an imaginary famine in our minds. Our bodies, in an effort to protect us and take care of us, hang onto the fat that we have (and often try to gain more fat), since they’re not sure when food will be available again.

Little do our bodies know we could eat virtually anything we want whenever we want in this day and age, but because we constantly tell ourselves that we can only eat 4 ounces of chicken with 7 ounces of broccoli for dinner, and no, we can’t have that cookie on the lunch table, and no, we of course can’t celebrate with a slice of that ice cream cake with everyone else… our minds assume the worst and do the opposite of what we want and avoid weight loss at all cost… all in an effort to preserve ourselves.

Don’t be fooled: if we restrict and starve ourselves enough, then the weight will come off in the short term, but, as we continue to mess with our heads and metabolism, the weight will only come back in the long term.

This is why allowing your body to eat what it wants when it wants, assuming that it won’t¬†significantly¬†and¬†negatively affect your health, is the best way to go about life. There’s a reason that we feel hungry sometimes and full other times… those signals are meant to be listened to! Throw away the scale. Throw away the restrictive meal plan. Throw away the size 2 jeans that you want to fit in again someday. Buy clothes that you feel comfortable in. Appreciate your body exactly where it’s at today. And love it enough to feed it food when it asks for it. It’s as simple as that.

Jump.

I have a theory that we keep things, both good and bad, inside too much. We don’t talk about things enough.

Do you ever have things that you struggle with, but don’t say anything about, because you’re too ashamed to admit it to people, or because you’re not even sure how to articulate it?

Or do you ever have a crazy dream in your mind of something you’d like to accomplish, but don’t ever share it with anyone, because you think there’s probably no way you’d ever be able to actually make it happen?

I’ve been in both of these situations, and have come to think the key to changing these situations is to talk about them. Progress is possible when we acknowledge the ideas or thoughts in our heads and do something about them.

So often we have something in our life that we know in the back of our minds is a problem that needs addressing, and yet we fail to address it. We put it off until tomorrow. We bottle it up inside, try to suppress it, ignore it, or distract ourselves from it, until eventually our once tiny problem that affected just a singular aspect of our private life begins to bubble up in other areas of our life. It becomes unavoidable, crippling, and oftentimes unable to be hidden.

Suddenly the bucket in the corner that used to catch the initially harmless leak in the roof is no longer big enough to handle the now massive flood that’s damaging every part of the house. If only we had said something sooner… maybe everything wouldn’t need to be put on hold to tackle something that could’ve more easily been solved by fixing it correctly the first time.

I am convinced that it’s only once we speak something into life that we can make strides to either kill it or grow it.

In the case of a problem, by speaking it into life, you make the problem a reality, and can then work to “kill” it. It’s no longer something that can be ignored and left unaddressed. It no longer has the power to remain in our minds, remain a secret, and fester and grow in private. It’s real. It’s uncomfortable at first, yes, but ultimately it’s recognized as something that needs attention, which is what’s necessary for change to begin.

I guess it really is true that “admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.” For me, I have found that true and lasting transformations from demons that used to torment me have only become possible by me verbally acknowledging my problems, and thus declaring them into being. It sounds backwards at first, but it’s really only by speaking something into reality that we can actually resolve to eliminate it. A journey to eliminate something that doesn’t belong in your life can’t ever end until it officially begins. (Am I making any sense?)

The same goes for dreams. Dreams should be sought after. They are not meant to remain dormant in the secret places of your mind. Talk about them. Speak them into life. Grant them weight, power, and possibility. To all of the people that say dreams aren’t meant to be achieved, I say you’re wrong… (I know, not my best comeback, but you get my point).

Is it easy for dreams to go nowhere? Sure… alarmingly easy, actually. But if we speak about them (often), then we remind ourselves that they are living and need attention to be able to grow, thrive, and bear fruit. There’s a reason you have that gnawing feeling in your gut telling you to go after that job, to make that move across the country, to get to know that person, to get that degree… it’s okay that it sounds crazy. Crazy isn’t a bad thing. Crazy does not equal impossible.

If speaking about something with someone (whether good or bad) seems intimidating at first, write about it instead. Writing about something is like climbing up the ladder to the top of the diving board. It can be a great first and gradual step to making the jump off that high dive that you know you need to make, but aren’t quite ready for yet. In the end, you’ll know when it’s time to jump. I’ve found God will prompt you when it’s time. And if you ignore the prompt? No worries, He’ll push you if you wait too long.

Happy jumping!

Reminder: You Can Swim

When I was little, I wouldn’t talk to people. I mean it. I didn’t talk to anyone except for my mom and dad. If I let out a peep it was only to tell my mom I wanted to leave wherever we were and to go home, or to cry because people scared me. Seriously, ask any of my family members or kindergarten classmates. Lol can you say issues?

As I grew up, I came out of my shell little by little (thank God), but usually only enough to say things that I thought other people would be okay with me saying, all the while trying to be like “everyone else.”

It’s only been within the past year or two that I’ve realized that this stemmed solely from doubts and insecurities.

My whole life I’ve grown up with the insecure voices in my head that we all do. You know, those voices in our head that tell us everyone else is beautiful, but for whatever reason, you’re not?

I know that people tried to tell me otherwise as I grew up, but it really took me until recently to actually accept and believe that those voices were nothing more than Satan feeding me lies in hopes of getting me to believe that I didn’t have anything to offer.

Before I realized that the voices were from the enemy, I did what I think a lot of young kids do, and was tricked into accepting those voices as truth.

If you’re like me, the thoughts of doubt and worthlessness in your head can be scary. I used to hate them. They caused a lot of anxiety and hurt for me, and I’d be scared of what terrible truth they might show me about myself, or what dream of mine they might squelch in a given day. So for a long time, in an attempt to find a solution, I’d try to drown the voices out.

When I’d hear Satan telling me things I didn’t want to hear or believe, I’d try to distract myself. I’d watch tv and would fill my head with nonsense in hopes of overpowering his lies. I’d gossip with people about other people so that I wouldn’t have to think about the chatter in my own head. I would eat (or not eat) until I was so full (or hungry) that I wouldn’t be able to think clearly enough about anything except the fact that I was so stuffed (or starving).

In hopes of helping anyone who’s experiencing something similar, let’s think about these voices metaphorically. Picture ourselves swimming at the shore of an ocean, and picture these lies Satan feeds us as waves approaching us on the shore. Trying to stop Satan’s lies from¬†entering¬†our heads is equivalent to trying to stop the waves of the ocean from crashing over us when they approach. It’s an impossible feat.

Satan will always make it his mission to tell us that we are not worthy of life, of love, of success, of whatever, just as the waves of the ocean will always come. The solution is not to stop the waves from coming, but rather, to recognize that when they do come, we are not slaves to them, but instead, can rise above them.

We don’t need to fear the voices of doubt, or try to stop the voices of worthlessness altogether. We need to remember that we really can swim, and when we do experience a wave of insecurity or doubt, we can allow it to crash over us, uninhibited, and respond by calmly rising to the top and continuing to swim forward in our lives.

To think of it another way, picture an alarm clock. (Yes, I’m switching metaphors. I love metaphors, so sue me). If your alarm goes off, and you’re, for some reason, not able to shut it off, but can still hear it, it’s similar to Satan’s lies in our head.

At first, it makes you jump, right? You panic, assume something is wrong, and want to immediately do something to shut it off. Eventually though, as time goes on, you become accustomed to the noise, and recognize it’s not a¬†cause¬†for panic. The alarm continues to go off, but you’re able to continue about your day, and to do the things you need to get done. It’s just noise…

Is it annoying at first? Yes. But does it inhibit you from progressing forward? No. And what happens after the alarm goes off long enough without being touched? … It shuts off on it’s own! And so it is with Satan’s lies.

So to any girls (or guys) out there thinking about unnecessarily changing something about yourself, because you’ve been duped into thinking you are not enough, remember that you don’t need to change a thing. You are more¬†than enough, just the way you are,¬†and to lose yourself in hopes of becoming someone you were never created to be would be stripping the world of a vital part of its truth.

You don’t need to look to other people for¬†permission¬†to allow your true self to manifest.

“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph 1:6