It’s been five months since my surgery. A lot has changed since then. I’ve lost 58 pounds. I’ve gone from a size 1x/2x to having 2 out of the 3 pairs of jeans in my drawer being a size 4. I exercise at least 3 days a week without it leaving me dying on the couch. I’m wearing my wedding rings again, which I haven’t been able to get on in over seven years. Protein has become my best friend and I haven’t touched soda even once in all these months. But, I’ve also discovered there are some things that have not changed. Some parts of the old me that still seem to be hanging on and don’t want to let go.
Before my surgery, I had a very bad habit that I practiced every time I walked into a room. I would scan the room to see if I was the fattest person in the room – or at least the fattest female. In my mind, that was going to set the tone for how I would be perceived by everyone in that room. Now, please, don’t try to defend the human race and tell me people were not judging me that way because I know they were. Not everyone, to be sure. But, I’d heard the comments, seen the looks. Overheard whispered by a friend to her husband, “if I ever look like that, SHOOT ME!”, from a relative “We NEVER thought YOU would end up so fat”, from another relative, “You look like a water buffalo!”… and those are just scratching the surface. My mind set was “You ARE the fattest girl in the room!”
I’ve worked very hard these last 5 months to make these changes and you would think “the fattest girl in the room” would have been left far behind with those size 2x jeans. But, you’d be wrong. I’ve found her rearing her ugly head over and over again.
She’s there when I’m shopping. As I look through the size small tops or dresses I hear her whispering in my ear, “Who do you think you are looking at these small sizes? You don’t belong here! I’ll bet those people over there are wondering what you’re doing in the small sizes.”
She’s there when people ask me what size I’m in or when shopping clerks ask what size I need. I find myself feeling the need to explain that I really am in a 4 or a 6 or whatever size I need, because maybe looking at me they won’t believe me. Or I’ll explain it away because “maybe there was some extra spandex in that for some stretch.”
She’s there when I catch myself starting to plan what clothes to save because “You know you’re just going to gain the weight back just like you always have!”
She’s there when I occasionally wake up in a panic thinking it was all a dream and when I look in the mirror it’s going to be the same old fat me again.
So, where does this leave me? Am I destined to be “the fattest girl in the room” forever? Am I destined to be a victim to the voices in my head, the voices from my past – are YOU? The answer is a resounding NO! Not according to the Word of God. God’s word tells me over and over that as a Christian I have freedom in Christ; I don’t have to be held captive by anything, even my own thoughts!
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8: 32, 36(NKJV)
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
Knowing this, I arm myself with one of my favorite verses, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8. (NKJV) And I ask myself, what do I know to be true, right, lovely, admirable, etc. in my situation from God’s perspective? Well, I know I am NOT the fattest girl in the room, and I never was – God never saw me that way. But, what does God say about me?
1. I am His treasured possession
“…The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Deut. 7:6
2. I am wonderfully made
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
3. I am victorious
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
4. I am strong
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10
5. I have purpose
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
6. My body is God’s temple
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, ” 1 Corinthians 6:19
7. I am dearly loved
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…” Colossians 3:12
Armed with God’s word and His truth, I can battle those voices in my head. Will they go away tomorrow, or even the next day? Probably not. I’m sure I’ll have to claim these promises over and over again, reminding myself who I am in Christ on a daily, even hourly basis. But, wrapped in God’s truth, I go into battle knowing the victory IS mine.