Confession…I’ve lost 8 pounds and I’m stunned! I keep expecting to get on the scale and see the weight back at the starting point. I’m elated and cautious and proud and cautious…you get the idea?
I got to spend time with my daughter last week during our back to school shopping. We had dinner together and some insightful conversations. Here’s how one of them went…
“Mom, how long are you going to eat like this?” E-girl asked in an exasperated tone.
My reply, “My goal is until I die.”
Shocked, she stated “Why Mom?!”
“Sweetie, because I want to be responsible with the body that God gave me so that I can reach my goal of being there for you when you get married and have your own babies. And also, I’m tired of being fat.”
“Mom don’t call yourself fat!” she said in her most concerned voice.
“Why sweetie, I am. I’m okay with the truth. I know I can change it and make it different. My goal isn’t to be skinny but I do want to be healthy.”
The rest of the conversation will be kept in my heart because it was too precious. However, I did want to draw attention this part of our talk out because I thought about it later and wondered if I had said the right things. Was I too harsh in my honesty? Was I giving a bad a example? Then I remembered James 1: 23-24 . I don’t know if the writer meant this to be about my physical fitness, but it does help me to remember a truth essential to this journey. Everyday for the past 5 years I’ve looked in the mirror with disgust at my body. I’ve hated what I see. It frustrates me and makes me angry. I used to think it was because I didn’t like being “overweight’. I read all kinds of books on how to have good self image and self esteem. I tried diet after diet trying to remedy the problem. However, I was refusing to see the truth of myself. I kept looking in the mirror and walking away and forgetting what I had just seen. I didn’t forget because I’m stupid, I forgot because I didn’t want to be responsible with the information. This isn’t true for everyone so don’t interpret that I am saying ALL overweight people have this problem, I’m just saying this is MY TRUTH. My truth is this: I stopped being disciplined, I stopped caring, and I stopped challenging myself to do the hard work. It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror and admitted to myself that I was FAT (yes I used the word and I don’t apologize) that I realized I needed to change. I could do something about it. I will do something about it. God will give me the strength and the wisdom and I will take His help and guiding. I won’t be too proud to ask for help. Now, if I hadn’t come to this truth, I don’t think I would have changed.
Now here I go, onto my soapbox…I think as a society we have confused being honest with ourselves for being negative. We don’t tell ourselves the truth because we don’t want to participate in “negative self-talk”. I get the premise of stink’ thinkin’ but I think somewhere along the way we forgot that beating ourselves up with our thoughts is different that being honest with ourselves.
Negative wordplay would involve such thoughts as, “I am no good and there is no point to my life.” Those are just contrary to the Word of God for those who embrace the gospel. So, yeah don’t get stuck in that kind of thinking. However, honest wordplay is more like this, “I’m overweight. I eat too many foods that are bad for me and I need to get out and exercise more. God give me the strength to be disciplined.” NO SELF HATE THERE! Just honesty.
So, as I see it that way, I’m glad I was honest with my girl. I believe it will pave the way for her to be honest with herself in her own life. Someday she’ll face a challenge, or be discontent with something in her own life. She’ll want to improve some aspect of her own character. I want her to know that she can be honest about it. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll feel safe to come and talk about her shortcomings with me because she knows mom understands what it’s like to wrestle with shortcomings in her own life.
Until another confession…