I have been thinking over the past week, I really wanted to avoid the Biggest Loser topic, yet it seems so impossible. I really feel nudged to write on this, and finding the right words is very difficult. I didn’t want a post to be dedicated to complaining about something, and lacking any insight.
Here is all I’ve come up with (and it could be all over the place):
Watching the finale was difficult. Another writer said it so well, and put words together so eloquently which described everything I did/saw/felt and experienced (and many others I’m sure):
“ I identified with Rachel’s spark, her drive, her spirit, her athleticism, and knew she’d carry through to the end.
And, god, she did. When Rachel stepped on stage during the finale in her silver dress, flutter sleeves resting on pointed shoulders, I dropped my spoon back into my soup and sat back on my couch. Her features were so sharp; her shins visible in her legs. I didn’t see Rachel; I flashed instantly back to … what I looked like when I was at my lowest, most dangerously unhealthy weight.
She glowed. Rachel glowed. And I couldn’t blame her. In that moment, she had all the control in the world. But it was illusory: As she stood, soaking in the applause, she was being praised for a body that she was living in.
I’ve been there.
I stared into my dinner and pushed it aside. I watched Rachel weigh in with my arms crossed… I didn’t even wait to see Rachel win. I didn’t want to watch her be celebrated.”
(The full article “Why Her Biggest Loser Win Left Me At A Loss” can be read here)
As I was sitting there (even days after), I couldn’t help but cry. I cried because of already being stressed. I cried for longing to be in the dangerously thin body I used to have, and I cried for even wanting that body knowing how hard it has been to claw my way back to health. [Let’s be honest, recovering from an eating disorder (or any addiction for that matter) is like clawing your way out of something.] As I sat there (on my couch for days recovering from surgery) I realized 3 things: it’s okay to be affected by the world around us, the feelings I had were real, and they needed to not be ignored. Even though I “wanted” to be where Rachel stood, I knew really didn’t want it.
You see, taking control of your body, is not real control in life. It’s an illusion of control. It’s a mask to cover up pain. It’s numbness. It’s not power, but instead weakness. It’s being controlled. It’s false pride; false hope. It’s an escape that is addictive. It’s saddening. It’s a never-win situation. It’s pain.
I think, even though I had that brief moment of sadness for (yet again) disliking my body and wallowing in it, that I am still on the right track. I am still trying (so very hard) to be okay with my body and enjoy it for what it can do; the strength it has. Through all the hype and discussion of the Biggest Loser winner, I have come to notice several things:
- You have to find your own self-love to really flourish in this world. The material things of this world will not do the work for you.
- Our society will never be okay with bodies. We will always be told to lose weight or gain weight no matter where we are on the spectrum of underweight or overweight.
- Our society will always make you believe you aren’t good enough with what you already have. There are plenty of things to help your appearance, self-esteem and weight loss goals. It’s all a multi-billion dollar industry.
But what if we are already good enough? What if we don’t have to lose weight, gain weight or change our appearance to be able to love ourselves? Because that’s really what it all comes down to. It comes down to loving who you are and being true to yourself. Truthfully, the outer shell of anything is meaningless compared to what’s inside (presents, food packages etc.). What if that was the same for us? What if, as a whole, we disregarded our outer shell and really looked at who we are and who we want to be.
I’m working diligently on strengthen my faith and seeing myself through the eyes of God. It’s not easy. We have heard and replayed messages of not being good enough for so long. We have to retrain ourselves to think in a different way. We have to feed our souls with something much stronger than what the expectations are around us.
As I was reading my devotional on my iPhone today, I read the following:
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (NLT) ( 1 Corinthians 3:16 )
We have been given a strong body to live this life. We have been fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14). And God lives in us. It’s important to take care of your body. We can do so much good in the world, but we can’t do it without being strong and filled with love. We can’t project love in this world if we don’t first love ourselves.
It sounds so easy as I write “love ourselves”… and it’s not… that part is HARD work. And by “hard work,” what I really mean is that it is the hardest work you’ll ever do! I’ve tried so many things, and I keep trying so many others, but I have found one thing that works and that is faith. With faith, hope comes. Whatever your higher power might be, look to it. See who you are through the eyes of your God and begin to see the blessings you have already been given. If you can’t love yourself, look at your higher power that already loves you – broken or mended.
New International Version (NIV)
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.