It’s a big day for me. I have a lot to process, a lot to feel. Today I celebrate 8 years of not weighing. I used to weigh obsessively, literally losing sleep worried about what I had eaten that day. One day I decided enough was enough, and that my weight was not something that was going to define me anymore. So I decided I would try and go the rest of my life without ever weighing again. That was EIGHT years ago. That’s my entire adult life. I was a completely different person then… and that has never felt more true than this year.
Eight year ago I was a freshman in college, I hadn’t become friends with Joe yet, I lived in Athens, GA, and I drove a car that I had to get jumped every time I started it. Now I’m married, I live in Athens, Greece, and I haven’t driven a car in 6 months.
One of the main convictions I have against weighing is that it turns my focus onto myself, and parts of my body/life that I want to control or change. And that breeds ungratefulness. That only leads to taking for granted not only walking, running, talking, hearing, and seeing—but also breathing, having a heart that beats, and having a body that digests my food. Our bodies are incredible… when I think about all the little parts of my body that have to work together that I have absolutely no control over in order to keep me alive—it’s astounding! And yet I have spent years of my live obsessing over things to not like about the body that God gave me.
I wish I could say that cutting out knowing how much I weigh solved all of this for me… that now I never feel self conscious. But of course, that’s not true. But what a journey it has been for my perspective to change. 19 year-old me, and 27 year-old me have experienced much different things.
The one year anniversary of loosing my dear friend Sanna to stomach cancer is coming in a couple weeks… and I miss her so much right now. She cheered on the idea of not weighing myself, and was a picture of graceful confidence I admire so much. I remember being with her in her last days… her stomach couldn’t digest her food the way it was supposed to and her body paid the price. I remember sitting with her and feeling so much shame over every meal I had skipped, every bite that I hadn’t enjoyed because I was too worried about the calories it might add… and here was my friend, dying because her body couldn’t digest anything. Being with Sanna in those days changed me in many ways. Hearing the things she reflected on, the things she thought about that week… how she looked was never going to make the list, that’s for sure.
The longer I live the more and more I realize how little my life is about me. Every day I get to interact with Greek moms who stayed up all night with their sick kids, and then spend all day helping other people. I get to be with refugee women who are fighting for their lives by giving up everything they have ever known for the hope of something better for their families. I get to be married to my sweet husband. I get to call my family and friends in the US whenever I want. I get to make new friends. I get to dance at parties. I get to be bad at Greek. I get to try and keep my plants alive, and totally obsess over frothing my milk for my new daily cappuccino addiction. I get to do yoga, and listen to music. I get to feel the sun, and I get to talk to Jesus. I get to be loved, and I get to love others. I get to be a daughter of God.
Because of that I get to not worry about my weight. I get to enjoy the delicious food my new country has to offer. I get to be free. Jesus wants so much more for me then to miss the joy of all the things He has given me to love.
Friend, if you are right there…. in it right now… caught in the lie that you aren’t enough, that you don’t measure up, or that you don’t matter— please let me say—you matter to me, and you matter to Jesus. Enjoy the life, and the body that God gave you, because why not? This is life, and we are alive. So let’s be free to enjoy it as much as possible.