The real reason try-hard girls try to lose weight
Never in my life has my weight been a simple series of digits. It’s been about identity and self-worth, a point of pride and deflation. My weight has never been just a number.
Friends, something is going on in our hearts when we’ve become this obsessed with losing weight.
Why are we obsessed with losing weight?
Just by showing up, January thrusts all of us into weight-loss season. Losing weight at the beginning of the year is just what we do, right? But it’s about more than a new month rolling around. There’s something else going on.
What’s really going on here?
Just by trying to lose weight, we become participants in a case study of not knowing when enough is enough. At least for me, weight loss is less about the pounds and more about not feeling like “enough.”
I’ve determined that I’ll be enough when I’m the best version of myself, and I’ve defined “best version” as being the size and weight I was in my 20’s. You know, before giving birth to two babies and turning 40…because that’s totally reasonable.
And if I’m not the best version of myself 100% of the time, I consider myself Never Enough.
I’m on a constant quest for Enough-ness.
I set up all sorts of goals for myself to alert my heart when I’ve reached Enough: Lose 5 pounds, run the marathon, fit into those pre-baby jeans…and you’ll be Enough.
But it’s never enough, is it?
What’s the harm in trying to be Enough?
Just by being human, we try to find our Enough-ness away from Christ. This quest is harmful to our hearts in three ways.
We’re robbed of joy.
When we’re consumed by things like calories, workouts, and weight-loss best practices, we lose the joy that comes with experiencing a full and vibrant life. We’re so focused on the end result of one aspect of who we are that we can’t enjoy our life as it’s playing out.
We’re robbed of experiencing grace.
When we demand perfection from ourselves, God still gives grace, but we’re unable to accept it or give it to others. We want to be perfectly disciplined and to lead the perfect life. In turn, we push away grace—we’re working too hard to need it.
Brennan Manning writes in The Importance of Being Foolish, “Grace is accepting the fact that we’re accepted.” When we cannot accept who we are, it’s hard to accept God’s grace.
We’re robbed of rest.
When we’re hell-bent on proving our Enough-ness, we overrun ourselves with anxiety and busyness. Our brain worries about how we’ll lose the weight and why can she can lose it when I can’t, and our schedules fill up with meal planning, workouts, etc.
Our bodies can’t slow down, and our brain can’t turn off, and friends, we’re exhausting ourselves trying to be Enough.
What does Jesus say about our Enough-ness?
Just as he promised, Christ speaks the truth directly into our hearts. He tells us that we’re fully known and fully loved, the apple of His eye, His beloved, forgiven, chosen, and free. This is 100% truth.
But, for some reason, we don’t believe it.
As Wayne Muller puts it in A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough, “Enough is an inside job.”
So how do we get there? I want to share the lessons I’ve learned about Enough-ness with you.
Let God’s truth about who we are sink deep into our hearts.
The more time I spend with Christ, the more He shows me how wide and high and long and deep His love is. As I’ve asked God, “What do you think about me?” He reveals that He’s pleased not because I’m perfect, but simply because I’m His kid.
Let’s cease to strive.
For years, I believed I was the one in whom, by whom, and for whom all things held together. Yet, as I’ve relinquished control ever so slowly, I find that God hasn’t dropped one ball in my life. He never fails.
Let’s allow ourselves to fail.
I’ve allowed myself to gain weight on purpose just to know that it’s not the end of the world. In those seasons when I missed weeks of working out—a previously egregious, unpardonable sin—I understand that, yes, I lose some tone, but I haven’t lost my soul.
I wish I could give you a 10-point plan for becoming Enough, but I can’t.
And friend, you wouldn’t want one.
Accepting that you’re Enough in the eyes of Christ is a process of making progress, and then, experiencing a setback. It’s sitting at His feet and receiving who He is and who we are in Him. It’s about understanding that this is deep work that requires support, patience, time, and grace.
Never in my life has my weight simply been a series of digits. It’s always been about identity and self-worth. But, with time and grace, it’s possible for our weight to simply be a number and to truly know we’re Enough.