By Brittany Cermak
It's time to stop putting so much pressure on the number on the scale and how I look in the mirror.
I was a slave to the scale and my mirrored image for years. From the time I was 13, I thought that the numbers and my appearance were vital to my popularity, attractiveness and athleticism. Sure I wanted to be well liked, which meant I had to be friendly, but more importantly I had to look a certain way. From glasses, gap teeth, pimples, braces and a girl without abs, I never thought I would be found to be attractive.
I was involved with youth group and went to church every Sunday. But no matter how many times the preaching and lessons had to do with loving yourself in God's image, because He made you exactly how you are supposed to be,
I NEVER believed a word of it.
I wished God would have made me taller, skinnier, tanner, faster in the pool or on the track, and definitely more beautiful.
With my years of thinking that my victories and successes were based upon the number of pounds I lost or the number of friends I had, or the number of guys who talked to me, I wasn't focusing on what God finds to be victorious or successful in my life.
When I stepped on the scale the summer of my junior year and realized that I had easily put on 30 pounds since I started college, I felt disgusted and shameful. I didn't think that God could love the body that He made for me or that I would be taken seriously considering that I was a dietetics major.
In my eyes, I had failed.
The numbers consumed me: the pounds on the scale, the number of likes I had on Facebook, the clothing size I wore, the number of calories I ate each day. The better I attained these numbers, the more successful, more liked and better role model I would be.
The Lord calls us to be role models and to succeed, but not through earthly possessions, and things that the media says we need to be, like being thin and toned. I have learned that the Lord's victories are to be hopeful in hopeful situations. To love the unloved. To serve the less fortunate. And to share the good news with others that he is our God and Savior!
I'm not trying to say that focusing on your health is a bad thing because it absolutely isn't.
So what can your perspective be so that you don't end up feeling crazy like I was?
Think about eating and feeling healthier with the changes you make, and not how skinny these foods will make you. Think about the fewer cravings you will have by gradually lowering the salt, sugar and fat you consume. Think about obtaining better sleep quality because you become more active and make healthier choices during the day that may not keep you up like the late night junk food used to. Focus on the fit of the current clothes you have and how you feel more confident when you body composition changes in the midst of improved diet and exercise.
Think about the improved endurance and energy you have when you eat the right foods to fuel your body. Now instead of feeling like you can't leave the couch, you can now manage a nice walk while you meditate and pray to God.
Whatever your size, weight, likability, and appearance, the Lord has created you in His image and likeness. You have no identical person on this Earth who can serve the world like you do, give others hope like you do, and love others like you do. So make the decision to change the focus on you priorities so that the world's victories are not as important as God's victories.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brittany was Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio! She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). She serves as a dietitian in research in order to study diet usage among groups of people to observe health improvement. When she is not studying, you can find her baking (yes, she knows it is contrary to her field, but she grew up with this delicious hobby), reading about food and nutrition, drinking coffee, watching Disney movies, competing in triathlons or hanging out with friends and family. Her life mission is based on the bible verse from Galatians 5:13 - Serve one another in love!