What woman has not looked in the mirror and declared in real disappointment,
“I am so fat.”
I mean, who would want this? Nobody does. And especially not me.
Sure, we know it’s not helpful or healthy to have a negative view of ourselves. And there’s an interesting tide turning in our culture that is actually encouraging women to embrace who they are and to view themselves in a positive, constructive way.
“But I just can’t do it,” you may think. “I really am fat. That’s just the way it is. And I hate it and am trying to do something about it. Hopefully things change…”
Please understand: your self-image goes way deeper than just calling yourself fat. What you are doing is actually belittling your self-worth. What you’re also saying is that not only it OK for you to call yourself that, but that other people can also call you that as well.
There’s a difference between accepting the reality of a situation versus your true identity. Saying “This is fat” is vastly different than saying, “I am fat.” (or insert whatever physical issue you have with yourself, that feature of you that whenever you think about it causes you to feel totally unvaluable). One is accepting something that perhaps needs to change due to health needs and personal aspirations; the other is setting your person at a negative identity standard.
“Ok, for my height and age I know I’m 30 pounds overweight and I need to get down to a safe target weight because anything over that at risk for future heart disease” or “I’m at 25% body fat and I want to challenge my body and mind to get down to 18%“: both of those are challenging and goal oriented. But once you attach personal worth to either of those phrases you have fallen into a trap of control and fear. Can you see the difference? One is objective. The other says I’m not worthy enough unless I change.
I personally have gone through lots of physical ups and downs: the chubby, awkward middle school age, to the fit high school athlete, to gaining weight due to emotion struggles and depression, to again losing weight and gaining muscle unlike any other time in my life, which led me to become a kickboxing fitness trainer and motivator. I’ve gone through these cycles myself (and continue to do so) which for me have been usually tied to some emotional issue or crisis. I have also watched others go through the same or similar cycles. And let me tell you something, your waist size will never change how you feel about yourself. It is always a mental choice.
Why is this so important? Perhaps you don’t realize the fight for womanhood in the world, perhaps you don’t realize that the freedom fought for by tens of thousands of those in service for our country includes your freedom to be equal, included, and valued.
Maybe you don’t know that in most of the world women are culturally preached to be what you flippantly call yourself everyday: stupid, fat, incapable, dirty, lazy, ugly, worthless, unvalued, undeserving.
Maybe you don’t realize that not only is there verbal degradation to women in other cultures, but also honorable practices of rape, domestic violence, honor killings, genital cuttings, sex trafficking, and slavery.
What you have is a privilege. You have no right to call yourself less than what you’re worth. So why do you discard your freedom, why do you disdain your freedom? While you may think that you are setting standards of humility, you are actually practicing a most selfish attitude.
You were made for so much more.
You see, this could be an intervention before your beliefs become your living reality, because once you believe that I’m just fat, that’s all I’ll ever be, and nobody wants me, and I don’t deserve anything, and nothing good will ever come from me or to me, then you set yourself up to live in total misuse and abuse. That means that people mistreating you isn’t a problem. Or that you accepting verbal mistreatment isn’t a problem. Or that you being raped isn’t a problem. Or that your boyfriend beating you isn’t a problem. Or that your boss manipulating you isn’t a problem. Or that other people hating you isn’t a problem.
Do you realize that the success and expansion of our cities and nation is truly impacted simply by your self-perception? How you view yourself will spread and it will become an ideal of others around you, like a virus. Look at history; there is no culture that has thrived that has also demeaned and misused women. Instead it shows decline.
Maybe you were rejected by some guy for some other attractive woman. Maybe you were cheated on in favor of the “hot” girl. Maybe your husband chooses porn over you. Maybe you feel like you can’t get noticed or a date unless you look or dress a certain way or have a certain body figure.
Yeah, I get it. Two hands raised. It rots. But let me tell you something: How someone treats you says more about them then it does about you. How someone treats you says more about them then it does about you. If you’re rejected by someone, that says NOTHING about you and EVERYTHING about them. Your value is never determined by some other person. I know it hurts, but quite simply they don’t really know you (or themselves, for that matter). Please, I beg you, believe this.
However, if you believe you are valuable, and worthy, and accepted, and beautiful as is, then you can in return offer that to each person you encounter. And then you can start influencing lives, and then you start living your dreams, and then you start living with purpose. It’s going to look different than everyone else’s, than mine, than your family’s. We often get confused that if we live intentionally and on purpose that it has to be on a stage and written on a blog and shared thousands of times on Facebook. False. Influence happens one-on-one and social media doesn’t need to see or know about it.
Next time you off-handedly think or say, “I’m fat,” rethink your statement and verbally speak something affirmative about yourself. Or surround yourself with someone who will. Yeah, it might sound silly. But I believe that life and death is in the power of the tongue and your verbal words have much deeper impact than you will ever imagine. Word by word, day by day, change your system. Search out your identity. Because until you believe it for yourself these words are just smoke and ashes.
It’s taken me a lot of thinking, and praying, and reading as I’ve worked through this thing called identity. Welcome to the constant struggle of my life. Some readings I’ve found helpful are “Fight Like A Girl” by Lisa Bevere and the book of Ephesians, chapters 1-3. And seriously consider what it means to be a child of God because ultimate identity is understanding why you’re here and who you were originally intended to be, and that is a treasured, valuable daughter in Christ, with God your Father!
Pretty mind blowing if you ask me.
And please, feel free to share this message with others. It’s not always an easy story to tell, but it’s worth the transparency.