Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faith vs. Fat

Let's talk about fat. Specifically, my fat. Now there are many of you that may be rolling your eyes or may be thinking..."If she's on this courage kick why is she talking about fat?" Here is the answer: BECAUSE I am on this courage kick I HAVE to talk about being fat. People don't like the brashness of the word "fat." They prefer heavy, overweight, big...anything but fat; but fat is what it is - so I'll stick with that.

I wasn't always fat. I was actually pretty cute. In fact, I loved working out, but my fat has nothing to do with loving or hating exercise. Fat has been a source of protection. My first 10 pounds crept on after I was assaulted by a group of teenage boys. It wasn't a lot of weight - but it was just enough to feel a little bit invisible and safe. Those 10 pounds were just enough to stop any wanted or unwanted attention from other boys. What may be shocking to many of you healthy weight individuals is that being overweight is a great way to blend into the background. People don't like to notice fat people. You will deny it but it's true. It's a physical invisibility cloak. I know it sounds contradictory but it has been proven to me on multiple occasions.

In college, I began to regain my confidence. It was also nice to not have to see my attackers at school every day...that helped tremendously. I had these incredible and supportive roommates that helped me feel strong and worthwhile. I no longer needed the 10 they went away.

After marriage, they returned. In fact, they brought friends with them. I would sometimes lose the original 10, but the friends never left and when the 10 came back they brought more friends. They seemed to always know the password to get back in, "We'll make you feel better. We'll make the hurt disappear." It was the ultimate social marketing plan...if fat were people.."and then they told two friends and so on and so on." The idea was that each little pound could protect me, insulate me from pain. But, it doesn't work that way...instead it just keeps all the pain inside...trapped. What I didn't realize, is my fat was showing how little faith I had that the Lord would look out for me. I know! I am as shocked as you! I have always thought of myself as someone with great faith...but by turning to food and not the Lord I was sabotaging my own chance of happiness. Phillipians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." It doesn't say, "Christ will help you through these areas, ice cream will help you with the rest."

Here is the amazing part...this part's important, so listen up! As I have released my pain to the Lord and begged for his forgiveness in how I have treated myself and in the failure of my marriage something incredible has happened. Where there was pain, the Lord has filled me with gratitude. Without fail, every time I kneel and pray seeking release and forgiveness I am always left with the most incredible feeling of lightness and thankfulness.

So now 10 pounds are gone. There is a lot more to go, but here is the difference: the 10 pounds that left are the original 10. I don't have to be afraid to feel because the Lord is with me wherever I choose to go. Who knew that the ultimate weight loss plan was waiting patiently for me the whole time? I just had to trust in the Lord.


Seth's mom said...

I have thought for a long time that for many heavy people, their weight is a protection, that it saves them from risking relationships, etc. I can't say I'm glad to hear my theory is correct, but I'm interested. What is difficult for me to understand is why you felt you needed protection. You are beautiful, intelligent, witty, compassionate, interesting, and I could go on.
Thanks for sharing this very personal piece.

michelle said...

I have long thought that the Lord would help me lose the weight. I guess I just don't have enough faith yet.

I'm so glad you are happier and healthier and finding success! Much-deserved.

Natasha said...

Hi Michelle, so great to read your blog and your words after so many years! Wow. Powerful and insightful, thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations on finding a path of strength...thinking of you xo (It would be wonderful to catch up sometime!

Jill said...

I have long suspected that I'm hiding behind my weight as well, but I'm not sure why (there are several possibilities of course) but every time I think I've had a mental break through and can move on I don't.

Jen said...

I just wanted to let you know how much I'm loving your posts. I found your blog thru Lisa and I'm finding your journey, your words, your humor, and your faith so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story.