I have been frustrated today.
Frustrated with my body, which seems to want to hang out in the 190s forever.
Frustrated with myself, since just before writing this post I caved and went through the drive-thru at Burger King because today is Whopper Wednesday, and I needed a fast, cheap meal since we overslept this morning and I was late to work and didn’t have time to grab anything at home.
Frustrated at God because He gave me this body that has always seemed to cling to every pound. Frustrated that I have to struggle daily with my weight when so many, including my own husband, never have.
And out of that list of frustrations, the only one that is justified is the second one. My body is not an independent being apart from me, maniacally holding onto fat and laughing in derision as I step on the scale to find that I have lost no weight. My body is what I put into it. And despite the fact that I resisted those donuts last week and even did some pretty intense weight training over the weekend, I didn’t resist Burger King. I didn’t resist chocolate pie earlier in the week, and I didn’t resist an extra hot dog last night at dinner. I can’t blame my body for only reflecting the lifestyle I am living.
And I certainly can’t blame God. Yes, He gave me my body. He fashioned me in my mother’s womb. He calls me “fearfully and wonderfully made.” My body can do some amazing things, and it’s all because God made it. But He did not make me choose years of sedentary living coupled with the consumption of copious amounts of junk food. He did not make me make excuses about working out.
It all boils down to the fact that I have bought into what author Lysa TerKeurst calls the “lie of the skinny jeans”–that I will be happy once I am skinnier. But you know what?
Skinny people have problems too. The life of the skinny person is not one of perfection or endless joy. I have caught myself envying those I know who are skinny and have watched them, thinking, “She can eat ice cream and not have it show up on her thighs a day later. Her life is perfect.” Yet what I don’t know is that she may have a myriad of other struggles that aren’t obvious to me. The thing is, we live in a fallen world. We all sin and face trials and hardship and struggle. Skinny people are not immune from this.
We are all broken. We just break in different ways.
Our only hope of being put back together is God. So I will praise Him and beg and plead for Him to put me back together again.
Revelations 21:5: “Behold, I am making all things new…”
10 thoughts on “Broken”
Oh Erin, I completely relate. My life has been a constant yo-yo since high school, and I'm at my heaviest now. It's hard, and it definitely is a daily struggle. I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog for a while, and find it very encouraging.
I always look at skinny people and wonder how they can eat what they eat. I think maybe they don't eat that way very often…at least that's what I tell myself.
That should have read my “weight” has been a yo-yo. But I guess my life has been too!
Sometimes I consider not commenting on your blog, or other people's blogs and facebook pages, when the conversation turns to weight issues. I happen to be one of those naturally skinny people (well, usually. Right now I still have too much baby weight still hanging around), and I don't want anyone rolling their eyes and saying “Yeah right, what could she possibly have to say that is relevant to this conversation?” But the fact is, everyone has their issues. The things you say about weight translate surprisingly well to my struggle with depression and being disciplined. And not only that, but if you are a woman, skinny or not, you have some form of body/self-esteem issues too. I may have a good metabolism, but I guarantee that you are healthier than me. I'm pretty undisciplined about eating, I never exercise, and I feel like crap most of the time. Your blog inspires me to try to not only be skinny, but to be the healthiest me I can be. So, I hope you don't mind me commenting on your page. 🙂
The most beautiful people I know come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes my sick brain wonders how they can be so beautiful when each time I gain weight and have to buy the next larger size…I just feel uglier and more guilty for every decision I have made that led to my current size. I think it has to do with joy. I don't think it would matter if I got back down to my skinniest skinny..I mean, heck, I wasn't happy back then anyway. My husband is happy with my body. God has allowed my body to do amazing things in the last 5 years (four babies). I want to be strong, I want to be healthy, and I want to be JOYFUL. Now of course, healthy means I have to actually exercise and I have to make good choices where food in concerned. I want my daughter to be joyful before skinny, I want my sons to look for the beauty in a woman's heart before her jeans, and they won't be able to do those things if I am ruled by food, exercise and my weight. Obviously NONE of this is directed towards you Erin, your post just really got me thinking about what rules me these days and what I am teaching those God has put under my care. Maybe I should just start a blog of my own instead of hijacking yours. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your blog. I love you sister. I will be praying for you as you work so diligently to honor God in your pursuit of losing weight. Please pray for me as I work to honor God and pursue joy above all else. Liz–a recovering skinny girl 😉
Erin, I totally relate to your comment of “skinny people have problems too.” I struggle constantly with envy in my life–oh, if I could just find someone, get married, and have a baby, everything would be perfect! Look how wonderful that person's life appears to be! Logically, I KNOW this is not true–no one's life is perfect, or if it is, it's not perfect all day every day. But I have to accept that some things are out of my control, and that I'm sometimes going to stumble on the things that ARE in my control. Some days are more emotional than logical, though, so that can be hard!
A lot of the way I dealt with those struggles, and other bad stuff going on, over the past few years was by overeating. I got to a point where I was so tired of keeping a stiff upper lip and appearing to be in control of my life, while I knew that I wasn't, that when I was alone I would polish off a box of Nutty Bars in one sitting. I put on 20 pounds in the last year. So please don't feel like you are alone in going through this! I started Weight Watchers a couple months ago and while the weight is coming off slowly, it is coming off–but much more importantly, I feel like I am actually in control of myself again. If I eat a Whopper for lunch, I just know I'm going to eat a salad for dinner to balance it off, and I don't feel the guilt. (Because let's face it–Whoppers are delicious.)
Anyway, long comment. 🙂 But I wanted you to know I follow your blog and I am pulling for you. And also that your daughter is A-DOR-ABLE!
I love you Erin, and I can't wait to see your ALREADY SKINNY self soon. You have worked VERY hard – don't forget to be proud of yourself!
Oh, honey. I am so sorry. It must be so frustrating. But I still want you to focus on giving yourself grace during this transition time. You are still adjusting to motherhood/parenthood/being back to work, etc. It's a lot to handle. I am just now trying to exercise 3 times a week and Mark is a year old.
My sister is very thin. It actually doesn't come naturally to her, she works VERY HARD at it. In fact, too hard and I think it's become an obsession for her. She is constantly talking about food, weight, etc. And she doesn't seem to enjoy food, gatherings, etc. at all. She won't eat any other people's food (including mine) because she isn't sure what's in it. And if she did, she'd pick through it to minimize calories, etc. Makes me feel like crap when she refuses to eat things I've prepared (she thinks I don't notice, but I do). She has already started harping on her 8 year old (and did when my niece was 4 or 5) about “how much she eats” even though she is skinny as a pin–and a growing girl. This doesn't bode well for my niece's relationship with food either.
So, yes, I'm 2 or 3 sizes bigger than my sister. But I'm not obsessed with food. I'll have a whole piece of cake and occasionally eat fast food. And I'll try to teach Mark good eating habits… some of which are to induldge periodically.
So, hugs to you. Keep on keeping on and you WILL get there with your determination and God's grace.
I loved what you said about skinny people. I thought that way until I spoke with a friend from high school. She is a very slender girl (as are both parents) and she was tormented by people who teased her about being anorexic. She wasn't but they said she was because she was so skinny. So she would eat until she threw up to try to gain weight. It's taken her years to accept her body and herself – which is the same issue we all have, regardless of our weight. It was good to hear that, because I realized that being skinny isn't going to make me happy. It's about my heart and mind and where I find my worth – not what the number on the scale is. ~ L
This post hit the nail on the head. My friend and I were talking about this the other day. Everybody's got their something…all that glitters is not gold.