the diets fail.

I was in the third grade. It was right after Christmas vacation and I had to wear the dress one more time. Purple velvet, with a silk sash. I loved it. So maybe it was getting a little snug but I didn't care. One more time. The sash kept untying and I'd ask my teacher to fix it for me, over and over again. Finally she said "maybe if you hadn't eaten so many cookies at Christmas, your dress would still fit and the sash would stay tied."

In front of the whole class. Loudly.
It was then that I first realized I was fat.

The sash on the dress that wouldn't stay tied was just the beginning of a long journey.

Since then, I've gone through various diet plans, eating styles, starvation and crash diets. It's all failed. Every last one has eventually resulted in me bouncing back up like a yo-yo. Not for lack of effort but for lack of self control. It doesn't matter what I'm eating or not eating, if I cannot control how much I'm putting in my mouth I will fail. Again.

Lately, I've been praying and praying for God to give me self control. Begging, really. I found myself praying God, please. If I just had self control I'd be oka-- oh. I get it now. Thank you Lord for keeping me humble

Did you catch that? It has taken me YEARS to realize this. In my arrogant little mind, I thought that if I could just have self control, I'd be set. No more struggles. My arrogance and pride would take over. I would forget how much I needed the grace of God daily. If I had self control, I wouldn't be okay. I would then be a prideful, arrogant mess. I'd be a thin mess, but still a mess.

Well, no wonder He hasn't given me a supernatural dose of self control!

This morning I read a chapter in the latest book added to my collection on weight loss. I do enjoy it but I'm not feeling overly inspired by her words. Usually I find myself meditating on whichever Scripture reference she's used in that chapter. This morning it was:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 NASB)

My trial is my weight. It is written all over me, for the world to see. Other women who struggle with their weight talk to me about their issues, their diet plans, what book their reading, etc. We can identify each other in a crowd. It's also easy for us to identify the women who do not struggle with this particular trial. They're thin. I'll even generalize and say they are usually well-dressed and confident. Honestly? They are intimidating. My struggle, my trial is out there for the whole world to see. Some will judge me, assuming that I live on a diet of McDonald's and cookies, with some soda to wash it down. Some will feel sorry for my husband, remembering the thin bride he married nearly 12 years ago. (Too bad they don't know about the starvation and black outs that finally got me to the "right" size) Some will just assume I'm lazy. But the thin, well-dressed ladies? Their struggles are just as real, just as difficult and just as debilitating even if we can't see them.

The perfectionist that can't leave the house until every shade of makeup and piece of hair is in the right place.

The depressed mom who puts on a fake smile to make it through church.

The willowy beauty that everyone envies? She is a closet anorexic.

Everyone has trials. Mine? It's freeing in a way to have it out there for everyone to see. If you can see that I struggle, without me even having to say a word - then hopefully you see that I need Jesus. And maybe that will make you see that you need Jesus too. I don't want you to see me and think "Wow, she's got it all together!" because I don't. I have Jesus and only with Him, will I manage to conquer this trial in His time.


  1. I appreciate your straightforwardness (is that a word?). I struggle with my weight, too, though I don't even have the self-discipline to even try to diet. In high school, I once told myself that if I ever started getting fat, I would just exercise more and still eat whatever I wanted. Ha! Reality has given me a wake-up call on that one. Anyway, I am coming to conclude that God has made me a mother to a certain one of my children to keep me humble and recognizing my desperate need for His grace. I realized not that long ago that if it weren't for this particular child, I would probably think that I'm a pretty good mom and might possibly be a little stuck-up about it....kind of like what you were saying with the self-control thing. It is hard, though, when others only ever show you the put-together version of themselves to not think that they have it all together (and might possibly be looking down their noses at those of us who aren't). When did being human, and fallible, and weak, and in obvious desperate need of God's grace every moment become something to be ashamed of?


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