Do you know what it is like to look in the mirror and hate what you see? I do. It is a hard thing to get yourself out of the mindset that you are not ugly, and you are not worth it. I still fight it, but I am getting better, but it is still a struggle—I won’t lie. I used to hate what I would see so much I would cry. I thought I was so ugly and unfit and unkempt that I saw myself as not worth mine or anyone else’s time. Perhaps that is why I dated scum and had scum friends, I didn’t think I deserved better. Perhaps that’s why I always looked for people that would make me feel stupid and not worth it. It validated the way I felt on the inside.
One of the very first toxic reflections that I started to notice when I started on this weight loss journey; I must battle my own reflection—the way that I see me and the mind games I play with myself. Truth didn’t matter here. I knew I was pretty, smart, a good mom, a decent wife, and I tried to be a good Christian. But none of that mattered when I was starring face to face with me in the mirror. The man in the mirror saw me as ugly, stupid, a crappie mom, a horrible wife, and let’s face it—not worth the challenge to lose weight. I simply wasn’t worth it. And besides, I would fail anyway.
I realized something, if I was going to duke it out with my reflection that had forged a habitual regiment of self-hate and self-destruction; I realized I couldn’t do it alone. The people around me in my community were helpful, but not in the moments it mattered. Those moments when your alone and the darkness creeps in and the self-hate become so much that self-destruction seems like an easy way out—binge eating. For those of you who don’t know binge eating is a disorder that when a person is presented with negative social or psychological stimuli then the person then binges on food to bring back the mind into a more positive mood. What the binge people don’t realize is that yes, for a moment you feel good; but it’s the after effect that you need to watch out for. The guilt and the wonderful negative thoughts about you surface. It’s a never-ending circle—but I do believe it can be broken. Which is why I realized I needed my strength for this fight to come from someone other than myself or my friends or my family; I needed God.
And in my searching for this strength—God– I have learned a wonderful nugget of truth—God doesn’t see me as I see me (thank you, Lord!).
When we are born into Christ we are new creatures (Cor.5:17). We are adopted by God as His children (Gal. 4:5). Since we are adopted by God, we have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading that is waiting for us in heaven (1Peter 1:4). Peter says this in reference to Christians, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the Excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9). I love that God chose me. I love that I am a royal ‘priestess’ of the highest God. I love that I am a part of a holy nation that will never turn to ruin. My favorite part, I love it that I am for God’s own possession. I also love that I am to proclaim the glory of God to those around me; and what better way to proclaim God’s glory in my life by losing weight and breaking free of my addiction to food!
In Hosea 3:19, 20 it says, “And I will betroth you to me forever, I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.” I looked up the ‘know’ at the end of this verse. It means to have a deep connection to someone, to be intimate with someone—much like two lovers would ‘know’ each other. This deep intimate connection is saved for God’s chosen people. He wants to love us in an exceptional way. He sees our beauty, even if we can’t see it ourselves. God has a different view of us, He sees us from a different angle—one where all our sides are the good ones.
I never thought I would read Song of Solomon, ever. I mean its two lovers’ loving each other. I never really understood why it was in the Bible in the first place. Then I had an epiphany, what if we read Song of Solomon with the characters changing around a bit. Let Solomon be God and let Solomon’s Bride be us. Reading that book like that opened my eyes to how much God loves me and how beautiful God thinks that I am. Let’s look up some passages…
“If you do not know, O most beautiful among women…” (1:8a)
“Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold you are beautiful… (1:15a)
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (4:7)
This is how God see’s us. Wow! Amazing! Having this thinking is helping me to have a better self-image. I can actually look in the mirror without the urge to vomit. I can change clothes and not think I am scaring people, not that I change in front of people anyway. I am only in the beginning stages of my weight loss journey. And I do know some days will be a breeze and others will be an uphill climb, but I know it’s not ok to stay where I am at. It’s not ok to leave my loving husband alone and wifeless, its not ok to leave my two children without me, and it’s not ok for me to think that I am not worth all this. I am! And you are too! Please continue to follow our journey to better health!
By Amy Shaw