I have gained seventy pounds since my 30th birthday.
That doubled my pants size.
After the first thirty or forty pounds, my doctor assured me it was normal for women in their thirties. Not that that made me feel any better.
In fact, the more weight I have gained, the more discontent I have become.
But since we are being honest, I have never in my life been on a diet (I don’t even own a scale).
I have never been “skinny” but I’ve never really been overweight either… well, before now that is.
Now that I am officially, and completely, overweight, I’m not sure how to cope. There are enough diet options and exercise plans to drive a woman crazy. Worse yet, they often contradict one another.
Faith & Fitness
But what does the Bible have to say about the issue? How do our faith and our weight intersect?
There are enough Christian workout programs, diet books, etc. that you would think our weight would be pretty important to Jesus. Yet, the Bible is pretty silent on the subject. In fact, it’s never mentioned. Not even once.
When Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, he said this: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come” (verse 8 AMP). He continued saying, “Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all” (verse 15 AMP). He wasn’t talking about being obsessed with our weight, or physical fitness, he was talking about being obsessed with Jesus.
In other words, our relationship with Jesus is far more important than the size of our jeans.
Distracted & Discontent
I think Satan has a field day when it comes to women and our weight. He knows it’s easy to use it to distract us from pressing hard into Jesus.
Satan knows that while working out isn’t fun, that we would rather spend our time working on our waistline than reading the Word of God.
And I’ll admit that he roped me in…
When I look in the mirror, I see an overweight woman instead of a daughter of the One True King.
Instead of seeing a woman saved by grace, I see a women who needs to try harder, be thinner, and eat better.
And every time I look in my mirror with disgust, Satan wins.
I can’t promise that this is the end of this particular battle for me, or that I’m reclaiming my reflection for God’s glory, but I can tell you that I am aware of Satan’s lies and ready for a change. And the first step towards change is realizing it needs to happen.
Jesus has called me to be content whatever my circumstances. That doesn’t mean I won’t pursue physical fitness or my health at all. It just means that I am going to make an effort to not let it consume me or distract me from seeking Jesus first. And I won’t let the shape of my body steal my identity that is secure in Christ alone.
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
~ Matthew 6:33
Has Satan been using your weight or physical appearance to distract you from Jesus? Are you distracted to the point of discontentment? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
If you liked this blog post, keep your eyes open for Heather’s upcoming book, Candid Conversations, where she has partnered with 25 other Christian women. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle, but there is hope to be found in Jesus. Coming August 13th, 2018. Kindle edition now available for pre-order.