The other day, Ana stepped on our bathroom scale. She peered over her tiny six year old tummy to look at the numbers, sighed, and said to me, “I need to lose a few pounds.”
I was, as you might suspect, horrified that she would even think this. Where did she pick this up?!, I kept thinking, even as I explained to her that she’s healthy, happy, and just exactly who God made her to be.
Not even an hour later, I was dressed and ready to run my five miles, sitting at the dinner table watching the rest of the family eat while I inputed my calorie count from my one meal of the day into my phone. Ana looked over and asked me, “Why aren’t you eating?” I looked over at her, opened my mouth to say “I need to lose a few pounds,” and snapped it shut immediately.
She’s becoming me, I thought. And I don’t even like the me that I’ve become.
Here’s the thing. I know that I’m not overweight. I know that I’m in good health. I know that I’m just fine like I am, no matter what I look like. Yet I still begin to freak out if the scale goes up a few pounds. To the detriment of myself… and apparently to the detriment of my two daughters, who are watching me and determining what exactly it is that makes a woman beautiful and worth something in the eyes of God.
I’m convinced that there’s got to be a middle ground out there somewhere between caring enough to be at your healthiest and caring so much that you’re unhealthy as a result. Between staying healthy and becoming obsessed with being healthy. And more than that, I’m convicted that I’ve made an idol of the number I see on the scale and that it’s warped the way I see myself. And that I’m passing all of my crazy right along to my children.
Maybe this is too honest, but I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who struggles with this. And maybe by posting this for some of you ladies out there who are fighting to get or stay skinnier than is actually healthy, I can save you the heartbreak of watching your own daughters begin to model your behavior.
I’m going to keep running. But I’m going to be healthy about it and about the way I eat. And if I gain a few pounds because of it? I’m going to remind myself that life is about more than a number on a scale or the image in the mirror.
Convicting food for thought for me…