The Weight of Body Shaming

The Other 6
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I weighed 120 pounds when I graduated from college at age 22. Just two years later, I topped the scale at 200 pounds and gave birth to a little blond boy—who weighed in at 4 pounds and 15 ounces! For the past 24 years, those 80 pounds have been one of my greatest struggles.

I’ve had moments when I believed I had conquered the weight issue and moments when I knew the weight issue had conquered me. I’ve tried SlimFast and keto and Plexus and low-carb and Weight Watchers, and even, when they were popular in the 1990s, diet pills and fat blockers and vitamin B12.

I’ve stood before a mirror and cried at my reflection, embarrassed of the woman I’d become. I’ve hidden my body behind sweaters and jackets and squeezed into Spanx and camis and, all the while, wanted only to feel comfortable in my own skin.

Some of you, I think, are like me. Together, we’ve bought lies. We’ve bought the lie that weight equals worth. and we’ve stood empty-handed, void of confidence and value. We’ve fallen into the trap of comparison and stared green-eyed at friends whose thinner bodies made us feel somehow ashamed. We’ve believed wholeheartedly that weight was a matter of will, we’ve made vows and resolutions, and we’ve started and failed plan after plan.

And all the while, the Lord has waited for us to come to him, to lay this issue at his feet—to go to his Word for truth. Romans 12:1 tells us—clearly tells us—that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.

Our bodies, then, are made to worship. So we need to ask ourselves: Are we seeking to use our bodies for worship, or are we seeking worship for our bodies? Because if we’re not careful, we’ll make an idol of people’s praise. We’ll find our confidence in Facebook likes and compliments and forgo finding our worth in the person of Jesus Christ.

Because, you see, God looked at us and counted us worthy of the sacrifice of his Son, worthy of redemption, worthy of grace. But the praise of people? It’s fleeting, a cheap substitute for the acceptance of the living God.

So let’s be people who glorify God with our bodies, people who seek his approval alone. Let’s be people who refuse to fall for the world’s definition of beauty and instead concern ourselves with matters of the heart. Let’s be people who eat and drink to the glory of the Lord, people with the spiritual fruit of self-control. Let’s be people who edify one another, who build up instead of tear down. Let’s be filled with thanksgiving for a God who has so richly blessed us and loves us with an unfailing love.

About the Author

Sindy Fields is a wife and mother of four children. She resides in Pennington Gap, Va., where she teaches English and attends the First Baptist Church of Pennington Gap.

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