Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Numbers (Or Weighing in on Weighing Out)

Let me start by telling you a funny story.  When my kids were little, (when I struggled the most with eating and body issues) we had a membership to the Fort Worth Zoo.

We loved that zoo and being a stay at home mom with a baby and a preschooler afforded me a lot of time in which to visit.

It was also during this period of time that The Mister threw out the scale in our bathroom. 

Although I wasn’t thrilled with his decision to throw out what had become a big fixture in my life, I knew that it needed to go.

However, I went to great (and sneaky) lengths to figure out what I was weighing.  This included using bathrooms at girlfriends houses; weighing at the gym; and sneaking to the bathroom isle in the Wal-Mart (and waiting for the guy who was picking out toilet brushes to go away) so I could get that all powerful number. 

Yeah, I should be embarrassed to tell you that, but I’m not; What I am about to tell you is worse...

When I could not find a scale in which to weigh I could always count on our trip to the zoo. The zoo had an exhibit that included a large animal scale that weighed you according to chickens, goats or cows.

(I’m chuckling a little bit here at the absurdity.

The exhibit literature informed you how much a chicken, goat or cow would weigh on average.  Then you were to hop on the scale and it would weigh you in how many chickens, goats or cows your weight totaled.

I would start with the kids. “Come on,” I would say to The Boy, “Let’s see how many chickens you weigh? Oh look! You weigh 6 chickens!”

Innocent enough. I would need to play along, right?

Absolutely. But what my children didn’t know is that I was serious

Serious about trying to see if I could be one less chicken by the next visit. 

Seriously grateful I wasn’t multiple goats. 

Seriously sick in the head.

I went through some pretty big hoops to find my value in the weight of many chickens.

So that’s some history. 

Fast forward to present time. I’m not quite as sneaky about weighing myself anymore. 

As a matter of fact, 30 days ago I would have told you that it wasn’t a problem at all. That’s not true.

This month I have realized how much I think about it; how much I depend on the scale to either boost my ego or ruin my day. 

I realized that I use that number to give me the false sense that I’m OK.  I give that number more weight than it deserves.

God accepts us for who we are. Our value is not defined in our outward appearance. How sad it is that I set confined parameters for His infinite love! The Good news? He will not be confined!

I find it fitting that one of my most all time favorite scriptures is Matthew 10:31 (although I didn’t make the connection until this very moment.)

So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many chickens sparrows.

I don’t live in that knowledge on a day to day basis. I let something as simple as numbers get in the way.

I wouldn’t be being honest if I didn’t tell you I’m actually contemplating not getting on that scale today. As much as I'm curious to know, there is also some fear. For the last four and a half weeks I have not been to the gym. The kids have been out of school, and with their swim team schedule it hasn’t been feasible. I’ve been running some (when the hot weather permits) and working out from home, but it’s not the same. 

As someone who is an avid exerciser, not working out was unexpected twist. Honestly, had I known that it was going to work out this way, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I’m glad I didn’t know.

So what’s the truth in this circumstance? 

The truth is that even without knowing the numbers or keeping the gym schedule, I feel all right. I still fit into my clothes, and although my muscles aren’t quite as defined, I know it’s nothing a few weeks back at the gym can’t whip back into shape...but there is a little fear. 

Which is why I’m going to keep those True-ism cards close at hand.

If you have decided to join me in focusing on one True-ism a week, then get out your Numbers card and put it where you will see it often.

1 Sam 16:7-

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Lastly, The Mister has lovingly handed me my $20 winning. That was money well earned!

La Vida Dulce!


Lindsay said...

Congrats on the big win! I knew you could do it! What a great connection, we are all worth more than many sparrow chickens!

Michele said...

Your story is cracking me up b/c it sounds SOOOO much like something I would do. Thanks again. I have printed out my True cards and feel on my way to victory -whew! Step 1 - right? Congratulations on the $20!!! Since you obviously love coffee I hope you get an amazingly great cup of coffee with it:)

Lara said...

You go girl!

Musings of a Housewife said...

I can relate to this more than I'd like to admit. Thanks for being so transparent. This line is SO true for me.

"I have realized how much I think about it; how much I depend on the scale to either boost my ego or ruin my day."

Sad but true. It's nice to know that I'm not alone. And more importantly, that God looks not on the outward appearance but on the heart. :-) So thanks for that much needed reminder.

Carrie and Jim said...

Congrats on winning. I loved this blog it was so encouraging to me. I am on the same path as you when it comes to trying to fully accept my true worth in Christ. You are an awesome lady! Thanks for being so honest in your blogs.

sari said...

Congratulations! It's hard getting past the weight thing, the pressure comes at you from so many different and unexpected directions, doesn't it?

Ali said...

"Serious grateful I wasn't multiple goats." LOL! Congratulations on the win!

Jackie said...

You are so honest and I love that. It's hard to get anyone to tell the truth about this subject.

The chicken scale story made me smile. :) Thank God that he doesn't count our worth according to the number on the scale.

Chel said...

You're telling my story except that you're on the happy side of it & I think I haven't quite gotten there yet. I'd like to have a greater body acceptance. I'd like to remember that I am more than my outward appearance... I tend to feel that way about everyone but me.

I wrote on my blog a week or so ago about numbers and how they change things in my head, so I understand how the power of a number can change your day.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

So whatcha goin' do with that $20?

Tanya said...

This is really funny and really sad at the same time. I mean, we all do this -- measure our worth in chickens or friends or the brand names on our jeans. God has so much more in store for us!! Yet we never see it when measuring our worth for ourselves. We've got to look at ourselves and our lives the way HE sees them. THANK YOU for the reminder!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Good for you! I have had this struggle, too. It's amazing how it can control your life. It starts innocently, then grows and grows. I found, like you, that the only solution is in giving it up to God. Somedays I only have to give it up once. Other days, I'm trying to give it up every 10 minutes. Thanks for sharing from your heart -- and sharing the truth that God is showing you.

Megan O. said...

Kellie- I am also so thankful for your transparency. I struggle to know where the balance lies. Currently I am doing a 12 week program to try to lose some weight (still holding on to that baby weight). I think I am handling it healthfully but I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it almost constantly throughout the day. I know God does ask us to be good stewards of our bodies but how do I work on it yet at the same time make sure I'm not putting too much focus on it? That's the dilemma.

The Buntens said...

Congrats on your win! that is awesome and a great story. thank you for sharing your heart, Kellie. It is enouraging for sure!

Melissa Lester said...

This post really hits close to home, and I appreciate your transparency. I was just thinking the other day how sad it is that I have focused on my weight so much since my teen years. Looking back, I always wanted to be thinner and could never appreciate my healthy size. I don't make some of the extreme choices I did during high school and college attempting to attain that elusive goal weight, but desiring thinness still occupies too much of my attention. You have given me a lot to think about, and I plan to look into the links you have provided.

Heather said...

I was so there years ago. It makes me praise the Lord that He has changed my heart on this and shown me that it is NOT about me but about Him and my relationship with Him. :) (And Settingcaptivesfree.com has a great bible study about just that which I went through after I had mostly gotten past the food/weight obsession.:))