For Lent this year, I decided to give up being so hard on myself. It’s only been in the last six months that I’ve realized just how hard I really am on myself.
When I was 17, I thought I was fat. I wasn’t alone. Most teenage girls have poor self-images. We’re bombarded all day every day with advertising messages that tell us we’re not pretty enough, thin enough, etc.
I recently pulled my old Army ID out of a box. My weight at 17 as 156 pounds. That’s 40 pounds less than I am now. I’m by no means fat. (See image on the left below.) A little overweight… sure. But not fat.
It was a reality check, because I really believed I was fat.
I’ve been working hard over the last few years to become more healthy in every aspect of my life, but I’m still too hard on myself. I measure myself based on progress or slips this week rather than looking at my progress over time.
I was cleaning out a folder on my OneDrive and found some pictures from 5 years ago. There weren’t many and almost none from the 5 years before that. I don’t have a picture of myself at my highest weight.
I’ve come along way since then, but rather than patting myself on the back, I’ve been beating myself up for not making enough progress. As I get closer to my ideal weight, the weight loss slows. That’s perfectly normal.
But the real issue is that I shouldn’t be measuring my progress based on my weight. Ten years ago, I was suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases, cervical cancer, and high cholesterol. I’m now free of all them.
That health progress is worth way more than the number on my scale.
My guess is that most of you are just as hard on yourselves. Part of the journey of becoming healthy is learning to love yourself. God loves you. I love you. Time to learn to love yourself!