*This honest and open reflection was written by SPU student J.S. who was a student of mine and I post it here with permission.
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said I wish I could lose 30 pounds? Well if you said yes I have something to tell you.
Every morning I stand in front of my mirror and take a good hard look at myself and tell myself that I need to change. I tell myself that I am not good enough for anyone and that my exterior is drastically more important than my character. After that I get dressed and AGAIN take a good hard look at myself. I will tell myself that what I am wearing is good enough because no one even sees me anyways.
BUT I want to tell you something.
You are beautiful and strong. You are fighting a battle that God has already won for you. He is the one that you can find your identity in. Your health does not necessarily represent your weight. Your desired weight is just a unit of measurement that is completely unrealistic of an actual human being. You are so much more than a number.
And if you are thinking that people only see you as the fat person, they don’t. They see you for your character, your personality, if you make them laugh, and your kindness. These things are who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to change because your BMI says you are obese. If you want to change do it because it feels right to you. Don’t let anyone else set your goals for you. You need to tell yourself that you are changing for YOU and not for the world.
The world will never stop throwing you down until you decide to lift yourself up!
This is one of the hardest truths to hear. I have struggled with weight gain and obesity my whole life. I wish I could explain to you the lies that I tell myself everyday. Putting this in writing is scary for me. I have always seen myself as the fat girl. Everywhere I go I only see skinny people. I take there beauty and compare it to myself and will tell myself that I am worth nothing because I don’t look like what society wants me to look like.
But I have decided that the way I perceive myself is the first thing that needs to change. If I lost those 30 pounds but continued to perceive myself as not good enough those thoughts would still be there and I would probably just gain the weight back. This battle is not an easy one.
I want to encourage you to stand in front of a mirror and out loud tell yourself that you are beautiful. This may seem crazy but I promise you this works. When you learn to compliment yourself you will see that the size of your jeans won’t matter as much because you can see yourself for more than a number.
God never created you to fight this battle alone. He is our Rock and we can always lean on him. To be completely honest there will be good days and there will be really bad days. That's normal. Everyone does. Continue fighting your battle and remember that being skinny is NOT the goal.