“Wow! Look at how much weight you’ve lost! I am so jealous.”
In my head I am preaching. I am pounding the pulpit. I am red faced, sweating, shouting, “YOU ARE FREE.” But my mouth, my hands, are silent.
I am not one to pass on an open pulpit. I am a preacher, teacher, talk for two hours straight on any subject I know anything about kinda gal. It’s how I’m made. I don’t fight it. EXCEPT…except when someone comments on my body.
It makes sense why. I’ve spent the bulk of my life pretending my body didn’t exist. Compliments on my hair, my eyes, my voice, my intellect, the way I have creatively draped my body in a interesting patterns and textures, those I can take. But for the last few months, I can’t even go to the bathroom at church without someone from the next stall over comment on how much weight I’ve lost. They stop me on the way back from communion, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? I WANT TO DO THAT!”
Every single time, I just smile and do my best to disappear. I did it again this week, when the woman who passed me the offering plate said those words that tore my heart up. “I’m so jealous,” she whispered. My eyes welled up and I said, “Thank you,” and pretended the nursery called so I could quickly excuse myself.
But I didn’t run away because I was embarrassed. This time I was just angry. Not at her, bless her very honest heart, but at the insidious lie that convinces people that women who lose weight, women who are healed, women who find victory — they are lucky.
They are not lucky.
There is no secret to weight loss, just like there’s no secret to making art, or getting a degree, or coding a website, or playing the cello, or deadlifting twice your bodyweight. Each of these things has a set of instructions, a path to follow, a method that works. People who are successful in these endeavors follow the instructions and do the work. People who do not succeed have made the choice to not follow the instructions or not do the work.
This should encourage you! This is FREEDOM.
Not one of us is cursed to stay right down in the bottom of the pit. Not one of us is hopeless. Not one of us is just plain unlucky. Is there something you want to do? Is there a dream you want to follow, a business you want to start, a portrait you want to paint, a house you want to own, a weight you want to pull, a life you want to live? Find the instructions and choose the work. Choose the blessed, glorious, one-step-at-a-time work.