I watched a movie last night that just wrecked me. It was such a strange movie. Marco didn’t like it at all – he’s an “all comedy” guy. If it doesn’t make you laugh and/or have J Aniston in it, he’s not a fan.
In the movie, there was a young girl struggling with an eating disorder. The movie went through all kinds of things that torment young kids – conspiracy theories, not feeling as though they belong, eating disorders, relationships… the list goes on.
The young girl though, I related to on so many levels, and it broke my heart. It was almost as though I was watching myself as a young girl, through a lens I’d never really looked through before.
I’ve always known that I found my worth, at that young age, through the size of my body. But seeing this played out in a movie made it come alive. It made it so clear.
The smaller she got, the better she felt, morally. Physically, she felt awful. She craved things. She went on websites to rid herself of temptation-to-eat (ignoring all biological and healthy instincts that wanted to help her). Websites that inspired her to not eat. She posted half naked photos of skinny women all over her bedroom. The smaller she became, the more compliments she received. The more attention she got from boys. The prettier people thought she was. She got wrapped up – tied up in this identity.
Before, she wasn’t noticed. Now, she was noticed. It must be the size of her body, right?
This was me, too. The smaller I got, the prouder I felt that others were of me. The more I felt that they looked up to me. The prettier and more accepted I felt… the smaller I got.
What a lie for a young girl to believe. Even if it’s true, that unfortunately, praise increases the smaller we get. What an awful identity to spend your teens years in. I wish I could go back and hug her. Tell her that she is awesome, apart from looks. To tell her how driven she is. That she can use that drive for good. To show her which friends are the good friends. Gosh, how I wish I could influence that young me, differently.
I am also currently reading the book “Feeding the Hungry Heart” by Geneen Roth where she shares stories of compulsive eating. And though I no longer struggle with compulsive eating, I resonate with the stories, because again, it’s identity issues wrapped up in the size of our bodies. Our worth, our ability to be liked, wrapped up in our bodies.
She shares stories of fat women feeling shame in the store for buying ice cream. Shame for being seen eating anything that isn’t healthy. Shame for the size of their bodies. Shame because others see fat as “disgusting.”
Lord, this breaks my heart too. And it reminds me, we are not our bodies. We are our souls, our spirits, our personalities, our love, our what-we-get-to-offer to the world…
YOU are worthy because you’re alive. You’re not worthy because of your body or what you look like.
YOU get to be you and make choices based on what you want because you’re YOU. Not because of your size.
It’s okay to focus on creating a healthy life. Feeling good will add to your happiness, I’m sure. But focusing on being thin, shrinking yourself, to feel more valuable. That’s not where your value comes from my friend.
You matter. You make a difference to this world. You are so Godly important. Exactly as you are. Exactly in this body that you’re in.
So let’s work at the heart of what you’re going through. Let’s get you to know your value first, and to focus on your health (without obsession) alongside that, but because you love yourself and want yourself to feel well.
NOT because doing so would make you any more valuable. You are already 100% valuable as you are right now. 100%. You cannot make yourself any more or less valuable by gaining or losing weight. You are 100% valuable simply because you’re alive and here on this earth. Even those who never got the chance to see the light of day, or those who have passed away too young are 100% valuable.
Sure, you may feel better with more weight on you. You may be healthier. Or you may feel better or be healthier with less weight on you. And it’s okay to think about your health, but your health will just add to the quality of your life. Which is great – but you do NOT need to wait to feel your value for another minute.
You are at full value, right now. As you read these very words, your value is at 100%. Without you making a single change.
How would you treat yourself differently today, if you truly believed this?
What would you do differently? How would you eat? How would you move your body? How would you spend your time today, if your value were already at 100%?
Because it already is…