Lent begins today. It’s a season of contemplation, of preparation. A season where we think about the gift that has been given and attempt to really understand what the whole story of Jesus truly means for us, here in this time. I’ve decided to undergo some preparations myself and I know I usually say I’m going to add something to my life with the intent of impacting the world or even just my own life in a positive way but this year I’m giving something up. What am I giving up? I’m not going to weigh myself every day.
Big deal you think? It is a big deal for me. I’m a compulsive weigher. I think it started when I lost a considerable amount of weight a few years ago. I was absolutely petrified it would come back if I wasn’t vigilant. There’s something to be said for vigilance. Statistically those who stay on top of their weight loss are more likely to succeed or so I’ve read, don’t quote me on that. I know I need to be mindful and continue to make healthy choices. That said, the weighing myself daily is taking a toll on the way I see myself. I need to distance myself from the scale and embrace who I am separate from what I weigh. I have committed to weighing myself once a week at the same time. I still want to stay on top of things and continue to care of myself but I don’t want it to be something I obsess about.
What does this have to do with Lent and spiritual progress? I happen to have 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 hanging on my mirror in my bathroom. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Before you jump all over me I know it’s about sexual immorality if you look at the greater text but I think it also applies to how we treat our bodies. We need to honour God by treating our bodies well. We need to honour the body not just in regards to sexuality but also in how we care for it. I’m not honouring God when I scarf down 1/2 a pizza and refuse to exercise nor am I honouring God when I feel my value lies in what I weigh instead of who God created me to be. There needs to be a balance somehow. A way to enjoy our bodies while caring for them. I’m seeking to find that balance. I’m looking for a way to honour God and give thanks for the great things this body he’s given me can do while caring for it.
My body was made by God, shaped for me.
I want to feel comfortable in it.
So this Lent I shall strive to feel comfortable in my own skin without obsessing about how much that skin weighs. I’m going to make better choices and continue to avoid chocolate because it’s my own personal kryptonite. I know it may not seem like a lot to you but for me, it’s going to be tough.