by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
My body is crushing it lately! Yesterday I ran errands, did some housework, and took the dogs for a long walk. Today I went to the grocery store. I have been craving homemade curry, so I have plans to try a new recipe tonight. With all the amazing things my body is doing for me I want to give it something delicious.
A month ago I did not appreciate my body. The person who tells others not to take anything for granted and to live with an attitude of gratitude was not thankful for my body. I wanted to be thinner. I tried fad diets and intermittent fasting to the point of getting the shakes. Crazy stuff. All in the name of hitting my ever elusive goal weight. I was obsessed, and in my frenzy, I forgot to love myself and the body I am packaged in.
I know I am not alone in this. As a mental health provider, I see countless men and women who struggle with some aspect of themselves they don’t like. Once they have zeroed in on whatever flaw they see, this becomes their personal truth about themselves. They forget that God says they are handcrafted, fearfully and wonderfully made masterpieces (Psalm 139).
I used to value the idea of being at my goal weight much more than I appreciated my appetite. I saw my hunger as the enemy, keeping me from my prize. Then I got sick. I lost my appetite and couldn’t eat. It’s interesting how much you miss something when it’s gone. I realized hunger was not my enemy. Two weeks ago I actually hit my goal weight, but it felt like a hollow victory considering what I had lost. I hovered at that weight for about a day. I missed having an appetite more than I enjoyed those numbers on the scale. Now that my appetite is back I see it as a blessing from God that not everyone has. So it’s sayonara goal weight and hello curry!
I came across this in my Jesus Calling devotional, “Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. The Garden was filled with luscious fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn’t have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind.”
That is an exact summation of what happened to me. I was so focused on what I saw as my bodily imperfections my mind became darkened, and it sucked some of the happy out of me. I stopped smiling at myself in the mirror because I forgot to see my body as a temple where Jesus lives. That in itself makes me marvelous. It makes you marvelous. But when we take that for granted, we allow our minds to be darkened by what we fear we aren’t instead of appreciating what we are.
I am hopeful this experience has taught me a lesson that sticks. It’s hard when we are surrounded by a culture that tells us we need to be younger, thinner, and richer. But I know a lot of younger, thinner, wealthier people who are miserable. I think the only way to be genuinely content is to believe what God says about us, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He loves us. Enough to die for us. And He desires us to stop buying the lie that we are lacking something and love ourselves.
Easter is right around the corner. With it, we commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of the one who paid it all to prove to you how amazing you are. If He was willing to conquer sin and death just to be with you, maybe you should take a long look in the mirror and smile. With Him inside you, you are as ageless as eternity, as lovely as heaven, and rich beyond your wildest dreams. You indeed are a wondrous sight!