Best of 2011: Church of Weight Loss

English: Slim-fit pants, skinny jeans, pegs, d...

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There’s something I’ve had on my mind for a while. I’d like to write something profound about it, but I hope you’ll give me some grace and let me speak my mind here, or alternatively stop reading. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time exercising, and have been eating healthily in an attempt to get fit, get healthy and cope with the stress that comes with life. This has meant that I’ve also placed myself into an entirely different culture, so a few hours a day I’ll have my feet firmly planted in the church of fitness and the rest of the day have my mind and perhaps my feet in the true church. Now with this dichotomy has come a lot of conflicting thoughts.

On the Biggest Loser, there was a moment when Tiffany, a trainer, was yelling at a contestant for taking temptation. As she had Meg run on a treadmill she shouted, “one sausage roll will ruin everything!” and it shocked me. How many people truly believe that one sausage roll, that one slip, can ruin everything? A lot. The quest for the perfect body is much like the quest for a perfect life. We can’t do it. We’re never good enough. And so I refuse to believe that my worth and my success all comes down to my food choices. I refuse to fall into the trap of striving for the perfect body because that isn’t what life is about. Jesus lived the perfect life so that I could receive grace and be reconciled to God. One sausage roll wont ruin everything.

Numbers are also a big deal in the church of weight loss. One KG is everything. One KM is a big deal. Everything can be put into numbers and statistics to measure success and honestly, every Wednesday when a lot of my friends weigh in, I feel sad. I feel like we are all trying to reach this number, to have the scale show just one less KG… And what for? So we can beat ourselves up again the next week as we try to lose more in order to be more. A few statistics for you – I’ve lost 10kg so far and now fit comfortably into size 14 jeans for the first time in quite a while. But that doesn’t mean much. My friends are noticing a difference and most of it isn’t physical. They notice that I smile more… and that I am better at actually being a friend and when I spend time with them, I am actually present in that moment. Isn’t that more than a number on a scale? The results of getting healthy are so much more than what you see on a scale!

Here it is. Here is the big thought, and I’ll make it bold just to show you that I mean it….

Your hope is not found in weight loss. That is an endless battle for perfection that doesn’t exist. Your hope is only found in Jesus Christ who lived the perfect life so that we could stand before God, knowing that we are not good enough, and accept the awesome gift of grace.

Be healthy. Be fit. Just… listen to the true gospel, not the false gospel of weight loss.

Originally posted 6/4/11


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