You are More Than a Number!
The scale – what emotions do you feel when you hear that word? Let’s face it we all have a love/hate relationship with the scale. We love it when the number drops, and hate it when the number goes up. Do you know the number one reason women don’t go to the doctor? You guessed it – they don’t want to step on the scale! I’ve often stood on the doctor’s scale backwards so that I couldn’t see the number when they took my weight and told the nurse to keep it to herself.
Too often we let this number dictate how we feel about ourselves. Many factors go into the number on the scale and weight can fluctuate by up to as much as 5 pounds in any given day. So why do we give this number so much power and allow it to validate us? Do the perfect airbrushed images in magazines make us believe we should all look like they do? No wrinkles, acne, cellulite, or imperfections allowed.
The scale shouldn’t define us, God should. So let’s look at what his word says about us. Psalm 139:14-16 (MSG) tells us “you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb… body and soul, I am marvelously made…you know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Wow, when we stand on the scale and the number isn’t what we wanted to see and negative thoughts blast into our minds, we need to remember this! God took great care in creating us and he wants us to know “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jer. 31:3 NLT) It cost God everything to save us, that should tell us how much worth we have to Him.
So then what do we do with the scale? Here are a few tips:
- Keep the right perspective. The scale is a tool. That’s all. It’s meant to give you information. That information should motivate you not define you.
- Realize there are other tools. If you aren’t seeing the scale move, take your measurements. It’s a great gauge on what’s really happening. Often the scale misrepresents the hard work happening as you exercise. Muscle is built more quickly than fat is released, so the scale might increase during your first couple of weeks when starting an exercise routine.
- Don’t weigh yourself every day. Remember, your weight can fluctuate for so many reasons. Plan one day a week at the same time of day to weigh in. You can make yourself crazy otherwise. I know this all too well.
- Ask yourself how your clothes are fitting? This is one of the first signs of weight loss even if the scale isn’t moving.
- Lift weights. If you’ve hit a plateau, consider adding strength training or increase your weights if you are already lifting. This simple change can get things moving in the right direction again. And you won’t bulk up. God didn’t give women the testosterone needed to build muscles like men.
- Get the right amount of sleep. 7-9 hours a night. Your body needs to rest well to be less stressed. Stress can be a huge factor in weight loss. Reduce the lights, sound, and electronics in your room to give you the most advantageous sleep possible.
- Each day spend 15 minutes focusing on God as your loving father. Did you know that this alone releases oxytocin, a chemical our bodies need to reduce inflammation and stress? And imagine your outlook on life after thinking about His love for you for 15 minutes!
- Set realistic goals. No one can expect to lose 20 pounds in one week. Strive for 2 pounds a week for long term weight loss.
- Quit being so hard on yourself. Reread tips 1-8 and meditate on the Scripture verses above.
Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my eyes fixed on you. You have created me and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Help me to take any negative thoughts captive and replace them with the knowledge that you love me unconditionally and nothing can separate me from your love. Thank you for your faithfulness to walk this journey with me. Help me to do my part and trust you with the results. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Journal: How often do you “have a date” with the scale and how’s that working for you? What drives your self-image? Who/what do you rely on to build you up? What things can you change to correct negative thoughts?
To find a Body & Soul class near you, please visit www.bodyandsoul.org. Body & Soul is where faith and fitness meet.
Banner photo by somorgado through Pixabay.com, Text added by Mary Ward . Embedded photos (1) by luxstorm through Pixabay.com, (2) by kaboompics.com through Pexels.com.