Hey Beautiful. Yes, I am talking to you. You don’t have to be everything to everybody. You only have to be who God wants you to be. I learned this the hard way.
For so many years I felt I had to do everything for everyone. They didn’t even have to ask, I would just volunteer to do things to make up for the fact that I couldn’t stop eating. If that makes no sense, it’s because logically it doesn’t make sense.
I was trying to make up for weighing 430 pounds. So I would do anything anyone wanted me to do. I’ve met people who are worse off than me about this so I won’t say I was the bend-over-backward queen, but I was really close to it.
Although I knew I was saved by God’s marvelous grace and headed to heaven, I also knew I wasn’t doing the one thing God had told me to do. I hadn’t stopped eating sugar. I was consuming it was going out of style. The desire for doing that was the biggest stronghold of my life but I couldn’t seem to get over the feeling I that I had to eat those kinds of foods in order to stop me from being … a jerk.
I ate in order to calm my emotions and to give me energy. Both of these things can be fixed short-term by eating the foods I loved, but it did not solve the problem. Still, I kept eating. I knew I needed to stop, I just didn’t want to and I didn’t think I could.
Earning the Smile of God
I thought I had to earn God’s smile on my life because I couldn’t do what He had shown me He wanted me to do. If someone needed me to do something for them, I would go out of my way to do it. I would let them interfere with obligations to my family to do things they wanted me to do. I had no boundaries around any part of my life.
Being super morbidly obese made me feel like I couldn’t say no because then they wouldn’t like me anymore. I had no idea that I was allowing myself to be used and abused. I was actually volunteering to be used and abused so others would like me and be my friend. Then that would make me feel angry and I would eat some more to quiet the angry child inside me.
When someone would ask me to do something, I didn’t tell them I had to check my schedule. Instead, I listened to the snarky voice in my head that said, “Good girls do what others tell them to do. Good girls are people pleasers. And fat girls have to do everything everyone wants them to do or they will be …. alone.”
What God Says
I was trying to please others instead of accepting my identity from the One who loves me completely. God has a message for every person who has ever felt this way. On more than one occasion, He’s spoken the following words directly to my heart. Today, He’s speaking them to yours.
“Hey Beautiful One. I see you, the real you, the wonderful woman you are, a woman with thoughts and feelings, knowledge and wisdom. I see the gold inside of you, the person who was buried a long time ago through all the pain and hurts of your life. The one you tried to bury with more and more and more foods that are only making you sicker.
“Still, I love you, Beautiful One. I love who you are. I love who you are becoming. I love every piece of you. I don’t want you used or abused by yourself or anyone else. I want you to love yourself as I love you. And I love you more than you can ever comprehend.”
So much has changed for me since 2013. That was the year I realized I finally had lost 250 pounds. I didn’t do it overnight. It was a progressive journey that began when I finally surrendered every part of me to God.
On my journey, a huge thing I realized is that time is my most valuable resource. God tells us to love others as we love ourselves. For many years I was not loving myself. I didn’t think I was worth loving. I saw myself as a worthless blob. I gave away my most valuable resource without a second thought.
Today I love myself by setting good boundaries, even by hiring others to do the work that is more tedious to me so I can focus on what I do best which is writing, speaking and coaching. I oversee the rest but I’m so grateful for a great team that helps me in many different ways. And of course, I love myself by eating right, exercising, maintaining a doable work schedule, getting good rest and spending intentional no agenda time with God.
I love coaching other women as to how they can make the same type of changes. Every minute I take to coach others, I see as an investment in their lives. If you are one of those people, I want you to know, you are so worth it. If you are in my monthly group, I read your posts. I pray over my responses to you.
I am grieved that you feel the same way I felt when I was super morbidly obese, namely that you are not beautiful, not worth anything and you should just allow others to romp and stomp all over you. This is just not true and it is especially not the way God feels about you. He sees you as His beautiful and priceless daughter.
Even when we once again allow someone to use us, He will thunder in the beating of our hearts to tell us, “Beautiful One, you are worth so much more than all of this. You are treasured, (1 Peter 2:9 TPT), You are sacred, (1 Cor. 3:17 NIV). You are Mine, (Malachi 3:17 NIV). Do not allow yourself to be used up for nothing.”
God has great plans for you and it doesn’t involve running yourself ragged volunteering for everything under the sun that isn’t something God has called you to do. Doing what you do out of guilt precludes you from doing what God really wants you to do.
If you are stuck in bad habits that are taking you further away from God, struggling and fighting against them may only get you more entangled in them. Release your hold on those habits and learn better ways to live. It’s the only way to begin to really love yourself back to life.
For more on this subject, listen to episode 68 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast HERE.