If your focus is on looking good — sorry, but you are bound to be disappointed.
There will always be someone more attractive than you are. You may feel great next to your overweight friends, but suddenly feel like a blimp when you are surrounded by skinny young things.
I had that experience when I spent a few weeks in Thailand. I had been feeling pretty good about losing that ten pounds. Compared to the people my age in my exercise class, I looked fairly svelte. The majority of people in Thailand, though, are small-boned and petite. I suddenly felt tall for the first time in my life — but I also felt gargantuan. Sales people would call out, “We have big size, Lady. Big size for you!” Even worse was the woman who held up a skirt and pulled on the elastic to show how far it could stretch. “Big, big,” she cried. “It will fit you!”
The point is that if you are trying to look better than other people, you are doomed to fail. Perception changes depending on the people you are around. You will only be truly motivated to change if your goal is to be strong and healthy. I don’t know about you, but I want to live until I die. I don’t want to be stuck in a sort of half-life where I can’t do much because my aches and pains are holding me hostage. I want to live a useful, purposeful life for God’s glory until my life comes to an end.
Like my friend, Ruby. She was nearly blind and in an independent living center when she was in her late nineties. She led an exercise class there and had a ministry to the less able people who were her neighbors. I offered to pick her up for church one time, but she graciously declined. “They need me in the service we have here,” she said. “They count on me to be a greeter and to make people feel welcome.”
Ruby was always dressed up, complete with coordinated shoes and manicured nails. “You never know when something interesting might happen,” she said. “I want to be ready to go if something comes up.”
She died at 98 — but she lived until she died. That’s what I want — and it’s a much more sure motivation than looking better than the other folks.
How about you? Why do you want to lose weight? Living — really living — is a goal worth reaching.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown