I first met Sarah when she started attending our church a few years ago. I immediately noticed her kind heart, great sense of humor, and genuine care for others around her. It has been so much fun getting to know her better as we've spent more time together at various events and Sunday School classes. She has recently embarked on an incredible journey, one that involves a struggle for many women, and she's sharing more about that in today's moment. I appreciate her honesty and her willingness to share her story. Check it out!
|Photo: Lacey Rene Studios|
The first time I remember being aware of my weight being an issue was fifth grade. A boy in my class made a comment about my size, and I started feeling uncomfortable with myself. Being 10 and developing early is tough enough, but having people point out insecurities you didn’t know you had is heart wrenching. I guess that was my first fat-shaming experience!
It’s been nearly two decades since that day, and my weight has fluctuated up and down and all over the place. I’ve been on nearly every diet you could think of doing.
The first diet plan I went on was the Richard Simmons Food Mover. It had little windows with pictures of food on it that you would close throughout the day.
|The Richard Simmons Food Mover! Not only a dieting tool, but a toy for an awkward fifth grader who developed way too early.|
Jenny Craig? Yep, and they have some good food! I lost about 50 pounds between 9th and 10th grade on it, and came back to school feeling really good about myself – I looked good, too. Unfortunately for me, a girl who didn’t like me because I dated a guy she liked the year before decided to say within earshot of me, “She should have stayed on Jenny Craig.” High school is tough enough, people!
|I think I looked pretty good at 15! I'm in the middle here, prior to being told I should have stayed on Jenny Craig.|
Soon after the Dr. Tague experience, I was incredibly frustrated with how hard it was for me to lose weight. A coworker suggested I go see her primary care doctor, since mine at that time was pretty useless. I went to see Dr. Amy Brose, and after some discussion, she decided to do some blood work. After the results came back, she diagnosed me with polycystic ovarian syndrome. It’s a hormonal endocrine disorder that affects 1 in 4 women. It increases the risk of a lot of health issues, many of which Nicole Arbour listed in her video as being part of what being plus size means (diabetes, heart disease, etc.). Not all women who have PCOS experience weight gain, but I was one of the ones who experienced that.
Now, I’m not going to say that PCOS is totally to blame for my weight issues. I certainly have eaten way too much Ben and Jerry’s in my lifetime, and I should probably have spent more time at the gym. But I can tell you that for every five pounds someone without PCOS loses, it seems like I lose half a pound. Not only I am overweight to begin with, I have to bust my butt harder in the gym and resist temptation even more! Unfair, right?
Wrong. It’s not unfair. It’s just the hand I’ve been dealt, and it’s something I need to overcome. Over on my blog, I quoted my pastor Ritchey Cable when he said, “The amount of physical and emotional pain and suffering you experience because of a decision is no barometer of whether you’re being obedient to God.”
This spoke to me for several reasons, the main being that I cannot stay comfortable if I want to follow Christ wholeheartedly. I believe God is using me to speak to people who are struggling with their weight as I go on a journey of my own.
|Photo: Lacey Rene Studios|
It’s going pretty well so far, but it’s hard when only you notice the weight you’re losing. I sometimes want to just snap my fingers and be at my goal weight, but I know it’s going to take hard work and a lot of frustration.
The message I have for Nicole Arbour is that many of us who are overweight desperately try to reach our goals, but like anything worth doing, it’s a difficult journey. Do I make some bad choices Absolutely. But so does everyone else. Mine just happens to have a physical manifestation that allows people to judge me and make assumptions about my lifestyle.
I haven't always been the most faithful Christian. I've struggled, and I've created a lot of idols in my life, and I think food and my weight are two of them. There is one truth to Nicole Arbour's video- she said, "You've got one body, one, and it has to last you until the end." She's right, I only have one earthly body, and that body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. I do need to take care of myself, because I am an image-bearer of God. Leaning on Christ through this journey is already showing me that I don't need to make my weight loss the center of my life. If I make sure Christ is there, then everything else should fall into place.
The amount of support I’ve been given by friends and family has been overwhelming. I was so honored when Kelsie offered for me to write for Currently Kelsie, and I hope to write again when I reach my goals. I will probably have lots more to say!
Gaining and losing is such a struggle and focus for so many women, including myself. I love Sarah's point that we can't make weight loss the center of our lives- that's the place that should be reserved for Christ alone. Follow Sarah's journey on her blog, sarahbeeblog.com, or connect with her on Facebook.