Heavy and Happy

Being heavier than most of my friends has never been fun. The earliest I started paying attention to a scale was twelve years old, not that it did me much good as the numbers increased significantly over the years.

I feel like I’ve been trying to lose weight my whole life. Sometimes I’m successful and the other 99% of the time I hate myself.

The fact of the matter is, it’s just as miserable trying to lose weight as it is to gain weight. The only bright side is when you finally do see the pounds off but it’s only for as long as you can maintain a strict lifestyle.

Why am I saying all of this, sounding like such a Debbie Downer? It’s not out of self-pity (okay, maybe a little) and it’s not a cry for sympathy. The point is, you can’t be happy and heavy at the same time.

Before I lose you, let me clarify what you can be:

Heavy and content.

Heavy and joyful.

Heavy and thriving.

You see, being happy is an emotion only dependent on outside circumstances. If I have a good job, if I’m with the love of my life, if I look good, then I’ll be happy. As soon as our outside circumstances are negative or if they don’t go as planned, then it’s harder to be happy.

But being content is about being at peace in the moment. It means loving yourself if you’re 10 pounds overweight or 100. Losing 20, 30, 40 pounds will never be enough. Learn to celebrate your imperfections now, knowing that you will always have something you want to change. The reality is, a mess of even more flaws is heading our way. It’s called getting older.

Being joyful is a heart condition. You can change the outside all you want, but the real change in your life comes from a change of heart. Jesus warns those of us who are focused on cleaning the outside of the cup while the inside is still full of junk (Luke 11:39). Our relationship with God and with people defines us more than the numbers on the scale.

Finally, you can still thrive as a plus-sized individual. Don’t let the negative perspective on double chins, belly rolls, and love handles determine what you can and cannot do or what you can and cannot have. You can still find a significant other who thinks you’re sexy, you can still be successful in your pursuits, and you can still be used by God.

Am I saying you should give up on trying to obtain that beach body? Or reach your goal weight? No, because I’m not going to give up. We should always strive to be healthier because we’re God’s temple and we want to serve Him to the best of our ability.

Remember what’s important, don’t be ruled by the fat stigma or the scale digits, and don’t let the doubts about your value steal what’s true. God’s mirror reflects His perfect child. His love is the reason we have an identity in the first place, and we have enough of the world against us to turn on ourselves too.

Join me as I look in the mirror and step on the scale remembering:

To celebrate the parts of my body I wish were different.

To clean the nasty parts of my heart.

To never give up on my goals.

So go out, my friends, live life and let the weight just be something you carry along for the ride.

God bless!
-LJM

Post Grad Life: 3 Months of Limbo

I sat in a coffee shop with my friend Emily, a large white cup and saucer we both agreed came out of a Friends episode rested between my hands.

“It feels almost like you’re in limbo.” Those were my words to her while describing my life after college so far.

I say limbo because many refer to this time of life as a transitional phase. Transitioning from student to working adult. Education to career. College bubble to reality.

The main aspect of this phase is learning about real life. That’s what makes it intimidating, even hard. It’s learning to accept that you’ve left childhood behind with dependence nearing its way out the door as well.

Don’t get me wrong, being out of college has its perks, and I have been enjoying them. For instance, I truly relish the fact that I don’t have school projects hanging over my head and spending every spare moment hashing out A-quality assignments.

I’ve been able to work toward things that I’ve been putting off during my time in college, like my writing. It makes me feel productive to be working on something I love and believe in. As a result, I feel like I’m slowly making progress toward my career.

At the end of the day, I’m completely at ease with a cup of tea and a good book or script on my lap. Those moments of being satisfied with the work of the day and having no anxiety of the next day, remind me of the sweet taste of freedom.

But here are some things I’ve been learning.

It’s easy to lose yourself within routine. In fact, it’s really easy to lose yourself. Period. Sometimes, I find myself trying to pinpoint my identity by what I’m doing.

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Through all of those questions of ‘who’, I also face daily questions of insecurity. Am I being productive? Am I doing enough to pursue my career? Am I settling too easily?

I find reassuring myself by saying “Hey, you made money today,” helps with the inner nagging. Speaking of money, I’ve recently been welcomed to the full-time working world which is a learning experience in itself. With it comes less time and more sacrificing of things I would rather be doing. But it’s all a part of that real world I was talking about.

I’ll admit I’ve been dealing with the inward struggle of Post-Grad Syndrome, whatever that may be, but God has been extremely faithful nonetheless.

He’s given me two jobs with ample time to keep writing. He’s provided for my needs and has blessed me with things I’ve wanted. He’s given me a loving, supportive family who shows me the value of hard work. Not to mention a place to live.

Through it all, I’m reminded that my identity has always and will always be in Jesus. He is my priority and my Chief Navigator. I’m still His child, and He is merely taking me by the hand through this intimidating season of life.

So, if any of my fellow grads are feeling similarly, I urge you to hang on to your blessings, be alert to what The Chief is teaching you during this time, and look to Him for guidance. Always.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

∼Psalm 32:8∼

If you’d like to read my other post about Post-Grad life click here

And the journey continues…

God bless!

-LJM