Like many women, I am one who is always "considering" trying to lose weight. I say considering because if I said I was always trying that would be a lie. Let's be honest, I've never met a dessert I didn't like. So "trying" might be a little strong. But is losing weight something that's on my radar a lot of the time? Yes. Am I always actively doing something about it? No. So all that being said, I decided I wanted to try a juice cleanse. Juicing seems to be the latest thing so I thought I'd give it a shot. Much like I did the perm and tight-rolled jeans. Obviously, I make good choices so what could go wrong? I purchased a one-day cleanse kit. I thought about doing the three-day cleanse but if the juice made me gag I was pretty certain I wouldn't be drinking it for three days. I needed a test run first. I also wanted to have an idea of how much I weighed pre-cleanse so I weighed myself and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had lost a few lbs. I had been trying to eat better so I was glad to see it was paying off.
The kit came a couple of days later and contained 6 bottles of juice I had to drink that day. I was a little skeptical but they were actually pretty good! I'm not saying it was anywhere close to a McAlister's sweet tea, but for juice, it was delish! Some I liked better than others, but even the ones that weren't my faves were still good. You know, "good" considering they were full of kale and collard greens which I don't eat in real life, much less drink. At the end of the day I had finished all my juices and felt great.
The next morning when I woke up I was anxious to get on the scale. I was so hoping the cleanse had helped me lose some more weight. I stepped on the scale with my face all tensed up and holding my breath. Isn't that how everyone gets on the scale?
I bravely looked down.
5 glorious pounds!!!!
To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. I was flabbergasted! I mean a one-day cleanse did that? Crazy! Because my "trying" was off to such a good start I didn't want to immediately stuff my face with chips and guacamole. This was a first! So I started eating a little less and working out a little more. You'll never believe what happened...
More lbs gone!!
That cleanse must have rebooted my metabolism or something because this was amazing! I wasn't losing as much but a pound a day wasn't bad! So at the end of the week I got on the scale and I had lost almost 10 pounds! I hadn't lost 10 pounds that quickly since they cut a baby out of me! This was awesome!
So a day or two later, I got on the scale, feeling quite confident with myself and noticed the numbers flickering. So I got off and stepped on again. This time nothing. Dead batteries. I went to get new batteries and by some miracle from baby Jesus we actually had the kind I needed. This. Never. Happens. I put the new batteries in and waited for it to calibrate. I stepped on.
That can't be right.
I stepped off and let it calibrate again.
I felt myself- body, mind, and spirit- deflate. It was the same number I was before I started the cleanse. A crushing disappointment. I stepped off the scale and almost slipped on my ego that was in a puddle on the floor.
I thought, "The last week of my life has been a lie. I never lost ANY weight. My stupid scale was going dead and tricked me into believing I was a fitness goddess." Now, in full disclosure, I did wonder where I was losing all this weight. To me, I looked the same and my clothes weren't fitting any better. I figured I must be carrying extra weight in places I didn't know about. Obviously, my ears and toes were my first guesses, with my pancreas being a close third. You've heard of overweight pancreas' right? Surely that's a thing.
I'm sure there was some lesson God wanted to teach me about "perseverance", or "you're more than a number on a scale", or "I think you're beautiful because you're mine". But I really didn't want to hear it. The last week of my life I felt like a rockstar. Now, I felt like a schmuck. I wanted to sit and eat my humble pie with a scoop of shame on the side. Funny thing about shame: the more I have, the emptier I feel. Weird. I think I keep shame around as my "insecurity" blanket. I get all wrapped up in it and let it cover me until I can't see myself anymore. I only see failure. Darkness.
The single greatest thing about being in darkness, as a believer, is that it's never completely dark. The Holy Spirit always brings light with it, so I'm not consumed by the darkness. Maybe there IS something to the song "This Little Light of Mine".
So as I begin to crawl out of darkness, out of shame, I'm ready to listen to what God says is true about me.
I'm made in His image.
I'm wonderfully made.
I'm more than a conqueror.
I. AM. LOVED.
So the scale broke and I'm probably never going to cover a fitness magazine. Turns out that's not high on God's priority list of things He loves about me anyway. I think God wants me to take care of the body He gave me, but not to the extent that my self-worth depends on it. Does this mean I'll never try a diet again? Probably not. But I know what's true about me. And as long as I can remind myself of that I don't have to live in shame.
Other things that are true about me: I like dessert. Like a lot. And I love cardigans. Cardigans cover the wobbly bits that dessert leaves behind. Thanks cardigans.
What's true about you? Has the scale ever lied to you?