Monday, September 7, 2015
When I was little I was often told that I had a very pretty face. Sometimes the "compliment" was a blunt, cruel statement, "You're too pretty to be so fat." Other times it was followed by encouraging advice about my weight. Some advice even warned about not being able to find a husband if I didn't lose weight. The message was clear, beauty and weight were interrelated. It didn't matter that I was a smart and compassionate little girl, the deciding factor was weight.
Ironically, these well intentioned comments (paired with other significant factors) had the opposite effect on my weight. Duh! As my weight steadily increased so did my anxieties about everyday activities. My anxieties triggered binges and the cycle was unstoppable.
Physical Education class was one of those triggers. I would spend all day worrying about what we would be doing in P.E. and I couldn’t wait till it was over. I felt failure each time I finished things like “the mile” long after everyone else did or when having to try the rope climb in front of my whole class knowing very well that I couldn’t do it.
Being weighed in front of my whole class was another trauma. I dreaded the day that the person behind me would overhear my weight. When I was in fourth grade one of my classmates heard the P.E. teacher disclosing my weight to a student teacher. When he told me that he had heard the secret number I felt so ashamed!
Shame is a result of having done something wrong or foolish. This perfectly describes how I felt about my weight, even as a 7 year old. My self worth was based on what people told me about myself, about my weight. Thankfully, I've learned a lot since then.
The true authority of my worth is Jesus. Does it sound too cliche? It's okay, think about it. Jesus purchased me with His own precious blood. My imperfect body and spirit were worth His death on the cross. Why would I continue to be enslaved by beauty norms? Instead, I have learned to use my imperfect body to honor Him in all I do whether it's doing my best while running 400 meters or doing a modified rope climb. He is where my worth resides.
Have you found your true worth?
1 Corinthians 7:23 We have already been purchased and redeemed by His blood.
Posted by María Magdalena Ortiz-Smith