New Years’ Eve is a day where most people are reflecting and preparing. Reflecting on the past year, with all its triumphs and failures, and looking to the new year in hope and determination. Losing weight/getting healthy is the number 1 New Year resolution. (I say they are the same because they are. Wanting to “get healthy” is diet culture’s new package for losing weight.)
I’m honestly just tired of how normalized weight loss is. I’m tired of how normal the obsessive pursuit of health is.
Sometimes I get really annoyed and even angry when I hear the weight/health obsession in church. Because church is my safe place and I know how damning this obsession is. I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been in it myself and I’ve sat with others in it. So the annoyance and anger rises when weight/diet obsession shows in sermons or classes or conversations. But if I allow myself to move past those emotions to what is driving this talk and obsession for so many, I’m moved to empathy.
Because the obsession with weight and health is an obsession with finding value. Finding our place in life. I do not care who you are or what your health issues are or what your doctor says or how you eat when you’re not hungry or what your family says about your eating and exercise habits, the obsession is about your (and our) worth.
If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be so insidious.
But Satan is tricky like that. He’s insidious and he’ll use whatever sneaky trap he can to get us off Jesus. See, he’s been using this weight/health obsession because it seems pretty harmless and well-intentioned, right? Like what could be wrong with wanting to lose a few pounds and especially, what’s wrong with wanting to be a healthy person?!
Well, lots of reasons that I can give but for the sake of sanity and blog length, I’ll say this one thing: it gets us off what really matters.
No matter how thin/healthy you are, you will die. Your body will grow old and you will die. End of story. No one is exempt from this.
So what really matters to you? If you made a list of how you wish to be remembered after you inevitably die, I’m gonna bet it wouldn’t be that you hope people remember you as a thin person or someone who never missed the gym or someone who had impeccable health measures.
I bet you hope to be remembered by the essence of who you are. Not by something you do, but by who you are. By the way you interact with people. By the way you share Jesus. By the way you love Jesus. By the way you share your calling, whatever that calling is. If I answer this question for myself, I hope to be remembered as someone who helps Jesus free others. I hope to be remembered as someone who helps Jesus by loving and showing others they are already free, IN HIM.
So, I’m going to work hard to look past my annoyance and anger with the weight/health talk and move in. I am not going to sit and keep my mouth closed, like I have so many times out of fear of rejection or embarrassment or even feeling like an imposter. I’m going to speak from the heart for freedom that Jesus is impressing into me. He’s lighting a fire that is starting to feel a little uncontrollable. I am going to say things to my loved ones and strangers that is uncomfortable- for me and them. I’m going to let myself be vulnerable.
I guess that’s my New Years Resolution. To be more loving and to be louder against the things that entrap us and keep us focused on anything but Christ.
I like challenges, so here’s mine for you. This year, before making that toe-jerk resolution of dieting/exercising/breaking a bad habit, think of how you hope to be remembered. And make a resolution that moves you towards that goal. Because how you are remembered as a person is a lot more important than healthy you were (or weren’t).