Thursday, September 20, 2012

Where I talk about the numbers on the scale

I found myself falling for it again. I've been going to (a very popular) weight loss program for several months now. Lost about ten pounds. Not stellar speed, but loss nonetheless. The last couple of months I've been yo-yoing up and down about one pound each week. Discouraging to say the least. I want the weight gone yesterday!  

I have the familiar conversation with myself on weigh-in morning. This time it's positive. "Hmm. I've been pretty good this week. I feel good. My jeans are looser. It sure feels like I've lost weight! Should be an encouraging weigh-in day!"

So, I put down my half full cup of tea (don't want to add any more water weight, just in case). I decide that, just to be safe, I would eat toast instead of my regular oatmeal. I bet toast is lighter. I stuff a banana in my purse (for after weigh-in), grab my water bottle and head out to my car. 
On the way to weigh-in, my thoughts are hopeful. I absolutely know I've lost weight this week!

When I get there, I have to stand in line. Two women ahead of me, but three weigh-in stations. I want to make sure I get the far left station. That lady is the most gracious if I happen to gain this week. My turn comes up. Dang. I have to go to the weigh-in lady that hasn't been too high on the grace-o-meter in the past few weeks. You know, during the yo-yoing.

My experience during my yo-yo weeks lately is that if I lose, Weigh-in Lady smiles and usually says something like "Wow, you did great!" Which is quickly followed by my eager question. "How much?" Then she would announce the good news. 

However, on my bad weeks, the weeks where the number hasn't budged, or has gone up, I always know the answer before I step off of the scale. (even though the numbers are only visible to Weigh-in Lady.) If I gained even just .2 pounds (why do I base my self-worth on .2 pounds anyway?) Weigh-in Lady does not make eye-contact. No smile. No indication that I have done well that week. No facial expression and no eye contact have come to mean the infamous weight gain. (Who knows, it could have just been from all the watermelon I ate last night.) I'm thinking, if the scale goes up, I am not worthy of a smile, or a "Hey, those things happen, you'll get this!"? Shouldn't those who gain on a given week be encouraged even more than the ones who lose a pound or even two. Every. Week? Just sayin'.

But. Since then, I've been evaluating my own mood, outlook, and emotions around this whole weight loss thing. Why do I place so much weight (pun intended) on the encouragement or non-encouragement of said Weigh-In Lady?

I know this weight loss thing is my responsibility and mine alone.
I know that the number on the scale has nothing to do with my worth as a person.
I know that God doesn't want me to depend on anyone but Him for validation of how or who I am as a person.

Weigh-in Lady's plastic non-caring face last week sticks in my head like glue. I don't need that. I am not paying money each month to be (what feels like) scowled at for not making the needle go down on a given week. 

I've decided that I put too much weight on Weigh-in Lady's reaction. And, on the number on the scale on weigh-in day. God wants me to have joy and peace no matter what I'm doing. Even losing weight. He wants me to depend solely on Him for my self worth.(yep, I said that before. I'm reminding myself.) Not on whether Weigh-in Lady smiles at me or not. 

See ya. I'm going out to buy my own scale.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Letter to Teenage Me

Emily Freeman over at has invited anyone who wants to write a letter to their teenage self to do so, and link up to her site. She is an awesome author who has just released a book for teenage girls called Graceful (  I read Emily's book, Grace For the Good Girl, and it was such an encouragement to me. I can't recommend it highly enough for those of you who always feel you need to be perfect in order to be acceptable. Here is my letter to teenage me.

Dear Teenage Anne,

Ever since I can remember, you've felt like you had to be this perfect, grown up self. Always pleasing everyone around you to the point of really becoming Chameleon Girl to keep people around you happy. I'm here to take some of that pressure off. You're about sick to death of people telling you what you can and can't do, even to the point of what you like and don't like. I'm here to tell you, it's okay to be YOU. 

Yes, everyone around you has expectations for how "Anne" should be. It's going to be that way into your adulthood. I'm going to try not to just inundate you with more advice. What I want to do is just remind you who you already are, and to remind you to celebrate that as much as you can.

* * * * * * * * *

When mom and dad divorced when you were six, you had to grow up pretty fast. You had a default setting to act older than you really were. You couldn't help it. In some respects, it was expected of you. You had to watch over little brother when migrating between states for parental visitations. This was kind of scary sometimes, but you did it, and you did it well. I am so proud of you. 

God wired you to be highly sensitive. Yes, that is a "type" of personality. It is an honor really, because it makes you very sensitive to the feelings of others. You grow up to be a real encourager. However, the downside is that you need to be able to be alone sometimes, and well, you don't get much of that. Consequently, you are under stress lots of times with no outlets. I am sorry for that, dear Anne. I want to tell you that it is okay to want to be alone sometimes. Take that some way, some how, if you can. Your 49 year old body will thank you for learning self-care at a younger age. I know, though, how hard it is to find your true assert yourself for what you really need. You will learn that along the way though. 

You worry a lot about goofing up. It's okay to make mistakes. Everyone does. No one is perfect, even though lots of people around you put on the "perfection masks" around you to try to make you think they are perfect. Don't buy into that lie. We all learn from our mistakes. God causes all things to work together for your good anyway. (Romans 8:28). 

Bottom line, my friend? You are beautiful inside and out. 

It's good and okay for you to want to be alone. For you to have your own opinions, likes, dislikes from everyone else. God created you to be Anne, not a carbon copy of someone else. 

You have a tender heart which is precious to God. Keep it tender. Seek after Him with your whole heart. When you are seventeen, a boy who you thought you loved will break your heart. You will turn to God because He is really the only One you have. You will feel like no one else understands your deep feelings of alone-ness, abandonment and rejection like He does. He will get you through, my friend. He becomes a very close Companion to see you through the good days and not so good days of your future life. Cling to Him, Anne. His love satisfies and will not ever fail you. 

As far as the man you marry that you are so concerned about not finding? You meet him right after the romance gone bad, and after the lowest point you've been yet. You will see later that God used that broken romance to turn your heart completely to Him.

I'm not going go into every detail about your future life. Just know that as you trust God, He is always there. He sees every one of your tears. He brings you many joys. He loves. He cares. 

I want you to know that I love you and I approve of all you are and all you will become.

I'll be here if you need me.

Love, 40-Something Me


About ten years ago, I joined a class called Christ Life Solutions (now renamed The Ultimate Journey During the twelve sessions, we wrote letters back and forth to our younger selves to basically go back and rescue the child we used to be. If you are in need of healing from your past, I highly recommend this class.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What to do while you're waiting for new feathers

My little yellow canary, Gideon, has stopped singing. He's lived with me for two seasons now though, so I have learned not to be alarmed. Along with his lull in song, his downy feathers have started littering the floor beneath his cage. He is molting. 

The first year I had him and his feathers started to fall out, it freaked me out! I went online to read about canaries and learned about their yearly molting. I also read that the canary either sings very little, or quits singing during this time of growing new feathers because it takes a lot of energy.

I am happy to report that during this two month window of no songs bellowing from his little chest, he happily tweets and chirps daily. Especially if the dishwasher or washing machine are running. His cage sits right by my living room window so he can see the other birdies outside. He loves to chirp at them when they dart past his little black eyes.

Gideon's got me thinking. Again. There are times that I want to break out in full song because life is full. It's going well. Things are clicking along like the keys on my keyboard as I type. But then, there are other days when I only have the energy to get out a few chirps or tweets. I'm friendly and happy, but just....resting. 

Gideon needs time to rest from singing to grow new feathers. I often need time to rest while it feels like I'm growing new feathers. I really do want to "fly" in life. I want to have the energy to soar not only into my destiny, but to do the laundry cheerfully. To clean out a closet with joy. 

While I wait for my new wings, I choose to pause, rest, and enjoy the view.
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