Last week I saw an acquaintance that had to have lost at least 100 pounds. She didn’t look herself so I was taken aback, yet she looked happy and healthy.  Now, I’m not sure where your mind is going but if you take a woman who is pushing 60 and you shave 100 pounds off of her there is going to be some “side-affects.”

Let me start off by saying I’m not put-off by the size of people. A heart shines through whatever skin that covers it, and I have friends I love in all shapes and sizes. What I noticed about this woman, however,  (let’s just call her Sally for ease of reference) is that she has a lot of extra skin on her face and arms and it got me thinking a lot.

I wonder about if that extra skin bothers Sally. I wonder if Sally can feel the goodness in her body since she likely was huffing and puffing a lot less. I wonder if Sally appreciates the goodness she had given her heart and lungs. I hope that she isn’t put off by those pesky superficial things that happen when you lose weight.

And then I flashed back to a year ago. A year ago I lost almost 20 pounds. Granted, I didn’t “need” to lose any weight and that wasn’t the point. I wanted to gain muscle, get stronger, and be a faster runner and I did achieve those goals. What gets me, though, is that I look back at some photographs where I look skinny (too skinny at certain angles if you ask me) and I know when I was living it all I dwelled upon were those problem areas… That extra skin at my belly, my tinier breasts, and my droopy backside. I didn’t see the goodness INSIDE of my body. I couldn’t “see” my raised metabolism, healthier heart and healthy serotonin levels.

Self Image

So I get frustrated and mad, about a lot of things. I wish that foods didn’t have chemicals in them to make us crave more. I wish there wasn’t such a thing as “emotional eating.” I wish that Monsanto never duped the public into thinking that their practices were necessary for world food supply. I wish that gluttony wasn’t such an issue for us. I wish that there was a market on every street corner where we could get fresh foods like the old days. I wish that the motivation to get and stay healthy was easier.

Most of all, I wish that our society had never told us what beauty is. Beauty is not some woman who spends much of her salary at a plastic surgeon’s office so she can be something other than what God created her as. Beauty is a person’s soul. …And if you want to take it a little further than skin deep, beauty is the healthy stuff going on in the inner workings of the body. It’s too bad that we don’t gauge our health achievements by blood work levels instead of body fat, BMI and the weight on the scale.

So let’s all join together in this always very difficult thing, where we have to silence those voices in our heads that say because those smaller jeans don’t fit anymore we are unhealthy.  Let us instead celebrate those small victories when we do eat a salad, when our blood pressure is good, when our bad cholesterol is decreasing and our good cholesterol is increasing…  Let us celebrate when we go for those longer brisk walks instead of berating ourselves for not being able to run as fast as we would like…

Let us love ourselves and our bodies as gifts from God, and encourage each other to do the same.