“Fat days.” We all have them. Those days when you feel icky and gross and bloated and for whatever reason your entire closet has shrunk two sizes too small. Nothing, I mean nothing looks halfway decent. You start hitting the internal panic button, flash backing to those cookies you ate in the past week, cursing your laundry guy for clearly putting your jeans through the dryer*, and then subsequently melting onto the floor in a puddle of pity tears.
Welcome to last Thursday morning in my apartment closet.
You know, it had just been one of those weeks. I was exhausted. Overworked. An emotional hot mess to say the least. I can assure you that waking up on the wrong side of the bed doesn’t even begin to describe the nastiness that was welling up in my heart - with the residual effects flung straight onto my hips, thighs and stomach. Let’s just say that me and my body exchanged some profanities and I left my apartment feeling distraught, ashamed and totally in a cycle of negativity. The hum of not-enoughs roared throughout the day and my insecurities took hold in a way I hadn’t seen in months.
All because a pair of pants didn’t fit me just so.
Are you sitting on the other end of this computer screen furiously nodding your head in agreement because you know that feeling all too well? Or maybe you had one of those days today? Or perhaps this season of life seems to be a river of those “fat days”? A whirlpool of doubt and insecurity that you can’t jump out of. Considering the average woman criticizes herself at least 8 times a day, I’m betting that you fall somewhere on that spectrum. So, if this resonates with your current state, these next words are for you.
To the Girl Who’s Having a Fat Day,
Step off the scale. Turn away from the mirror. Take a few deep breaths and listen to these truths.
Your purpose in life is not to be beautiful. Or thin. Or to be desired by dudes. You weren’t created so that other people would be jealous of the highlight reel of your life known as social media. You weren’t uniquely designed to try and morph into the image of someone else. You weren’t given gifts to let them go by the wayside because you’re so rapt with believing lies about who you are and what you’re worth.
So let me give you some tough love. Two pieces of denim shouldn’t have so much of a say on the trajectory of your day. Stitched together they are just a pair of pants. Nothing more. They can’t speak life or death into who you are. They can’t define your worth and they won’t give you your identity. Just because they are a bit snug doesn’t mean you've failed at life. And they certainly don’t have the power to tell you that you aren’t beautiful or desirable.
And if that’s not enough, think about all the things you could do with the time you spend berating yourself. Think about all the dreams you could concoct. Oh gosh, and think about all the fun you’re missing out on. All of the lovely people you could be meeting. The FOMO should haunt you!
And if even that can’t convince you, think about the story you want to tell at the end of your life. For me, I think about meeting the Man upstairs and having Him ask me, “Well, daughter - how have you served me? Have you loved my people well? How did you use your life I gave you to glorify me?”
My worst fear is to turn around stammering, “Well you see Jesus, I spent about a fourth of my life not liking the body you gave me, and then worrying for another fourth about what people thought of me in that body. And we can’t forget me spending another fourth suffering from perfectionism and meandering for another eighth looking for other things to fill me up with love besides you. So I guess if we were to calculate where you and your people fit in, I’d say about an eighth of my life was dedicated to that. Oh, and are we counting eating and sleeping? Because if that’s the case, then those numbers are a bit skewed….”
No! I don’t want that for my life. And I doubt that’s what you envisioned for yours as well. Instead, I want to be tuckered out, completely heaving for breath because I was running so desperately towards joy and truth. Towards freedom and living a life recklessly abandoned, trusting that God’s way is best.
So if you’re having a “fat day”, know this. No matter which way you turn it, no matter if you’re a believer or not, you are being pursued. Which is like kinda creepy in a God-is-Omnipotent-Kind-Of-Way, but also kinda endearing in a Wow-God-You-Love-Me-That-Much-Kind-Of-Way? Because whether your pants are snug or loose or totally out of style, God is pursuing your heart now and He always will. So don’t let your insecurities ruin your day. Don’t let them wrap you up, deafening the call He has for your life.
Because remember, your purpose in life is not to be beautiful. Your purpose in life is to serve an ever-present, ever-loving, ever-pursuing God. Your purpose is to point people towards Him. Remember that the next time your pants decide to throw a party you feel like you weren't invited to. Remember that the next time self doubt comes crashing down. Remember that when you don't trust that God designed you beautifully, just the way you are.
With love that's sticky,
Your fellow fat-day-eradicating conspirator,
*For the record, yes I outsource most of my laundry. And no, I don’t feel bad about it. And yes, if I had a washer and dryer in my tiny NYC apartment I would do my own laundry. But I don’t. So, you know - the benefits of capitalism.