The 3 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Our Weight

Remember Stuart Smalley? He was the self esteem-deprived 12-stepper in the long running SNL skit, “Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley.” He would sit in front of a mirror during each show and practice his daily affirmations which always included the words “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it people like me.”

Deb Solberg: Pre & Post Recovery
Deb Solberg: Pre & Post Recovery

Satirical as it was on the show, I truly believe this form of positive thinking is a valid and effective method for those of us who have a hard time accepting ourselves. We too easily believe the stories we tell ourselves, especially the lies about how we look and the effect that it has on our lives.

For those of us who are overly obsessed and concerned about body image, the negative self-talk and outright lies that occupy our mind space on any given day can be excruciating and extremely damaging. Some of us gotten so accustomed to living with them for so long that they become “normal” to us. The damage happens when these thoughts result in feelings, and we act on those feelings in unhealthy ways; overeating, over exercising, purging, restricting, and other forms of self-punishment.

Following are the 3 biggest lies I have told myself in my own journey as a food addict and my challenging (putting that mildly) relationship with body image. I have followed up each one with what God himself has to say about it, which is the absolute truth. The good news is, I am much, much better than I was pre-recovery!

Lie #1: “I can’t love myself until I am at X lbs.”

Self-love goes far beyond body size. Whatever size you are, the unhealthy baggage in your mind has not changed. Sure, it feels good to be at a healthier weight and it pumps up your self esteem for a time. But believe me, those demons you never dealt with will come a-knockin sooner or later. And when they do you will most likely go running back to the food, and the weight will probably come right back. How do I know? Because I’ve done that same thing so many times! I wasn’t able to keep my weight off until I started I started recovery. It is so important to work recovery in the area of food and body image, not just jump from diet to diet trying to muster up your self-control and white-knuckle it. Why does recovery work? Because your weight is just a physical outworking of an inner problem, and in recovery you learn to deal with your problems and find healing from the inside out. Why do you think 95% of people who lose weight on diets gain it back? They are working it in the wrong direction by focusing on the outward symptom, not the inner issues.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Lie #2: “I look disgusting and I am not going to that event because everyone will know I gained weight and talk about me.”

This lie can be so powerful that even if the scale registers a 2-lb weight gain we can decide we are unworthy of social experiences and start to shut down. Shame is an isolator and one of the greatest causes of addiction. Our negative self-talk causes us to care too much about what other people think and let it control us. If you’re like me, you might even FEAR how you’re going to feel around people that have it more “together” than you. That’s another lie! Believe it or not, the majority of the people you know like YOU because you are YOU – not because of the shell that you walking around in. And remember; people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are! So DON’T give those thoughts the power to keep you from investing in wonderful and healthy relationships and experiencing a full life! I have been guilty of isolating, only to find that the people I had been isolating from are the very people that have helped me on my journey through addiction.

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Lie #3: “I am afraid to really pursue my passion because I am not thin (or smart or loved or worthy) enough.”

I still struggle with this one, and the seeds of this were planted all the way back to childhood. I procrastinate on things I know I am equipped to do simply because I am afraid. My fear and negative self-talk can cause me to shrink away from the purpose that God has for me, all because of misinformation that was hammered into my head during childhood! People who experienced bullying and/or abuse as a child can often turn into adults who live their lives based on a false identity, one they were assigned long ago. I love this quote from Steve Jobs, “ Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
It has been challenging to hear my own inner voice sometimes; which I earnestly believe is God whispering to me, “You can do this. You are worthy because of My love for you. Just take a step in faith, and know that if you make a mistake I am with you.”

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Freedom From the Lies

Whatever you are shrinking away from, maybe because you don’t think your “outer shell” is good enough, I encourage you to start chipping away at that fear and negativity by sitting down with a notebook to write your own daily affirmations! Obliterate the lies by noting your worthiness and your value and remind yourself that you were made to live life to the fullest, even if it means making a few mistakes. List the things you love about yourself, the things you have accomplished no matter how small, the people and the things that you are grateful for, and your dreams for your life. By doing this you are planting the seeds TRUTH in your life. Pray for the willingness every day to see yourself as He sees you..,

“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” Colossians 1:22

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