In Bondage To Numbers

I hesitate to write this post because it’s a topic that I’m very sensitive about. I don’t like talking about it, I don’t like that my friends have to deal with it and I’d completely avoid it if I could.

But I can’t. Because it’s an important subject that has to be talked about.

*deep breath* Here goes.

In this society, it’s easy to believe that in order to be loved or to be beautiful, you have to be skinny. Those messages are all around us – plastered on billboards, in magazines and all over the internet. Perfectly photoshopped images mock us. They say that our bodies are never enough – never skinny enough, never tall enough, never flawless.

It’s so incredibly easy to buy into those lies, even when we know that those perfect images aren’t real. What girl doesn’t want to be loved? What girl doesn’t want people to look at her and think, “Wow, isn’t she pretty”?

So many people think that the only way to achieve happiness and love and to fill the hole inside is to starve themselves into perfection. Society encourages that. It say, “If you can just lose THIS number of pounds, then your dreams will come true.” So we ignore food and become a slave to numbers on a scale.

I have personal experience in this area. I’m not proud of it. I’d rather not share it here. But maybe it’ll help someone who is in the same situation.

A couple years ago, I was very depressed and miserable. I was looking for ways to forget about my mental and emotional pain. I hated my body. I felt fat and ugly. So I decided that I would make myself perfect.

Over the next year or so, I did all I could to starve myself. I ran incessantly. I refused to eat the food that I used to love. (And if you know anything about me, it’s that I have a huge sweet tooth and am absolutely obsessed with cookie dough.) It got to the point that I was scared to even eat a piece of gum. I was positive that when I got to such-and-such a weight, I would be happy with myself. I wanted to love my body, and I thought that the only way I could do that was to make it as thin as possible. I told myself that when I reached my ideal weight, I would stop obsessing over it and would go back to living my normal life.

How many of you have been in that same situation? We starve ourselves to reach that point. Do you know what happens when we do get to that magical number?

I had finally reached the weight that I thought would make me happy. I was under a hundred pounds, cold, and exhausted. I looked in the mirror and I hated every single part of my body. I still thought I was fat. I was ugly. I wasn’t the model of perfection that I had hoped to be. I was so angry with myself.

So I kept trying to make myself smaller and thinner. And guess what? The only thing that it did for me was to make me more discontent with myself and my body. The smaller the numbers on the scale became, the more I obsessed over my weight and hated myself. I was never content with myself.

The lie of perfection promises happiness, but in the end, it just takes and takes. It steals your joy, your interactions with people, your view of the world and ultimately it takes your life. It’s serious.

We have to train ourselves to not buy into the lies that are all around us. It’s so hard because they look so enticing. We desperately want what they offer. But all of our striving after it will end with us more broken, alone and miserable than before.

Numbers on a scale will never make you happy. They will never give you love. They’ll never make you into the perfect person. They won’t fulfill your dreams and your desires. They can’t satisfy the longing that you have inside. Only Jesus can do that.

I beg you, do not put all of your faith into how your body looks or how much you weigh. Don’t base your hope on that. Don’t make it your identity. It will let you down. Instead, embrace the only One who will never fail you.  

Throw out the scale, girl. You are beautiful no matter how big or small the number on the scale is. It’s just a number.

~Hattush

29 thoughts on “In Bondage To Numbers

  1. I used to be in bondage to numbers for years. I got tired of having a good day because I lost a pound and having a bad day because I gained a pound. I mean I got really tired of it from so many years of doing this. Then I had a breaking point and made a decision to throw away my scale and accept myself the way I am and that is chunky. I don’t care if people don’t like to look at it. It’s who I am and I want to be happy. Ever since I made that decision I have felt a lot better about myself but it hasn’t been smooth and easy. I still have occasional days where I struggle because it is in society everywhere you look and it’s hard to not get caught up in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad that you threw away your scale and were able to accept yourself. It isn’t easy, like you said, but I am so glad that you have made that decision. 💕 Thank you for sharing. 💓

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Hattush. I really struggle with my body image and very often feel the desire to lose an unhealthy amount of weight. This is a hard topic and I’m so glad you felt called to share about it, because it is so, so important!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even skinny people need this… I haaaate to say it, but I’m pretty skinny. Naturally. And *cringes* I’ll admit that I’ve worked for abs before and studied my waist in the mirror, telling myself that it’s just for me, I don’t care what others think. And I’ve complained about being tiny… but does it bring happiness? No. It makes me feel vain and like a brat. Which is what I am when I do stuff like that. The Lord made me how I am. Abs aren’t essential. The Lord is the reality of our food, and He is made to fill our cravings and be enjoyable. He wants us to show the world the proper way to eat Him by being shadows in our daily life, being those who eat as we have need and enjoy what we are given. He also is the reality of clothing, covering every inch. Why would we ever want less than Him?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It took a lot of courage to tell your story Hattush. I believe it will help someone. I was the opposite when I was a teen. I was the underweight girl trying to gain weight. We always want to be something we’re not. I’ve learned to be happy not worrying about my weight through the years. We are all beautiful just the way we are. 💜🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so proud of you for sharing this, thank you so much for writing about this, I used to suffer so much from “not being the perfect “ size but through God’s grace, He too showed me that only He defines me, not the scale and not the Jean size. Thanks Hatt❤️❤️❤️this was beautifully touching and so honest

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is just what I need! I’ve always struggled with the thought of being bigger then a lot of my friends, and I beat myself up a lot about it. But thank you so much for the encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing! While I haven’t dealt with specifically what you are talking about I have struggled with feeling like I’m not good enough and pretty enough. It stings when someone says that your fat, even when you aren’t, and even when they are joking.
    -Haley

    Liked by 1 person

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