Guess what I did today? I bought bigger jeans – whoo hoo!!!!! Not something you hear most women celebrate about much, right?
Well, Dig this…………………
The other day I mentioned that I had lost a lot of weight over the course of a couple of years. A LOT, as in about 100 pounds. It took about two years to lose the weight, and I have now maintained that loss for an additional 18 months. (By the way, this was all Jesus’ doing, I kid you not!) So, this is not a brag post – I have a point here! But you must know by now, that it takes me a while to get around to it…hee hee.
Part of what happens when you are a peri-menopausal, middle aged woman who abused her body for as long as I did, is that if you are actually blessed enough to be able to get in shape again; ever reach an “ideal” weight again – if you had that much to lose – you are going to be left with a lot of loose skin – it won’t matter what you do – shy of surgery, it’s going to be there.
Surgery is not happening for me, friends – no way. I am not judging whether or not that is right for other people, but for me – in light of the spiritual aspect of how this all played out in my life specifically, that is not where it’s at. And I have no problem with that.
This is not about looks – but it is about “comfort.” The loose skin bothered me for quite some time, and it still does once in a while. But it bothered me more than anything else, because it isn’t comfortable in clothes. Neither is being 100 pounds overweight.
But see, when I was that heavy, although it was just a bunch of “fat”, things weren’t “loose”……it was firm fat – or it gave off the sense of feeling firm, I should say. It provided a false sense of security, friends. I felt “full” with that fat in there. I knew it was bad for me, and yes, there were aspects of that that were uncomfortable as well, but when it comes to that feeling of fullness, it was there. And I was in all actuality, a very empty woman. (And it wasn’t because of the weight issue)
Losing the fat made me feel a lot better physically, but for a while, it was weird. It was hard to adjust to less of me in other ways. It was strange to get a take on where I was at, physically, in time and space. For example, I walked around for a while with far less bruises, because I wasn’t as large and didn’t bump into things as much or fall down and slip as much as when I was heavier. But after a while, as I got even smaller, that inverted – I actually couldn’t gauge where my body was in relation to things as well as before; how close I was or wasn’t to that corner of that table. So, it took a while to figure out the logistics of it all.
Back to the skin though. So, I lost the weight, and found I needed a new wardrobe, right? So, little by little, I started to buy my jeans, mostly at the consignment shop that I love, since it’s cheap and jeans aren’t. And I found that I really, really liked the jeans the more fitted they were. This isn’t for the reason one might think, either. It wasn’t because I wanted to look “hot” in my new jeans, although it did feel good to be more physically appealing to my husband with my newfound shape. It wasn’t because I wanted to flaunt anything about how I looked at all. It was because the fitted jeans made me feel more safe and secure – they held in the residual jiggle the loose skin was causing.
I am not saying there is really anything wrong with that, but I have noticed something lately – maybe over the last three months or so. I don’t like that feeling any more. I don’t like the feeling of the tighter, more fitted jeans, even the ones that are still worn with taste and not showing anything off. I am not saying I wouldn’t still wear a pair of them here or there, but I am finding that I am gravitating to a looser feel again.
The jiggle is still there – just like I said. And when I wear the looser things, it is exacerbated. But I feel better when I don’t try to hold it all in anymore. I am not only okay with that, but I am starting to prefer it. In fact, if I could, I would probably move from jeans to pajamas all the time at this point. No Problema!
You may think I am crazy, but this is exactly indicative of where I need to be at in my walk with the Lord. I need to be okay with the jiggle in life – more okay than I am now, at least. I need to not need that security blanket of the world – the false one that anything of it offers to us – just like the more fitted jeans. Jesus is my only security – He is it.
As Christians, we must be willing to risk….and it can be hard when we are intent on keeping things reined in when it comes to sin in our lives, discipline, obedience to the Lord, and all the other stuff we don’t want to be lax about. At the same time, I truly believe we are called to “let it all go” or “let it all hang out” sometimes, for lack of better phrasing. In other words, our very endeavor at times to keep it reined in, is what actually binds and restricts our spiritual growth. We do need to be vigilant about sin, but not in our own power (trying to do it without God’s help), lest we begin to attribute too much of our success in those areas to ourselves. We don’t even know what tomorrow will bring – I am reminded of that all the time.
- “As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:16
- “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1
There is only one thing to boast about……….
- Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31
But we must also be careful not to confuse boasting with rejoicing. Rejoicing in the Lord and what He has done is okay any time!
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
The difficulty lies in the fact that we need to do both. I need to stay fit because my body is a temple and it should to be offered up as a living sacrifice unto the Lord – and I want to rejoice in the Lord than He has enabled that! But I also need to remember that none of that should offer me a false sense of comfort, security, or anything else of the like, and that none of it is my own doing! Hmmmm. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda? Or Gonna, Can, and Will? It isn’t a choice – it’s a must for me. It’s also a want, and I am so thankful for that!
You know, as I reflect on this, I realize that the Lord really helped me to stay aware during the process of weight loss about not allowing it to become a false idol. There were a couple of patches where it was teetering on the line sometimes, but He always graciously drew me back. I am so grateful to Him for that. Even when we are successful in something, the Lord can still use it to “grow” us. We don’t have to experience failure to grow and draw even closer to Him, even though we do sometimes, and He grows us through those setbacks too. I love that about God, amongst everything else He is: That He makes the most of us and grows us through our success stories and through the ugly stuff too.
Isn’t that just awesome?
So, thankfully, Jesus allows me to continue to jog, and run, and exercise to stay fit. I love that feeling of a good run, where you sweat all the junk out, and then your muscles feel warm, and you feel strong. But I know that is not what makes me strong. And that jiggle that is still left behind is a gift to me, friends. Because it is a constant reminder of the grace the Lord shows me in so many ways, each and every day. He has shown it through the weight loss, and He shows it through all of life. Most of all, He has shown it through the gift of salvation He has graciously bestowed upon me and the blessed hope that one day, we shall reign with Him in heaven for all eternity.
I love my new jeans, friends. They feel great! And that jiggle? It isn’t bothering me much anymore. I feel free – free in my Jesus, and free in my jiggle jeans.
I think I will go do a little Joyful Jesus Jiggly Jig right now in my new Jiggle Jeans, yo! Won’t you put on your dancing pants and dance with Jesus and with me today? Let’s get this party started, friends! And then….let’s keep it goin!
“Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and
harp.” Psalm 149:3