Please note: this post mentions numbers and weight. If you are in a place in which such content is potentially triggering for you, please refrain from reading this post. My aim is to help rather than hinder, but I pray you take the time to check in with your mental state. Thank-you.
The first time my weight reached the point of being at BMI 18.5 after being underweight, I cried and cried.
The amount of anxiety encompassing my whole being was too much to bear. I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. The voices in my mind shouted and the demons that had endangered my life in my being underweight in the first place came down on me, hard.
Would I get a period at this weight? No. Of course, I was sure I would, because the girl that started back at me in the mirror was f-a-t.
Part of why the voices were so loud was because I was still underfed. The other part is that I hadn’t voiced and put to death the tangible lie I had been fed and been believing: that I could never, under any circumstances, surpass this weight. This “JUST healthy” weight. This weight that is still too low for achieving real remission from anorexia.
This is why, when I found this video by Lucy Ward, I was relieved to realize that I wasn’t alone in struggling with this lie.
If you happen to have come across this blog in a similar position that I once found myself in – desperately Googling “what BMI is acceptable for anorexia recovery,” “What BMI is attractive,” etc., I really suggest you watch Lucy’s video.
After that, I want you to pause, take a breath, and listen to me.
I have to believe that this blog post could be your moment to let go of the numbers.
Oh, how they cling tightly! How they want to rule your life! How the devil wants to keep you weighing yourself and obsessing with the number but you CAN believe you differently and therefore live differently. I used to live daily revolved around making sure my weight would exceed a certain number, and I now have a very neutral relationship with the scale. I don’t have a desire to know the number, because I know it’s arbitrary. I know that muscle and fat and water and freaking POOP are all part of my body which equates to a weight. Tables have weight. Every object has weight. My body, if put on a scale, has a weight. It fluctuates. It doesn’t matter what the number is so long as I am living my life for Jesus.
It’s taken YEARS of trials and spiritual counselling and meditation on Scripture to get to the place I am today.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. ROMANS 8:1-4
I don’t know what my BMI is, but I know it’s above 18.5. I don’t know what my body fat percentage is, but I do know I want to have enough fat that I’m not chilled to the bone in the freezer aisles at the grocery stores; enough to carry a child in my womb; enough to have energy.
The thing is… God made us all to be different. We cannot change the skeletons that are beneath our skin, so why would we fight to change their natural shape, either? I’m beginning to fall in love with a new idea…
That, the longer I go without fixation on weight, diet, exercise, etc… but simply just “am,” and food is fuel and something to enjoy and exercise is healthy and something to enjoy, two great parts of life but not idols… I believe I will, for the first time since before I was 12 years old, grow in to the body my GOD meant for me. Not the one I’ve tried to control and sculpt.
God didn’t look at you and say, “Your BMI will be this. You will weigh x.”
He did, however, create the shape of your skeleton and the size of your body. Your Creator’s version is probably the best one, don’t you think?
Yeah, I’m gonna stop fighting my God’s creation, and let it be.
I pray, oh, friend, I pray you can, too.