Am I glad I lost the weight? Of course. Am I working hard to keep it off? Probably not as hard as I should be, but yes.
But it doesn't define me. For the first time in my life, I am getting a glimpse into what it's like to be on the "other side" of this assumption equation. I'm ashamed to admit how many times I walked right into the sin of resenting someone because of the way she looked. In a split second, I would make a judgment call about a woman based on her lack of muffin top and the size of her jeans. Immediately, I would feel resentful and spiteful and figure she probably was just handed an incredible metabolism along with every other want and desire in her entire life. All these terrible things would cloud my vision and change the way I thought about someone I didn't even know and I'm so sorry I did this.
Because I can tell you that it hurt when it was done to me. What started off as a light-hearted and pleasant discussion quickly turned into something more subdued and morose after my coat came off. There was a visible shift in her demeanor and tone after her comment. It was clearly the turning point in our interaction.
My "Before" - Thanksgiving 2011
And that's what I should have said to the woman in the library: "You're beautiful." But I didn't. Instead, I got weird and quiet and maybe lost the chance to meet a cool new friend.
We all have a story and I'm guilty of assuming I can read every page just by looking at a person when clearly that is not even close to the truth. Of course, this isn't just about weight. I find myself making assumptions about how a table will tip based on what drinks they order from the bar. I've caught myself creating an opinion about someone I just met based on nothing other than the way they are dressed. Is it natural? Sure. We all do it, so really it isn't that big of a deal, right? It is for someone who represents Christ in the world. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that we will be judged by our father in Heaven "with the measure" that we used on others. Would I really want Him to deliver his justice according to the surface level assumptions as I have done to so many? Heaven forbid, no.
It is my hope and prayer that God will work in me to see people more through his eyes rather than through my own broken ones. I also need to learn how to see myself this way too. And I think that one might be even harder. There is beauty in the before just as much as there is beauty in the after. God saw it then and he sees it now. Now I need to learn to live it, for HIS glory.