Have you ever had someone bring up YOUR weight or the topic of weight loss during dinner? Do you stop eating? Hide your body under the table cloth? Defend yourself with your food journal? Here’s a dilemma many of us can all relate to and how contributor Summer handled it.
It’s Christmas Day. I worked hard, all day, preparing a meal for my family. We were up early getting that turkey in the oven, preparing the sides, and spending the extra time needed to prepare a very special meal.
It just so happened that I also baked a homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake for dessert – Hello chocolate and peanut butter! Everyone was looking forward to my Christmas cheesecake! (Myself included!)
This Christmas was different. It was the first where I had allowed myself to be free of my struggle with dieting. I decided to give myself the freedom to enjoy the season for what it was–a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus with family and friends. I allowed myself to have special treats and meals – guilt and shame free! It was a freeing experience for me. Finally, food was not the center of my life. Jesus was my focus.
We cleared the dinner dishes and it was time–time to serve that scrumptious cheesecake! As forks lunged into the creamy, chocolate peanut butter goodness, it happened. Someone said to me, “Are you still working on losing weight?”
Ugh! I immediately felt a knot form in my throat. Can I have a side order of guilt and shame with my cheesecake?
I tried to cut it off quick. I responded that I was not worried about my weight during Christmas this year. But it didn’t work. Instead, she began offering me dieting tips. (Apparently she thought that I needed some help in this area!)
I listened to the dieting advice for as long as I could. Then, I responded: “God made me the way that I am, so I guess if He’s okay with me, then I am, too!”
I thought for sure that response would squelch the subject. And yet . . .the dieting tips continued!
I began to feel more and more guilt and embarrassment. How could I dare eat a piece of cheesecake at my current weight?
My feelings were all over the place. Come on? It’s Christmas Day! I worked hard to prepare a meal for my family. I had been looking forward to a piece of that cheesecake since I made it. Was it wrong to have a piece?
I felt offended, hurt, and angry that someone would make these comments, especially on such a special day!
Seeing Through the Offense
Fortunately, God’s worked in my heart and shown me the importance of forgiveness and compassion for others. This empathy is the only thing that kept me from letting my emotions rule.
In the past, I may have excused myself to the bathroom and cried. Or, I might have been rude to the person who had offended me! (Cheesecake in the face, maybe? Just kidding. No one would waste good cheesecake like that!)
This time, however, God showed me another way to handle this hurt. He led me to pray for her and find compassion.
This may not be the last time that someone brings up my weight during dinner. Life always presents us with these types of “challenges.” But, I’m learning it’s our reaction to the challenge–be it an unkind comment, a cruel remark, or blatant fat shaming–that allows us to live a life of freedom and happiness.
We can hold on to anger and hurt, or we can choose to forgive. It may not happen overnight, but Jesus will heal us when we take our hurt him. He teaches that forgiveness will set us free. (Ephesians 4:31-32) We begin to see our offenders through God’s eyes–as human and imperfect–just like we are. Praying for the person who has offended us helps to bring us His peace.
And, just maybe, once we’ve found his peace, we can enjoy a piece of cheesecake guilt-free.
Summer Mauney lives in sunny South Florida. She loves to craft, bake, and spend time with her family. She’s passionate about good coffee and showing kindness to others. Read Summer’s posts here.