Let me share with you my “chubby” story.
I was not the usual kid who would averse on food during mealtimes. I was that kid who would eat heartily whatever was put on my plate and even devour a surplus of served rice. I really enjoyed eating! Especially with my sweet tooth, chocolates and candies were a real struggle for me. I remembered finishing a pack of 550g Hershey’s kisses in just one-seating. I wouldn’t blame my parents just because they fed me well. It’s just that I had uncontrollable appetite which led me to being an overweight kid. Of course I was innocent and didn’t really care about the clothes I wore or how much pounds I weighed. I was just fond of food and that’s all that mattered to me.
Yet when I reached grade school, I started to compare myself with others. I even became a laughing stock to most of my classmates and teachers because of how fat I was. And as young as I was back then, their careless words hit me. Even my family would push me to lose some weight because it was no longer healthy for my age. However, what grew strong in me was the insecurity built in. I was never nominated as muse in class nor had the opportunity to join “Little Miss” contest because of the way I looked. I was just used to being ridiculed and name-calls which left a big scar in my heart.
Entering high school, I started to lose weight little by little so that I could make a revenge to those who have hurt me emotionally. Pride became my wall to protect myself again from hurtful words. And when they started noticing my change, it felt good! I felt like I’m no longer becoming the ugly child I used to be. But then as I worked hard to change myself even more, my heart didn’t. Even if I was already seeing the results and even if people started praising me, I still had that insatiable longing for affirmation no one could ever fill in. The revenge I’ve planned blowed back at me until I felt broken again. I would then search my security and identity from relationships. I would wander all over the places yet still felt lost even with what I’ve accomplished. There was something wrong and I didn’t know where to find that missing puzzle.
Our generation today put such high premium in physical beauty defined by the world. Billboards impliedly dictates “You’re not good enough.” TV Shows or movies would tell you being skinny is the standard we should all achieve. Beauty products like whitening makes you think your natural brown skin-tone is a mediocre compared to those who have fair ones. And because of this, a lot of women are not proud of how they are created to be.
At some time during high school, I got invited to this youth gathering. Little did I know I was entering in a church of teenagers like me. And in that youth group, I began to understood what real beauty is. It says in the book of 1 Peter 3:3-5 “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands.” It was not an overnight process, it took me years and years to fully grasp that. For me to be set free from the bondage of insecurity, I need to get to know the one who created me, God.
It is a journey I went through. It was a continuous battle to deal with. And because of that scar left in me, some of my current relationships that time were being affected. Even if I would genuinely receive words of affirmation, I half-heartedly believed them. Even if they would tell me I’m beautiful, I would be reminded of my past. Yet God, whom I was slowly getting to know more and more, would dig deep in my heart and cleanse every lies that I once believed in. He would tell me I am beautiful because I am His daughter. I inherit that from Him. And He defined that beauty when He himself went to the cross and died for me. That the only way I could truly believe my beauty is worth it was when Jesus chose to nail on the cross the lies that scarred me. He buried it into the ground and gave life to the truth that being beautiful was never about the external. Timeless beauty is about a life of holiness. Not bound by do’s and don’ts but it is bound by a relationship with God. Only our creator has the right to dictate who we are because He made us.
God’s words brought healing in my life. My husband usually tells me this. Every time the enemy would remind of my past I should remind him of his future—eternal damnation in hell. You being name-called or been told “you’re not good enough” were just lies meant to destroy your soul. I was reminded of a preaching I’ve heard back in college, we don’t have to burden ourselves in changing the way we look just so we could feel accepted by the society. You don’t have to work your way up to the world’s standard of beauty because chasing after those are meaningless. External beauty is just temporary, it will soon fade, it will soon rot when we die. Yet internal beauty is for eternity, it is having wrinkles yet still glow from within. It is choosing to clothe ourselves daily with the garment of praise, a smile of gratitude, and a spirit that is unshakable.
I’m not saying we should no longer lose weight or dress ourselves up. I’m still fond of modest fashion and some diet or exercise plans. What changed in me though was my heart and my view of beauty. Let’s not put our security on these temporal things. Let’s set our heart on the eternal beauty and not on the world’s view. Because being beautiful is a matter of the heart. It is a life surrendered to the Lord. Only God can make you even more beautiful. So spend time with Him and you’ll experience such beauty that only Him can satisfy your soul. He will never tell you to fit in some size because you are accepted, loved, and seen beautiful whichever size you carry.
You are beautiful my darling, remember that.