For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26 KJV).
I’m a smart, beautiful, vivacious woman. I happen to be plus-sized and I suffer with two serious health conditions. For most of my adult life, I’d believed being healthy meant being skinny. And being skinny meant being pretty. I’m not sure how the connection was made in my mind, but it has tormented me for years.
Things had gotten to the point where I’d become so defensive, I assumed any discussion about my weight and health was really a personal attack. All I could hear were words I’d begun to think about myself: you’re ugly. Also, I have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition makes losing weight a lot harder. In fact, PCOS makes you gain weight. However, losing weight will help with PCOS.
In recent times, I decided to attend counseling. My favorite scripture justifying this level of self-care is James 2: 26, because the word instructs me to exercise my faith. When I feel defensive or weak I say to myself, “God is here for me, but he also created people I can depend on in times of need.” I often forget that I need to apply that same thinking to my physical and spiritual health as well. Learning to love the skin I’m in has been a long process–with the help of the Lord, I’m getting through it. As I’ve been on this journey, I’ve learned to embrace the parts of me I’ve typically rejected. I’m working to be increasingly accountable and take ownership for my habits and choices, as these past few months have been a real eye opener for me.
In February 2021, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with extra fluid in my head. The two biggest causes of this condition are: (1) being a female of child-bearing age (2) being overweight. This diagnosis made me realize I needed to gain better control over my health. This month I have been taking steps in that direction. I still eat too many sweets on occasion. However, I am working out 3 times a week. I try to drink ½ gallon of water a day (I fail some days, but I am drinking more than I used to). I also pick out healthier lunches. This process is a journey, but I know that putting in the work and seeking Jesus, is the only way to get a healthy mind, body, and soul.
I cannot just pray myself thin (I’ve tried)…faith without works is dead!