My Scale Broke Last Summer~Abra Carnahan Guest Post

My scale didn't show my love

My scale broke last summer.

My scale broke last summer. I haven’t replaced it yet. I kinda like not having one around. Last time I checked, I was just over 170 pounds. I am 31 years old and 5’ 5”. I have petite shoulders and an hourglass figure. It’s not that my weight at this point is healthy, it isn’t, and my doctor and I are working on finding a solution, but the chart says I should be under 150 pounds.

I’ve been there before, even after I had four children. I am on medication that has packed on about 20 pounds in one summer, but none of that information is taken into account when I step on a scale. The details don’t matter when we calculate my BMI. The chart says I’m overweight. But I don’t trust the numbers.

My scale didn’t show my activity.

Scales can’t take into account how much of my weight is from water and muscle. I drink at least 60 ounces of water a day. I chase my children around the playground and lift them high in the air playing airplane in our living-room . I run up and down the stairs all day, arms full of laundry and toys. I ride my bike and lift weights. All these things, done regularly, build muscle and muscle weighs more than fat does.

Charts don’t discriminate between pounds gained from stress eating junk food vs. pounds gained from rejoicing in God’s bounty over wedges of brie and french bread.

I don’t think it is a fluke that God loves the smell of bread (Leviticus 2:9), that He wants us to “Taste” and see His goodness (Psalm 34:8). Jesus called himself the “Bread of life” (John 6:35). Who am I to reject carbs for vanity’s sake?

My scale didn’t show my love for my children or my husband.

Numbers won’t know that most of the weight I’ve earned is from sacrificing myself for my family. This body protected and sustained four human lives in addition to my own, pregnancies that broke my body and my mind, but I’d go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat!

I prepare food to sustain my husband and children. I will not separate myself from the family at the dinner table by eating different foods or being distracted by calories.

Inches don’t testify to how much comfort my husband finds when he wraps arms around me. The numbers can’t see how my children love to be encircled by my “bat-wing” arms. I was recently reminded that a soft, round stomach makes the perfect shelf for newborns to curl up on. This little two month old, fretfully sleepy, snuggled into my chest, knees resting on my belly and fell fast asleep. All this time, I have been working hard to make my belly hard and flat. I had forgotten how useful it was to others the way it is now.

My doctor can’t remember how unhappy and ugly I felt when I was 115 pounds, but I do, and it is no wonder.

I was depriving myself of God’s gift of food. I was obsessing about how I looked and felt and I was so hungry.

Culture has a recipe for beauty: tiny waist, long legs, big eyes, no fat (except for breasts and backside, of course), no wrinkles allowed! Think Barbie doll. Once upon a time, I had all the ingredients – but I wasn’t happy.

My scale broke and I’m okay.

The years have come and gone. Just being alive has changed my body, but God has changed my mind. I don’t want to be hard and slim anymore. I want to be healthy and I’m learning not to compare what healthy looks like from person to person.  My husband looks at me and says, “You are so beautiful.” I am choosing to believe him. God is beautiful and the beauty He creates cannot be constrained by numbers.

Abra

Abra enjoying life with her husband, Ben.

Abra and her husband, Ben, live in North Idaho where she stays home with their four young children. She is passionate about pursuing God and her hobbies: reading, archery and eating cheese. You can find her at her blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

Abra understands the concerns to be thin and look a certain way. She herself has suffered with Anorexia and Bulimia throughout her young adult life. She aches for women who are trying to be something other than God’s desires. You will love her heart at Merebreath, where she shares her own personal, sometimes painful journey.

7 Responses to My Scale Broke Last Summer~Abra Carnahan Guest Post

  1. Gina B February 5, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE this post! I definitely think, too, that there is a time and season for such things as these. Right now, I’m 49 and I need energy but am in a deep, deep valley in one of the most important areas of my life. It turns out that while I am convicted that i need to be more fit to have that energy, what I need MORE right now is my true identity and to embrace that first. Thank you so much for these inspiring words!

    • Abra February 5, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

      “I thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I sing praise to you before the gods.
      I face your holy Temple, bow down, and praise your name because of your constant love and faithfulness, because you have shown that your name and your commands are supreme. You answered me when I called to you; with your strength you strengthened me.” -Psalm 138:1-3

      May the Lord bless you and keep you, Gina, may He bring strength to your soul and your body. ((hugs))

  2. Mary Collins February 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    Abra,
    You are beautiful. Don’t pay attention to this thin-obsessed culture we live in. I don’t know how we got this way. Women of all ages want to prance around in skimpy bikinis. God never said we had to do any of this. As long as you are taking care of the temple, your body, then you are good. Your children love you, husband loves you, and God loves you. Forget about everyone else.

    • Abra February 5, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

      God has been wonderfully revealing His plan for my body day by day, Mary. I am ever thankful to see that the beauty He designed us for is so much greater then what culture considers beautiful.

  3. Diane Samson February 5, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    Thanks Abra for joining me on my blog. I love your heart and passion. I love your sensitivity to God’s word and what He is doing in your life. Many blessings on your journey!! 🙂

    • Abra February 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      Thank you for the opportunity, Diane. Much love.

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