It was New Year’s Eve, and I was feeling sorry for myself. I had every reason to be happy: my kids were all home for winter break, we’d had a great time going to a movie that day as a family, the clutter of Christmas was getting cleared away, and I’d been invited to a party that evening put on by good friends.
Yet, I was not counting my blessings. Instead, I was wallowing in discontentment, triggered by the unsettling time capsule I had uncovered. While rearranging the storage room to make space for the bounty of Christmas, I had come across a small box of outdated Weight Watchers materials.
I should have just found a new shelf for it, or thrown it in the recycling (it was from 2010, after all). Instead, I took it into the living room, and looked through it. Visions of my former body danced in my head as I longed for the days when I was only ten pounds away from my original goal weight instead of forty.
I knew I had gained a few pounds over Christmas, and I was dreading having to run the gauntlet of snacks and goodies that I expected to confront me at the New Year’s Eve party. As I carried the box back to the storage room, my heart was filled with brooding, discontentment, and shame.
Back in the storage room, I stepped onto an upended cinder block with my right foot in an attempt to return the box to the high shelf where I’d found it. The cinder block toppled, sending me reeling. I found myself sprawled across the concrete floor, unable to get up, with an excruciating pain in my right knee.
Fortunately, my family was home. They quickly responded to my cries for help and got me transferred to the couch and then on to Urgent Care. To make a long story short, I had torn the ligament in my knee and will soon be facing surgery.
Before my accident, I felt bad about being out of shape. Now, I just wish I could go out and walk around the block without the aid of a walker. In focusing on the past, I completely failed to give thanks for the blessings of the present.
I recognize now that the former body I was coveting had become an idol that God wants me to cast aside in the coming year. Even as I deal with the frustrations of limited mobility, He wants me to focus on contentment and giving thanks for every day.
So here goes: I’m thankful for the ability to get around without pain. I’m thankful for my loving husband, who goes above and beyond to care for me. I’m thankful for all those friends who have gone out of their way to drive me places. I’m thankful for motorized shopping carts. I’m thankful for my laptop computer so I can write from my recliner. I’m thankful for the internet which allows me to keep in touch even when I can’t get out.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who battles the post-Christmas body image blues. If the holidays have left you feeling discouraged or discontent with your body, ask God to help you embrace the way He’s made you. If you are into New Year’s resolutions, here’s an idea: make a habit of giving thanks for the body you have right now and all the good things it does for you, regardless of its size. May 2015 be a year in which we focus more on having hearts that are “in the trim,” rather than trim figures.