Who do you present to the world? Who do you think of yourself as being?

I don’t mean being superficial or fake. But I mean really who do you think you are? And how do you present that to others?

These are questions I have had to ask myself lately. I am like one of those giant inflatable “beings” –called “air dancers,” I guess–that are sometimes seen outside of car dealerships. Huge things, they wave and bounce and attract attention, but when the power is cut and the air isn’t flowing through them, they instantly deflate and become what they really are…empty plastic on the ground, flattened, needing to be filled again. The substance is gone.

How like the “air dancer” I feel! Oh, how I want to be filled up with the Lord! That my “dancing” would continue in substance!

God desires that we be shaped and molded into the image of Christ as whole people, not lacking anything. Yet in our woundedness we often defend ourselves against anything or anyone (including God) we perceive to be attacking the false yet fragile self we have worked so hard to create. GTST, p. 129

During those first two years of “doing Thin Within” I created a false self. It was who I was in front of everyone. I wasn’t “faking” anything. It was my “up front,” “on display” personality. It was dependent on performance and results and kudos–lots of kudos from others. When my physical results shifted–for whatever reason–it was like all the air was sucked out of the balloon. There was no longer substance of any kind to the false self. In its fragility it was wiped out. Exposed, even humiliated.

No wonder I felt like “the wind was sucked out of me” when I gained some weight back!

But this is good…I needed to see it for what it was! Now we can get down to business!

You know, when someone has wonderful outward physical “success,” the world really does pull out the stops to shower accolades. I attempted to give God glory…but these were often minimized by well-meaning celebrants. Many urged me to “give yourself credit.”

That is NOT a biblical view, however.

…for it is God who works in you
to will and to act
according to his good purpose.
– Philippians 2:13

It is God who is at work in me. It is His strength and He alone gets the glory. I need to remember this. He IS the substance. It isn’t about me, about my weight, about my food at all. It is about the author and sustainer of all that matters.

God invites us to release this false self and to receive new life, trusting and depending on his loving will. He wants to take our struggle with food, eating, and weight, struggles that have been the “thorns in our flesh,” and use them for our good–to shape and mold our character, to bring us new life and freedom. GTST, p. 129

I know this sounds bizarre, but I am excited about this. I am SO ready for change, for transformation. I met with a friend yesterday and she quoted “When the pain of staying where we are is greater than the pain of change, we will change.” Boy, isn’t that the truth? The pain of staying the same has overcome the pain of change and the adventure is really in hyperdive now.

I choose to release my false self, all right. Take it, Lord!

From Judy Halliday’s heart: God showed me that all my attempts to look good on the outside couldn’t compensate for the flaws and imperfections on the inside. GTST, p. 129

So when the weight was lost, when two national magazines (including Health) did a blurb that gave recognition for my losing 100 pounds, after teaching real-life classes, speaking to groups about how to release emotional, spiritual and physical weight, after cheers from surrounding witnesses, friends, and family members I felt pretty doggone dandy about things. I loved them all for their encouragement and support. Please don’t misunderstand.

But, now the package was wrapped up nicely with a bow and paraded around like a proud peacock.

Having a form of godliness…perhaps… but something was missing.

God wanted to be sure I knew what it was…humility, for starters. An awareness of the remaining flaws and imperfections on the inside. In fact, any time I might start feeling a bit aware of my internal lack, it was so easy to point to the outward physical changes–lost weight–and think, “THAT proves that I am not the same person INSIDE as I used to be!”

That is true…but excuse me…am I in heaven yet? Have I arrived on the other side of the pearly gates? Are my feet still on the dust of this earth? As long as my feet are on this earth, there will be things I need to invite God into the midst of…to FIX, to CHANGE, to HEAL! Pointing at how far I have come is just another way of staying stuck in the past and not relishing THIS present moment! This is a journey. The destination is yet ahead. I am not there yet. 🙂

On a practical note: I have been cutting my portions way back as if I were doing Thin Within for the first time–I need to refine my hunger numbers again. I am getting to know my body all over again. I am filled with optimism and…dare I say it…JOY! It is funny how I feel better physically just by eating a little less food. My jeans (not the Levis…I haven’t tried them on and won’t for a long while) fit better again.

It is also funny that, when I feel this way, the lure of the scale is greater. I want confirmation that I FEEL better? Confirmation that my pants are looser? Does that make sense? I have all the confirmation I need in listening to my body! If in doubt, the Holy Spirit testifies with peace, joy, and confirmation that I am in the heart of God’s will.

Funny how the onlooking crowds can’t see the newest changes or offer accolades, kudos and praises for these changes! These changes are WAY more significant than the 100 pounds being gone!

Again, MY heart knows the truth. My Savior is close and speaks to my soul…”My child…you are doing well.”