Yes, I was the girl who spent way too many years trying to fit into a “dress”. My perfectionist complex reared its ugly head in nearly every aspect of my life. But let’s use this example since I literally wanted to fit into the dress. I wanted to be the perfect size. In my mind, I had a goal weight that I was certain would bring bliss to my soul. I saw it as a musical where I would gracefully move across the stage, and twirl in my beautiful size zero dress. It was black, of course, with wedges (this would not exactly be my glorious moment if I fell in stilettos. Although if they were red bottoms, I might risk it).
Life is full of twists and turns that can completely blind side you. This happened to me when I reached my goal weight. It was not on purpose. I was at my sickest with POTS and unintentionally losing weight rapidly. The irony is not lost on me when I look back at this moment. Oh, I could wear those size zero pants, but I was too sick to go anywhere. I was confined to my home, wearing compression hose 24/7. I was my dream weight and yet I had no quality of life. I couldn’t go on dates, out with friends, take shopping trips, or go out to eat. Actually I still am unable to do most of these activities. I have yet to be able to go on a famly vacation and watch my kids play in the ocean(but I am believing for this summer ya’ll).
I share this because I believe it applies to numerous areas of life. We spend years striving for an end result, only to find we chased a lie, an illussion, and for what? It literally meant nothing to me. It did make me wonder had I been healthy and hit my goal weight simultaneously, would I have felt a greater sense of accomplishment? Would I have thought I was really killing it in my size zero Rock & Republic jeans? Would there be a silent symphony playing behind me as I walked through life like it was my runway?
I’m certain the answer is no and here is why. When I looked in the mirror, I saw the exact same person whatever my weight happened to be. Fifteen pounds made absolutely no difference in how I saw myself. In fact, I saw the same flaws, the same scars, and the same frame. My family saw a difference in my appearance, but I truly did not. The scales were never the issue. The issue was the battle raging inside of me to truly accept myself and be the woman God created me to be. But it was covered by so many layers of “why am I not good enough, smart enough or pretty enough, etc”. It would be impossible to penetrate all those layers until the physical layers were gone and I felt no different than before. I was my goal weight and not a dang thing changed except the size of my pants. And that in itself was just not satisfying enough.
So where does one go from here? Where do you go when you meet your goal only to realize it was a lie? I believe you keep walking this journey but with your eyes wide open. Confront the lies you believed for so many years and call them out when those whispers start swirling in your mind. There will always be the voices that will tell you to run the other direction, or to stay stuck in the whirlwind of lies, but there will also be a voice that begs to differ. The voice that says, “stop trying to fit into that dress, and instead make that dress fit you”.
You don’t have to change who God created you to be. Be bold. Be creative. Stay humble. Stand eye to eye to those lies and call them out for what they are. You will smell fear, except it won’t be your own fear, but rather the fear of those lies realizing you see truth now. And when that happens, your life begins to change. You my friend are no longer allowing the dress (or pants for men) to define you, you are walking in freedom to choose an entirely new wardrobe. One dress, one lie, one area of doubt has the ability to paralyze you. But once that “dress” loses its power, an entire world is opened up to you. There are wide open spaces we have never even seen because we have been too consumed with our own mess. You do not have to live in the midst of those lies anymore. There is freedom! Now grab your bag, we have some shopping to do!