We live in a world where looks are everything.
When we see someone who is skinny we believe they are determined.
When we see someone who is skinny we believe that they are athletic.
When we see someone who is skinny we say how beautiful they are, how wonderful they look.
When we see someone who is overweight we believe they are lazy.
When we see someone who is overweight we believe they don't exercise.
When we see someone who is overweight we believe that they aren't that attractive.
Our size seems to say something about our determination, how athletic we are and how beautiful we are and so much more.
We make judgments about someone based on their size.
How many of you have looked at someone who is larger than you and made a quick judgment about them? Be honest, think about your first impression.
Size does not always reveal the entire story of what is happening within a person's heart, soul, and mind.
This year I've lost about 16 pounds. Over the summer and into this fall as I encountered people that I hadn't seen in a while, they are quick to comment about how great I look, they ask if I've lost weight and then again tell me how great I look. These compliments boosted my self-confidence then I began to really think about the compliment. I thought to myself over and over, "didn't I look great before?" Wasn't I attractive before I lost the weight? On top of that, what they didn't know is that the pounds that I lost over the spring have come at a great cost to me physically (and sometimes emotionally). Those that aren't in my inner circle don't know that for months my food intake was limited to about 3-4 items and that I no longer had any smells that were pleasant. What people don't see is that last year at this time I could easily hike 9 miles and today it takes me 20 extra minutes to hike the simple miles that I could hike in just und an hour. The pounds that were shed were because I have a smell and taste disorder that continues to affect my taste and smell. I do have a broader spectrum of food than I had this spring but still, one that is very, very limited. While I 'look great' the pounds have come at a great cost and that in all honesty, I'm really not that physically fit!
I've seen the opposite be true for someone who has gained weight. Suddenly the compliments that one use to receive have fallen to the wayside. Others make small talk about poor so in so because they have just let themselves go and don't have any self-control. I have listened to people talk about how lazy the overweight person must be and how they need to get out and exercise. What they don't see is that the person they are talking about walks with obsessive-compulsive thoughts in their head all day long. Every moment of every day they fight off the negative thoughts that are controlling their every step. The person with whom are talking about isn't lazy, they are out on their bike when other kids are making fun of them. When everyone has a team jersey that fits but the person who is overweight, and the person holds their head high wearing a regular t-shirt knowing that they will cross the finish line last. When it appears that the person isn't determined because of their size, what you don't see is the student who is having to study much longer each night simply because their mind is filled with relentless thoughts as well as one that wanders around the bend to find something more interesting. What you don't see is the person who is working hard to walk through their day, implement a plan and make an impact in the world.
Size does not determine health.
Size does not determine ability.
Size does not determine worth.
The next time you look at someone and make a judgment, stop to think about yourself. Think about all the things that are unseen, all those things you are walking through and dealing with that cannot be seen from the outside.