Fleeting Beauty

The other day I hit the high school track near my house to do my usual Tuesday sprints.  My heart was already heavy.  Another day that the scale just wouldn't budge and a head full of self deprecating thoughts.  As I arrived, the sun peeking through the clouds caught my eye as I switched between my sprints and walking routine.  Overwhelmed by my own emotions, I found myself crying there on the track that day as others ran past me.

I watched the older woman run past me with her years of sun tanned skin wrinkling between her sports bra and shorts.  It was seeing in someone else's obsession to stay fit that I realized I was only disgusted with myself.

Another day on the rat wheel I had told myself just yesterday.

It reminded me of the conversation I had with the woman at the grocery store while we both looked at tofu pasta and she turns to me to let me know that this never ends.

"When does it end?" I ask myself as tears stream down my face on the track.  I see others running just like me.  We are all obssessed.  We are all discontent.  And I begin to wonder if I, too, am just feeding into the lie with my own instagram posts boasting my early morning workout.

I remember the words from my friends' mouths growing up telling me I was fat or not girly enough.  I find myself judging in my mind my own beautiful and kind friends just to enjoy a moment to stroke my own ego.

My lack of self control disgusts me as I stuff another bag of chips in my mouth.  I wonder why self control is so hard.

So I hit the track for another day.  How many months have I been doing this routine?  I am tired.  I tell myself I hate working out.  All the while I allow guilt to takeover my day if I don't break a sweat. 

The vicious cycle continues.  But today I choose to surrender.  I wonder who will make our culture's obsessive need to always be losing five to ten pounds come to an end.  I am tired of seeing women going on quick fix diets only to gain it all back months later.  I am tired of hearing fit and beautiful women complain about their fat.  I am tired of looking at my own self in the mirror only to criticize the imperfections.

And while I have no clear understanding of how to find true freedom from this burden in my life, I hold on to the one truth I know and press on.

I can choose to stop this.  And it begins with my own perspective.  Though a tough day on the track, it was a reminder that my worth is not in my looks but instead in my heart.  And there is great hope in that.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30