Avoiding the Scale at the Holidays (or How to Get Really, Really Fat for Christmas)

Weighing in.

Stepping on the scale.

Facing the number between our feet.

Tough stuff.

Do you ever avoid the scale?

Do you ever hesitate to face the judgment of that dispassionate instrument on the bathroom floor?

It doesn’t hear excuses.

It won’t forgive little slips.

It doesn’t care about the situation, the stress, your story, the reasons.

It just faces you with a number, a fact, the truth.

You took in more than you gave out and the remainder was stored as ugly fat.


So, what do you do?

Take action?

Eat less? Move more?

What most of us do is – avoid stepping on the scale.

La – la- la- la, I don’t even see you there, scale. If I don’t step on you, I’m fine.

I feel fine.

I look okay.

I’m doing great.

This extra little bit, that’s no big deal.

But then there are scales we can’t escape. The doctor’s visit. Oh, right. There’s that number again. How did it get that high?

It’s the same for me. I’ve had to work on my relationship with the scale. I’ve had to learn to refuse to see that number as an agent of condemnation but, instead, to see it as a friendly fact, a useful truth, that keeps me on track toward my goal of attaining a healthy weight.

For years, I avoided the scale. But that only led to self-deception and a problem that grew and grew because I ran from that number.

Now, I know. The scale is a useful tool. This tiny instrument of judgment can be my friend if I am willing to face it and then act on the information it provides.

I work with others who are working toward weight loss. Part of what I do is help them learn to face the scale.

Recently, one of my clients skipped a week checking in. She came in the next week and sat with me. “I didn’t come because I know what the scale is going to say. But then I realized, if I don’t face the scale, I won’t continue toward my goal. If I stay away, I’ll miss out on the support I need. So, I’m here this week. Help me face the scale.”

I thought of this today when I read these words in the gospel of John, “And this is the judgment; the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 1:19-21 ESV

Even if weight is not our issue, we all inherited a tendency from Adam and Eve to hide from judgment, to run for cover rather than risk having our deeds exposed on God’s scale.

The thing I am continuing to learn through my relationship with Jesus is that the scale, the facts, the truth, is always on our side. Light is our friend even when it exposes us because that is the moment we have the opportunity to choose to change.

And Jesus is beside us at the scale providing the strength, the power, and the tools we need to make that change happen. We aren’t alone there, naked, exposed, or helpless. He calls us to the scale and stands beside us. Nods His head and says, “Yup, there it is. Would you like that number to change? Come with me. Together, we can make that happen.”

But if we refuse to come with Him and step on that scale –

leave our Bible’s unopened, avoid gathering with other believers, harden our hearts, close our wallets, delete our viewing history, refuse to forgive, run prayerlessly through another day –

then we are choosing darkness and self-deception

and we will probably take in more than we give out and the fat will accumulate on our soul, weighing us down and testifying to a life that runs from the light, scurrying to hide in the bushes when God calls.

The holidays can be a kind of scale in our lives. They have a way of facing us with what is lacking in our relationships, our bank accounts, and our inner selves.

We run from them a hundred different ways – overspending, overscheduling, overeating, overdrinking, overcriticizing, or pulling away alone.

I feel like that. I’d like to hide from the scales of this holiday season. I don’t want to face the number this year.

But I’m going to try something different. Rather than run from the holidays, I’m going to try to face them with Jesus.

I hear Him inviting me to walk through these weeks looking at what is lacking in my life head on, no running for cover, and let Him show me how to face the scale with grace. Change what I can. Trust Him for what I can’t. Allow Him to teach me how to walk in the truth and not to run from it.

I’ve learned from the scale in the bathroom that I am not free of it by choosing to avoid it. I am only free when I can face whatever it says and use the truth to guide my next choices.

Jesus says the same thing to us only on a much grander scale.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

How will you face the holidays? Do you hear Jesus inviting you to come into the light?

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