by Monica Voskamp

This morning I was scrolling through a health website. I was struck by something: many numbers. Numbers counting the pounds lost and numbers measuring carbs. 25 carbs were questioned.* 90 pounds lost and celebrated. 30 pounds lost. 3 pounds lost. People counting and counting these numbers in their goal to lose weight and get healthy. I have counted many numbers!.. 248 pounds. I have counted many calories, over 3000 in a day…

Everyone has something that drives them. We need focus when achieving a goal. It prevents us from going off kilter and losing sight of what we are trying to achieve. Focus is an essential part of  getting us places.

But what if, in healthy living goals, these numbers begin to shout a little too loudly? What if those numbers begin to overtake our minds? What if those numbers begin to live a larger life than we do?  What if those numbers become too much of the focus? What then? The numbers are no longer a help. They’ve become a detriment. The tool has lost its true function. 

I have struggled with the number on the scale living a larger life than me. It has stood staring up at me, and said,’ I am more important than you.’ It has scoffed and ridiculed me. It has made itself its own name. It has latched onto and crushed my being while wearing the crown. My crown. This morning while I read people celebrating 90, 30, and 3 pounds lost, I also heard another side and felt my own fears echoed: 1. Now if only I can keep these pounds off, OR 2. So far I have managed to keep these numbers (pounds) away..

Since when did these numbers become a part of who we were, are?! Ladies, gentlemen we are not numbers, (!!! ) just like we are not fat. This has been such a journey for myself to learn; I’m still learning. Recently, I told my niece it like this: We do not walk up to people introduce ourselves, shake their hand with: “Hello, I am Fat!” Or ” I am Number 248. I am Pear Shape.” No, introducing myself I say, “Hi, I’m Monica.” And I smile  :)…Ha, numbers can’t do that! 😀

YES, numbers can help us get where we are going in our healthy living journeys. They are meant to help us! Numbers are tools in our life tool boxes; however, those numbers aren’t US. This is something vital to remember. I am not a number. You are not a number. You are YOU. I am ME. We are both on a unique journey, using whatever tools it takes to reach our goals. Yes, it’s so wonderful and needful to celebrate our victories, the battles we’ve fought, what we’ve accomplished, and believe in each other!  But, we need to take care that those numbers stay numbers.

Numbers aren’t our ultimate focus. Like a GPS, numbers (pounds, calories, carbs) are helpful for our destination and may not be even needed the whole trip as we learn to navigate our way. Numbers are not the star of the show.  YOU and me, we, are the true gifts in this journey. Remember to celebrate YOU more than the numbers.

Like a camera, sometimes we need to adjust the lens to see things more clearly. If things have gotten a little blurry, adjust the lens. Take time. See YOU. Don’t you ever forget that you are the one that is beautiful, not the number.

~Take time to focus on what is truly beautiful, you. ~

*Numbers from others were adapted in respect.


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