I am not who I think I am.
I am not my fat.
I am not my flaws.
I am not everything that is wrong with me.
I am not my surgery.
I am not my weight loss.
I am not every diet fad I’ve found lately.
I am not my children.
I am not my spouse.
I am not all the things I do for them each day.
I am not my depression.
I am not my fears.
I am not what the negative voices have to say.
I am truth.
I am life.
I am light.
I am what God says I am.
I am loved.
I am adored.
I am wanted.
I am joy.
I am peace.
I am happiness.

Genesis 1:27
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.”

Too often we get lost or lose sight of who we are after we’ve had weight loss surgery. We forget that we are people with lives and interests outside of dieting, exercise, and nutrition. Our identity becomes so intertwined with being fit, healthy, thin, attractive, and a myriad of other adjectives we have gone into surgery to attain, that we forget that there are other things in life. We become our surgeries.

As a result, sometimes we fall into alienation, addiction, depression, anxiety, and a slew of other mental and emotional issues that we sometimes don’t even recognize.

When we were food addicts, there was one thing about us above all others: food was our idol. We worshipped it above God. We would do whatever it took to get our “fix” – some would eat from the trash can, some would steal food off other’s plates. I’ve even heard cases of people actually stealing food from the grocery store to binge in their cars. We would lie, cheat, and steal to get a candy bar, ice cream, chips, cookies, or cake. We worshipped the god of Gluttony.

After surgery, our idolatry shifted. We were no longer able to make those sacrifices to the god of Gluttony because, physically, we couldn’t. So we entered another realm of idol worship. We began to worship the god of Vanity. The god of Obsession began to take hold of us as well, sending us into a downward spiral. We began to seek new, extreme ways to worship these gods, sacrificing our bodies, our minds, our souls. Our obsession goes into finding the perfect diet, finding the perfect exercise routine, losing more weight, staying sugar-free, low-carb, low-fat, gluten-free, paleo, or primal. We forget the others around us and focus on ourselves, our bodies, our “health”.

Later, our worship can go even farther away. We have more attention from the opposite sex – more attention in general – because of the weight we’ve lost. We find that we can fit into better, more fashionable clothing. Or we lose friends and family because of the weight we’ve lost. The gods of Sex, Money, and Loneliness can find us, and we can latch onto them.

We are now so far away from our identity that we have completely lost ourselves.

There is a high rate of addiction, divorce, and eating disorders among weight loss surgery patients. Why is this? I believe it’s because we are focusing on the wrong area of our lives. We focus so much on losing the weight, that we forget there’s a big world out there that longs to have our attention. We forget spouses, children, parents, friends, and loved ones in favor of working out, finding the perfect “diet”, and making sure we do every little thing right.

The fact remains that our focus should always be on one thing – God. Why did we have weight loss surgery to begin with? To be healthy. When we are healthy, we are better able to serve Him in the ways that He calls us to. We are better able to share His message of love and salvation to others. We have a testimony of deliverance to share!

I encourage you today to dive into the Word of God. Re-discover your identity in Him. Re-focus on His love and grace.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple to the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”