Dress For Today: Don’t Wait to Lose Weight

April 27, 2017  - By Rachael Milner

Weight Watchers. Bariatric. Adkins. Counting calories. Whole 30. Advocare. I’ve tried them all. I’m the girl that’s perpetually dieting when I’m not eating anything in sight. My whole adult life I’ve swung between the extremes of weighing 126 all the way to 186 – and I’m only five feet two inches tall – so that’s a big variation.

My relationship to food has been one of extremes, and my tendency to comfort myself by eating has become a real stronghold at different seasons of life. The Lord has pointed out time and again how much I look to food as an idol – and it has been a hard road toward true healthiness.

Along with perpetual weight loss, gain, or fluctuation often comes a love/hate relationship with my body and the way in which clothes fit, or don’t, depending on my size. I’ve found myself fully believing that cute clothes are reserved for slender women with no cellulite, and that even if I found an outfit that fit me, I don’t “deserve” to look good in my clothes because of how much weight I’ve held onto.

Friends, it’s a broken cycle, and it’s left me standing in front of my closet with tears streaming down my face, hanging my head in shame and longing to crawl back into bed and start the day over. Or go back in time and make wiser choices so that I’m not shimmying my way into jeans that are too tight or hiding behind the largest size I can find on the rack at Target.

I am a firm believer that these issues which weigh heavily on our hearts and bog us down physically need to be brought to the Lord, laid at his feet, and addressed with intentional surrender.

Far too often we ascribe our worth and value based on the number we see on the scale. We believe that we will only be beautiful when we fit into the size clothing we used to, when we lose that extra twenty pounds, or when we can look at the reflection in the mirror without being embarrassed.

But friends, let me tell you the truth that I have to remind myself of every. single. day.

You are utterly beautiful and perfectly valuable TODAY, because when God looks at you, He sees YOU: the daughter of Christ that He made you to be. He sees you covered in the grace of Jesus. He loves you as you are, not as you want to be, because His grace is big enough to cover us at our largest and deep enough to pull us out of the pit of shame we may have fallen into along the way.

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6 that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. We are not our own. We were bought with a price. So we are called to glorify God with our bodies. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that He came that we may have life and life abundant. Galatians 5:1 tells us that it is for freedom Christ has set us free. We are called to stand firm in Christ and not submit ourselves to the yoke, or burden, of slavery.

These promises of freedom go beyond clothing or weight, but I believe that how we dress and how we view our bodies absolutely fall under these promises. Because carrying the pressure of maintaining or reaching our “goal weight” can be burdensome and exhausting. We become slave to the food choices we make, the number we see on the scale, or the size we fit into. 

When we live every day counting calories and believing that we will never be enough if we eat too much, we aren’t living abundantly – we’re living small. When we obsess over our bodies and the way we look in the mirror, we’ve forgotten that these temporary bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit. We’re focusing less on Jesus and more on the approval of others.

By all means, yes, let’s eat healthier, let’s exercise, and let’s take good care of ourselves. But friends, let’s do that to honor Jesus with our bodies. Let’s do that so we can live abundantly. Let’s pursue health and strength so we can play with our children, run outside in the sunshine, enjoy the ocean or pool with our families on vacation, and walk in grace and confidence.

And along the way, let’s dress with joy and not reserve clothes we like for the day we lose the weight. Part of walking in confidence for me has been dressing in clothes that actually fit and that I actually like. 

So here’s my advice to you if you find yourself on the perpetual diet train: 

  • Set aside a little money each month to get yourself one or two items that actually fit you. Don’t wait to lose weight before you purchase an item of clothing you like. If you spend the next six months trying to lose weight while shoving yourself into clothes that don’t fit or hiding behind clothes that swallow you, you’ll find yourself starting the day defeated.
    • If you don’t want to spend a lot of money in the hopes that you really will be losing weight, you could shop at secondhand stores, look online for sales, or head to a place like T J Maxx that carries good brands for much less.
  • Do NOT worry about the size of the item. Find the size that fits you without cutting tightly across you, without pinching or clinging or squeezing, and if it helps – cut the tag out. Numbers on clothes are just that, a number, not anything more. 
    • Find the size that fits you at your widest part, and if you need to, find a seamstress that could take in the bigger parts. 
    • For instance, my hips are the widest part of my body – which often means that jeans that fit my hips are much too large in the waist. I often sew darts in the waist to make my pants fit me all over instead of buying a smaller size for my waist that makes me feel uncomfortable in my hips.
  • Don’t cover up in clothing that’s so big it consumes you. Often, these blanket pieces may seem more comforting, but they can actually make us look bigger than we are. Look for a piece that is big enough to fit but not so big it consumes.
  • Don’t worry about which part of the store the clothes come from.
    • I have a maternity shirt I bought a few years ago that I love and I’ve never been pregnant! If it fits and if it makes you smile when you wear it, then who cares where it comes from?
    • Target has a plus size line that has some adorably cute pieces.
    • I’ve found that when I’m wearing something that fits, I don’t even think about where it came from – the clothes just sort of fade into the background and I get to actually live my life not obsessing over or constantly tugging at my clothes.
  • Remember that clothes are not meant to consume our thoughts. It’s important to find a balance of wearing clothes that equip us to comfortably get out and about, but not obsess to the point that we idolize the clothes themselves. Clothes are simply a tool for living out the calling that God has given us, which is to glorify Him and make Him known. If we spend all our time worried about what we’re wearing, we aren’t pointing others back to the Lord!
  • Learn to take a compliment. Last year I was at my heaviest, and each day I was more insecure than the day before. My husband would look at me and tell me I was beautiful. I would almost always reply, “No I’m not. I’m fat.” Thinking back on it now, I was not only not believing that he found me beautiful, I was reminding him of all the reasons I was less beautiful than I used to be (or so I thought) and discounting his view altogether.
    • Learn to simply say “thank you” and actually mean it. Someone else may be able to see the beauty you possess, even if you’re struggling to believe it. Ask the Lord instead to use those words of affirmation to help you believe that God has made you beautiful, today!

Beauty is found in the identity that God has given you. Confidence comes from a steady relationship with Christ and believing your worth comes from who He says you are, not what the scale says you weigh.

Daily dress yourself with the armor of God and pray to the Spirit for wisdom in the choices you make when it comes to eating healthy and pursuing a strong and healthy lifestyle. Let’s not wait to lose weight before we walk in the grace of God and claim our Gospel-driven identity in Jesus!

walking in grace today,


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  1. 1997joy@gmail.com says:

    Thank you so much, Racheal!!!
    I am so thankful for you! How the Lord is using you, and the rest of the ladies, to point other ladies to Christ…and the beauty we have in and through Him! This is just what I needed to hear. AMEN!!! Thank you so much, my sweet sister! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Vivienne, thank you for this gracious encouragement. I am so thankful to hear the Lord at work in your heart and speaking to you. Thank you for sharing such kind words!

  2. olive.gal@gmail.com says:

    Love, love, love this Rachel!!! I can relate on so many levels and found this so encouraging 😊

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Jasmin, I’m so glad to hear that – I know it’s been a lifelong journey for me, so I was hoping sharing a few things I’ve learned along the way would help someone else!

  3. Em72377@yahoo.com says:

    This is such a great post Rachel! Thank you so much for the tips. Love,love,love!!!

  4. Liz says:

    This was so encouraging for me. For a long time I refused to buy bigger clothes but when I finally did, I felt more confident and I even took better care of myself. I got a hair cut and a mani/pedi and I felt so good. Thanks for sharing!

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Preach it, friend!!! Yes! When we finally take care of how we are TODAY instead of waiting for some far off day that we hope may come, it’s amazing what can happen. I think we tend to put weight in this own little category instead of realizing it’s a journey and every day is just one step in the right direction. Thankful to hear you’re learning and growing in this way, Liz!

  5. Lauracarterjowers@gmail.com says:

    Loved this post so much! Rachel, your message has touched my heart. This is the grace of the gospel that I needed after a hard day.

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Laura, praise the Lord! I’m sorry for those hard days, but I am so thankful God could use anything I have to say to encourage you in any way. I pray you continue to find hope and joy in Him, friend!

  6. hb2of4@yahoo.com says:

    I can totally relate to this article. I had always been thin most of my life and always bounced back to a normal weight after all 3 children but I’ve hit menopause and my body has betrayed me. I couldn’t accept the fact that I was no longer thin. I started hating the way I looked. I still wear bigger clothing but after readying your story I’m going to do what you suggested give it to God. Surrender the self centerednness of my image. Buy a few key pieces that I can wear now And pray that I’m free of this stronghold of bad body image. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve enjoyed all the blog posts this week. Thank you!

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Helen, I’m sorry this has been such a hard process for you. But I bet you’re an amazing mom to those three kids and you probably have so much to offer in this life that the Lord has equipped you with! I pray you can continue to find confidence in Him and not in your closet – and that He will use your heart for Him to bless others along the way!

  7. Trina.hansard@gmail.com says:

    I don’t know what to say except a HEARTY Amen! And the Lord blessed you with a clear and wonderful message, thank you for sharing it!!!

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Thank you, Trina! We pray these weeks have been encouraging to anyone who reads the posts or follows along! Thank you for the encouragement! 🙂

  8. caraisin7@yahoo.com says:

    Thank you for this article! Body image is something I’ve always struggled with. My jounior year of college I lost weight and I looked and felt great, I kept the weight off for several years even after getting married. Just recently I’ve gained all of it plus extra back, besides not feeling good because of not really being healthy I don’t see myself as beautiful like my husband sees me. I struggle excepting compliments from my husband or others. Thank you for the encouragement I find from this article!

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Jennifer, that is such a hard process — we can start to gain weight when we are in happy seasons, not really noticing what’s going on with our bodies, then one day we see how far we’ve come and it’s easy to get discouraged. I think for me, learning to accept my husband’s kind words have been a form of grace the Lord has used to remind me He still sees me as beautiful – and the process to a healthier life is just one day at a time – not overnight! I’m praying for your journey, friend.

  9. rachael@horil.com says:

    Thank you for sharing, Rachael! This spoke straight to my heart!

  10. Georgiamudfudge@hotmail.com says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear – thank you for being vulnerable and brave enough to do so. I have a cupboard full of clothes from a 12 through to a 24 but I have nothing that I can actually wear. My goal for the past two months now has been to go through my closet and figure out which clothes actually fit and then to buy a few extra items (I rotate 2 trousers and 4 tops and yoga clothes) but I keep letting fear put me off as I know I’m likely going to feel horrible during and afterwards. Not anymore! I’m going to stand on your words here and clear out my closet tomorrow!!

    • gretchen@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Oh Lynne, I am so grateful you wrote me. I am praying that you truly will walk in the freedom that Christ has given you!

    • rachael@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Yes! I know the feeling – getting stuck in the rut. But I pray that you find the confidence with the Lord to take those steps toward reclaiming what’s been holding you back!

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