Have you ever stood on a set of scales looking down at the number trying to rationalize how the scale must not be working, probably a manufacturer’s defect or something? Have you ever contemplated what that number really meant, how big it really was, what it said about your intrinsic value as a human being? I have. In the beginning of 2012, I stood on the bathroom scales and saw a number that when converted to bags of potatoes was big enough to feed the entire 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

It’s not like I was shocked that I was fat. I had been to both doctors and shopping malls over the course of the last decade. The doctors always gave me this concerned look pointing at charts that showed my weight and height in the red danger zone marked morbidly obese while perky little sales clerks pointed me to the sections containing clothes more suited for Lulu from the Dukes of Hazzard.

I’m sure my mother-in-law meant this as a compliment when she once told me, “Even though you are as big as you are, you still dress nice and take care of yourself.” Like just because I was fat, I should let my teeth rot, quit brushing my hair and wallow around all day in a housecoat (more commonly referred to as bath robe in most metropolitan areas).

While from the outside, I was keeping up appearances sporting the latest suit from the Talbot’s plus size clothing line, red patent leather high heels that can’t help but turn heads, french manicured nails and freshly dyed roots, I felt on the inside like a woman who was in fact lying around in a wore out housecoat with rotting teeth and pink sponge rollers hanging from her head.

I’m not saying that the number on the scale defined my self-worth or that it ever will. At 240 or 140, I will still be the same Valerie Kemp Dreier, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, certified public accountant, church goer, loud mouth Southerner. I just won’t be controlled by food or defined by my weight. I won’t sit on the sidelines of life because my body is worn out or I’m too self-conscious to join in the fun.

As I stood on those scales, looking at a number that most elementary school kids can’t count to, I decided it was time to formulate a plan to start shedding these rolls of fat. I’d like to say it was at that moment that I partnered with God and I immediately began rebuking cupcakes and greasy cheeseburgers but this was no overnight transformation. I admitted something needed to be done. I didn’t know what but I was committed to doing something. It wasn’t until later I realized the magnitude of what that something would entail but at least, I was committed. Either commit to a healthier way of life or be committed to an insane asylum!

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.