Life is something everyone is guilty of taking for granted. The fact that we open our eyes every morning and take in our first breath is something we should be thankful for – the gift of a new day. Even more than that, those who do not suffer from physical disabilities or health complications should praise the Lord for their good condition. For those who can walk without a cane, brace or walker. For those who can see, hear, think and speak without issue. For those who do not hide behind their mental illness and let that illness define their identity. I am one of those individuals who is not and never has been encumbered by a physical defect or hardship.
You’re probably wondering why I’m bringing any of this up. Recently I discovered from a blood test that my “bad” cholesterol level is elevated, and I am currently classified as pre-diabetic. While part of this is hereditary, the majority of it comes from my poor dietary choices and sporadic exercise patterns. This is something that can be easily altered with some simple, significant lifestyle changes, but before I realized it was a chance to change my life for the better I was depressed. I kept thinking about the girl I was a couple years ago – the thin, pretty girl and how I was probably twice her size now. I won’t lie, I really started looking down on my body and hating what I looked like.
Then, as if God intervened, I was at the movie theater with my boyfriend on Saturday night. Before the movie started I went to the restroom and as I was washing my hands I saw a young girl about 10 years old exit one of the stalls with her mother. She was staring straight ahead and was holding a walking stick – this young girl was blind. I thought about all the young girl was missing out on by not being able to see and how difficult her life must’ve been up to this point. And here I was. A physically healthy 22-year-old woman with elevated cholesterol. I felt ashamed for hating my body when in reality I should’ve been happy that every limb and organ functioned properly.
I will never look down on myself again. I am a beautiful daughter of Christ and I will start treating my body as such based on the decisions I make regarding food intake and level of activity. I am so grateful for that young girl for showing me how she can live a thankful lifestyle despite lacking the gift of sight.