Tuesday, February 24, 2015

There are worse things than being fat.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating being overweight. I’m simply saying that an overweight ego, a heavy judgmental attitude, and a heart plump with hatred on a skinny well-dressed body are far worse things.

I’m realizing that the extra weight I carry is not what defines me. I am more defined by how I treat others—my reflection of Christ to the world. That can happen no matter what size I am, regardless of my hair color, and regardless of whether I’m wearing designer clothing or hanging out in a t-shirt and sweats.

Recently, while traveling overseas, I heard a story of how a young woman visited a shop and asked for a large size. The sales clerk, a small-sized woman, snubbed her nose at the young woman and rudely told her they didn’t carry her size there. I could only imagine the response I would have received in that shop. I’m far larger than the young woman who visited the shop.
But I can’t help thinking, the sales clerk may have looked put together and nice on the outside, inside was a different story. I want people to look beyond my exterior shell and see what’s in my heart. The only way that can happen is if I show them.

I’ve struggled with extra weight for several years. Often times, riding the vicious roller coaster of on-again off-again diets and aggressive exercise regimens to sedentary days. Leaving me feeling confident or defeated. My emotions were dependent on whether I’d been “good” or “bad” with my eating or exercise on any given day.

Through the years I’ve come to accept that my weight does not define WHO I am. Neither does my hairstyle or hair color, the clothes or the brand of shoe I wear or the purse I carry on my shoulder. Some of those are accessories that may reflect my taste, but they don’t define me as a daughter of the king. I’ve also come to accept that I can’t manage a lifestyle change unless I rely on Him to bring it about in me. I can’t reflect His character and shine if I’m too busy worrying about how I look and what clothes I’m wearing. While, I feel better if I’m dressed well, it’s important that my heart is well dressed with compassion, love, forgiveness, and non-judgment.

I still struggle with losing weight and with help from the Lord, I’m making small incremental daily changes. I’ve accepted that I can’t change overnight, but I can change.

Cheryl, the character, in my latest release, The Vigil, is forced to accept truths that push her to change.

The book blurb:

Cheryl Broussard made two vows: She'd never fall for an abusive man, and she'd never return to her Louisiana hometown. But she's learned all too well the lesson of never-say-never. Now, back in Bijou Bayou after fleeing from an abusive boyfriend, Cheryl finds work as a Hospice nurse. While reading a dying patient's Korean War love letters, family secrets shatter Cheryl's beliefs about her family and herself and shed light on the reason she fled her hometown. When the Broussard family secrets are revealed, can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept the blessing of a second chance for relationships with her family, old friends, and with the God she never really knew?

Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meets the Mountains, grew from both loves. She is the author of, Deep Freeze Christmas, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, and Southern Fried Christmas.
Her latest release, a Women’s Fiction novel, The Vigil, can be purchased at online retailers.

Marian is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women's Fiction Writers Association.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle.

Learn more about Marian on her website and her blog, or connect with her on Facebook, the Facebook Reader's Group, or Twitter.

Thanks for allowing me to share with your readers today on the Borrowed Book Blog!

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