Is Your Scale An Idol?

by contributing writer Kristen Webb

Reflections on ‘Made To Crave‘ by Lysa TerKeurst


Is your scale an idol?

I am on a journey of learning how to get my happiness and peace from God instead of the contraband food that I crave.  It is going well – difficult at times – but I am learning to lean on God’s truth instead of my addiction to food.

You would think that since I have been following God’s guidelines and not overdoing it on fat and sugar, that I would be losing some weight; however, the scale has been very disappointing.  I am not losing weight at all!

As a result I am struggling with depression and self-pity.  Why am I going to all this trouble to eat healthy if I am not seeing any success in the weight loss department?

To be honest I am a bit ticked off at God.

The disappointment I feel makes me want to eat some cookies!

Why does the scale have such power over my emotions?  I am realizing that I feel it is wrong to rejoice and relax unless I have reached a specific marker of success.  I do not deserve to be happy when I am an obvious failure at meeting my weight goal!

Because I have not had success at losing weight, the feelings of anxiety and failure overwhelm me.   Until I have arrived at my goal, there seems to be no way to banish the anxiety and depression.  I must wait until my weight has gone down to be content and feel like I am succeeding.

Not only does this apply to weight loss but my need to succeed applies to nearly every goal I set in my life.  And more often than not, I am shooting for perfection!

I have set impossible goals!  I have sentenced myself to never being able to be happy, satisfied or feeling like I am worthy.  This is crazy!  My own mind is the enemy of my soul! 

My all-consuming desire has become perfection and I don’t think I can relax and rejoice in anything until I’ve reached it.

But this is what I’m realizing:  I can’t ever reach that goal.  And even if I could, I would likely find that it was empty and unsatisfying.  I cannot fill my soul by being perfect.  I can only fill it with God and by building a strong relationship with Him.

So what do I do now that I realize I have set weight loss as the marker for success?   


I am pretty sure that this is not the marker of success God wanted me to set as my goal.  I was trying to get happiness out of a scale instead of from God.  That is as empty as trying to get joy and peace from sugar and fat.

I had just replaced the idol of sugar with the idol of a scale.

I find jouralling has been a great way to hear what God wants to say to me.  About a month ago I wrote down some things God said to me…

 “Let me be God and put the cares and responsibilities on my shoulders.  Rejoice in all the answers and blessings and praise me even when your mood is in a funk.  Obey minute by minute and let that bring you joy and peace.  Get back into developing good habits (such as eating right and brushing your teeth)  Your goal is obedience to the spirit, and to obey you must stay close to me. Trust your emotions to my care and don’t fear or worry but trust and rejoice.  Grab hold of my peace and don’t let go.  Evaluate your success by your lack of fear and your obedience to me, not by worldly markers.  Go for the gold, go for the best, go for God!”  

Wow!  What He had me write down a month ago is overwhelmingly relevant for me right now!  God is so good and wise and supernatural and provided the clear answers I have been longing for.

My goal should not be losing weight as defined by the worldly marker of my scale.  My goal needs to be obedience to God.    I need to leave my weight to God to look after in His time.  I need to rejoice in each answer God gives and each little victory He enables me to succeed at.  The path to joy and peace is not in perfection or success as I define it, but in trusting and obeying God and looking for things to rejoice in all along this journey.  Peace is something I can decide to grab hold of by getting it God’s way not my way can be at peace even if the scale does not show any progress.  My peace comes from obeying God and following His spirit.  I can be peaceful and joyful because I am obeying Him and eating healthy. I don’t need to punish myself until I reach to what the world says is success.   I can let go of the anxiety and be satisfied and happy right now.  I have been believing a lie and now I can replace it with the truth.  Satan has been stealing my joy and peace and I do not need to let him have that power over me any longer.

I am not doing this perfectly but that is okay because I will not be perfect until heaven.  I am just aiming for improvement and obedience.

Thanks for taking this Made To Crave Journey with me!

 Kristen Webb boards horses in the country with her husband and three daughters – one of whom has special needs. She has been part of the HMC congregation for almost eighteen years.   You can find her over at her own blog, My Wild Ride Through The Door Of Faith.