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To the Rude Man in Costco Who Told Me “It’ll Fatten You Up”

We were in Costco, grabbing a cheap Sunday lunch while making our way as usual through the samples. Greg and Nolan were walking around while I stood in line waiting for a sample of ice cream with berries on top. The line took a while since everyone wanted this sweet treat.

As I got closer, an elderly man in front of me turned around, looked at me, and told me to go in front of him. Our quick conversation felt awkward and insincere, but I stepped in front of him to grab our samples so we could get Nolan home for a nap. As I stood there, I heard him mumble beneath his breath, “It’ll fatten you up.”

Tears immediately stung my eyes. Did he not realize that I, and the man serving us, could hear that? I grabbed the sample and quickly walked over to Greg unable to speak. My mind kept replaying the words this stranger had just said.

Little did he know that I have felt insecure with my postpartum body. Within the last year I had given birth, nursed a very hungry baby and experienced so many unexpected changes with my outer appearance. Little did he know that I have a thyroid disorder that affects my weight and by God’s grace is being fixed. Little did he know that five years prior I was swimming through the depths of an eating disorder, wondering if I would ever walk on dry land again.

He didn’t know any of these things when he made a quick judgment based on my outer appearance. 

I share this story with you because we have all felt the sting of judgment. If you are a woman, you’ve had times you’ve looked in the mirror and not liked what you see. The scale never seems to be the number we want it to be, so we worry, fret and walk in insecurity, trying to cope with our outer appearance.

As I walked away from my awkward encounter, feeling a rush of emotions that I knew in the past, the Lord whispered this encouragement to me, live for the kind of weight that matters.

A scale, a size and a number will not satisfy our hungry hearts. The mirror of this world will not give us the confidence we need to walk in freedom and grace.

Bodies will change, wrinkles will appear and outer beauty will fade as the years progress. But one thing becomes more beautiful, and that is the weight of glory. When our hearts are set on Christ and His supreme worth over every temporal thing, including our outer appearance, His glory becomes our freedom and joy.

Gretchen Saffles
Gretchen Saffles
Gretchen Saffles is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to get into the Word of God and find their identity and purpose in Christ. She is the founder of Life Lived Beautifully, author of A God-Sized Love Story, Proverbs 31: Women of Dignity, Washed in Grace, and Ruth: Gospel of Grace, as well as creator of the “Give Me Jesus” quiet time journal for women. Through Life Lived Beautifully, she longs to meet women right where they are with the hope of the gospel and light a match in their hearts to know Jesus more. On any given day you can find her with a coffee cup in hand, a baby on her hip,  a message stirring in her soul, and a God-sized dream on her heart. Gretchen lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband, Greg, and her son, Nolan.  Find out more about Gretchen at www.lifelivedbeautifully.com

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As one of the most decorated female swimmers in history, Katie Ledecky's career has been a testament to her relentless dedication, exceptional talent, and unwavering faith.

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