When my weight reached an all-time high in 2005, I knew I had to change my junk food ways. Of course, I knew that losing weight would be challenging. What I didn’t count on was the added pressure of other people’s opinions and questions about my weight.
Thankfully, no one was mean or cruel. It was more a matter of dealing with personal questions from all directions – family, friends, and the Bridges viewing audience. The most awkward question was “Monica, how much do you weigh?” Can you say questions that make me cringe?
Don’t Let Other Peoples Opinions Define You
Whether I cringed or not the questions kept coming. As my weight loss journey progressed, I started noticing that people treated me more favorably. While I was aware that we live in a culture that celebrates outward appearance, I had no idea how this value played out in everyday conversation.
Uncomfortable with Preferred Treatment
I found myself in an awkward situation where losing weight was equated with being a better example and more valuable person. I was uncomfortable with the preferred treatment, and the added pressure of awkward questions.
As with most things in a broken world, there is no quick fix. However, I did learn a few lessons on my journey that might be helpful to anyone feeling the pressure of other people’s opinions. First, I had to accept that human beings have a penchant for saying what they see. Many times, there is little thought about the impact of their comment. Accepting this part of human behavior helped me keep a positive attitude.
Let Go of the Negative
Secondly, I committed to hold on to the positive and let go of the negative. To help me with that, I enlisted help from my favorite book.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
James 3:17 NLT
I call this passage The Wisdom Test. I find it very helpful in weeding out the negative and finding what’s good. When a comment or question comes my way that concerns me, I ask myself these questions: Is this comment….
peace loving and gentle?
willing to yield to others?
full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds?
without favoritism and sincere?
If the answer is yes, the comment passes the wisdom test and I hold onto it. If the answer is no, I let it go.
Today’s Secret from the Studio is when other people’s opinions start to weigh you down go to the Wisdom Test for the help you need to hold on to what’s good and let go of what’s negative.
Monica Schmelter is the General Manager of WHTN, Christian Television Network and host of daily television show Bridges. When people ask her why she smiles and nods so much while she’s interviewing guests she replies, “Oh that’s simple I am trying to think of what to say next”. You can watch Bridges on demand at monicaschmelter.com