The Reason I Keep Weighing

It was a great week! I coupled an hour of cardio with 45 minutes of weight training with Trainer Tina twice that week. I had also done at least an hour of cardio 3 more times, hitting my goal of exercising 5 times that week. But that’s not all! I felt great about my eating that week. Whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean meats were in abundance. But more than anything, I felt great about my obedience to the Lord. I started my days spending quality time with Him, which seemed to fuel my times of coming to Him when I was tempted and feeling empowered to resist. Needless to say, when I woke for my weekly weigh-in Tuesday morning September 6th, I was expecting so see a good number. Still, I ran through my mental checklist of my week, as I do each time I weigh: Did I exercise regularly? Yep! Did I eat healthily? Absolutely! Did I turn to God rather than food consistently? I did! So regardless of what the number on the scale said, I felt great! Then I recited a line from one of my favorite books, Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkeurst,  “I am a Jesus-girl who can step on a scale and simply see an indication of how much my body weighs, not the worth of who I am”! And I believe that with all my heart! So now I was ready to weigh. I stepped on the scale (halfway expecting to see at least a 2lbs loss), blinked my eyes, stepped off the scale, cleared the number, and stepped on again. Surely there was a glitch. But no. No glitch. I saw it right the first time. I hadn’t lost 2lbs. I had GAINED .2 of a pound! I chuckled to myself. Honestly, I felt great about my week so that .2 didn’t really bother me all that much. Besides, I had just gotten of my menstrual cycle (sorry boys) the day before and could still be retaining quite a bit of water. But more than that, Trainer Tina had tried to kill me with weights that week and I was confident that the additional .2 was an increase of of muscle, which I knew weighed more than fat. I was certain that when I weighed the next week I would see a dramatic drop, which had happened many times in the past.

Unfortunately, my week didn’t exactly go as planned though. I left that very day for New York and while there I gave into several foods that were not a part of my healthy eating plan. Then I traveled to California and once again chose foods that I knew weren’t the healthiest options. Some of those moments were simply bad choices, others were a result of emotional meltdowns where I turned to food rather than God. Still, it wasn’t a total loss. I did a lot of walking in New York and at Disneyland in CA (which I refer to as “lifestyle fitness”). I also put in 2 additional times in the gym. That coupled with my expected drop from last week’s disappointing weigh in made me think that when I stepped on the scale this morning I could still see either a loss or a similar number to last week. I ran through my mental checklist. Did I exercise regularly? Well, no. Did I eat healthily? Uh-uh. Did I turn to God rather than food  consistently? Umm…not exactly! But still…”I am a Jesus-girl who can step on a scale and simply see an indication of how much my body weighs, not the worth of who I am”!

I stepped on the scale…

+2.4 lbs!


Last week’s gain was a result of water retention and muscle gain. I’m sure.

This week’s gain…Red Velvet cheesecake, hamburgers, not working out regularly…need I go on?

It makes sense…but still…it feels crummy! Everything in me wanted to go back to bed. Instead, I had a little talk with Jesus. It wasn’t the end of the world. But it’s not a great feeling either. I walked away from my time with the Lord feeling better…but I still didn’t want to exercise. I wanted to watch TV and lose myself in someone else’s reality. So I did what I typicaly do. I tweeted!

Had anothr bad weigh n this AM. Now its 1 of those days where I wanna sit & do nothing…like yesterday! Help me tweeps! I need inspiration!

And boy did I get it:

@Kalaminoaka you are God’s beautiful child! It is another opportunity to lean on Him, for He is our strength!
@hadleycst hi praying for you, remember a bad workout is better than no workout.
@Air1Dave Take it one minute at a time. Tell yourself ur gonna work out for one minute, then one more minute, etc. Break it down
@WmPowellJr if you focus on the bad .. enemy wins … Get up and #Move through it #GodLovesYou
@ginsamica you have come too far to give up now! You inspired me to lose 30+ pounds
@meantforsomeone Everything for the Glory of God. A bad weigh in for u might be an encouragement to someone else to know they aren’t alone.
@melonymckaye Today=Nat’l Positive Thinking Day 🙂 A bad attitude is like a flat tire..don’t change it & you won’t get anywhere. New day!
@SheilaWalsh the bad weigh in is now in the past. You are beautiful and strong and worth fighting for!! xx

I even had several “tweeps” inspire me with my own songs:

@beckyjomama If I could, I would send you a video of my 4yr old singing The Truth About Me at the top of her lungs. Start over now Girl!
@karlenecampbell can’t let a bad weigh in steal your drive. Keep it going! You’re “Stronger”!!!
@Gerdien_R Listen [to] your own ‘These Days’ It might remember you of His love and faithfullnes through all those little things. 😉
@jerryhyde put on Good morning, and realize u r a huge inspiration both physically and spiritually, keep up the hard work!!!
@autumndene “Now Im smiling and Im kissing all my worries goodbye Got the feeling, if I spread my wings I might even fly You are my truth, my way Give me the strength to say Get up, get up, get up”

Hehehe…I just love my “tweeps”! Feeling inspired, I sent out another tweet (“Thx 4 the inspiration tweeps! On treadmill watchin Who Wants 2b a Millionaire, ironically callin on MY ‘Lifeline’!http://twitpic.com/6kfdxs ), and got on my treadmill & elliptical trainer for an hour and a half!

During commercial breaks I read all of the Twitter responses and saw a couple who suggested that I not weigh anymore. I began thinking about that and thought I might share why I will continue to weigh. You see, I fully believe that I am more than a number on a scale. I’ve always believed that…even when I weighed over 300lbs (Ironically, it was at that weight that I released my debut album “True Beauty“)! I am convinced that my beauty does not come from my outward appearance. 100+ lbs ago I claimed 1 Peter 3:3-4 as one of my life scriptures:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I know that my value and worth are not based on my body size. My value comes from the Lord. Jesus deemed me valuable enough to die for. That fact remains no matter how much I weigh (Can I get an “Amen”)!

While losing over 100lbs has had an added benefit of feeling better about the way that I look, this journey has been about so much more than that. It has been about freedom (which is why my second album “Freedom” donned that title and many songs about such, as God began setting me free from this lifelong addiction to food)! I was not living the abundant life Jesus died for me to have because I was bound by my weight. When I began being obedient to Him, and living according to His Spirit and not my flesh, I felt closer to Him. I felt His pleasure. And yes, I felt FREE!

Two times along the journey though, I hit a plateau. I felt like I was doing everything right, but I was not losing weight. I knew this because I weighed myself regularly. Something was wrong. Both times I hit a plateau, the culprit was an extremely low metabolic rate. The first time this was caused because I was not eating enough. The second time was because my vitamin D levels were too low. Once I remedied both of these things my metabolism regulated and I began losing weight again. But I would not have known something was wrong if I hadn’t been weighing. I should also add that I gauge the fit of my clothes as well as try to measure with Trainer Tina monthly. I know that many factors can result in an increased number on the scale (time of the month, water retention, muscle weighing more than fat). But I do believe that if it consistently stays the same or increases, something isn’t working. I know that weighing is not the only indicator on how successful a weight loss journey is…but it IS in fact, an indicator. I don’t believe in being a slave to the scale. But weighing has, at several times, been an aid on my journey to be healthy. I don’t want it to dictate how I feel about myself. But I admit, it sometimes does. Having struggled with my weigh my entire life, that is something I am still working on. I want to be balanced in my thinking about my weight. What can I say? I’m a work in progress.

Still, next Tuesday I will weigh. I am determined that it will not dictate my worth or my mood. But you know what? Knowing that I will step on my scale in 7 days will help me make healthy choices this week. I guess I look at it as a sense of accountability.

I know that I am on a similar journey as many of you. I read your responses and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

I’ll leave you with a video tnvolscowgirl made for my song “The Truth About Me” on youtube. I am clinging to these words today.



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  1. Marilyn says:

    Mandisa, thank you for being real and open. Sometimes struggles with weight, or food are considered vain to some. The reality that it is a struggle and we are not alone is very inspiring.

  2. Jerrilyn says:

    Thank you. You’re so inspiring. Your honesty, willingness and vulnerability in sharing your story is glorifying. God is with you on this journey. I can’t wait to meet you someday… hopefully this side of heaven.

  3. Ashley Quinn says:

    I just saw a pic of you on a friend’s FB page and I didn’t recognize you! You look great! I am going to start reading your blog in hopes that you can motivate me to get my butt off of the couch 🙂 Thanks!

  4. pearlfromafrica says:

    Hi Mandisa,
    Thank you for sharing your struggle and your story. I first listened to your latest album a couple of months ago and your songs have been what i need to sing, breathe, think about, whisper out-loud and pray. I so need to believe the Truth that God speaks about me too.

    I would love to meet you someday if you ever find yourself in Dakar, Senegal or Nairobi, Kenya 🙂

  5. angela says:

    When I heard ur heart at women of faith in cali, I felt a connection because I know ur struggle. For me, the battle to detach my identity and value from the scale is rarely won. In part, I realized this weekend, because I’m ashamed of my struggle and failure…so I don’t talk about it. What u shared on the mic and now in ur blog…floors me! I find myself praying for Gods to give me such courage to speak out and defeat shame. Thank u for being a messenger of His inspiration!

  6. Kristen Taylor says:

    I would love to share my story with you about my journey of cravings and crazy eating habits….and how I am now free from those chains! You can check out my website or email me when you are ready. I would be happy to send you Zija’s Smart Mix (92 nutrients) all from one plant, the Moringa plant. Completely changed my health along with the health of thousands of others. This plant has been used to treat and cure over 300 diseases and is used by many organizations. Would love to tell you all about it…..praying for you!

  7. Dianna B says:

    Thank you for sharing so openly. I needed to read this. I have been struggling to “release” my weight for some time and I always run to food in stead of God. I know you don’t know me, but I added my blog above. I started it last year when I began to diet/exercise. Maybe it will be an encouragement to you, like your story is to me! Praying many blessings over you. You are beautiful and HE delights in You!

  8. CW says:

    Love ya girl! U r a light and an inspiration and I loved U the 1st time u stepped on that American Idol stage! U will prob never know me here on this earth, but I’m sure we will meet in heaven! Its so easy to assign value to our outward appearance, but the ONLY thing that matters is our Love for one another and our hearts that serve Jesus! That is what lives forever in heaven! Keep ViCTORY minded…slay the enemy with the WORD of God when he speaks lies to U….

  9. Rajneesh Kaur says:

    Dear mandisa,
    I can understand where you are coming from. I have been on this journey for over 5 years now but it’s been a rough battle. Recently I checked my weight and the same thing happened to me as did in your first weigh in listed above. But you know what? You have given me hope that we can do this together because we are one body joined together.

    This really spoke to me and helped me beyond words can explain, thank you!
    Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
    I got reminded tonight to not look so much on the outside but deep within my heart where Jesus lives 🙂
    Praying for your journey to become successful! I am proud of you and how far you have come in 100lbs! And praying in everything else you do!
    Rajneesh 🙂

  10. Kim says:

    Hey girl! Weight is always a battle for those who battle it! I don’t think it ever gets easier! I had gastric bypass three years ago and lost about 109 pounds, but never got below 200 pounds, but I was happy. Now I have gained back 25 and my fight begins again. I know it is forever in this life.
    But I also know that in God’s eyes, I am a beautiful princess and that is the part I need to remember when I get down on myself. We are perfect in His eyes daughters, my sister in Christ and nothing could be better than that!

  11. Angie Haube says:

    Mandisa…you just summarized 2 and 1/2 months of my blog in one blog post! I started my own Journey to honor God in my body and my choices about 17 months ago, and in June, God led me to start a blog about my journey to a new me. God has blessed my family and friends through my transparency…and He has blessed me even more. Thank you for sharing so openly here so that those of us who read it can learn from you, be inspired by you, and even more…pray for you. I promise to do so daily…

  12. Melissa says:

    Janay and I loved meeting you at WOF! Thanks for signing her stuffed animal paw! I praise God for what WE all are learning as we make better choices and change our lives to Glorify God in a mightier way! God bless you sis….Keep at it and we will all cheer you as you DO It in Jesus NAME!
    Love ya….and keep it rocking…love the new cd!

    Melissa from Victorville, Ca

  13. Janelle Flint says:

    Thank you so much for your transparency. I am encouraged by what you had to say. Know that you are being prayed for by our sweet little family. When I met you in person earlier this year I was so blessed. Your smile, your spirit, your voice, your presence. It was all so inspiring. You and Anita certainly make a good team. Hang in there Mandisa. You are MORE than a conqueror. 100+ pounds is AMAZING. You go girl….

    In Him,

    Janelle Flint

  14. Erin says:

    What a great post, Mandisa. It’s so great that you don’t let the numbers define you. I struggled for MANY years with anorexia, and let me tell you, the scale totally determined my worth. I had to learn that no matter what I weighed, I would always be just as valuable to God. Today, I can view my weight as simply one indicator of health. Keep up the great work! I love ya:-)

  15. Sharon Glick says:

    I wanted to share something with you.

    A little over three years ago, I attended a EWomen Conference at Tulsa, OK along with some other ladies in our church. You were a part of that weekend. During that weekend you and a couple of the ladies shared your life’s stories. Many of you shared having experienced some form of abuse in your life. Someone gave the statistic that 1 out of every 4 ladies have been abused.

    Also on that weekend one of the girls in the group had given several of us a written testimony of her life’s journey, which included abuse and it’s devastating affect on her.

    On the way home there were four of us in a cluster talking about the great weekend we had experienced and as we share we discovered that 3 out of the 4 girls in the conversation had suffered abuse in some way.

    We felt God calling us to ministry in some way. We took the next several months to pray and ask for His direction. We just keep saying yes. Out of that weekend and after much prayer, S.O.A.R. was born. Survivors Of Abuse Recovery. A women’s support group. We get together and share, talk and help each other on our journey to becoming whole. We meet here at our church on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. We are ministering to over 35 ladies. A couple of us volunteer at the NWA Rape Crisis Center as advocates for Rape/Sexual Assault Victims.

    I attended your concert that you did here in Rogers, AR with Anita Renfro (at CrossChurch on August 29) and you shared once again about your abuse and it’s affects on you.

    I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being honest and real.

    I am healthier now then I have ever been inside and like you, I am working on the outside. There is so much the Lord has delivered me from.

    I pray God will continue to bless you and your ministry. And, He will give you strength to accomplish your physical goals as well.

  16. Megan says:

    Keep up the great work and dedication with weighing yourself on a regular basis. You are an encouragement to alot of those around you, and to those you may never meet. To have the point of view of being a “Jesus girl” and to know that your weight “isn’t an indication of how much my body weighs, not the worth of who I am” is a fantastic point of view. Keep on weighing in on Tuesday and reaching out for prayers from others when you feel let down or discouraged. As a church body we are here to lift each other up when we are down and to call on our Lord and Savior to help lift the spirits of those we know are having a bad day.

    Sing out loud and to the Lord. When I have a bad day my Sister always tells me, “do everything for the Glory of God.” I can never stay in a bad mood when she says that, because that isn’t bring Glory to God.

    Your hard work the rest of this week will certainly pay off at your weigh in next Tuesday!

  17. Ted says:

    I’d like to think I’m running on a straight path and not a track that goes round and round….but sometimes….it really feels like round & round! The moments of success make me think I’ll never return to where I’ve been, but sure enough I find myself looking at the same signs I thought I’d never see again.

  18. meshelle says:

    Thank you so much for this today…I read with tears in my eyes! I needed the encouragement today! You are right…the numbers on the scale don’t define me, it’ who I am in God that defines me! I am His beautiful creation and I am worthy of His love!

  19. Teresa Lane says:

    Mandisa, I agree with you. I am not one who has to step on the scale every day but at least once a week right before I have to go weigh in at my Weight Watchers meeting. I want to know if I will show good results or not before I go so I am prepared. I get hung up on the scale some too but I am like you, in that even at my highest weight I still knew I was loved by Jesus no matter what the number said, but I knew I wouldn’t feel as good about myself because of not getting healthier, etc……and turning too often to junk food. I ask God all the time to please change my taste buds and make me crave the healthy foods! Loll! But I know he wants me to give it to him by turning to him instead of the junk. I’m so thankful that there is a loving God who knows us inside and out and knows our deepest cares and struggles and so wants to help us if only we will let him. I know I obviously have issues with giving up the controls so I pray and I pray and I weigh and I pray some more. Big hugs, Mandisa! I LOVE your song, “The Truth About Me”. I cry so many times while its coming through my speakers. And ” Stronger” is sure a great one too while going through the frustrations such as trying to eat healthy and lose weiggal Love you, gal!

  20. Alaine says:

    You inspire me to continue with my journey to a better lifestyle…as I exercise, your songs play and I can relate to “Stronger” and “Good Morning”. It’s a new day, whatever happened yesterday is in the past and we can’t change it, so we have a choice…to either move forward or let the guilt wear us down, then we make the bad choice, and it’s a vicious cycle.

    I relate to the scale thing…I’ve been working out with a personal trainer in a group setting and not seeing the scale move down, but UP! So I decided to look for the little changes…yes, my clothes fit better, had more engery…so my body had gotten toner and more muscle…YES! That I can live with…but I knew for me, that journaling, was my last resort to be truthful to what goes in my body. HATE to journal, this is my 5th day…and it’s amazing to how better I feel…IF I have to write it…I tend to NOT eat it!

    None of this is possible without our Lord Jesus Christ when we come to Him with our difficulties, even our food issues. He is there to guide us along, love us when we don’t and put people in our path along our way!

    So, Mandisa, you keep on going…remember where you where at one time, you’ve come a long way and this is not going to defeat you! GO GIRL! Love you!

  21. PTrainerShonda says:

    Hey Disa!

    So so proud of you for challenging yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually and treating your temple with care! You’re story is a great testament that its not the swiftest or the strongest who wins the race, but the one who endures =D. I just did a video blog on my website about this because some of my clients were dealing with the same struggles. As you lay all your weaknesses at our Fathers feet, he will continue to give you the strength to endure because His strength is made Perfect in our weakness. Way to conqueror the “dreaded scale” mentality & decide within yourself you’re more than a number but fearfully & wonderfully made. So glad I came across your page I can’t wait to share it with my boot campers and clients! S/O to your Trainer Tracy she sounds like an awesome woman of God combining faith & fitness. Excited to follow your journey =D

    Love Ya!

  22. Sara Schaffer says:

    The scale sits in my bathroom, and when I feel the quiet “it’s okay” from the Lord, I step on it. Like you said, the numbers don’t define me, but I do want to honor and take care of the body I’ve been given. Only a few short years on this planet, and I want every drop of blessing, in every area of life that God wants to give me! If that means having some “scale accountability” to stay disciplined, I’ll do it. Thanks for sharing the journey, Mandisa!

  23. Rosanna Lindeman says:

    Thank you SOOOOOO much for posting this today. I’m taking it to my Lose it for Life group tonight, where I’ll share it w/the ladies. We’re currently reading Made to Crave and will be talking about Ch. 11. I love that God sends us encouragement as we reach out to Him and others for it. Thx for keeping it real. Praying for you this week lady!

    ~Rosanna in Denver

  24. cynthia cunha-bird says:

    I want to say you are beautiful not only on the outside but on the inside. I wanted to get down to meet you when you were here in Billings for over the top. But since the elevators weren’t working yet couldn’t get downstairs. After listening to you on K-love and talking about Made to crave I purchase the whole set. I started it on my own but didn’t get to far. But our womens group is doing it as a bible study this fall. But with what I have learned so far and your encouragement I have lost 25 lbs. And like you I weigh myself. Because if I don’t my mind tricks me into thinking I am doing ok when I really am not. So keep up the good work. Another think that has helped me is a list of I am… from Jennifer Rothchild’s Me myself and lies. In there she lists about 20 I am statements. Also in conjuction with the Made to crave I made a braclet to which I made an acroustic out of Made to crave and it would be my pleasure to send you one. God Bless you and Thanks for the encouragement.
    Let me know an address I can send it to. It has helped me to remember why I am on this journey. God Bless Cynthia

  25. Ms. Chocolate says:

    Hello my georgeous friend. Phil.4:13 is not a miracle cure. You have to make it work. Now you know I love to eat, but I want to serve Him healthy. I pray with you every week and you have done well. Just keep it up and don’t let satan tempt you. I have the hardest time going to mom’s, but I’ve learn to say no and leave the house.
    I will be in Nashville the last of October at Lifeway. Let me know if you will be in town. I would love to see you.


    Ms. C

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