About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Anna, thank you so much for these words! I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and as a new mom (7 months postpartum) it’s been a tough road for me to learn to appreciate all my body has done, rather than shame her over the changes she’s living into. This post was right on time- I have a doctors appointment this morning where I’ll step on a scale for the first time in awhile, and I’ll be carrying your reminders of God’s love for me as my identity to combat the way those numbers try to take me out. Thank you so much for your words!!

  2. I am still working through feelings of shame around my body. Much of my life I only heard negative things spoken over me. I am working to really remember what God says about me and my body. He declares it is good. I want to remember that. Thank you for speaking on this! Such an encouragement to me.

  3. “Your size — your weight — is not your worth. Our worth, our value, comes from God . . . and He says we are good.” An on-time message with my own weight struggle. This really lifted my spirit today. THANK YOU!!!

  4. Thank you for putting into such eloquent words the same exact thoughts and feelings I have. Embarrassed and yes shame for my body shape, size and so much more.

  5. Thank you for the words I so needed to hear today. I once had a doctor tell me that if I lost weight, I could wear cuter clothes and feel better about myself. Those words echoed in my heart for a long time.

    • Carmen! The nerve of that doctor! Makes me all growly. I’m so sorry that’s embedded into your heart and I understand. Praying for that shame to loosen its grip (and you KNOW we can find cute clothes at any size!)

  6. Oh sister, Preach! Refreshing truth needed no matter what tries to shame us. Thank you!

  7. Thank you for these words. I am finding myself in a bit of shame state the last several months. I’ve always been “skinny”, “little” etc. but since the Pandemic and quarantine (and middle age) I have slowly packed on some pounds. I feel good physically, I practice Christian yoga regularly and I do some cardio and weights, but I am still feeling “less than” more times than not. I have 3 girls and a boy, and I am doing my best to not share my shame/ frustration with them. I am making better choices food wise and am praying that God guides me to be and look as He he sees me- regardless of whether or not I lose weight. I pray your words reach the hearts of many and we can all shake the shackles of shame.

    • It’s such a perspective shift when we bring our kids lenses into it! At least it is for me. I have two boys and two girls, and I want them to see this too. Thanks for being here, Jodi.

  8. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:1,2) Now, this isn’t to infer ‘ignoring’ what one may look like, rather (as you say) seeking first “every good gift and every perfect gift (that) is from above…from the Father of lights…” (Jas. 1:17) Thank You, Anna, for sharing honesty and where/Whom it generates from!

  9. Thanks, Anna! Struggling with my “pandemic pounds” seems a little less important, thanks to your expressions of God’s unearned, but always present, love for us.

  10. I have always struggled with my weight. Shame just always seemed to be something I clothed myself with every day. Especially when others would say I have such a pretty face as their eyes slide over my body. I have lost and gained weight all my life. While I always feel better physically when I’m at a healthier weight, I too cringe at the comments from people about my appearance. Reading this article it hit me I hid behind my weight because I didn’t want comments or attention that focused on my being thinner. The fact is now that I’m older I still have weight issues but now I’m focused more on my health and less on my appearance. I know God loves me no matter how I look, and shame is just a feeling that keeps me from being close to God.

    • Maura, that visual of clothing yourself in shame… speaks volumes. I hear you. Praying today that you feel deep in your bones how loved you are, just AS you are.

  11. I’ve was always slim . . . until menopause. I gained 50 pounds and I was miserable so I lost 20. That was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done and I’ve struggled with that darn 20 pounds for years. I don’t mind being “chunky” but I don’t want to be “obese.” It’s too hard on my body and makes it work so much harder when I’m obese and why would I do that to myself. God said that our body is a temple and he asks that we take care of it and it’s a sin if we just let it go. There is something I can do and it will benefit me all the way around.

    • I truly, deeply, fully, wholly believe God loves us as we are, at any size. That said, taking care of ourselves is important and necessary so good for you in learning what makes you feel best! Thanks for being here today.

  12. This very thing, the comment I made, was my catalyst to look at how damaging that attitude was and vow to never do it again. This shame lurks in my heart too as I watch people I know drop drastic amounts of weight and prance their skinny bodies across my SM feeds. I think that I too should look like other nutritionists who flaunt their flat bellies, that I’m somehow not qualified to guide others to good health through their food because I’m not skinny myself. When did skinny become our goal? It doesn’t equate optimal health by any means and yet our society throws it in our face constantly. “You aren’t good enough if you’re not thin.” And I’m seeing how my own Mom instilled body shaming images in me as she constantly fought against nature, and birthing six children by chronically dieting. Diet culture is horrid. And I’m ranting, but all to say that my experience with you and what I said absolutely changed my attitude for good. I will never comment in that manner ever again. Thank you, as always, for sharing your truth. Much love to you, friend.

    • Friend. Humbled by this story. Thank you for your soft heart and willingness to learn; not sure I can say the same about my own self and appreciate it more than you can know. I love you and the work you do!

  13. I’ve been overweight all my adult life… I’ve dieted, I’ve lost, I’ve gained. I just found out that I have an underactive thyroid, which likely hasn’t helped. I appreciate the message…but it doesn’t fix the problem. I have learned to “live with it”, to know God doesn’t value me for my size, but it still doesn’t take away the embarassment of not fitting into an airplane seat, of not having the energy to keep up with the others, etc. It doesn’t change the fact that I am “morbidly” obese. I dress nicely, I take care of myself, but I’m still the “fat girl” in the photos. When I was smaller [and younger :-)] I noticed the difference – men held doors open for me – and yes, everyone comments on “how good you look” with no clue as to how hard that look was for me to achieve. So, thanks, but it was probably a lot easier to write this from the vantage point of 60 pounds less?

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story here. I hear you. What I wish I’d had room to say above was that after losing weight, I got pregnant with my 4th kiddo, and gained back every pound and then some. He’s just nine months old now, and so I write this from that vantage point and place. The thing is that though now I’m heavier than I was before losing that weight, I no longer grab a pillow to hide my belly when I sit on a couch. Yesterday I went to a patio for dinner, and wondered if the chair would support my weight as it dug painfully into my thighs, and instead of feeling ashamed or at fault, I blamed the stupid chair for being flimsy! Something shifted inside my heart over the last few years and while it’s still hard to not fit on rides at the fair and to often be the biggest person in the room, my reaction is no longer shame. It’s blaming a world that isn’t built for most of us to fit into.

      I could go on and on and might, another day. I pray that the embarrassment and shame begin to lift from your heart (said knowing the struggle, fully and deeply.) Hoping this message comes across with the tenderness and love it’s spoken with.

  14. Anna,
    I really needed this today. I have MS and it is hard to exercise without causing a relapse. I ‘ve had MS for over 30 years now, and have slowly put weight on after my “attacks” from MS. Each relapse is dealt with by IV steroids. It is getting harder and harder to even function. I am experiencing bad arthritis in my knees. My general doctor sent me to an orthopedic dr to have them looked at. He took one look at me and said “I’m not doing anything until you loose a lot of weight!” ” there’s no excuse for you to not be able to loose weight! ” Don’t blame this on your MS. I won’t believe that! ” and he walked out. My sister is my caregiver. She knows what I go through, but he just waved her off. I am trying, but it has to go slow because I do not want anymore IV steroids. Each time I do, it puts 10 more pounds on me. I can’t just go for a walk around the block…I couldn’t make it that far. Between my weakness from my MS and my knees rubbing bone on bone, I can’t go that far. I try to walk around my yard and check on my flowers and watch the birds at my feeders. Just can’t do a lot of walking or exercising. Just a little at a time. I have managed to loose 10 lbs, but it has taken me 3 months to do this. I have a long way to go. This has brightened up my day, my week, maybe longer! Thank you so much for the reminder that God loves me…just as I am. Bless you!

  15. This really hit home for me. As someone who had an eating disorder in high school and had my weight fluctuate through the years, it is so good and necessary to remember how God sees me… loved and chosen.

  16. You always inspire me!! I need to share this with my daughter who has a one year old and I believe can totally relate. WE all need to remember that our journeys are different and our worth is not our weight.

  17. I know my husband means well when he makes comments about me putting on weight. I do know that at my increasing age, I might be prone to medical problems if I am not careful with my body and what I put in it. Sometimes, it feels so harsh the way the words come across me…at the same time motivates me to work harder.

  18. You are such a shining light. Your smile, your words – they’ve always been something incredibly special. Grateful for your words today, sweet Anna. ❤️

  19. Thank you for such a wonderfully encouraging post! God loves us each for who we are because we are His children. He accepts us regardless of our shape and size and I believe that He wants us to learn to accept ourselves at whatever stage of our life’s journey we find our bodies looking like.

  20. I’ve battled my weight my whole life and I’ve gotten the most attention for losing 100 lb or 50 lb every time I’ve lost a large amount of weight the praises go on and on and on…. Other accomplishments not so much. It’s sad.

  21. Anna,

    60 pounds in 1 1/2 years.. your statement struck me.

    I lost 4 kgs in a year, i was so anxious and worry as i am a thin person. My aim is to gain weight at least gain back the 4kg.

    I agreed with you whole heartedly that our worth is definitely not on our weight.

    Thank you for your in-depth sharings.

    Blessings….

  22. By several coworkers after losing about 40 (needed) pounds. Are you okay? You are so thin. Someone commented on my stomach and how to get it flatter (due to a genetic condition that is never going to happen without a massive surgery). It made me so mad and sad at the same time. A well placed “Oh okay, you have a nice day” usually followed. I prayed for strength to get me through the day. Grace over grace all the time all day at work.

  23. Anna,

    Thank you for such an open, honest post. The Christian community needs to hear this & show love to everyone regardless of how they look. We sometimes are the worst at judging people due to size, or psych issues. God asks us to love our neighbors no matter what!! Society doesn’t help with all the “get skinny quick” schemes out there. Sure you may lose weight but at what cost. There are healthy ways to do it. You should do it for your health & only if You want to. Don’t do it because a doctor or someone makes a stupid comment. Remember Jesus loves you no matter the size, shape, color of your skin. We, here, do also!!

    Blessings 🙂

  24. Being a short, full figured woman my entire life, I was shamed in grade school when I was called “rotunda”. Many a doctor has expressed thoughts on my weight. I have good days and bad days regarding my weight. I try daily to eat healthier and have been walking more of late. Knowing God loves and accepts me as I am is a blessing. So hard when you feel judged, especially by fellow Christian women. Thank you for the devotional, very encouraging!

  25. So much emphasis is put on our appearance. Our weight. Even as someone who weighs on the light side, it is a chore to not base my worth on my weight or appearance. Society does. Others do. But thankfully God does not. That has been a freeing truth.