Freedom, Slavery and Insults.

Photo credit: Katie Lloyd Photography

I've just started sharing my journey that I have been on for a while to get healthy....not just physically, but mentally. It means I've shared a lot of things I have never shared before out in the open. Thanks for coming along.

Since sharing my goals and wishes last post it has been a bumpy road, when things are going on emotionally, it's harder to keep that 'one day at a time" focus. Especially last week. I enjoyed cake and other treats, and I tried to stay neutral about it, but there were too many things going on in my head.

I'm not surprised that it's been tough. I'm not surprised by the mental attacks in my head regarding myself, my body and what I eat. It just gets exhausting. And I don't think most people who don't have "ED" (eating disorder) or what I like to call disordered eating.... really get this part. It's hard to get in an addicts brain and understand what they allow in and don't allow in.

For me, and I can only speak for me, when you have lived in shame most of your life, it's just like a really bad habit. And if you have been in this habit for so many years it's difficult to just "snap out of it". I really wish it were that easy. After my last post I felt almost invincible....I felt like I could do it. We could do this thing. I have accountability. I have support. I have truth on my side. I forgot that I still have to start every day over and live in that day. It's easy to get mentally sidetracked. Sometimes, I have help with the mental fight, other times I am  mentally fighting against myself.

Then some drunk guy passing me in a truck verbally insults me while I'm in a parking lot (with my husband) after enjoying a date night out. That happened about a week ago. I haven't been verbally called out on my weight in years. It's embarrassing, horrifying and degrading.

I would like to say it didn't throw me for a loop, but it did. I would like to say it didn't hurt, but it did.

And, I would like to say the truth of God's love for me and how He views me and my mistakes wasn't shaken, but it was.

So, why does it surprise me, after years and years of not hearing any verbal insults thrown at me because of my weight I get that. 

 I'm not surprised it happened because I think this getting healthy process has a BIG spiritual component to it and that was just spiritual warfare. My mind was getting mentally strong, I was believing in myself, I posted the last post and felt warm support and it felt safe. If Satan can't get me to hate myself then he will use the next. best. thing. Public humiliation.

A catcall attached with an insult.

 In public.

It's kind of like I get the nerve to open up my messed up stuff inside my head in order to heal and Satan hurls something else at me to stop from moving forward.

 I look at myself and remember everything that I have done. The money I have spent to lose weight. I remember the  weight I have lost in the past and how it has crept back on, once again. And  then I look at an unflattering picture and I allow that picture to change how I view myself. It eats away at me.

That's why I'm sharing it, because it's been inside my head for days now and it has discouraged me and I allowed it to make me feel less than. I have emotionally eaten on it, definitely. The only difference is I don't shame myself now. I just try and understand the why behind it.

I'm also sharing it because I know I am not the only one with the struggle. And once I put it out there, I will be reminded that I am not alone in this struggle.

That's really how I get better. Feelings are going to happen. I'm going to feel sad, angry and upset at myself and others. I just have to figure out the why of using food to cover up those feelings. For the most part, I was just sad...for days. I felt defeated (which I did not need to). I was overcome with self-doubt and feelings of this journey being too daunting and overwhelming, I mean, how many times have I been here? Who am I to think I can do this??? Huh?

I forgot to live in the moment and take one day at a time. I allowed the negatively to take over, but only for a little while. I then process the hurt. I remember I am not alone, I never have been. And  as long as I keep going, I can only move forward. It's a temporary setback. I remember all the good I have been doing, mentally and physically. And I put one foot in front of the other and keep moving on.

My mind could go either of two ways...I can believe a lie or I can believe the truth. And today I am believing truth.

"ED" wants me to believe the lies. "Satan" has a few good tricks up his sleeve. But I have the power of the universe behind me with some pretty amazing people backing me up. And if I choose to focus on that, instead of the lies, then ED doesn't win this time.

For me it's not really about counting calories, burning them off in exercise and getting fit. In the end, I may not look like a fit person to you, but if I have a fit, healthy mind, then there is a peace there that can't be understood if you have never struggled with shame. What I keep hearing is, that when I get the fit and healthy mind, the body will follow.

Then I will be able to look at myself and find love no matter what is hurled my way. To be comfortable in my current skin. To walk confidently. To not listen to drunks on the side of the road. To look at the unflattering pictures and remember how blessed I am instead of how alone and isolated I feel. To remember the family, friends, and loved ones around me that love me  and support me in spite of my failures and setbacks.

Those outnumber any insult hurled. Any attempt of Satan to make me go back to where I was. It's not going to happen this time. I may take two steps forward and one step back, but as long as I keep going and learn different ways then I am a success.

This is the life of freedom.

"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law" Galatians 5:1

Getting It All Out.

 My church had a women's retreat recently where the focus was on freedom. I led a breakout session at the retreat on Saturday, along with a few other women. But for the most part, Friday night and Saturday was a time of worship and a time in the word and a great time of just refreshment and healing.

My breakout session was on freedom from the bondage of food. It was quite difficult being a large person leading a session on being free from the bondage of food. It felt, well, hypocritical. But, I was loved and accepted by those present and I explained in my session where I was in my journey and it was honestly the best thing that I could have done for where I am. That's kind of what led to my last post. Even though I have dealt with what happened in my pastor's office when I was 16 years old long ago, I had never openly shared it with the world. And it needed to happen.

There is a lot of "stuff" inside of me that I have never let out. I have spent the last year and a half in the best treatment/therapy that I have ever had. As a therapist myself, I believe in therapy and there is nothing wrong with saying you need it. My weight is one area of my life that I. can't. control. Which, I have found is quite common (Look at Oprah, girl has got it together but can't stay a size 8, not that she needs to, but you see what I'm sayin'). Or we control too much (anorexia and bulimia...or more mildly with over dieting and exercising to stay a size 6). So, it goes both ways. Disordered eating doesn't really have a preference it's just when you're really, really fat or really, really skinny people can see it more. Some people are really good at hiding their disorders.

I have spent the last ten years diligently attempting to get to a healthy weight and I haven't succeeded.    There. It's out there. I said it.

Most of that time I hated myself and the way I looked. If I lost weight I was "happy" and liked the way I looked, even though I never made it anywhere near a goal weight. I lost a lot of weight.....but.....I had a lot of weight to lose, so.... I would lose, gain, lose. repeat.  I was depressed and got to the point of being so sad and depressed about the way that I looked that it spurred me to change. What I have learned in the past year and a half is that you can't hate your way to a positive change. Let me say that again YOU CAN'T HATE YOURSELF INTO A POSITIVE CHANGE. Yep. And I have about 30 years of hate to undo. Wow. It's my hate. I own it. I've had medical interventions in order to reach a goal weight and had initial success, great success, only to slowly re-gain. Enter more shame, guilt, self-hate and failure. *sigh*

Not only have I had to come to not hate the way I look in order to change I really had to embrace the way I look. The reason for change had to come from something besides what was on the outside. Because being a certain size on the outside isn't going to necessarily make me happy, even though that's what I've focused on for so. many. years.

It's about acceptance. Love, not hate. Being able to say I'm beautiful. You can tell me I'm beautiful 10,000 times and it doesn't matter if I don't believe it.... It's about trying to see myself like my husband sees me. Like my kids see me. Like Jesus sees me.

 I'm to the point where I want to stop procrastinating and move forward with a plan.  I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and next year at this time I want to look different. To finally begin a journey with love and acceptance and move forward to healthy living because I just want to be healthy, move freely, have energy to keep up with my kids...all kinds of things make the list not just the fact that I could be smoking HOT as a size 8. That's really not the focus, it  can't be. That's kind of like the icing on the cake. It can't be the end all, be all. I'm more than that. I'm so much more than just a pretty face. I always have been.

I want to stop procrastinating now that I have worked on a lot of this "head" stuff and while taking it one day at a time still hold myself accountable to eating clean, 80-90% of the time, eating whole foods, working my body out in a healthy way (which means I don't have to kill it, I just have to move it 3-5 times a week). All this while giving me grace when life happens. Understanding what eating in moderation means. Living with the hard feelings. The sad feelings.

So yeah, I may be a mess for a while. There's a lot of stuff in here that's not  pleasant or fun and it either comes out and gets processed or I drown it with food. It's really difficult to explain in a paragraph, but if you stick with me long enough you will be able to experience the ups and downs of recovery. Because that's what it is. It's a journey. And there will be ups and downs.

Just like walking into that retreat with anxiety about sharing about being free from food's bondage and wondering if I was going to be laughed out of the room, writing this post leaves me feeling exposed and "out there". But I went ahead and did that breakout session and great things came from it. Instead of being laughed out of the room I was loved, accepted and affirmed. It was crazy. It was healing. The retreat was healing. Jesus is healing.

 It's very healing sharing your scars and realizing that people aren't going to reject you but offer you support. For too long I have rejected support and built walls and kept people out. I still do. I have a long ways to go. But just writing this blog post helps. It is healing. Putting it out there.

So, I want to be free from this junk so if that means putting it out there I'm going to put it out there. I'm the only one who can choose to let it go. It just may mean seeing all kinds of parts of me you haven't seen before. Hopefully you can love me through this process.

More to come..... (eek!)