The Tale of the Evil Scale 

  

Well, today I’m confessing.   

I’ve been struggling.  

Stepping on the scale after every visit to my bathroom in hopes of some kind of validation of all my hard word work is CRAZZZY , and if I’m being fully transparent…it is EXACTLY what my trainer has asked me NOT to do.  
But I’ve done it anyway, trying to surprise myself with a surprise moment of victory.  
The scale is an insidious object.   I’ve been a mad woman, obsessing and feeling sorry for myself because of it.    A dangerous mental attitude for me to allow when that is the very thing that spiraled me into depression and caused this whole mess in the first place.  It creates the perfect climate and conditions for setting myself up for a binge eating episode.  The kind of binge where my eyes turn black like a shark, and all clarity is thrown from the windows.  Vast amounts of calories are consumed in a shameful and violent fury, like wild animals captured on tv pouncing on prey. 
 Self pity can seduce me into a wide range of poor decisions.  
No.  I cannot allow one more day of obsessing over what the scale says, being disappointed and feeling sorry for myself.   
I’ve been teetering between the same 10 pounds, up and down, and never breaking past my loss of 48.  
Wanting SO BADLY to cross over that threshold to share this list that I’ve been compiling on the notepad of my phone for weeks.  A list of all the ways my life has changed.  Instead of celebrating these things, I’ve been BUMMING OUT.  
Doubting myself. 
So this morning I ask myself,”Why do I have to wait for an “official”  -50 pounds to share how much my life has changed in the past 6 months?” 
Why am I letting the scale have this much power over me?  Why am I NOT listening to my trainer who obviously knows what she is talking about? (LOL 😝) 
Is that number on the scale representing all of the days I’ve honored my commitment to myself and shown up at the gym?  Does that number represent all the good choices I’ve made with my eating? All the days I’ve spent meal prepping and faithfully logging macros on MFP?  Does the number on the scale define my worth as a wife, mother, or woman? Can it capture my value as a human being created by a loving God and display THAT on its screen? 
That number doesn’t represent anything other than how much my body, filled with muscles, fat, water and waste weighs.  It doesn’t measure my hustle or heart.  
So, in honor of myself and the hard work that I deserve to celebrate…here is my list of the top 16 ways my life has changed for the better in the past 6 months:  
*I am on top of all the busy work in my house.  Cleaning, laundry, meals…my energy seems to be soaring and I’m able to once again take care of business around here without feeling overwhelmed. 
*Touched my toes for the first time since probably high school? So cool.  
*I can wrap a towel all the way around me.  A large beach towel…but it goes all the way around now.  
*I can use any bathroom stall…not have to wait for the large, handicapped one. 
*I can shave my legs without fear of a near death experience every time.  
*I’m not desperate for the closest parking spot when I go grocery shopping.  Everyday activities and demands have gotten so much easier.  
*I can paint my toenails again. 
*Sit closer to steering wheel! 
*I can wear jeans again.  Albeit the largest pair in my closet, but for the past two years those didn’t fit me at all.  Now they do. 
*I can play with (WANT TO) play with my kids and dog in the afternoons.
*I am able to straiten my hair and/or wear makeup if I chose to because I am no longer sweating profusely just from having a heart beat.  I used to sweat just from the act of using a straitener…the heat mixed with my size turned into a humid frizzy mess. Avoided almost exclusively. 
*I am able to run up my stairs to grab something without fear of cardiac arrest. 
*Married life activities have stepped up a notch.  Yeah, I said it.  It’s always been spicy…😉 but it’s like a whole new, uncharted world over here!  (Sorry Dad!) 
*I was able to sit at a booth with my family at a restaurant.  A BOOTH.  I squeezed into a booth.  If you have ever been fat, you know the terror of being seated in a booth.  
*I’m sleeping better. 
Dear GOD IN HEAVEN, I’m sleeping so much better!
*And the best one, I am doing things in the gym that I NEVER would have believed I’d ever be able to do.  My strength and endurance is gaining daily and I am so proud of myself.  I’ve put in hard work and if it isn’t showing itself on the scale, it certainly shows itself during my workouts.  
There you have it.  
My life has been transformed in the past 6-7 months and I almost missed out on the celebration because of the dumb scale.  
My hubs has been threatening to hide it from me and today I think I might actually let him! 
 

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Every summer has its own story

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The summer I turned sixteen seems like an exaggerated moment in time when I think of it. Summers were long and lazy when we were younger. Watching cartoons, random tv and playing in the back yard with my siblings while our parents were at work filled the daylight hours. Lots of fighting with each other and calling mom at work only to get in more trouble for having bothered her in that way. Day after day of boredom and drowsiness.

At night I pretended to be more mature than I was and I would sneak out from my bedroom window to hangout with friends or even sneak them IN to hang out with me. I’m pretty sure that was the summer I felt like I was painfully in love for the first time and spent my thought life day dreaming of ways to see him at night. The kids I grew up with in my cul-de-sac were sneaking about in the night just like I was and it seemed like we owned the whole neighborhood after everyone went to bed. My dad worked out of town all week during that time and would only come home on the weekends. My step mom worked such lengthy and grueling hours at her job that when she crashed at night I was free to take full advantage…and I did.

We had a 3ft deep above ground pool in our backyard that summer that got most of its use in those late night and wee morning hours. We would swim and smoke flavored cigarettes ( and other stuff perhaps) and listen to music. I had become obsessed with listening to Led Zeppelin that summer initially because I had learned my dad hated that band and thought it was devil music. I was intent on challenging him in every way to somehow assert myself but eventually I became a fan just because they were awesome. I had a greatest hits CD that became the soundtrack of that summer and even still when I hear the songs “Black Dog” or “Stairway to Heaven” it makes me think of those nights of mischief. I think of my sixteen year old self thinking she’s cool because she is a mature music consumer. Playing old records and learning the words to Jimi Hendrix songs and making my own hemp jewelry with chipped blue and green nail polished fingers.

Now I just think, “Ugh. How cliche.” Shaking my head with a little embarrassment.

Would I have ever imagined back then that the summer I turned 31 I would be the happily married mother of two? Happy with my family life but suffering in my heart trying desperately to gain spiritual, emotional and physical health? You don’t feel yourself change so drastically or mature from the ripe old age of 16 until you stop and look back and realize you are worlds away from those barefoot in the grass, worry free nights. I wonder if my sixteen year old self would be proud of who I am now? Would she be ashamed to know that she would grow into…this?

It makes me wonder. It really makes me wonder. (Zeppelin fans, get it? Ha!)

If I strain I still can’t remember what my goals or dreams were at that age. I honestly didn’t think I’d survive to make it to adulthood. The emotional toll that adolescence takes seems blinding and all encompassing at that age. My biggest concerns were not getting caught doing the things I was doing and avoiding getting in trouble.

Maybe my current state of affairs isn’t far off from that still?

Still trying to get away with rubbish and sneak around doing whatever I feel like without wanting to endure the consequences? Challenging my Heavenly Father to assert my independence? Clinging to my false sense of control by hurting myself?

My current eating life feels much like this no matter how committed I am to obedience.

Do we ever learn?

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One day at a time


“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
― Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

Hunger is a complicated word for me.
I read this morning that most people who struggle with food addiction and compulsive eating should stop and ask themselves “what they are truly hungry for” before they move forward into a binge…that those who suffer from this sort of disordered eating often always feel hungry in place of whatever emotion it is they should be more appropriately feeling. Instead of feeling anger or sadness in full it most likely ends up feeling like you’re hungry. Learning at a young age to use “filling” up on food to manage complex emotions. Treatment plans to reverse this kind of compulsive behavior start with STOPING and checking in with yourself before you proceed. This discipline is HARD but one I am trying to work on.

I hope that this place God has called me to will lead me a deep gladness. To find gladness in the midst of my struggle seems only to be possible with God. Despite all my doubting I still feel deep down that what I’m enduring will not be in vain…someday I hope it brings help and healing to someone else, or meet the worlds deep hunger in a meaningful way. This makes me hopeful!

Out of some frustration this morning I wrote a prayer poem:

I’ve been hungry for calm.
Quiet.
Numb.
Ravenous for comfort.

Today, I’m hungry for change.
Hungry for hope that lasts beyond a whispered prayer in the morning.
Hungry for peace and rest,
freedom from my mess.

I’m hungry for energy bursting and pumping through my veins.
For true confidence that unfolds from within like a fine crafted flower.
Hungry for such beauty, effortless and free.
Hunger that seems unattainable to me.

I’m hungry for longings to be true,
to see things all the way through.

Hungry for being understood.
Fully listened to before corrected.
Hungry for acceptance.
Hungry for approval.
Haven’t I been loyal?
Hungry for removal…

From the lies of these hunger pangs that aren’t real.
Lord, I know you can heal.



“‘For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…’ Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry’” (John 6:33, 35a).

Step by step

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”
-C. S. Lewis

Sorry if I’ve been a little bit of a bummer lately!

I don’t want my blog post to become a melancholy diary…but the truth is that this fight is real. The pain and frustrations are real! Recovery is no joke. Some days it’s hard to muster a positive and thrilling grasp on it all. The thing that makes this fight different from all times I’ve tried fighting before is that this one seems to have no end. I have surrendered to that fact.

I have to remind myself of why I started all of this. I have to constantly check in with myself to make sure I’m not getting so carried away and obsessed with losing weight that I forget that losing weight alone is not the ultimate goal…

The goal is freedom.

The goal is to TRULY embrace God’s mercy and stop punishing myself.

The goal is becoming more and more who I’m meant to be.

The goal is to be real, honest and not living in self-deception.

The goal is to take what I’m learning and allow it to saturate my life…making me a better wife, mother, sister, friend, daughter and human being.

The goal is to somehow see beauty in and learn to care for my own body so that it would help me to better care for and see beauty in the church body.

The goal is to stop burying my gifts and talents beneath the fear.

Praise God, because I know I’ll get to wherever I’m headed.
However many steps it takes.

THE PRAYER OF MY HEART

I have been foolish in my sinful ways.
Because of these crimes…my body suffers these afflictions.
I have loathed any self-control with food;
It has brought me to the gates of death.
But when I cried out to The Lord…
He freed me from my distress;
He sent out his word and healed me.
Delivering me from my destruction!
I will thank The Lord for his immoveable love,
for his wonderful works to this child.
He calms this storm to a whisper,
and stills the waves.
What a blessing is that stillness,
as he brings me safely into harbor.

Inspired by: Psalm 107:17-30

The Lords supper

I think sometimes we just need to have a good cry. I have no idea why, but it makes you feel so much better. It sounds trite, but it’s very cleansing.

Yesterday I had an “ugly cry” episode during church service. The first weekend of the month is when my church family observes communion. For those who maybe aren’t sure what that is, its a ceremony that’s done in church to remember what Jesus did on the cross. The bread element representing His body that was broken for us and the wine/juice element representing the shed blood as a exemption from our sin. It prompts us to search our hearts in prayer and eat the things together as a reminder of what this life of faith is all about and the mercy that we have been shown. The catholic church does this daily, some churches do it every week, some every other…it varies from church to church. My pastor began the service talking about what it means in our life to gather at the table. To come together and relax and replenish. To share with loved ones over a meal, making memories. Often in times of celebration. Or bringing comfort in times of grief. Moments that we all share no matter our culture. We like to take our place and enjoy.

The thing that struck me is that bellying up to the table is NOT a celebration for me. It’s the scene of the crime. For the person with disordered eating, food is public enemy number one. The act of eating somehow becoming a vile, dirty act. Food presenting itself as menacing and sinister as a dirrrrty, dirrrrty magazine filled with the raunchiest of temptations. Even when I’m eating “in bounds” and doing well and losing weight, the pull is magnetic.

I can relate to the alcoholic that has to dodge the offers of chilled beers and frothy margaritas at bbq’s or the casual glass of wine with dinner. I can also imagine the constant temptation there is to unwind at a bar, let go and have fun with friends. I’m not an alcoholic, but I know first hand how it feels to have an addiction beckoning me constantly. Offering artificial but instant promises of relief. And in some ways I envy them slightly. Crazy right?! Except for the alcoholic there is abstinence. There are black and white lines drawn. Clear boundaries. You wouldn’t expect an alcoholic to drink one beer three times a day and call it sobriety?

No. I can’t abstain from eating.

I must face my ugly beast in the eyes at least three or so times a day for the rest of my life. My bars, pubs and neon lights boast not of beer and liquor but of Golden Arches, Taco Bells..and value menus. Drive thru windows where I don’t even have to get out of my car and can easily hide any or all evidence of the dirty deed done. With one swipe of my card, I’m spiraling downward…physically, spiritually, mentally, even financially. And just like an addict, it seems with little regard in the moment for those who are stuck in my spiral unwillingly. The remorse and guilt only causing more eating…

Food has been the shot in my arm sought to numb and soothe anxiety. A means of avoiding and dimming my feelings to retain some false sense of control. Eating has been a vehicle of self abuse instead of what it was intended to be…a means of fueling my body with energy, nurturing and caring for it.

I’m crying in church, wondering how audacious it seems for me to eat of this “meal” being offered. Me, the abuser of food. My big body is evidence…I can’t deny it.

Gluttonous.
Shameful.
Just give it up.
Surrender to the facts.
You’ve failed before, you’ll fail again.
You’ll never beat this.
It’s too much.
Just don’t care anymore.
Pointless.

But then …Jesus saying,

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:10 NLT)

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. ” (John 6:35 NLT)

“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:2 NLT)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.” (Luke 12:22 ESV)

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV)

A poem of love.
For me…from the creator of this body I’ve hated so much. This body that has allowed me to walk and move and live life despite how my mind has destroyed it. This body that has birthed two beautiful and healthy children. This body that has been allowed to wake again this morning to a new day…despite the pain…to try again.

My take on the Dove Sketches

I know you’ve seen this by now. If you haven’t, you must. This video embodies exactly the mission I feel I’ve been on.

During the launch of Oprah’s cable network channel she featured a reality type show that followed the journey of 6 women during their stay at an eating disorder facility somewhere in the south. The show highlighted women with bulimia, anorexia and also compulsive over eating/binging disorders. I found it fascinating and heart breaking. I related so closely with some of the women, while I found that other women seemed uninterested in getting treatment. They came across as childish, sort of stuck in some defiant teenager mindset. It made me stop and check myself. I want to be learning and growing and moving forward….not stuck, stomping my feet because I want to eat something.
In the past couple of months I have just grown tired of food having that kind of power over me. As a woman proclaiming faith, shouldn’t I be overcoming these things in my life? As a mother, shouldn’t I be living by a better example and giving my children the best me they deserve? As a wife, honoring my husband by presenting the most fresh and desirable version of myself that I can? As a woman, and human being in general, to appreciate this life that God has given me by being good to myself and kind to myself? Accepting defeat is not an option anymore.

The very thing that launched me into doing my own “in home rehab” was an unfortunate incident late one night a few weeks ago with leftover Chinese food. I found myself stuffing it all in simply because it was there. I thought of that reality show on OWN, and how I was behaving like a lunatic. Like one of those women who were resisting treatment. Selfish. Childish. I remembered how pathetic I thought they were, having been handed an opportunity to change and get better and foolish for squandering it away.

Conviction.

Boomshakalaka.

Put the fork down woman.

The way see ourselves is a choice. A choice we must constantly make. Daily. Maybe some days hourly. We are prone to see every flaw. Every wrinkle. Every pimple. Every unwanted hair. Every fold of skin. Every lack.

The Dove project shines a bright light on the way we paint such ugly pictures of ourselves. It has made us all stop in our tracks this week and say, “Yep.” The question is, what can we do about it?

The women on the show were asked to do something during their treatment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It is something that I did that summer when I watched it, and still do. I encourage you to do it as well. Even if food isn’t your vice, I know we ALL struggle with something.
The therapist instructed all the women to find a picture of themselves as a child.
I chose one that was taken when I was about 6 years old.
They were instructed to put the picture up somewhere where they would constantly see it.
I put mine on the fridge.
The essence of the lesson being ( at least what I took away from it) is that we would never speak to a child ( or any of our friends) the way we speak to, or think of ourselves. At the core of disordered eating in most cases it is an attempt at controlling and numbing the emotions that were felt as that young child. By way of extreme overeating or extreme restriction. To re-learn how to care for their “inner self” in a different way that didn’t involve abuse of food or whatever…is really hard work. It takes a supernatural re-wiring.
The women were encouraged to look at their pictures constantly. To remind themselves of who they once were…a child who deserved protection and care and love, and to gain the confidence as an adult, who is able to stand tall and not buckle from fear. To gain confidence and strength knowing that the things that compel us to loathe ourselves and doubt, have no power over us after all.
Because we DON’T have to hate ourselves the way the world pushes us to. We DON’T have to constantly compare ourselves and measure all of our wrongs.
Oscar Wilde said it best,” Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)”

>>New adventure<<

&andshelivedhappilyeverafter

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