It's been two weeks already since I first wrote about my wanting to try to be more happy here and then a follow up here...or least more content. I told you I would update you on my explorations of this topic on Wednesdays, so I thought I'd explore it a bit more today.
One of my goals was this:
I want to shift my thoughts about my weight away from constant condemnation and toward a spirit of treating my body with kindness by giving it what it needs. I have spent a lifetime believing that nothing I do will ever matter until I am thin. I want to finally take captive those thoughts.
As I thought about this goal, I realized that the biggest barrier between me and contentment with my life is in the number on a scale. And this goal to shift my thoughts away from the self condemnation feels really impossible to me right now.
Trust me, I've tried every. diet. ever. I cannot find one that actually works for me. It's not from lack of trying. It's not from lack of discipline. And it's certainly not from lack of exercise. Seriously. It's weird how no changes in my diet ever lead to changes in my weight. Not normal, right? Certainly not fair! I'm only just more confused than ever...how does one really know what God wants them to eat or not eat?
For some reason, I have put all my value of myself in this one basket. It's like no matter how much I accomplish, it means NOTHING as long as I am fat. And this failure to lose weight becomes THE FAILURE that cancels out everything else. I've become kind of obsessed.
Interestingly enough, I think God is challenging my perception of myself in this area right now. First, there was the book by Ginny Yttrup, Invisible, which reminded me that I was made in the image of God. Then there was this Dove video. Have you seen this?
Seeing how these women focused on their own faults and couldn't see their own beauty, now that was an eye-opener! I know that when I look in the mirror, the only thing I see is the fat.
Then, on Monday, I restarted another strict diet. But, every day since then I've been feeling so sick and craving sweets way more than I was when I was just eating "normally."
Plus, all this effort with no success has made me really question if there isn't something God wants me to know first. I'm not saying He works this way for sure, but it seems like He's wanting me to stop seeing being thin as THE source of happiness. I've tried "Christian" diet books, but have ended up with more guilt than ever because now I'm not just fat, I'm also a big fat sinner who doesn't have the "Fruit of the Spirit" of self control. Ugh. Pass the chocolate, I might as well "sin" some more.
I haven't found the answer yet. This is just me on my journey. It hurts like crazy way down in my gut to look in the mirror. To see my reflection in my ipad when I'm reading. To not be in our vacation photos because I'm embarassed. To be jealous of my thin friends. To wonder if I will ever be thin. To know that I disappointed my Dad with this and will never be able to undo that. To feel like there is an answer out there somewhere for me, but be unable to find it.
So, what's the answer? Accepting and loving myself as I am? Is that possible? Should I be accepting a body that needs to change? Is there a way for God to love me as I am and yet still long for me to be free of the excess weight? Do I start yet another new diet? Drop wheat? No sugar? What do I give up now?
Sorry for being so blunt. So tired. So frustrated. This is the prayer of my heart, to find some. way. to love myself but still to lose weight and gain health at the same time. It's not just a prayer, you know? It's a silent scream.
But, a still small voice is calling to me...speaking words that promise that freedom is possible. That God can be THE answer, even in this. That trusting Him with this is just as possible as trusting Him with my kids or a job or the other parts of my life that I automatically turn to Him with. If so, that means I should rely on Him for this too. Stop trying to figure it out on my own through sheer force of will or endless hours of looking for the latest "solution" outside of Him.
This is my happiness step this week. Seeking God's will for my weight. Praying instead of hating on myself. Not the full answer, but a step.