Vulnerable? Transparent? Honest? Revealing cracks in the armor? Been there, done that....and about to do it again in a major way.
Here we go.
I have bent the truth. I've denied telling the full or "real" story. Therefore, truth is, I am a liar.
There, I said it. Deep breath.
You see, I've talked often and consistently about how though life has been hard lately that I've found unwavering strength in God. I've talked about how a few close friends and my husband have been lifting me and carrying me. Those things are VERY true! However, there is a portion I left out. A big portion.
See, I've also had this other coping mechanism that has clung to me and is now suffocating me. I've turned to it time and time again. Some times purposely and others without really thinking about it, it has been my soothing source. It's been available around the clock. It has become a crutch so much that taking it back away is terrifying, yet necessary.
Emotional eating. Eating for comfort. Pouring myself in a bowl of ice-cream or a box of cereal (straight from the box!). Running out to those places to grab a quick meal from the drive through just because I'm too emotionally zapped to think about fixing something for my family to eat for lunch. Chocolate. More chocolate. Even more chocolate. Little Debbie and I have become such close friends. Need a sweet snack? Got that covered. Want something salty? I've got that, too. Want a combination of both of those? Well, I've got just what you are looking for.
Reality check. If I'm going to be fully used by God, I have to break some relationships. Treating my body with such disregard isn't going to get me anywhere. It's putting a wall between myself and those I love and between myself and God at times. Time to remove those walls....knock them down, bury the debris, and start new.
Though there was a time I could truly admit that weight gain was acceptable, I can't say that now. For many years of steroid usage to control my lupus, gaining weight was an unfortunate side effect. Doing anything to lose weight was greatly frowned upon because it sent my body into flare mode. Fortunately, those days are significantly gone. Though I still battle the disease, it's severity has dramatically lessened to the point that I can go weeks without symptoms and when they do hit it's just for a few days.
Yet, being brutally honest, somewhere during that time I let that side effect became an excuse. An excuse. Not a valid reason.
I was definitely on track last spring and early summer. I was walking upwards of 5-6 miles a day and was making decent (not great) food choices. I was making progress. VERY VERY slow progress, but progress! Life derailed and I derailed with it.
For one thing, my Dad would kick me in the tail for letting myself "go" these last months. He would be irate to be an excuse for not taking care of my own health. When I was doing so well last year, he was thrilled because he was worried about me not taking care of myself and was happy that I was on the right path. It would make him furious that I have become "weak". With so many women in our family having diabetes as well as Dad himself, he was beginning to get concerned that it would become an issue for me as I got older.
Yet, the real turning point has come from a reality check. When I look in the mirror, I no longer see the heart I have on the inside. I can't see my "worth" without really looking hard to find it. All I see now is a face I don't recognize because it's becoming more distorted with every pound. All I see are the eyes of disappointment in myself for getting this far after working so hard to start seeing progress. All I see is where I should be by now (goal weight) and the failures. If I look long enough I have to turn away because my eyes reveal the truth. When Kevin tells me I'm beautiful or I look nice, I laugh. Can't accept his words because I don't quite believe them. When he gives me those backwards hugs that usually make me melt, all I'm thinking is "please don't let him put his hand too far down around my fat belly, I hope he finds the "smaller" part". The reality of the scale is a scary thing. Though I typically don't try to go by a number because I KNOW that there is more to health than a number on the scale, reality is that number is now ridiculous. Time to face facts.
Here is the real truth. Though I feel like I am disappointing my family, my husband, MYSELF by not being more in control of my health and letting my emotions take over, even more alarming to me is the disappointment I feel in regards to my relationship with God. Oh, I know without a doubt I am loved. I know that my family doesn't give love or deny love based on a scale. I know that God loves me even when I'm stuffing JUNK in my mouth. I KNOW that!!!! I BELIEVE THAT! Yet, I'm not living up to my potential and that is wrong. It isn't a sin to eat a fudge round (or two!). Yet, my heart isn't in the right place and I'm not turning FULLY to God to meet my needs. If there is anything between myself and God, I have to remove it. No doubt about it.
I've talked many times before about how the Holy Spirit speaks in odd ways at times but He always gets my attention.....eventually. There have been LOTS of those moments lately. My heart has been changed and my focus has been redirected. I recognize that it's time to get myself back on that list and put ME first for awhile. It isn't selfish. It's necessary. I had already had this change in my heart because of several different Holy Spirit moments, but I had one of those goosebumps moments while on our camping trip. I was reading a Karen Kingsbury and the words I had been thinking and feeling were echoed in the words of one of her character word for word. It was identical to the conversation I had in my own heart in the days before. An echo of the heart. It was confirmation. Time to change.
So, here I am. I can't make EVERY change overnight. However, I am committed to make daily choices to move back in the right direction. Not trying to worry about the actual number on the scale, but focus on how I feel. A friend advised me that because I really am overwhelmed right now with so many things going on to just take a few steps every day ....don't try to do it all or I will crash and fail. I will fail and then I will be even more disappointed in myself. So, it's about some basic simple choices every day. Once I get a balance on a few steps, add in more. That is workable! That will bring about eventual progress. Maybe not drastically in the beginning, but as time goes on...yes!
For now, it's about getting up every morning and taking that walk by myself. I will admit, I am LOVING it. It is proving to be the BEST time for God and I have to some one-on-one conversations. No kids interrupting every half second. At most, I just have to mutter a quick "Good Morning" to others I pass along the way. Something else I've already noticed, I have mental clarity that I've been missing so much of. Mommy brain had been taken over. Emotionally being drained has taken it's toll in BIG ways. The combination of exercising and QUIET have made tremendous strides in returning the balance I am needing. For now I'm not even taking my iPod. I'm soaking in the silence. I'm thinking. I'm praying. I'm not being still and lazy. It's working.
I just don't want to lie anymore. I do want God to be my TRUE source of comfort and healing, not whatever I can stuff in my mouth to soothe. I don't want to keep lying to myself and saying I don't matter enough to take the time for myself. I don't want to listen to anymore of the lies I tell myself. Lying IS a sin. Removing sin from my life is a MUST. Praying to be a reformed liar----one that walks in truth, believes truth, and acts in truth.