Monday, June 30, 2014

Healthier Days Ahead

  I've never blogged about my weight loss.  I am not a "weight loss" blogger.  But those who know me, know my journey.  I lost 100 pounds after graduating college.  My weight fluctuates, but for the most part, I've kept it off.

Two summers ago, a friend of mine asked me (okay, pestered until I gave in) to lead a Made to Crave study at our church.  That was the summer I realized that, even though my body was no longer obese, I still had heart issues that God wanted me to bring to him.  I had a very healthy summer, and achieved a good weight, but unfortunately, those heart issues remain today.  And those heart issues are what breed my physical battle.

When I am lonely.... not bored or happy or anything else... but when I am lonely, I am driven to food like others might be to a drug, a lover or a drink.  This is a direct reflection of the experience of my childhood.  I remember growing up in a house where I felt very lonely a lot of the time.  My Mom started working nights when I was young, so even though I was in the house with other (older) family members, I was basically on my own.  I would lie in bed and watch TV all night.  I don't really remember playing with toys or having other hobbies.  Sometimes I would read or write (the 2 hobby-esque things I still enjoy), but mostly it was me and the TV.  While I was watching, I would go into the kitchen to get snacks--always high salt or high fat (read: chips, cookies, ice cream).  They were my friends.  TV.  Chips. Ice Cream. Cookies.  Ham sandwiches with mayonnaise.   Whatever I could find. 

And as I write this truth about my past, I shed tears.  This is a heartbreaking truth for me to confess... just so we are clear.

I so wish I could leave that childish behavior in the past.  But I haven't been able to stop this cycle I have of grieving those friendships while still holding tightly to them as if they are all I have when I feel alone.  But it's not all I have.  I have friends.  I have a family.  I have interests and other ways to fill my time or feel connected.  I have other actual relationships that I could turn to for comfort, laughter, joy, companionship, fulfillment.  Yet I hold onto food because it has never hurt me nor turned its back on me or made me cry.  It has also never brought me joy, held my hand, made me laugh until I cried, brought a smile to a stranger's face or fulfillment to my heart.  It has never saved my soul or dried my tears. 

Food is food.  If I can just remember that.  Food. Is. Food.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It is necessary.   But it is not everything.

And if you're reading this, food may or may not be your heartbreaking truth.  Maybe you have something else that you run to like I do to food.  It doesn't matter what it is.  It's the thing that plagues you, frustrates you, battles you.  Whatever it is, it's not everything.  It doesn't define you... you just let it.  God sees more than that in you in me.  He sees someone he created for greater purposes.  You (and I) are meant for more.  Let's start living like it.

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