Freedom?

birds_freedom_by_tina6668

Ok, so [again] it’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve posted on the blog. I’ve just been so busy!! Today, I’ve been babysitting since 7:30 this morning (which is finally starting to catch up with me – I’m so tired), and I think we might be going to the playground soon. I’m babysitting a six-year-old little boy and have been for about a month now. He’s definitely a cutie but has his moments‚Ķ Ha ha. But anyway, things have been going ok I guess. Not perfect, but better I think. It’s been a while since I’ve had a blow-out binge episode, and I think I’ve had a pretty steady weight for the past month (I might have gained like 5 pounds). The urges are still there though, that’s for sure. I’m constantly thinking about how I need to lose weight and how I would look so much better if I did. I’ve been feeling so ugly lately, and it really gets me down. ūüė¶ I mean, I have felt better about who I am as a person, but that doesn’t necessarily make me feel any prettier. I think I’m kind of doing the same thing I was doing with my past boyfriend – thinking that my current “beau” isn’t going to like me anymore because I’m getting bigger‚Ķ

Which isn’t right‚Ķ

I think…

Ugh, I just wish I could take it all back experience freedom again!!

I was going to say that I wish that I could take it all back, but I really don’t. This is a part of my testimony that God has allowed me to have so that I can reach out to other girls who may be experiencing something similar. So, I don’t wish it would’ve never happened; I just wish that it was a part of my past rather than a constant part of my present. It’s torturous, depressing, consuming, distracting, annoying, embarrassing, and just all things bad. It’s like a ghost that continues to haunt me every day, never at rest. I’m so ready to move on, but for some reason beyond my understanding it won’t let go. What is it that I find so appealing in those behaviors? The comfort? Satisfaction? Freedom? Is it because I do in fact find freedom in acting out on my urges? I guess that makes sense in a way‚Ķ I’m always denying my desires as I seek freedom from this disease, which is so ironic because restricting your behaviors is the exact opposite of freedom.

Or is it?
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?'” (Matthew 16:24-26 HCSB)
Maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way! I think it’s time for some serious reframing to happen in my mind. I shouldn’t want to lose weight because it will gain me worldly approval; I should seek to honor God with my body and not give into temptations of gluttony or selfishness in order to soothe myself or make myself seem more appealing in man’s eyes.

Thank You, Lord, for making me enough.  Help me to seek beauty in Your eyes rather than trying to find it in this world.  Father, give me the strength I need to be an overcomer; I know that without You, I would never stand a chance.  I praise You for bringing me this far, and I am confident that You will deliver me from this battle.  I love You, Father, and praise You for all that you have done, are doing, and will do for me.  Jesus, I pray that I will continue striving every day to live my life as a reflection of You instead of a reflection of society or the people around me.  Thank You for willingly becoming the ultimate sacrifice so that I may live free from the bondage of my sin even though I am so deserving of it.  God, I ask that You will be with me and the rest of my family and friends who may be starting school or preparing for it this week.  I pray for smooth transitions to a new chapter of our lives.  Through it all, though, I pray that we all remember that even though our surroundings [or even our entire lives as we know it] change, You are the only thing that remains constant.  Thank You, God, for never leaving nor forsaking us!!!

Heavenly Father, I ask all of these things for the glory of Your name, Amen. ‚̧

BeYOUtiful

Pinterest

Does anybody else see something wrong here???

I know that your Pinterest home board is completely random depending on who you follow, but what I saw just a few minutes ago really struck me‚Ķ ¬†My thought process as I see these pictures: ¬†“OMG, that burger looks AMAZING!” *looks to the model in the shorts* “Well, I don’t think I’m ever going to eat a cheeseburger again in my life‚Ķ”

I’ve recently become more aware of mass media’s portrayal of women and how their (or should I say OUR) bodies “should” look. ¬†It disgusts me! ¬†I had the privilege of going to listen to a panel of women speak on the topic of body image and eating disorder recovery, and one of the topics covered was “Becoming a Critical Consumer in Media.” ¬†I was blown away by the impact ads and magazines and commercials can have on our self-esteem, even if we don’t think they do. ¬†The super models being photographed to represent women as a whole are smaller than NINETY EIGHT percent of the women in the United States. ¬†Ninety eight. ¬†Wow.

But that’s not all. ¬†We watched a video of how photographers can enhance a picture – completely alter the appearance of someone (man or woman) – in order to mimic what our culture considers “beautiful.” ¬†From rounding out the eyes to literally stretching out the body in order to appear taller and/or slimmer, when they get done editing, the person is simply fake. ¬†Like I said before, I find it completely disgusting.

Why can’t normal women be considered beautiful by the media? ¬†What is wrong with the bodies God has¬†so lovingly¬†blessed us with?? ¬†Gosh, I will be the first person to admit that I play the comparison game. ¬†I flip through magazines or look at the emails I get from clothing stores and think, “If only I could be THAT size‚Ķ” ¬†And I hate that about myself. ¬†But it’s so hard not to do when we as consumers are constantly bombarded by this false standard for how women look. ¬†Now, I will say that I admire companies like American Eagle’s Aerie who do NOT retouch their models for their ads, and I desperately wish that others would jump on board.

If only society would send the message that the REAL you is beautiful. ¬†Not the girl who goes on all of the bikini-body diets or takes all the latest and greatest diet pills or has the “will power” to stay away from that extra cookie. ¬†The woman who is curvy, comfortable, and confident in who she is‚Ķ ¬†THAT is what I want to see portrayed in the ads of my favorite brands.

Anyways, that was just my thought/rant for the day. ¬†I feel that the farther I go into my own recovery process, the more sensitive I become to issues like this. ¬†So I am writing this, not to just tell you that you’re beautiful (which you ARE), but to remind myself of that as well. ¬†I have obviously struggles with my own body image distortions for a majority of my life, and it’s things like this that just give me another person/image to compare myself to that really get under my skin.

To whomever may be reading this that struggles with similar issues, I pray that you will realize the worth you have in God’s eyes. ¬†And I pray that for myself. ¬†We are all in this together. ‚̧

I need You

Things got better [for a while, at least], and are spiraling down once again.  Last week was great until I slipped up on Friday, and I never recovered from it.  I feel so hopeless sometimes, really.

I had an appointment with my nutritionist¬†this afternoon and got the usual stuff:¬† a new goal sheet, some dietary information, and of course some new rules.¬† Ugh, I am just so tired of the fight.¬† It’s a battle that I’m losing.¬† I even had to call my mom today to so that I could cry to her about how sad my life is (thank goodness she is always willing to listen).¬† It’s been so long since I’ve just let it go like I did.¬† I’m exhausted from worrying so much ALL the time about EVERYTHING.¬† I feel horribly ugly – I’ve gotten too fat to fit into any of my clothes except my nike shorts and t-shirts, and I have acne that’s worse than a 16-year-old boy’s.¬† I know I’m supposed to feel beautiful because I am a “divine work of art signed by God,” but I can’t seem to make myself believe it.

God, help me.  Restore me.  Heal me.  I need You more and more every day.  Father, thank You for giving me the strength to get this far.  I may feel down right now, but I know that You have saved me from so much more destruction than I can imagine.  Without You, I would be nothing.  Lord, I just feel so broken right now.  I need You to pick me up, hold me, put me back together…  Help me to find that hope that I once had; help me to stay motivated.  God, I pray that every time I feel like giving up, I would be reminded of the strength I have in You.  Please forgive me for all of the ways that I have failed You (I know they are too numerous to count).  Thank You for the gift of the cross that You so lovingly gave me and for showing me grace when I least deserved it.  Jesus, thank You for taking on all of the pain and suffering that is rightfully mine.  I know that Your ways are higher than my ways, Lord, and I ask that You would guide me as You will.  Heavenly Father, I ask all of these things for Your glory alone, Amen.

Satisfaction

Therefore, don‚Äôt let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn‚Äôt hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God. If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt handle, don‚Äôt taste, don‚Äôt touch‚ÄĚ? All these ‚Ćäregulations‚Ćč refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence. (Colossians 2:16-23 HCSB)

I have truly been blessed by my study of Colossians with my small group these past few weeks. God is revealing so much to me in this process, and these verses especially stand out to me. It feels as if Paul is speaking directly to me as he is writing… We are faced with “doctrines if men” every single day. To feel beautiful and accepted, we are bombarded with standards that are honestly unattainable and unhealthy for most girls/women. And these standards (which we think will somehow give us satisfaction) “are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.” We must learn to turn to The Lord for strength to overcome the rough patches in our lives. For some of us going through recovery (or anyone, really), we are fixated on the thought of having a more “beautiful” outside or a “healthy” inside, but this does nothing but pull our attention away from what truly matters. We indulge in worldly things, but things of this world are going to die away. God is eternal. His love is everlasting. And He is where we find satisfaction.

Gavin DeGraw – Where You Are (Sweeter)

“I wanna be where You are‚Ķ” Even though this is a Gavin DeGraw song, I feel like it is a pretty accurate description of where I want to be at the moment (and from now on).
I need to figure out what I’m going to wear to class today‚Ķ But that doesn’t matter right now. ūüôā I started off my day with my usual cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal, and I am feeling surprisingly good this morning! Yesterday was amazing. I was able to draw so near to the Lord; I actually spent a lot of time studying the Word and soaking in God’s presence. It was amazing how I was able to focus on things other than food for once.
My theme verse for the day was Psalm 46:10, which says “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Such powerful words! Be STILL. That is something that I never do. My mind is constantly racing with some kind of anxious thought(s); I get so easily distracted from the true meaning of life. I put so many things above leading a life that exemplifies and glorifies God, and reading and studying that verse yesterday was like a slap in the face. I was sitting in Panera Bread, sipping my coffee, and for some reason felt overwhelmingly led to this passage of scripture. It started off as a mental repetition of the lyrics from Hillsong Live’s “Still,” which say “I will be still and know that You are God.” I came across some commentary on the verse, and something that stood out to me was this: We surrender “in order to objectively know the saving power of God in our lives.” There is so much truth in that statement. I must surrender. I can’t allow myself to remain trapped by the bounds of this eating disorder. My food rules, my obsessive calorie counting, my fixation on eating healthily, the list goes on‚Ķ I was putting all of these things above the Lord in my life. They had become my idols. But I know that the only way to be truly content in life is to place God as our one and ONLY idol. I received a verse from FINDINGbalance in an email this morning: “Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired… is the [one] who lives in the Fear of God.” (Prov. 31:30 MSG) This challenged me to find my beauty in God. To fixate my thoughts on being a reflection of Him, rather than making a better reflection of myself. I will find beauty in Him, because I was made in His image. And he is PERFECT.