Hello, World!

Monte Sano 3

Man, it has been SO long since I have written on here!  It has been a long time since I have written anything in general.  But for some reason, I’ve been wanting to get back into it.

I was surprised when I logged onto WordPress to see a notification that today is my one year anniversary for my blog!  Looking back at my first few posts is so crazy.  I have come so far in just a year…  I’ve experienced rock-bottom lows and mountain-top highs and everything in-between.  I’m thankful that right now, I can say that I’m pretty content.  A lot has happened since the last time I posted an update with my eating disorder recovery status.  But, I have good news!!  I have been successful in maintaining my weight since August (and I honestly don’t know what it is, but I plan to keep it that way), and my nutritionist has removed me from my meal plan – now I’m on a more “intuitive eating” kind of plan.  It has been very freeing, and I love the sense of accomplishment that I feel.  It’s like I’ve finally gotten somewhere after battling for almost a year and a half.  Praise the Lord for His ever-faithful help in my time of need and for being sovereign over my life.  Things may not have happened as quickly as I would have liked for them to, but I know that God was in control through it all.

Learning to be patient with God’s timing is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  Whether it be recovery, relationships, school, job-searching, or whatever else, I have to come to terms with the fact that I am not in fact the ruler of my life!  What’s the point of putting my faith in Christ when I still feel like I have to depend on myself to make things happen?  What Jesus did for me in dying on the cross has given my life more meaning that anything I can do on my own.  So what if I don’t recover overnight?  So what if I’m 20 and single?  So what if I don’t have a job right now?  This all counts as nothing compared to what is ahead.

“Hallelujah!  For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” (Revelation 19:6 NASB)

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…  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…”

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…”  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…  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. ❤

One Step Forward and 5,481,957,130 Steps Back…

Woke up an hour ago and have already given in.  It’s so awful. I can’t even control myself in the mornings anymore. When is this going to stop? When am I going to be normal? When am I going to have control over myself again? I’m just so ready to give up…  It kind of feels like I already have, though… What else am I supposed to do? Eat more? HA. That’s a good one. I actually think I ate more than my boyfriend did this weekend (which is so pitiful, given the shear amount of food he is able to pack down on a daily basis). I’m gaining weight way too fast, and I can’t seem to find the strength to stop.  I can’t take it anymore.
I’m so fat. I’m unattractive. I’m weak. I’m a coward. I’m a glutton. I’m selfish.

But… I am saved. I am free. I am a child of the one, true God.  I can’t keep forgetting about that!!  I always get so caught up in my own desires – whether that be to lose weight or have self control or anything – that I forget where my strength to do these things comes from in the first place.

Lord, please forgive me for my selfishness. Forgive me for neglecting the fact that I can’t do any of this on my own and for not relying on You in my times of need. Give me the comfort I so desperately need at this time, but also give me the strength I need to live my life to glorify You rather than to satisfy my own fleshly desires. Give me wisdom to make decisions based on what I NEED rather than what I merely want at a given moment. And, Father, I thank You for everything that You have so graciously done for me. You never fail to shower me with good things, and I consistently fail to recognize Your blessings. Please forgive me for all the ways I have failed You. Please help me to have more self control. I know now that I cannot do this on my own, no matter how hard I try. I know that I am not going to find any sense of value from the way I look. God, I want to find my worth in You and You alone. It is because of You that I am a priceless creation; it is foolish of me to think otherwise. I know that I was bought at a price – You sent Your ONLY son to die for ME. For my guilt, my shame, my filth, my sin… Lord, I am so sorry for ever failing to remember this. I need You more and more each day, and I know that You will never fail me.
For all of this I pray for Your glory alone, Amen.

Bliss

Ignorance really is bliss.  I have been thinking a lot lately about how easy life was before I knew.  Before I started worrying.  Before I became consumed by these destructive habits.

I often look back to the times when I didn’t feel the need to count every calorie or avoid “bad” foods.  I didn’t understand the effects my eating could have on my body; but, frankly, I didn’t care all that much.  I’m not saying that I was never self-conscious (because I definitely always have been); it was just never something that I put that much emphasis on.  I can remember when it finally switched for me – my turning point.  My freshman year of college; it was the first time I had been attending school and not simultaneously participating in some kind of extracurricular (band, softball, etc.).  But for some reason, even though I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I did.  It was probably from walking to and from my classes and having healthier dining options on campus.  Either way, people noticed.  And that felt good…  No, that felt amazing.  It ignited a fire in me that raged rampantly and consumed my thoughts, actions, and eventually my entire life.  It wasn’t really until the summer after my freshman year that I realized that I had a problem.  I was constantly looking up healthy recipes, subscribing to health food blogs, going to the gym as much as possible, and keeping up with every single calorie with an app on my phone.  It was just like an itch I could not seem to scratch.  I knew that I needed help, but I was having such a hard time communicating my struggles with others.  The guy I was semi-dating at the time responded to my concerns by saying, “I don’t think you can be too healthy.”  He didn’t realize how wrong he was and how hard it is to overcome such an intense internal battle.

Now, I understand how desperate I was to fill my life with something – anything – that I thought would make my life worth-while.  Something that would satisfy me and make me content…  What a selfish thing to do on my own!  I wasn’t thinking of anyone but myself and was so concerned with creating a better image of myself that I forgot what my purpose really is!  That is to glorify God with my WHOLE LIFE.  Not just the part of me that goes to church and sometimes blesses the food during meal time.  I had to [and am still working to] discover the value that I have in my Heavenly Father.  I was bought at a price!  What else do I need besides Him?

“Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I am still struggling to find my worth solely in the Lord; I am fighting these demons every single day.  But I know, deep down, that I am NOTHING without Him.

Holy Spirit, make Your presence known in my life.  Lead me according to Your will, and teach me how to accept myself the way You accept me.  Thank You so much, God, for your immeasurable and unending love for me.  You fill me with joy that surpasses any other.  Please continue to be with me in recovery and to lean on You more and more throughout the process.  These past few days have been really, really tough, Lord, and I ask that You would forgive me of the ways I have failed You.  And help me to forgive myself.  I ask these things in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

“Set your minds…

“Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2 HCSB)

Breakfast was ok.

Lunch was another story.

I was having such a hard time not reaching for something else…  I was on my way back into the kitchen (mostly because my phone was still sitting by my coffee maker), and I physically had to redirect myself into my room to grab my bible.  I sat on my bed, opened it up to a random page and began reading.  It was in Ezekiel, I think, and it had to do with prophesying to a prince…  But as I sat there, I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading.  My thoughts were elsewhere, and I began to pray and cry out to God.  Yes, sitting on my bed, I was basically shouting and asking God for peace.  I needed to have my thoughts redirected.  That is when Colossians 3:2 came into my mind: “Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.”  That is what I have to constantly remind myself to do.  I get so easily caught up in my temptations to gorge myself or restrict until I feel weak; I forget how to let go and allow God to take control!

On a lighter note, though:  IT’S SNOWING, Y’ALL!!!  And we are out of class both today and tomorrow.  There is going to be so much Netflix watching/book reading/coffee drinking; it’s going to be great. 🙂 And you better believe that I have been singing Frozen alllll day.

Lord, thank You for speaking to me in miraculous ways recently.  I love drawing nearer to You and having a thirst for You.  Please continue to fill me with Your spirit, and guide me as I walk (and occasionally run) through life.  Heavenly Father, I thank You for giving me worth, for making Your presence known in my life, for healing me, and most of all for loving me like no other.  I cherish the grace You continuously show me every single day.  Give me the strength and courage I need to listen to Your words of direction and to be confident in the decisions I make.  Jesus, I thank You for loving me enough to humble Yourself, for becoming a sacrifice for MY sake, for overcoming the grave to sit at the right hand of Your Father in Heaven, and allowing me to have a relationship with You no matter how messed up I am.  I am enough because You were enough. ❤ Father, I pray these things in order to bring glory to Your name, Amen.

He > I

God is above all.

He is in charge.

He has everything under control.

He gives me worth.

He is my label.

He.  Is.  All.  I.  Need.

I have to keep telling myself these things.  I have been getting so caught up in worldly desires, expectations, treasures…  I keep forgetting where my worth comes from.  It is from the Lord; not what I do, say, or eat.  I have gotten into the habit of finding comfort in things other than God.  Last night was the worst it’s been in a long time.  Let’s just say I more than made up for the breakfast that I skipped in the morning.  I know that binging is a typical part of recovery from an eating disorder, but I never realized how hard it could be to stop.  It’s like I went from one extreme to the other.  I didn’t give my body enough before, and now I’ve turned into a human garbage disposal.  I put so much emphasis on what I eat throughout the day.  When I eat; what I eat; where I eat.

But guess what?!

IT. DOESN’T. MATTER.

It just doesn’t!  And I don’t understand why I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around that sometimes; I am just so easily distracted.  But I know that God WILL provide me with the strength I need to be an overcomer.  All I need to do is surrender…

Lord, please calm my heart.  Clear my mind.  Help me to constantly be reminded of Your goodness and Your incomparable love for me.  And please lead me on the path of Your will for my life.  Heavenly Father, I thank You so much for sending Your precious son, Jesus Christ, to be a sacrifice for MY sins and allowing me to draw near to You.  I know I am so unworthy, but You have given me value.  You bless me with so much every single day, and I pray that You will forgive me of my many sins.  Please be with me as I try to be a light for You and be a conduit of Your love throughout my daily life.  God, I ask all of these things in Your name and for Your glory, Amen. ❤