Here’s the thing:
I picked up Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning for the umpteenth time the other day. It’s one of those books that has been in our library for as long as I can remember, that I’ve read the intro to a few times, but never one that I’ve gotten any further in.
The other night, as I finally made it into that first chapter, Coming Out of Hiding, I ended up in tears.
I’ve been hiding for so long.
I’ve shared quite a bit about my issues with food in the past, but I’m not sure how honest I’ve been.
I took on my first diet at age 10. By 12, I was exercising in my room. At 14, once I got into high school with an open campus at lunch, I ate mojos with cheese, a candy bar and a diet soda every day (because that was healthy?). At home, I snuck food all through high school and purged a lot of what I ate when I went on binges (which was fairly often).
By the time I got married at 21, I’d already lost and gained probably 100 pounds.
Now, at 38, that number is probably closer to 300 and at no point have I ever had more than 70 pounds to lose.
Married life and motherhood hasn’t change too much. I’m the queen of the yo yo dieters. I will be super strict for a short amount of time, see successful weight loss…but it’s at the detriment of my mental health. I become obsessed and that obsession can only last so long before I spiral downward into binge and stress eating, and of course begin to gain weight again.
My diet constantly swerves between a day of righteous, nutrient dense eating and a day of coconut sweet rolls and a bag of Dove dark chocolates. If I know I’m going to be home alone (a rare treat), I plan and hoard what I’m going to eat when no one is there to watch me. I’ve hidden food in my purse to get it into the house and I’ve hidden food from my family.
And I’m beginning to see my attempts at different diets - the severe strictness with which I see success and tend to find my self worth - as very disordered and very unhealthy. They’re my attempts to be in control and they’re my disordered responses to stress.
I live with guilt and shame on a daily basis about my inability to pull it together. I know that to serve Him in the way that He’s calling me to, healing has to come and this disordered relationship has to be set straight.
And I know that part of that comes from bringing this dark, scary part of myself into the light – into the Light of Christ, but that I also need to come clean with those around me.
In my head, I know that my salvation and my self-worth have nothing to do with my weight or my eating habits. But my heart – that wicked, deceitful things – tells me a different story.
And I listen to that voice that isn’t the Lord’s.
That has to stop.
I’m rooting into God’s word, I’m studying His promises and I’m praying that He would show me the way He has set for me to healing and true wellness. I’m letting go of the tight reins that I so often cling to as holiness and seeking a path of sustainability.
I’m okay with failures, but I have to choose intentionally not to linger or wallow in them. I know that the Lord will catch me when I fall, will bind up my wounds and that my faith in Him will always be met. And through my instructor training through Holy Yoga, I’ve truly learned that His grace is bigger than all my needs and will cover my emotional scrapes and bruises.
I don’t know where this goes from here, beyond deeper into my relationship with the Lord and His presence.