Growing

person holding a green plant
Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

I thought I would take the time to check-in about how I have been doing. The most important update is that I am growing.

I have been working on my relationship with food for about 15 years. I see now there is always more work to do. I must always work to keep from resurrecting behaviors and eating patterns that should be left dead. If I practice the chain-breaking things (e.g., eating only for physical hunger, turning to God for strength, limiting my self-indulgence, regular accountability), I walk closer to freedom in my heart and in my mind. My clothes fit better. I am stronger and closer to wholeness. I see another truth at work as well: if I indulge my flesh (e.g., overeating, self-soothing with food), I am inevitably on the road to slavery, and I will find myself at the place where I awake once again to chains.

The most difficult place for me? Times of stress. I still have this track that plays in my mind, rhythmically, almost like a song: “Food will make it better.” The track gets louder when I feel like I am overwhelmed and tired. I awake to ringing in my ears.

I saw this clearly once I had my second child about 6 months ago. The cravings were so intense and I thought about food all the time. I was planning my next meal before the last one finished. All I wanted to do was eat. I saw this pattern: I begin to believe I deserve a “treat.” Look at how hard things have been, I say. You have earned this.  And then my mind starts to plan. Though I have tried not to indulge that part of myself, I still have that path in my heart, and at any moment, I could walk down that road again. However, I know where it leads and I am done with all of that.

I now know to practice my faith in times of stress. I instead decide to pray, meditate on a scripture, or take the time to show my gratefulness to God. My go to prayer? “God give me strength.” And he does. I see the truth in my heart now; food is a counterfeit. Though I crave it at times of greatest vulnerability, I now know that it does not save. It does no more than to satisfy the desires of my heart for but a moment. My relationship with God, however, bears fruit. It gives me what I truly need, and I can see clearly the space food once occupied is and should be all HIS.

I have lost 7 lbs. since I re-started the weight loss journey. I’m ok with the pace, realizing that once the weight is lost, my son will likely no longer be a baby. Trying to keep things in perspective. I don’t want to rush or miss anything.

My focus is on practicing my health behaviors (e.g., at least 2 gym workouts weekly; no seconds (though I want them at EVERY meal), pizza and dessert alternate every other week; fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks. I am far from successful every week, and that’s ok. I just keep reaching for the goal.

I’m growing. I hope you are too.

Keep going, friends.

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