Happy Monday, y’all! Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering […]
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]
“My mom made me do Zumba with her the other night because she was feeling fat and didn’t want to work out alone.”
I was startled by how casually my 10-year-old hip hop student told me about her Zumba night with her mother.
“You eat McDonald’s all the time,” another 10-year-old in the class said. “Better watch out!”
A few years ago, I likely would have been so triggered by this kind of conversation that I would have been distracted and distant for the duration of the class I was about to teach.
Instead, I knelt to my sweet, sweet student’s level – a conscientious young woman who asked me when my birthday was on the first day of class, remembered it, and asked me how I celebrated after it had passed – and said, “I’m going to tell you something really important. And I want you to try really hard to remember it, forever. I mean forever. When you’re 22 like me and someone asks you about a childhood memory, I want you to tell them that this is what your hip hop teacher told you when you were 10. Okay? Do you think you can remember?”
She nodded, put her fingers to the sides of her head, and closed her eyes. “Okay, I’m ready,” she said seriously.
“If you EVER… “feel fat”… remind yourself that that is a lie of a feeling. It’s not part of you or your beauty. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and wonderful exactly how you are, and you don’t have to ever punish yourself for a negative feeling. Remind yourself of the reasons you love doing exercise, and do your favourite ones. “Feeling fat” is a lie. Okay?”
“Okay. I promise to remember!”
My heart broke for the mother who could only muster the will to do a workout because she “felt fat.”
My soul hurt passionately for the many people around the world who try a million things prescribed to them for the purpose of fitting into the Western world’s current prescribed ideal body (which changes).
I taught that hip hop class with an uncanny emphasis on fun, shoving off the ever-so-tiny voice in my own brain that sometimes still wonders how fast my heart rate gets when I dance or how many calories I burn.
And I said a promise to myself, to my future child, and to God, that I would remember the words I gave my beautiful, perfectly imperfect student, too.
“What do you do?” The very well-mannered, very put-together business woman running the networking event I attended a few days ago asked me with a truly genuine smile and caring eyes. “I’m a writer,” I said. And even though that is true now of my […]
Good Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time: Multiple Streams of […]
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders:
They’re usually pretty innocent at first.
An endeavour to “be healthier.”
When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and sugar, baked, frosted goodness with unknown nutritional values when I was of age and stage to be getting married.
But in the depths of my sickness, the worst times of eating nothing but spinach and the occasional piece of broiled, skinless chicken breast, I would have told you there was no way I would ever touch a baked good again.
If you know me today, you know how far I’ve come since those days.
It’s the memories of shivering cold due to lack of nutrition, feeling faint and zombie-like that no longer cause me to crave numbness, but to feel so truly, desperately sad for that lost girl, and anyone else going through the same deception.
It’s the reminder of conversations in which I was barely engaged with the other party, and more engaged with the adding of meaningless numbers – caloric values – in my mind, constantly finding new justifications for not eating that has made me, finally, so pleased to have engaged, meaningful, undivided conversations.
And it’s the knowledge that my engagement to the love of my life is one, fleeting season that involves so many beautiful friends gathered around good food with endless reasons to be thankful that makes me more determined than ever to block out the diet culture, the “Aren’t you gonna diet for your wedding?” questions, and the little voices that sometimes want to convince me to thwart my recovery by eating the delicious, dairy-free cake my mom bought for my bridal shower with a coffee and a beautiful friend.
Doing so pertained to so much more purpose than simply for enjoying a piece of cake for a few minutes.
It’s also about the memory made. Because, truly…
My experience of recovery has been that time has been fundamental in healing the little wounds that have surfaced.
When I experienced transformational healing a few years ago, I thought I was in the clear in terms of mental eating disorder recovery. This has made it easy for me to feel guilty about ever struggling, and potentially more likely to ignore any mental triggers. But slowly, these things have crept in in small amounts… and I am so, inexpressibly happy, and indebted to my God, to say that I am very aware of them, and rarely give in to old behaviours. My God has given me an awareness and conviction of the Truth I want to live by, which does not involve tracking food eaten.
From a tangible standpoint, the longer I have lived this way, free from measuring, counting, and obsessing, the more NORMAL it has become. And, most interestingly and amazingly, the more physical hunger has actually made me WANT and NEED food than been a mental trigger for restriction. The more normalized my understanding of “just eating” has become. The more naturally and simply my hunger cues take over.
It has been a journey– and if there was one time of my life I was afraid triggers might take over, it was that of wedding planning. But, rather than giving into the messages of the world, this season of engagement has been more motivation than ever to completely redeem my relationship with food, passionate about none of the ugly, disordered stuff sneaking into my marriage or home. To heal my physical body fully is truly my desire.
So I had my Bridal Shower Cake, and I really did eat it, too. And it was absolutely stinkin’ delicious.
Thank-you, Lord Jesus, for your Word that I know to be True. Make me more like you, in all things. Amen.
In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above. I think, when Christian […]