Cold all the time? I used to be known for it. Also for genuinely never sweating, never turning red when I worked out, and having dryer than dry skin, especially in the winter. Well, guess what? I typically sweat easily now (the underboob sweat I […]
Oh man. Hi, Reader. How are you?! This post is a long time coming. But it is being written for the one who finds his or herself in the same position that I am about to outline here. It’s a position I feel a heavy […]
Frustrated is my word of choice. I am overwhelmingly frustrated.
I’ve read every blog post about hypothalamic amenorrhea.
I’ve spent months eating as much as my insides could take without exploding and remaining sedentary. Then I’ve tried adding in light exercise, eating high high fat contents without restricting other food groups.
Here is what I ate yesterday (As much as I remember, any way):
Whole goat’s milk yogurt with oatmeal, berries, and peanut butter
Fried eggs with white toast, hash browns, and bacon
Spicy Turkey sausages with rice and oily tomato sauce
Tons of crackers & bread with goat cheese, peanut butter, and jam
More oatmeal with brown sugar, full fat goat yogurt, peanut butter, and berries
Dairy-free chocolate ice cream with cherries and peanut butter
Today, I am stuffed. Painfully stuffed. TMI, but even the thought of food makes me want to barf.
I eat as much as I can and am hungry for one day, and suffer painful and debilitating consequences the next. I’m told I need to “eat more and exercise less,” and I am truly doing that to the best of my ability. But it constantly feels as if people don’t believe me, or think I’m not well.
I’ve experienced the extreme hunger noted by specialists, but also extreme fullness. I experience horrible digestion problems pretty much whenever I eat processed foods. And I truly believe that the more I eat these things, the better my body will be able to process them, but, if I’m honest, I’m frustrated with this physical recovery process. I’m frustrated with not having proper hormonal function, with feeling unwell, and with feeling as though my doctors don’t believe me. That I’m trying.
The number of times that I have been *certain* I’d gained weight, only to have lost half a pound or something on the doctor’s scale… it’s discouraging. It’s hard to know how to go about recovery.
And, to be honest… it’s even harder in the midst of planning for my wedding, especially when my dress has gotten tighter and tighter with each fitting.
The world says your dress should be getting “looser.” The message to brides is to take up less space, to lose pounds, and to look thin. And when you’re like me, and your most consuming battle in life was years spent in a restrictive eating disorder… these messages can easily be triggers.
But rather than allowing them to permeate me, I have focused on some key things that have shifted my thinking:
What do I want my relationship with food to look like as a full time writer, wife, and, one day, mother?
What do I want my relationship with food to look like at my bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding?
What do I want to be consumed with leading up to my wedding – and for the rest of my life?
Here’s the thing: I weigh more than I have in months and months, and there were voices that told me I just couldn’t let that happen.
But it’s happened… and I’m okay with it. I’m really okay with it.
I’m finally realizing that my body wasn’t meant to be underweight – that this probably makes sense, too, haha. That in order to have a child one day, my body has been screaming at my slightly messed up mind for some time now that, hey, can you help me out a bit with some stability in order to maybe house a human being one day?
I’d heard all the things eating disorder patients hear:
-Your body wasn’t meant to be this low weight
-You need to eat and eat and eat. You will not get fat. You will heal.
-You will feel out of control for a bit. But it will become normal.
And I have to tell you, friend-who-is-reading-this who is where I once was, and doesn’t believe it either:
It is all TRUE.
It is wonderful to eat without measuring and counting. But it took YEARS, literally years for me, in order for it to be wonderful.
Triggers have made it un-wonderful again at times. But, overall, the not-being-consumed by food thoughts has been magical. Worth it BECAUSE I’m convinced of the truth of it. Fully and completely convinced by the Word of God that the food rules were not in alignment with how He calls me to live.
My knowledge about nutrition is most definitely a God-given tool, accompanied by a lot of Truth. But if that knowledge is seen as THE ULTIMATE TRUTH, it isn’t Truth anymore, because it is accompanied by untruths.
Here is what I mean.
My nutrition knowledge says that refined sugar isn’t healthful. This knowledge has equipped me to be in tune with my body’s cravings for natural sugars, healthful sugars, ie. fruit, etc.
My Biblical knowledge says that I am free from rules, including ones of abstaining from foods. It also says that I am called to eat what I am served, focusing on the people and the conversation rather than the food itself. And so, if someone goes out of their way to make a delicious dessert, or buys me dairy-free ice cream, you bet I’m going to eat it if I want it (which – I usually do).
THIS is the place I want you to get, my friend. But if you are in the trenches of restriction, know this, too –
Your hunger signals are out of whack. They simply are. You WILL NEED to eat more than your friends and family, than you perceive to be “normal,” in order to repair the damage. It is just the way it goes.
Believing this doesn’t mean that allowing my extreme hunger to actually run its course was always easy. It was not. I fought it for years. But allowing it to operate is the SWEETEST thing. You WILL stop feeling afraid all of the time. You WILL begin to feel “normal” once again. You just have to keep going.
Another HUGE lie that I have had to bring to the light was this: (I see you, Friend):
As long as your BMI isn’t any higher than 18.5, you’re okay.
Well, guess what?
I don’t get my period at BMI 18.5. Which means that, for MY body, that is underweight.
There are women who get a regular period at this BMI, because that is how their body was made. Their bone structures are probably much smaller than mine. But I have wide hips and a naturally larger frame that requires more weight. And – I could cry – I am FINALLY okay with this. Happy about it, even. Excited to see where my natural body wants to land.
It takes speaking these things that you’re so afraid to speak, for fear of shame or embarrassment or even being made to believe differently, in order to see the Truth. Each time I’ve spoken what the devil has tried to keep me from speaking, I have been nothing but amazed by the results produced.
What lies are you believing that you are called to bring to the light?
A couple weeks ago, I came across an exercise online that someone had shared had really shifted their thinking. The person relented that they wanted to know what their 10-year-old self, AND their self IN 10 years, would think of the way their present self […]
This post contains some affiliate links. All opinions are my own and are completely honest and candid. Ah, the world of blog hosting. When I started the whole blogging thing back in 2015, I really just wanted to share my writing with anyone that might […]
The buzz of my alarm greeted my ears this morning at 5:30AM, and I found myself instantly missing waking up with the sunrise time on the daily for work.
As I have transitioned out of a three-and-a-half-year period of working at coffee shops just this past week, it has not taken long for me to realize how much I will miss barista-ing– how much I miss, and feel called to, tangibly serving people. Many of my most precious relationships have been formed with me on the serving side of a coffee shop counter, and I am forever passionate about the way God can work through these little encounters.
Alas, though, this morning’s early start was not welcomed by coffee & customers, but by church family & prayer: equally, if not more, a blessing. My church, C3KW, hosts morning prayer every Wednesday at 6:30AM to spend time in the Word, to pray for each other, to pray for our city, and to pray for our church.
This morning, I was overwhelmed by the sheer blessing of this community, and its commitment to seeking God’s will and heart first and foremost. And while the past couple of weeks have been, for me, emotionally and spiritually exhausting, I was convicted that this morning was not about that, but felt heavily called to focus on the steadfastness of my God.
I’ve been thinking so much about the fact that what our society deems as the “highs” and “lows” of living are really good at testing our faith and identity in Jesus, who NEVER changes. Am I rocked or is my spirit shaken because I’m uncertain of my next career move (or insert circumstance of suffering or uncertainty)? If my entire identity is in Jesus, then no, I should not be.
And His Spirit made that true in my life and heart this morning. I am filled to the brim with joy because of who Jesus is, alive in my life and working all things for the good of His Kingdom.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
And when, after prayer, my dear friend Alicia asked me if she could buy me a coffee, I felt stirred and overcome by the need to chat with her.
We can be so selfish. But when we allow the Spirit to give us His eyes, He often points out opportunities and people and pathways we were otherwise blind to. Time in prayer only helps us to be more in tune with what He is ALWAYS doing.
After a couple minutes of refusing her gift before submitting to the generousity, it was over a much-appreciated blonde roast that I told Alicia to forgive me if I was inarticulate, but that I needed to get my own thoughts out of the way because the Lord was speaking loudly to my spirit about her.
Since I first met Alicia at church, I have felt a deep connection to her; a feeling that we were similar.
And this morning, God showed up and reminded us both that we were firmly rooted in Him. That with our identity in Him, we could not be shaken.
We prayed against lies that had been believed in both of our lives in very different circumstances, but lies just the same. And Truth, unmistakable Truth, Truth in the Word of God that cannot be argued with, came in and set the record straight.
The ambiguity is uncanny, I know. But the point remains that the only way to retrain bad thoughts is to replace them with God’s Truth.
Which, guess what? Says that He is trustworthy in ALL of His promises; upholds ALL who fall; has compassion on ALL He has made; is slow to anger and rich in love. Is most worthy of praise, and whose greatness cannot be fathomed (Psalm 145).
In a matter of a morning, my mindset about my circumstances has been radically shifted by the God who is alive today in Jesus. I mean wholeheartedly that my joy is complete in Him… and He’s made it real in my life.
A deep “real” that has starkly reminded me of three things that I believe we are each called to do every day as human beings “in the world, but not of it.”
Get yourself in THE WORD. Get lost in it again and again. I don’t care if you’ve never opened a Bible or if you’ve read it cover to cover fifty times. Absolutely soak yourself in it. Don’t know where to start? As a wise mentor of mine once said, “Soak yourself in the Psalms.”
Practice intimacy with THE PERSON. The God of the Bible, the God of Christianity, is just as alive today as He was 2000 years ago in the flesh. Today, He is the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t already, invite Him into your heart, and then get to know Him as fully God and fully human; as your best friend, Father, Creator, Saviour, Shelter, Light, “I AM.”
Be in community with THE PEOPLE. His heart is all about His people. We are the reason He came, suffered, and died brutally. It is unfathomable, unstoppable love; and, as His body, we are called to share that love with others. In addition to serving His people through our own unique gifts, we are blessed to be filled up by others; interceded for; and loved on. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” PROVERBS 27:17
I pray today that unshakable Truth would absolutely permeate your life today, reader: the one who wrote you into existence and calls you by name each and every day knows a thing or two about it.