While watching the Biggest Loser last night, Bob was concerned that one of the contestants would gain all of her weight back because she didn’t seem to learn anything besides the exercise and nutrition piece. He was wanting to see what she had learned about herself, her triggers, her motivations, etc. So of course I have been recommitted to this whole “get healthy” thing for about 12 weeks now. I have had gains and losses, victories and disappointments. I thought I would have lost 30 LBS by now for sure and certainly thought it would be easier.
I have known on a superficial level that this journey of health is not just about my weight. In the last 12 weeks I have come to KNOW that it is also about my spiritual health, my emotional health, and my relational health as well. If those things are not in balance, how can I expect to control my food and exercise? So what have I learned?
Spiritual Health- Focusing on Physical Health while taking a class about Healing from Sexual Abuse certainly triggers the spiritual side of things. Never before have I experienced more anger towards God. Never before have I felt such extreme swings of emotion and feeling, and have been able to actually identify what I am feeling. I have never had to fight so hard to stay true to the One I know to be true. And never before have I experienced such tender grace and mercy. I wrote before about how God seemed to have moved in with me in a physical way. He still has not left. I now know that God will never leave me or forsake me. This is no longer a nice platitude given to encourage the downtrodden. I know because in my moments of deepest shame and pain and fear and anger…He moved in closer. Everything is still not all worked out with me and God. But we are in honest communication about it.
Emotional Health- I have been working for over a year with a counselor on identifying my feelings and staying out of my logical head when things are going on for me. I can be a master at justifying a certain feeling or minimizing it based on circumstances. While this has been on-going work, I have begun to see the fruits during this last 12 weeks while looking at my abuse story and trying to lose weight…For an emotional eater this is like sending me into a minefield! But I have seen so many victories where I have learned to identify and FEEL the emotion that is present and NOT go to food for comfort. There have been times where I have, but the majority of the time has been spent in victory. I have experienced more tears, more anger, more joy, more sorrow, more shame, more beauty in the last 12 weeks than in the last 3 years. Before I could count on 1 hand how many times I had really cried. Now I cannot even count how many times I have cried.
Relational Health- In my past I have been quite good at cutting people out of my life and making it look so natural. I have been challenged countless times in my past about inviting people in and having been living in such deep shame, I was unwilling to do so. While I have many many many friends who would love to support me in my health journey and in my abuse journey, I have come to value the intimacy of a few for these parts of my life. All of my relationships don’t need to be in on ALL of what is real for me ALL of the time. I recognize my power to pick and choose. Jesus chose a few to be with him in Gethsamanee when he was feeling the most vulnerable and the most heart sick. I also know that my story can be used to motivate and encourage others. So although I have a few who know they have full access to anything they want to know…there will be times others will be let in to these parts for a purpose.
Physical Health- I have lost 22 LBS. I am in a good place of regular exercise and healthy eating. The key for me (at least at this point) is to not make it a big deal. It is not a huge part of my conversations, although it is present…particularly with those few. And of course it is a huge part of this blog…but the blog is more for me than anyone else.