My name is Kim. I am
32 35 years old. I am a woman of substance and strength. I am a survivor. I am a competitor. I am an athlete. I am beautiful. I am vulnerable. I am a friend, a sister, a daughter, and an Aunt. I am afraid. I am courageous. I am not alone. I am Enough. I am loved, cherished even. I am imperfect. I am free.
I started this blog as a place to write my journey out as I began, again, to lose weight in April 2008. Very quickly my fears took over and after my initial entry I did not blog again for some time. Ironically or perhaps coincidentally, I also didn’t do so hot with my weight loss efforts either.
I had known for some time that my eating/weight was connected to an event from my childhood. At the age of 5 I was sexually abused and shortly after that, I began adding on weight. Add to that, I came from a home that, while I was loved, we were not expressive in our emotions, unless of course they were emotions such as anger. I never really talked about my abuse besides a casual acknowledgement that it happened, not as a kid and not as an adult. Instead, IF I ever thought about it, I ate.
I also was recognizing that I was pretty disconnected from my emotions. Most people would never have known that, but after years of being disconnected I knew how to fake it pretty well. I was always the happy one, the one that was so positive, the one that no one ever worried about because I was always “good”. Yet, inside there were things going on that I couldn’t identify and therefore couldn’t talk about. I couldn’t put words to what was going on but I had been noticing that I could not remember the last time I had been angry or that I had cried. This bothered me. I knew on some level this was not healthy.
In 2007, I finally decided enough was enough. I had tried and failed yet again to lose weight and I wanted to know what was getting in the way. How come I could go strong and lose 60 lbs and then just stop? Am I really just that uncommitted or is there something else at work? So I sought out a counselor who could help me connect to my emotions and therefore help me lose weight. However, the sexual abuse topic was off limits. I still was not ready to fully acknowledge that part of my story or its effects. Somehow I knew that if I went to that place it would be painful and hard and perhaps more than I could handle. This stance did not last long!
In the Spring of 2008, God began to get loud with me on many fronts. It was as if the things He had been saying to me for a long time, through many people was suddenly beginning to be heard. He spoke to me about my value to Him and what He calls me. I am Enough!
In June 2008, I spent a week at a retreat place, where I was supposed to be volunteering so that people in full time ministry could have a week of rest. But God does not discriminate about time or place. When He wants to speak, He speaks. At this retreat, and without going into all the long drawn out details, I was asked by a few of my fellow team members if I would be willing to tell my story. My story of my sexual abuse and in as much detail as I possibly could. You see, these team members of mine knew me well. They knew that this issue is something I have been avoiding for a long time. They knew I was terrified. They knew more though, that in the telling, there is healing and so they simply encouraged me to share. For the first time in my life, I shared every detail of what I remember about my abuse. I also shared my fears of what I don’t remember and everything in between. Oh the healing that came down in those moments. I had anticipated feeling ugly and dirty. That these friends of mine, who happen to be men, and father like figures to me in many ways, would somehow judge me, not like me, or some other crazy thing like that. I was shocked and somewhat puzzled by their tears when I finished speaking/sobbing myself. Later, they encouraged me to take part in a Healing Ministry for people who have had an experience such as mine, called Retelling God’s Story for Your Life. I adamantly refused! I knew enough to know that would mean sharing my story again, and I wasn’t sure I could handle that. I barely handled this time!
Later that week, during a prayer time, I felt like God came in with an invitation and a promise. If I would be willing to look at my story, my life, through the Retelling format, there would be something big and beautiful in it for me. However I did not have to, His promise was that my heart would be healed no matter what! His invitation was for me to have courage and walk this hard road for a greater blessing! My curiosity was piqued. What could be a greater blessing than having the healing in my heart so that this event no longer controls me? I wrestled with this for some time and by the end of this retreat week, said Yes!
Retelling began in the Fall of 2008. At the same time, for some crazy reason I decided that was the time to begin a weight loss challenge through Matthew McNutt’s website. This seems crazy given that emotional stuff is a trigger for me to eat, but I had been working through so much in counseling. I was feeling very connected. I could identify my emotions in the moment I was having them and not hours or even days later. All of this has been an amazing ride. I walked through 12 weeks of this class and it was not easy. There were times just walking into the building made me want to puke. There were times I wanted to run as fast and as far away as possible. There was a time when I was so incredibly angry, I actually shook with the amount of feeling that was there and just wept for 2 straight days. Through it all I was not alone. I had a few friends who knew on some level what I was going through and were there to listen when I needed it. I had my counselor, but more than that God seemed to move in with me during this time. I knew in a very tangible way, that I was NEVER alone!
I started blogging again at about the same time (Fall 2008) and I started working out and figuring out some sort of health plan for myself, again. This was in September. I have not stopped since. This is the longest I have ever stuck to a plan for weight loss. It has not been without struggle or challenges, but I have not given up. I won’t give up.
I know this is a long ABOUT ME page… but this is not about merely losing weight. It is about taking back my life! It is about becoming wholly healthy! In order to take it back, I need to fully acknowledge what was stolen. And if me sharing my story will help someone else share theirs or help them decide to chase after health, then who am I to hold my story back. After all, it is not my story, it is God’s story of redemption, that happens to be personified in me. The story is not complete yet. There is more to come as I travel along on this Road to Beautiful…