What a week. I’m going to go ahead and tell you that the diet went out the door this week. But that’s okay. Even if it’s not okay, I’m saying it’s okay. Because it’s okay to me. I needed it. I don’t feel like a failure because I’m not quitting. I took a small break and I’m ready to get out there and try again next week. So that’s my preface for this chapter in my life. Here’s what my week was like.
Sunday was fine. I spent the morning at church with my husband teaching a brand new crop of 4 year olds about Jesus. That’s always a blast. You know what’s kind of sad? I always get nervous around kids. Especially that age. I can’t tell you how many times I have been babysitting and a kid has told me, “You’re fat,” Not really in a mean way, but in a way where they notice and they want to tell you. Just like one of our primary kids last year raised his hand in the middle of the lesson, looked at my husband and said, “You have a big nose.” Benn, being used to the comment, laughed it off and continued teaching. The kid didn’t point it out to be mean or anything, he was just observing something that he needed to share. (photo so you can see Benn’s nose- which I happen to love.)
We came home from church and made lunch for the missionaries. We made my favorite casserole. It’s rice, vegetable soup, and about 2 lbs of cheese broiled on top. It’s seriously the best thing in the world. But you know what? I didn’t eat a bite. I ate my chicken salad sandwich made with an avocado and yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and a stick of low fat string cheese. Benn and the missionaries managed to scarf down the entire casserole, so even if I wanted to cheat, I wouldn’t have been able to.
Monday. Monday was a hard day. I went to work. I absolutely forced myself to eat breakfast. I forgot about eating my snack and didn’t realize until the room was spinning that I had forgotten to take my lunch break as well. I had been so busy that day with work that a natural stopping point didn’t come until about 130. I took my lunch and went and sat in my car for some much needed peace and quiet. We have a break room, but you can still hear the phone ring in there and I just really needed to be away from that. Benn made this really good rice stir fry with chicken. I liked it a lot, but I was having such a hard time eating it. I couldn’t bring myself to put the food in my mouth. It made me feel so nauseous. I had been having this same problem for a while, but was always able to force most of the food down with out too much trouble. This time, I didn’t even get through half of it. I had eaten enough for the room to stop spinning, but not enough to really fuel my body. Dieting for me is so hard. I would rather not eat than eat healthy. How awful is that? I’m like a petulant child that doesn’t want to eat my broccoli.
I made my way inside after my lunch break and sat at my cubical. Madison, the angel that made my food plan, sits in the cubical next to me. I asked her if that was normal and she told me that on a subconscious level, food was still the enemy. That I was seeing it as bad and that made me not want to eat when I was trying so hard to lose weight. Of course, I’m silently bawling and literally thanking God for the cubical that divided us so that she couldn’t see the tears of frustration rolling down my cheeks. I asked her if I was trading one eating disorder for another. My biggest fear at that moment was that in my quest for health, I was becoming anorexic. It made me realize just how closely related all eating disorders are. The desire to control. The need for comfort and stability and the realization that you have control over what goes into your body even if it means nothing goes in. I had to change my thinking real fast.
I went home and laid on my bed and just cried. I was shaky again and knew that I needed to eat something, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I texted my friend Nina and she assured me that it was withdrawals from the bad food that I had been eating and that I would be fine once I got over the hump. I have never felt so low. I mean, I’m sure there have been worse moments in my life, but in that moment, I realized exactly what I had done to myself. I had spent so much time worrying about abuse that I may or may not have suffered in the past and worried about all the emotional strain that I had been under that other people had caused me over the years and didn’t even stop to consider the way that I had abused myself. I had eaten myself into a position where I couldn’t even eat healthy without having legitimate withdrawals. I had lived such a sedentary life style that I couldn’t even walk around the block without feeling winded and exhausted. The way that I chose to comfort myself, was actually killing me.
Nina told me to stay strong and put my feelings into words. She said that of course I feel awful. I had completely changed the way that I was eating and the only thing that would make me feel better in that moment would be to go back and continue eating the way I had before. The thing was, I didn’t even want to eat the way I had before. I didn’t want to eat anything. I wanted to die. I wanted to bury myself in blankets and just stop existing. Not out of depression, but out of embarrassment and it was just too hard. It was too hard to be healthy. Nina, bless her heart, took it upon herself to fix me from all the way in Nebraska. She texted me an hour or so into my pity party and told me that she bought me Dr. Phil’s diet book and an herbal cleanse. Of course I started bawling again. But this time, out of gratitude. It wasn’t even what she bought for me that lifted my spirits, but the fact that she cared enough about my health and well being that she wanted to purchase and send me tools that she had used to help her. That meant she believed in me. That meant that someone 1,200 miles away that I had never even met in real life, believed that I could turn my life around. And if she believed it, I could too.
Of course, I have so many supporters. All of you reading this and my husband and family. I’m so grateful for all of your support. After I wrote the first two entries and received all of your encouraging words and realized just how many of you are going through exactly what I’m going through, it really changed everything for me. I knew that I needed to do it, not just for me and my health, but for everyone else that was trying and felt like they couldn’t do it. Because that’s where I am. I still don’t know if I can do it. I have hope. but I’m terrified of failing.
I realized in my moment of despair and uncertainty that I could not do this by myself. I couldn’t even do this with Benn who makes all my food or Nina who sends me care packages. I need God. I should have realized all of this before hand, but to quote Forrest Gump, “I am not a smart man.”
I have had many “come to Jesus” moments in my life. Recently, I was crying in the shower, something I do often because I just cry all the time, and I was praying about what I could do to make it easier to go to work. I was really, really, really hating my job at the time. a thought popped in my head, just matter-of-fact enough that it had to be my mother that said, “Stop crying. Are you reading your scriptures? Are you saying your prayers? Nothing is going to get better until you do.” I did the best I could for the next week and things did get a little better. Of course I had slacked off since then and have had many ups and downs, but I know that my life is more stable when I make the effort to do those simple things.
So I made the decision to re- dedicate myself to Christ. In the interest of being honest, I’m going to tell you that this has been a slow process. On Sunday, for example, I didn’t even go to church. It had been such a trying week and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep. So I gave that to myself. I probably shouldn’t have, but I allowed myself the time that I needed to hit the reset button.
Last week wasn’t so much about turning my life over to God as it was about learning that I need God in my life. I can’t do this without him. So I used last week as a prep week, if you will. Lots of internal processing and quiet time. I also took the opportunity to spoil myself. I went to Sephora and splurged on some foundation. Eating healthier has made my face, if possible, more red and I’ve started breaking out like a teenager. I know that this is just the detoxing process, but I had zits in my armpits, for crying out loud. Life style changes suck at first. They’re hard and do terrible, gross things to your body. But I know that they can also do awesome things and that’s why I want to pursue this.
I took the week off from my meal plan. I ate with moderation and tried to stay relatively healthy, though I did opt for some rather unhealthy choices on Superbowl Sunday. I decided that I’m not going to push this too hard. I’m not going to allow myself to continue to eat the way that I had been in the past, but I’m also not going to let it consume me. I didn’t go to the gym once last week. I know that I made it my goal to do so, but I wasn’t ready. and that’s okay. It’s okay to admit to yourself that you’re not ready. It’s okay to work your way up to your goals. My mother-in-law told me, and I’m paraphrasing, “It didn’t take you one day to get to this point and so it’s not going to take you one day to get where you want to be.” and that is so true. It’s going to take a while. I probably won’t be one of those girls that loses 50 lbs in 6 months. It’s probably going to take me a little while. But that’s okay. Because what it comes down to is, I’m changing my life. I’m becoming happy and healthy and more centered in Christ. I am changing for the better. Slow progress is better than no progress.
I’m sorry that this is late. I had to work Saturday and it really set me back on everything that I wanted to do. Thank you for reading and supporting me. Last week was rough, but i have high hopes for this week. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.