I always start out a blog post with a title that winds up shaping how I write the post. Not this time though. The title will come last. That’s unusual for me, but it’s ok. God is ‘doing a new thing’ in my life. After tons of trial and error (T-O-N-S…) and lots of research over the last couple of months, I finally (FINALLY!) figured out the eating plan that’s right for me, that will help me to reach my weight loss and health goals. But it can’t end with simply knowing what I should eat and following the plan. If it was that simple, I’d never have gained weight back in the first place.
I’m a food addict. I habitually take comfort in food even while I’m loathing myself for doing same. Food is my drug of choice.
And no, it’s not harmless because it’s food. In fact, it’s pretty darned harmful. You can learn to live without drugs or alcohol, but you can’t live without food. So while I admit it’s not at all the same as being addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s also not easy to overcome and it’s definitely not harmless. Quite honestly, I’ve created additional health challenges for myself with my weight gain and with the poor food choices I’ve been making. Comfort, for me, has come at a very high cost.
Then there’s the whole guy thing. I’ve been divorced for 7 1/2 years and living on my own for 8 1/2. In that time I’ve been on two dates with two different guys (and one that was date-like, but was defined ahead of time as more hanging out with a friend and getting to know each other a little better with an eye to maybe dating in the future – which it turned out he wasn’t ready for). One thing I realized a while ago is that even though I’d love to be in a relationship, staying overweight, while painful for other reasons, insulates me from being hurt. Guys are very visual, so it’s easy for me to blame my weight (and the resulting mobility issues) for why guys just aren’t interested in me romantically. But now I find myself faced with the fact that losing weight will mean losing that insulation/excuse. It’s a scary proposition, but one I finally feel brave enough to face with a renewed knowing that I won’t be facing it alone.
So on top of the eating plan I’ll be starting over the next couple of weeks as I clean out my fridge and cupboards and replace things with only plan-friendly food, I’m confronting and dealing with the food addiction head on. I’m not doing it alone though. Deepening my relationship with God and relearning to find my comfort in Him instead of food is the only way I know I’ll be victorious.
I’ve also committed (to God and myself) to writing daily again – something I haven’t done for far too long. It’s who I am – a writer. Just saying that, admitting that’s what God created me to be, is more freeing than I can begin to tell you. I’m not saying I’m good at it mind you, but like breathing, I need to do it. Not doing it has made me feel a bit lost. I’ve allowed myself to feel unworthy of my calling for the last few years and haven’t sat down to do any real writing in that time. I’ve written in my journal and dabbled a bit with minor projects, but nothing serious. I have at least four books I started years ago that need to be dusted off, the ideas re-evaluated. But I’m going to do that. Soon. Once I reorganize and make a good-sized dent in the book I just started, that is.
I went to Maine last week thoroughly burned out – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I needed to lie low this weekend to recover from the trip, but even in the midst of a debilitating, exhausting, painful Fibro flare-up I could still feel the residual effects of the week. I spent hours (HOURS!) reading the bible and an equal amount of time outlining, researching, and starting a novel (with a harbor view, no less). It was the best thing I could possibly have done for myself. Renewing my mind in such a beautiful, peaceful spot, away from all the distractions of home, affected every other part of me as well. The salt air was invigorating, being so close to the water rested and refreshed my soul, and a few places unexpectedly triggered my imagination. But most importantly, because this was very much a spiritual battle, I was reminded that I know how to fight burnout and the resulting numbness I was experiencing; the same way to fight anything – with my sword – God’s Word.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Sunset – view from my balcony in East Boothbay, Maine 10/8/2019