If you read my post yesterday, you know that I'm on a strict 6 month regimen or rather, anti-regimen of a few things. I announced this all yesterday but the decision came to me this past Saturday. I felt the Lord's leading and I cut those things out of my life (again, see post) starting right then. I can honestly say that its already changing my life. I didn't realize until now how much energy I spend carrying the weight of the number on the scale, of monitoring progress and striving toward getting to a lower size. I'm already feeling more present. Like there isn't a looming anxiety of whether I worked out today, what my measurements are or how many calories are in something. Knowing that I'm cutting myself off from that for a substantial time is already tasting a bit like freedom... and its helping me direct my attention elsewhere!
Its also helping me be more present relationally. Typically, I am carrying guilt from where my body is at at all times. This means, when my neighbor's kids ask me to play, I'm thinking "Did I work out today?" and if I haven't, I feel guilty spending time with them. Then I get angry with myself if I missed out on working out and then Jon comes home to a frustrated and ashamed wife who is NO fun, then when we eat dinner together after that I'm so disgusted with myself I am in a stinky mood all night.
Making decisions out of love instead of fear and self-hatred? Yeah, I think I could use a lot more of that.
Honestly, cutting these habits out has already improved that. My life already feels more whole. Praise GOD!
It's amazing how much energy it takes to maintain guilt and shame. What's more amazing, is that in Jesus, we don't have to. I want to believe in that so much more than I do now. I say I believe it, but the weight of guilt in my life makes it pretty clear that in my guts, I don't really believe that I can accept the grace that God gives. I don't believe He's telling the truth about who I am to Him.
Well, at least I don't when I'm doing what today revealed is self-love's worst enemy.
Guess what it is.
Go ahead. Guess. It starts with a C.
This afternoon I caught a glimpse of one of my worst enemies on this journey to self-fandom. It's easy to rest on your laurels and to believe in all the good stuff until you line yourself up to someone else then JUST LIKE THAT... Things begin to fall apart, right? They do for me.
Today I pulled a daring move. On day three of my new anti-regimen I decided to take a friend up on an offer to take a run down by the beach. I agreed to it only because at the start of it, I wasn't doing it because I felt fat today. So, I went.
Before we got to trotting, she started talking about how she felt bad about her body and how that's why she wanted to get a good run in today( she hadn't read my blog post yet, so she didn't know where I was coming from). I held myself back with all my strength from pointing out that she's got nothing to worry about and that I'M the one who gained 30 pounds this year and blah blah blah.
Sidebar: I really think we need to cut out this kind of conversation between us, ladies. We are so much more than those things and you never know when your self-bashing makes someone else feel even WORSE about THEMSELVES when they start to compare themselves to you. Seriously. Its poison. I'm trying to cut it out of my life, too.
I smiled and gave a " Nahhh, c'mon" gesture and changed the subject but... that got me already tempted to compare myself and THEN, shortly into the run, she started to pull way ahead. Like, 40 yards.. then 70 yards ahead... then probably 100. She was behind me and even LOOPED me during the run.
Man, I was in deep with the struggle. I was immediately confronted with the temptation to start comparing myself to her and once I did that I knew it'd be a quick journey to discouragement.
I struggled on and off but stayed pretty afloat. I'm not sure if I'm at a point on this road where running with other friends is a great idea ( too easy to compare) but dangit, don't you wish we just didn't have that part of our brains?
Gosh. Comparison. The enemy of joy, self-confidence, friendships, and body-images everywhere. If we could stop ourselves from comparing our lives, bodies, paychecks, families, life journeys, songs, selves to others, we wouldn't ever think we aren't good enough! We wouldn't know!
Lord, help me kick comparison in the friggin teeth. I don't know how to stop my addiction to compare myself to others but help me to break free from being a slave to it.
May I learn to celebrate what You've made not because it measures up to anyone else, but because You made it and called it VERY good.
Carly Calmes the First