Wow it has been a long time since I have written. I can explain this hiatus by the fact that it seems to be getting harder and I have nothing productive to say...just whining. No one likes to hear someone say the same thing over and over, especially if they are just feeling sorry for themselves. For that reason, I have laid off the computer keys. Today, however, I have some things to share regarding what I have seen in myself. I continue to dissect my issues and get down to the root causes. You hear the saying "it is what it is" and that is not the case. If you take my compulsive exercising/eating issues at face value, then you miss the more serious impediment and significantly minimize the true affliction. This didn't just "happen" to me as I used to believe. I would get so mad at God and ask him why me and why would He not just take it away...meanwhile I was holding onto it will all of my might, not willing to trust God and give it up.
I have started a new Bible study called "Sweet Relationships." There are a few things that set the wheels of thought in motion yesterday. Through reading and conversation with my husband, I saw more of myself and the truth of why this is so hard for me.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21
The author asked a question after citing this verse. She asked when you invest in something, what goes with it? For years, I have made HUGE investments in my body. Like a person with a gambling problem, I kept investing more and more into the pot despite the repercussions that were coming a long with it. I was investing in the physical appearance of my body so there was my heart also. My heart being on myself?? That is not depicting Christ. Not at all. A few months ago I would have argued that my heart was not there but completely on my family first. After all, that is why I got up and worked out so early. I did not want it to take away from time with my family. I wanted to do it while they were asleep. Truth is, even though I worked out while they were asleep, it did take away from them. I could not give them my best because my best was worn down into a lesser version of me. When living out of God's will, one cannot receive His best, nor can one give his/her best. What I am struggling to embrace is that my BEST has nothing to do with my weight or what I look like. Maybe it does according to society where everything is driven by fleshly desires. I have to ask myself if I want to give my best to fall in with the misguided world by investing in fleshly things or to give my eternal best which also benefits my loved ones most with the knowledge that investing based on worldly standards will never reap the rewards that giving my eternal best will undoubtedly do every time. I have actually seen first hand that investing so heavily in these fleshly aspirations has only caused problems and heartache.
One thing that is making this "recovery" time so hard is seeing people posting their fitness feats and motivation and such. It drives me crazy to see them identifying themselves this way. On one hand, I want to say "Stop!! Just look at your motives. Are they to bring glory to God?" Like I said in a previous post, if your goal is to have a six pack, you cannot equate that to bringing glory to God. For one, true modesty would never allow you to show the said six pack. (I say that as someone who has worn a bikini in public and has worked out in a sports bra. I can also admit that after having my baby, I sincerely wanted people to know I had a six pack. Although I never showed it to anyone, I am still very embarrassed by the yearning for people to know. It is embarrassing to admit even here. I am not a bit better than anyone doing those things. I am not claiming to be faultless nor am I saying that someone who wears a bikini does not have their heart right with God. I am claiming to be growing and learning in Christ and posting pictures of your body is not modest.) Likewise, if you did show your six pack, not one viewer would be prompted to worship God. They would be looking at your six pack. Sounds simple enough, huh? BUT that is not the only reason these things bother me...there is the reason I am ashamed of...PRIDE.
Through discussing my pride issue with my husband, I saw why seeing people like this on social media or out in real life who are devoting their energy to physical goals built on edifying self REALLY bothers me. I am prideful. My pride has been masquerading as competitiveness and perfectionism because these things are not so outwardly dirty. However, call it what you will, pride is pride and pride drives these things. Why does someone hate losing? They do not want to feel like someone else is better in that area. They do not want the other person to think of themselves as better. According to the definition, what does pride do? It thinks of itself above others.
I do not walk around puffed up. It is when I encounter people who I think are trying to be fitter or thinner or to work out better than me that I become threatened and want to stick my chest out like the roosters in our back yard. I do not want them to think they are better than me. That is one reason I struggle with not working out and with gaining weight. I am not the thinnest nor the most in shape. I even catch myself fearing that people are trying to one-up what I was as I am obviously not a threat now. I have said often of a few family/friends, that if I was just surrounded by them, this would be so much easier. Let me clarify by saying that it is not because I see myself as better than them. Truth be told, each of them are far prettier than I am. The reason I am not threatened by them, though, and being around them does not well up competitiveness is that they are not out to compete. They have things in perspective. I do not feel for a second that they look at me or anyone with the goal of being better.
I am so worried about what people think in this way. When I first started this, I even thought about posting on Facebook what I was doing and confessing the sin area. I could never get comfortable enough to do it though. Now I see that my motives would not have been pure. To be honest, now I see that I would have been using that post to say (in between the lines), "Don't think you are winning. I am stepping down from the competition in order to pursue more important things."
So what am I to do with all of this? I do not want to be prideful, nor do I want to be forcefully humbled. I can't avoid most people and literally just surround myself with godly women in which I wish to learn from. I need to humble myself, surround myself with godly women, learn from them and then go out in the world and be a godly woman instead of going out in the world and trying to be one of the world. If I am compelled all of the time to compete in unholy endeavors then I am not being set apart. I guess when I get the feeling of needing to compete, I will try to just shut it down by reminding myself of the truth behind it and praying for God to take the feeling away.
One more side note: After 67 days of not working out, I did a small workout yesterday. I don't know when I can do one again. My husband and I have talked about resuming workouts to ad nauseum and have not come to a place of agreement. We have discussed how work outs cannot go back to what they were and my relationship with exercising cannot be the same. I feel like I am ready as long as my husband has some control over it. I think keeping a log for him to review is a good idea. I am just waiting on him to become more comfortable with the idea and to be in a place where he feels he can trust me; and when I can trust myself to stay on guard; and that it will not hinder the physical healing that we hope is happening.