It matters now so it is now I will begin the telling.
Food, weight, body image, diets, exercise and anything in between has been a life long battle. I attended my first "diet club" meeting at the age of 13 so it's fair to say that for thirty seven years I have waged war in some way or another. There has never been a moment when I didn't care but a million moments where I didn't know how to care. If you think about it, finding one answer to weight loss for every person on the planet hasn't been done. Because every body is created in such a unique way and every human experience has fed into the problem the answer itself is personal.
In Facebook terms, my relationship status with food would look like this:
Of course that would apply to body image and a dozen other pieces of my life as well. I suppose it has been a long time coming but for my own body, my own spiritual, emotional and physical health, the knots of confusion began to unravel over the past few years.
As I try to figure out just where the beginning of this healing path began for me I'm finding that there has never been just one piece of the puzzle. There hasn't been one great epiphany or discovery. It is all part of the journey. I don't even know if it's a new path as much as a new portion of a very long path for me. Just as living an unhealthy life for so long and not knowing where to get off, this has been a slow road to health in which I am not sure just where I got on.
In fact, after years of taking "before" pictures, there isn't one for this. With countless photos that have no "after" I gave up on creating a line in the sand. After years of feeling like a failure weighed in on me heavier than the scale at the gym did, I wasn't willing to purposely document this one. This turned out to be a great decision because the one portrait I turn to for comparison can only show you my outside progress. What you can't see is that the joy of healing and grace and peace had already rooted so deeply in my heart that the smile in my eyes tells more than the size of my pants or my favorite grey sweater.
There are some significant moments along that way that I can point to in this road of change.
*A blood test that pointed to a pre-diabetic condition steered me away from eating certain food and in the path of healing nutrition.
*When the understanding of God's grace took deep root in my soul, I began to understand the freedom He intended to lavish on me from the beginning.
*The beauty of being His beloved overwhelmed my heart to settle into me the depth of His love and my worth in His eyes. It doesn't change with my eating habits or my size. It is a immovable and steadfast as His love for me.
*He used soul sisters to reveal the gift of food in ministry and community as we break bread together. Food He created is a gift we can share and the sacred ministry of sharing a meal with another being, if embraced, can bring unity and healing and strength.
*Perhaps writing An Open Love Letter (to My Own Body) helped me see things in a new light.
As in any place in our lives that demand growth, to be sure, there are things that I have had to give up. Anyone who tells you that you can attain health without giving up unhealthy habits is selling something This is my Creator I am talking about. In the giving up of those things, I have opened up the space for experiencing life, not death.
Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"
Matthew 22:37,28 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.(Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment."
Two of the many Scripture that have made this part of the path make sense. I'm a woman who needs direction and it is in the pages of God's Word that I find the most. After all, He created me for a relationship with Him and food to sustain this body so I can have a relationship with you.
While I still reside on earth, I don't expect there to be a true "after" but a I hope you don't mind if a few "during" shots show up here