Monday, September 30, 2013

I know

I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what you're doing, but I know who you are.

These words stuck with me on my way home tonight. I'm at a place in my life that I don't really know what God is doing. I know that I have a place to lay my head at night. I know that I have a family that loves me. But, I'm 23 years old- unmarried, not in school, no job. It's hard not to feel like a failure sometimes. While I know that I needed to seek treatment nine months ago, it put some important things to the side- like finding a job or grad school. While I know it was necessary for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health-- it's hard looking back.

I feel so lost and confused...I don't know who I am anymore. My identity is in shambles. The rock I built my life upon- the pursuit of perfection- has shattered. I am in a spiritually dry desert right now. I pray and I cry out to God, but as hard as I try- I can't hear that voice anymore. I try going to church, but I end up having to leave due to anxiety and panic attacks. The place I once felt most at home and most at peace scares me. I know that it's the devil trying to attack. I know that this isn't of God. But it is so hard for me right now. I'm scared. I'm like a lost little girl that doesn't know where she's going, where she's being led. But I'm holding on. I'm holding on to the hand of God, just like I used to hang on to my Daddy's finger. Just like I trusted him then, I'm trusting God now.

Even in this time of darkness, I know who God is. I know that he is faithful. I know that he is true. I know that he is powerful. I know that he fights my battles for me. I know all of this because the Bible tells me so and I believe it. So even when I'm worried about grad school (if I'll get in, the entrance exam, etc) or living on my own, or recovery, or going to church, or whatever...I'm going to keep going. I'm going to keep trying. Even when it doesn't work one time, I'm going to try again. Even when my prayers for healing from this awful disorder seem to not be heard, I'm going to keep praying. Even when I have to go home from church for the thousandth time, I'm going to go back the next Sunday and try again. Grant me patience, please. It's a hard process I'm going through. But, even though I don't know the next breath I'll take or the next move I'll make...I know who God is.

Friday, September 13, 2013

life is better than skinny feels.

It started with this.
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

Can I just tell you that that is a big fat lie?
So much tastes better than being skinny. 

I'm inviting a little controversy over to the blog today. You see, I'm tired. Tired of seeing "fitspo" posted all over my Pinterest account. I'm tired of looking to find recipes...and finding half naked girls that just make me feel inferior. I'm tired of this being viewed as "okay". I'm tired of this being encouraged. I truly believe that this whole "fitspo" thing is just the new form of "thinspo"- which is really just the girls' version of pornography. Yes, I just said that. 

Thinspo- Short for thinspiration. Often used by the pro-ana (pro-anorexia) and pro-mia (pro-bulimia) groups as inspiration for crazy diets, exercise routines, and purging behaviors.

Fitspo- Short for fitspiration. The new, more acceptable form of thinspo- that still encourages some of the same destructive behaviors- but especially focuses on "clean eating" and excessive exercising.

Both of these can be horribly destructive. It's awfully hard to put these pictures on my blog. I don't want you to see them. But, I want you to know what is out there. I want you to know what to stay away from. I want you to know that there is a life better for you than all of this. There is a God that loves you the way that you are and you don't have to be pretty or fit or skinny for him to like you and accept you. There's so much more to life than restricting. Limiting yourself to 1200 calories a day is considered a starvation diet. 1200 calories is what a six year old girl needs to survive. Think about how much bigger you are than six year old you, how much taller you are. Would you deprive her the calories she needs so that her body will function? Think about how many more things your body does now. You know what happens when your body goes into starvation mode? Let me tell you.

Your body gets tired. You want to sleep all the time. Your hair starts falling out, which can be really weird if you share a shower with your two brothers and they wonder why the drain keeps getting clogged. You'll start feeling cold all the time. You will feel faint, like you are going to pass out- and you just might. Your heart will slow down. If your a girl, you might lose your period. Your digestive system will slow down and try to hang onto every calorie it can. Forget about being strong and working out- you'll be too weak for that. Mentally, you won't be able to think as well. Your work and school will suffer. Heart and brain function will be compromised. If you starve yourself long enough- death may occur. It's not a fun thing. I can tell you this from first hand experience. Anorexia is a horrible, horrible disease. You may think that you're just cutting back or dieting, but messing around with starvation diets is a dangerous game to play. Thinspo is just one aspect of the pro-ana culture.

Fitspo comes out of this culture. It's a new, more acceptable form of thinspo, like orthorexia is a new, more acceptable form of anorexia. Orthorexia is "characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthful." It often involves excessive exercise, pushing the body to levels of exhaustion. Part of it is the idea of "clean eating". Since when was food "dirty"? If it falls on the floor in a pile of mud, maybe it's dirty. But, a food is not dirty because it has sugar or carbs. Your body needs sugar and carbs. The biggest portion of the Food Pyramid is grains- that's carbs! Your body needs carbs. Can I just say that one more time? Your body needs carbs. Depriving your body of foods that aren't clean and healthful is an eating disordered behavior. Working out all the time to "get skinny" isn't healthy either. Athletica nervosa, anyone? You can call it "obsessed" or "dedicated"- but that doesn't mean that it's good for you. Yes, exercise can be good for you. But, there's a limit. If you're "puking, fainting, or dying"- you are probably working your body too hard. Listen to the signals that your body is sending. Is it saying to stop? Then STOP!

The first image in the post is a famous pro-ana post. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Ashamedly, that was one of my mottos during my eating disorder. But, I hope you can see that skinny isn't all it's cracked up to be if you are starving yourself to get there. I'd like to end by saying that alot of things taste as good as "fit feels". Carrots and lettuce and grilled chicken are good- but that doesn't mean that you can't indulge in a cupcake or brownie every once in awhile. Fried chicken won't kill you. Pasta won't make you gain 10 pounds. Life is more than being skinny or fit. Life is better than fit feels. Living and breathing is better than skinny feels. Being able to go out with friends. Being able to eat in public. Not feeling like you need to throw up because you ate carbs. Being able to live life and enjoy life is SO MUCH BETTER than "skinny" or "fit". 

Please don't degrade yourself because you see images of skinny, photoshopped women saying that you don't need to eat that or that you need to run 10 miles a day. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Daddy in heaven that loves you. Your Abba Father made you just the way you are and he loves you just the way you are. Your body is a temple. Love that temple. Love that body. Respect that temple. Respect that body. Remember that you are wonderfully made- being skinny and/or fit doesn't change anything. Life is better than skinny feels.