Monday, August 2, 2010

The journey restated

The year before I turned 40 I was in great shape. I had lost 35 lbs. and was an avid runner. In December of 2008 I ran a half-marathon and felt on top of the world. I decided that this time would be the last time I lost weight. This time I would keep it off. This time would be different. I felt so good, why on earth would I gain weight yet again? And because I was about to turn 40 I knew that if I were to gain weight it would probably all be over for me. Getting it back off would be close to impossible.
Because I had indeed done the same that I had always done, of course the weight did come back. Sigh…

Now what am I going to do? My life is over, I am fat, I always will be fat, I hate myself, and there is no hope. On occasion I would muster up the determination to go on yet another diet, and because I am older, then it will take a little longer, but that’s OK I must do it. But, oh I just can’t. I’m tired if this, who wants to live a miserable life of depravation and exhaustion? So my diets lasted less than a week and life goes on, still tired, fat and feeling bad about myself. Not to mention feeling inadequate, like a failure in every area of my life and lonely. I add lonely because I tend to isolate myself from people when I get this way. I assume that no one wants to associate with a person like me, so I check out and keep everyone at a safe distance. I also feel like I am the only one that feels this way, I am in this alone so no one wants to hear what I have to say, again, no one wants to be around me. And the thought of anyone getting to know the real me, what I am really like, what I really think, what I really feel is just intolerable.

Deep inside I know that this can’t be true. God could not have created me for such a miserable life. But how do I snap out if it? How can I lose weight and be happy? Ha! Did you catch that? I have come to believe that I must be thin to be happy. This is what I addressed in my last post I am not the image on the magazine cover.

Weeks ago (around the time a began this blog) God began to speak to my heart. At this time I pretty much decided that indeed I was not going to be dieting any more. I also began to understand that the only road to happiness would be freedom. I knew where I was headed but I still wasn’t sure how I was going to get there.

As God would have it a fabulous book landed in my hands. This book written by Geneen Roth “Women, Food and God” has really been instrumental in helping me make this great turnaround in my life. It has confirmed what I knew I needed to do and has also given me guides as to how to get to where I am going.

Geneen Roth is not a believer of follower of Christ, therefore I was wanting to be very cautious and discerning as I read her book (twice). I will be writing a lot about what I have learned and about the practices that I follow, however in order to be more rooted in truth (the only way to freedom) I am now reading a book by Dallas Willard called “Renovation of the Heart”, a book that speaks to the issue of spiritual formation and, as the title states, renovation (transformation, change) of the heart. This is a process that begins from the inside. What I am praying for is exactly that. I pray that my heart would be transformed, that I will see and seek truth, truth that will be setting me free.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I’m not the image on the magazine cover

In a moment of intimacy with my husband I decided to turn the light off in the room and turn on the light in the bathroom. I like it that way because it is more romantic to have lighter lighting then the full power of the overhead light in the bedroom. He said he liked the overhead light because he can see me better. I understood where he was coming from, but still left the lighting that way, he could see me fine! So, I made a comment to him. “You know, you are lucky that I let you see me naked”. He looked at me in a quizzical way, so I clarified. “Many women don’t like their husbands to see them naked, they are ashamed and the hide under the covers or turn off the lights completely.” Although I never have done so, I totally understand how they are feeling. He said to me “But what is there to hide?”
That response really struck me. A woman would totally “get” that, but for a man, the concept is pretty foreign. I know that men are very highly stimulated visually; I also know that even though I am far from perfect my husband finds me, somehow, extremely attractive, sexy and beautiful. To him, I am the sexiest thing on earth, and although many times it is hard to accept this truth, I love to delight in the fact that he delights himself in me. The more I accept this truth the more I am willing to show myself to him, in all of my vulnerabilities, and I find great pleasure in doing so. As I have worked on loving my body, and myself and loving who God created me to be, both emotionally and physically, I am in a much better position to offer my beauty and my body TO Mike, instead of depending on him (or others) to confirm my beauty. In other words, instead of using my husband to boost my ego, I rely on who God has created me to be and from there feel like I’m in a position to give of myself fully without being an emotional drain on my beloved.
What I explained to Mike was that it is so hard to compete (or at least feel like we need to compete) with what is out there, with what the world had set as a standard. We are led to believe that thin and trim and fit is what all men (and women) want, and not only that but “LOOK, you will be happy when YOU look like this, see how happy she is?”


What if, we close our eyes for a moment and reflect on our own bodies, and are thankful for what we have, for who we are, for who God created us to be. Not last year, not in three months after you lose 30 lbs. but NOW.

What if we go back several hundred years and take a look at beauty that at some point in time was attractive and beautiful.


That’s more like it. Just add a few stretch marks.

Isn’t it interesting that we are bombarded with these images that tell us that there is something wrong with us and we need to be fixed. The diet industry is making millions by telling us this lie. We believe them hook, line and sinker. As we do so, we are destroying ourselves and entering into the endless abyss of hatred and loathing that is followed by punishment (dieting), and reward (thinness). Then we realize we still can’t measure up and so we eat our way through the pain and there the cycle begins again, further into the abyss.

The freedom that I want is not having to compare myself to the women on the magazine covers, and not even wishing that I was the perfect model for Renoir. The freedom that I want is loving the skin I’m in, enjoying who I am so I can offer myself to those around me. The freedom to rest assured that I am loved, the freedom to always be willing to turn on the lights and feel confident that my lover delights in me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Fine Lines (part one)

The fine lines drive me crazy. The fine lines are what makes us love rules and recipes that we can follow that are fool proof. The fine lines forces us have to trust ourselves and that we are capable of making the right choices. But the fine lines therefore make me not trust myself and second guess everything and every choice that I make. The fine lines are tricky, and are different for everyone. Being close to that line is a dangerous and scary place to be. I often find myself at this line wondering: how close am I? I what direction should I run? Or should I run? Maybe I just need to take one step back, or forward.

I don't like the term "gray area" which may be what some people may want to label this place. I don't like gray because it implies that the white (good) and black (bad) are overlapping. I believe in good and bad, and in absolutes. I believe in truth. Truth is the most important weapon against bondage, Truth is what sets us free! And since freedom is what I am seeking, then truth is where I will find it. A gray area won't do. But a fine line does exist and I think that there is where the battle is taking place, right on the border of the "fine line".

Here are the lines that I face myself up against.

Where is the line between healthy ambition and dissatisfaction?
Where is the line between having pride in what you have accomplished and BEING proud?
Where is the line between feeling beautiful and being vain?
Where is the line between "saved by grace" and "working out your salvation with fear and trembling"?

Where is the line between being disciplined and being obsessed?

This is what I've been thinking...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Roots of my Insecurity

For the past few days I have been all over the place spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have so much going through my mind that I am trying to sort out that I couldn't possibly be able to "pen" it all down.

Today was one of those days that I felt like my children would be better off without me. Maybe I should just find a great career and let someone else take over this huge responsibility that I just don't feel like I can handle. I am way out of my league and totally in over my head.(I know, a lie straight out of hell, since I don't trust God that he has equipped me to take care of the children that he entrusted to me).
It also just so happens that I overate today, which got me to thinking. I try to picture myself in the situations when I tend to overeat. The common thread that I seem to find is that every time I overeat I am feeling very insecure. I feel that sense that I really am in over my head. It is a "I do not belong here" feeling. When that happens (quite often, I might add) I disengage, withdraw, quietly crawl into my little hole and be sure to bring a lot of food along so I can at least feel some pleasure. As a child I was a foreigner no matter where I was. And although I was born in Chile and considered myself a chilena, I just wasn't. And when I came to the States I was used to a different culture and although by all appearances I was an American, I just wasn't. I have now lived in the States far longer than I ever did in Chile, yet those roots of insecurity follow me everywhere I go, no matter where I am or what situation I am in. I constantly feel like I DO NOT belong.

It's hard. It's hard to drive to the soccer field in my little Scion and see that the rest of the vehicles in the lot are Suburbans, Odysseys, and Cadillacs, and where every member of the family has an iPhone. It's hard to walk out of my 1300 sq. ft. house and arrive at my sisters 2000+ sq. ft. house that has no dust in sight, all toys picked up and where the dishes are cleaned and the floor is swept after EVERY meal. It's hard. It's hard to sit at the dinner table with the boys (that includes my husband) and try to enjoy the topics of conversation that range anywhere from math and algebra to any and every bodily function and sound imaginable, then listen to them laugh about it. I don't belong here. It's hard to be out and about and be so obsessive about checking out every woman in sight and comparing myself to her, they are all skinnier and more beautiful that me. And don't even get me started on the gym! It's hard.
It's hard to go blog surfing and check out all of these incredible women and their incredible creations and homes. So I try, but, I don't belong here either.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Beginning of a Journey

A few months ago I began reading a book called "So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore. I have read a few of her books and gone through several of her Bible studies. I really like Beth Moore. She has always inspired me and has pushed me to be a better lover of Christ. Being that I am a woman and, I am full of insecurities (aren't we all?) I picked a copy up at my local christian bookstore and began to read. This is a book that seems to me to be quite different from the rest of her books. I felt like it was a little "sloppy" in the sense that it wasn't layed out real methodically, step by step, point by sub point like she usually does. I sped through it trying to find the "recipe" and quick fix to my insecurities. However, I was lost and I got about 3/4 of the way through and it ended up under my bed, as opposed to next to it.

Fast forward a few weeks and find me once again at my "I'm so desperate" point because my weight has once again gotten way out of control. I mentioned before in my Create in Me blog that I am the poster child for the yo-yo dieter and as most dieters I am so sick of this life. I have lived the past 25 years pretty much either losing weight or gaining weight. I think that the only time I ever maintained my weight was for one year because I had gall stones and I didn't have health insurance to have the gall bladder removed. I spent the year eating a virtually fat free diet so that I could avoid a gall stone attack. Let me just say that I have had two babies "al natural" and I have never experienced the kind of pain you endure during a gall bladder attack. I would rather go through several birthing experiences than to have one of those! Needless to say, as soon as the insurance came and the Dr. got that gall bladder out, the weight began to creep back up. Oh how I would love to figure out how much weight I have lost and gained over my lifetime, on second thought, maybe I wouldn't.

Because I am miserable and uncomfortable, and I have a closet and garage full of cute clothes that don't fit me I decided AGAIN to go on ANOTHER diet. Sigh...
I just don't think I have it in me anymore, seriously. Last time I lost weight I was approaching 40 and I just knew that this would be the last time. I can speak from experience that the older you get the harder it is to get all this fat off. And really, I'm not sure what happened, but the minute I turned 40 my body changed. Amazing. I was so determined to face this era of my life with the greatest of dignity and laugh in the face of aging, but life is cruel and it has been so enlightening to see that no matter how hard I try to think that I am young, or how young at heart I think I am, aging happens and it's getting the last laugh.

As I ran back to God this time I have been pleading with him to help me once again. I am thinking, I can't do what I have always done, it will not work. Or if it does it won't be for long. Other times I thought it was different, I honestly did. Don't we all, because we could never see ourselves in THAT place again, so we give away all of our "fat" clothes and with determination we decide to begin the new life we have made for ourselves. One where we feel we have conquered it all, we have "arrived" and we can find great joy and happiness with our new look.
Everyone notices and sings the praises we have so desperately been longing for, those that to some extent help us feel like we have some worth. We feel so secure. Or do we?

Today I dragged my book out from under the bed, blew off the dust and began to read, this time slowly. The more I red the more I began to see what I think deep inside I have always known. There is something so much deeper here to deal with than the unwanted weight I carry around. There is a weight that is so much heavier that the 50 lbs. I long to lose. The weight of insecurity.

So this is where my journey begins. And for some strange reason I want you to come along with me. I have so many deserts to cross, mountains to climb and rivers to cross, no telling how many detours or scenic routs we will have to take, but where I want to get to is a promised land. Maybe where my luggage will be 50 lbs. lighter, maybe not. I personally can't wait for what the Lord has in store for me. Come take your bags, some water and maybe some Kleenex, if not for you, I know I will certainly need some along the way.