A new, but familiar place in recovery

Body Image, body image, BoDyImAgE, BODYIMAGE, bodyimage

Oooo… what a scary topic, hot button issue.  Normal, skewed, strange, fat thin.  Normal.

We even have special names for our arbitrary definitions.  Funny, no matter how you spin it, they are all bodies, ultimately doing the same thing – letting you live there!

Recently, I wrote a post telling how my body image is improving.  The biggest improvement, really, is that I don’t think about my body as much.  In the past, my sickest years, every touch of skin to skin, every time my thigh splayed flat on the seat of my car, every time I fastened my watch, buttoned my shorts, slipped into a sleeveless shirt or lay down beside my husband, I was painfully aware of my appearance.

However, I’d be lying (which is NOT what I’m trying to do here on Predatory Lies!) if I implied that my body and I peacefully coexist now.  Let me share my prayer from this morning with you.

O Elohim, Creator,

My delightful hiding place.  I come to huddle in the safety of your shadow this morning.

I am in a half-hearted battle with my body, again.  I have a new appreciation for it that I haven’t experienced in so long!  It is strong and my thighs are shapely.  I can see muscle definintion in my arms and calves.  My hair grows quickly, my nails are strong and pretty.  I actually have abs and correographed muscles in my back.  I am very strong.  I can still run 5 miles, do tough drill workouts, swim and do the splits. I love being able to sit still when necessary and quietly listen to you.

Intimacy in my marriage is easier and more comfortable that it ever has been.  I feel sexy and sexual.  I am no longer afraid that I am uglier than every other girl my husband sees.

All that said, Abba Creator, I see food and realize that it is the goodness  you are usuing to affect these changes and somehow, I am still afraid.  I am becoming familiar with feeling full and hungry and sometimes that still scares me.  And sometimes I eat what I like when I am not hungry.

Sometimes, I still feel guilty for betraying my eating disorder identity.  Then I feel guilty for not believing You.  And then I am caught here in the middle of hating myself for two opposing reasons.  help

“Abby, there is no sin here.  You do not need to plan differently for tomorrow and apologize for today’s behavior.  Even if it were a sin, Darling, all your plans against it would be fruitless.  This eating you are doing is learning to trust and obey me – the Author and constructor of your body.

And Abby, my love is extravagant.  I share with you the secrets of my heart.  I have called you my friend and I direct your steps.” taken from Ps. 25

[Dear reader, this is a recalling of some of the painful feelings I had in my sickest days.  Then, it is their echo that still resounds in my life sometimes today.  If you have dealt with anorexia, bulimia or an eating disorder not otherwise specified, then you probably will identify easily with the polarized thoughts that I describe here.  If so, I encourage you to look intently at the things you do like about your body (no matter how few).  I realize that this may be impossible if you have not begun recovery from your eating disorder.  Journal it, write it down and tell the Heavenly Father exactly where you are.  Listen to Him as He will gently rebuke your guilt and lovingly affirm your beauty and purpose.]

Healing Words From a Dialogue With God

Bloated AND Beautiful

Every person has a purpose and a reason for being on earth 

~Sanaya Roman

 

Sometimes it is easier to get caught up in the emotion of the day than it is to stay focused on the purpose for being here on earth.  What I am coming to terms with is how my emotions create a distorted purpose for me and I become quickly obsessed and off track rather than looking at the facts of what is going on around me.

 

When you deal with factual thoughts there is not the drama like there is in an emotionally driven thought.  For example, I have been extremely bloated and constipated for the past three days.  Now I am miserable because my normal clothes are tight.  This immediately triggers emotions of anger and frustration and ultimately the thought that I am not good enough.  I then spiral into my routine self-abuse state that no human being should have to endure.  It leaves me hopeless, rejected and paralyzed.

 

Taking the same scenario from above and this time I choose to take a look at the facts in front of me to formulate a different way of looking at my perceived bloated belly.  In the past week my water intake has been decreased as I have been on a photo shoot all week in a remote location and water was not readily available.  I also have not been eating healthy and my workouts have been cut out of my routine because of the early morning photo shoot times.

 

None of these facts are incriminating.  They are observations for my brain to look at and notice I started a new job and the routine is unfamiliar which made the week a bit more of a challenge.  No wonder I am bloated.  Acceptance then can settle in and I can relax.  Now my old self wants to take the emotion and draw the drama out to the point that over night I have become morbidly obese and no one will ever want to be with me.  Interesting.  All of this goes on inside of my head and its not even 8am.  I am exhausted.

 

My point, I am beautiful.  I do have purpose on this earth beyond my emotional state of mind.  When I can get to the space that I am aware I am being driven by my emotions I can step back and change my thoughts over to the facts.  Did I mention it was also Fourth of July and the chocolate chip cookies were so delicious I needed to have 4 or 5…no 6!

 

How do you get to a place of knowing what is emotionally charged thought?  Be Still.  Notice what you are feeling, get out your journal, write it out and then begin to ask questions like:  Is this true?  For me, I know that in the past my stomach has dictated what kind of day I will have.  If it is flat then I can be happy.  If it is bloated, then I have to look at it and feel hate, anger and frustration that ultimately takes me out of my body, out of the moment I am in and away from my purpose for being here on this earth.

 

I can just imagine Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web waking up in the morning and feeling bloated and saying to Wilbur…I am sorry I can’t do what I was created to do today…I am to bloated and fat.  But isn’t that what we are doing to ourselves?

 

I was doing a photo shoot of a single mom and her daughter this week.  Before we even got started she gave me a list of what she doesn’t like about herself.  I could only see her beauty and was sad that she was doing this to herself.  At that moment she became my mirror.  I am giving myself a list before I even get out of bed of all the things that I don’t like about me.  I not sure I know anyone who would be motivated by this type of list.

 

It is a habit I am breaking slowly.  You see I have a smile that inspires.  Weird to hear let alone write down and share with the world, but it is true.  I also have purpose in my life:  be still.  be inspired.  be love.  I cannot achieve any of these on a daily basis when I am emotionally charged about the way I look.

 

Do you know your purpose for being here on this earth?  Is there a part of you that you don’t like that is keeping you from being your purpose?  If we get caught in the emotions of not being enough, whatever not enough is for you, then we are not living our purpose.  When we are living our purpose we are filled with amazing joy and a knowing that is beyond anything a bloated belly could give you!

 

be still