As I’m starting to journey on this year of Crazy Change – it seemed like food was a good place to start. It’s in my life at least a few times every day. I can’t possibly live without it. It is a confusing mess most of the time for me. Everyone says something different about it. How can there be so many different opinions/studies/mindsets on one topic? Is there no universal truth?
Doesn’t seem so.
I started reading through the book Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeurst (the “For Young Women” version I picked up by accident!) and grabbed a couple of wisdom nuggets from her.
One line that stood out for me was “Remember: we were made to consume food; obsession with food (whether that means too much or too little) was never supposed to consume us.” (p. 51)
Well, no doubt about it, most days food definitely consumes me. I don’t know what to eat, what is real food, what foods does my body react negatively to… and now this whole new dimension of constantly asking myself, Why am I eating this particular thing at this particular moment?
I can track some things back my whole life that I can remember – the way my stomache bloats to look like I’m 5 months pregnant at times. I thought this was normal, just a part of eating – I’m learning it’s not supposed to be this way. And then trying to determine why it bloats. And the feelings of fatigue, the fog that fills my head and makes it hard to grab a clear thought some days, the irritability, the insomnia – all these negative issues in my life can mostly be linked back to food.
Food is not my friend.
Not currently anyways.
But I’m learning to make it my friend, to make it something positive in my life, to bring it into balance with the rest of the “stuff” that fills my days.
A big eye-opener for me was very recently, when I realized that food has literally become my friend. The thing I reach for when I’m lonely, sad, feeling down, bored – you name it. This was a hard realization – that I’d let something other than God or another person come to mean so much to me, and become the thing I rely on regularly.
Because just yesterday I realized it hasn’t even been a good friend. It fills my days with stomache pains and constant cravings for more (especially the chocolate aspect of the relationship!) and lack of sleep and anxiety and fatigue… on and on.
I am also skimming through books like How to De-Stress Your Life and a couple of other food books like the Flat Belly Diet (this is supposed to help with getting rid of the bloating that I suffer from on a daily basis – not get my stomache back to where it was pre-3 Sklar boys and 2 c-sections!) This book is actually teaching me to love my belly, squishy stretch marks and all. My belly housed my three most precious gifts from God (besides my Joshua). And I wouldn’t change it for the world – uh uh – no way.
Back to the subject at hand… these books I’m skimming say the same thing… and I like when books say the same thing… means I’m getting somewhere…
We should fill our lives with GOOD friends. Friends that will encourage us, make us feel happy, gently bring us back into line when we need it, fill our hearts with gladness for their presence, etc. etc.
I’m pretty sure catering to my every whim, never setting any boundaries, making me feel sick, keeping me awake at night, and lowering my self-esteem are NOT on the list of what makes a good friend.
And yet I’ve let this “friend” in to all these areas of my life – areas I don’t let many people into. The hidden parts, the secret parts, the parts of me that need filling.
Sometimes it’s just so scary to let people in, to be that vulnerable, to let them see the ugly parts, the sometimes dark parts, the hurting parts.
But you know what?
I need it. I need them. To see. Me.
And I am blessed with few.
And a wonderful mother and sister to boot.
And there are a few special women in my life who hold such dear places in my heart – some for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime. I am supremely blessed by them… yes, absolutely.
My best friend tells me daily how much he loves me and how beautiful I am. Inside and out.
After all we’ve been through, him seeing the ugliest parts, darkest parts, most hurting parts – he STILL wants to be my best friend.
Jeepers, doesn’t get any better than that, does it?
And my mother and sister have loved me all my life, walked with me through EVERYTHING, been there for me at all the highs and lows (if not in person, then in thought and prayer).
My daddy and my brother are two of my biggest fans – I know this for sure.
I also have two little best friends in my sons – one came up to me yesterday and said You look like you need a hug. You always need hugs. Then he came right up to me, just a couple of inches shorter than me now, and hugged me and told me he loved me and filled my heart. He does this often. The other son has taken to dancing with me before bed – he grabs my hand in an old-fashioned gentleman style and puts his other hand around my waist, and lays his head on my shoulder (he’s not far behind his brother in being almost as tall as me!) and rocks back and forth to a silent rhythm – a rhythm we create ourselves, I suppose. Then he grabs my face in his hands, puts his forehead against mine, looks deep into my eyes and tells me he loves me.
These men of mine – these amazing, special men of mine – they all want me to know they love me. And they all show me in different ways.
Am I even seeing this? Am I listening? Is it sinking in at all?
I complain often about not being heard, wondering if anyone is listening to me around my house. Sometimes I think my quiet ways go unnoticed.
Maybe I’m the one who’s not paying attention, not listening, not appreciating the quiet things in my life, the gentle exclaimations of love that fill my days.
Maybe I’m too busy spending time with friends who don’t treat me very well, or thinking about those friends and how to manage them better, or being consumed by them.
These friends that are not my friends.
These foods that fill my days.
I have to let them go. I have to step away from them. I have to fill my days with healthier things, more encouraging friends, better friends, REAL friends.
And when I think about it, my life is full of them.
I’m excited to focus on them, now that I’ve figured out at least a part of this puzzle.
Food is very confusing for me, but I’m starting to sort through it.
Now that I can see a need to separate the emotional eating from the physical eating.
These are two very different things.
Finally I can see through the fog to that truth.
It’s a good view as I continue to journey through the change – Crazy Change.