I’m caught in a loop. This happens to me when I don’t fully work through something. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try.
There are all these thoughts in my head, like little pieces of track to a rollercoaster. Each thought brings me up, brings me down, toggles me, or maybe sends me upside down, etc. Some thoughts are even those super intense moments, when the coaster is at a complete stop and you are waiting for it to start, filled with anticipation, but completely in the moment. All you see is what is right ahead of you, and you swing your legs as they dangle (assuming it’s a leg dangling rollercoaster), and you suddenly forget you have to pee even though moments prior the attendant pressed your harness right into your bladder to ensure that your guts were also harnessed in safely and wouldn’t pour out your mouth the second you went upside down. So, those are the thoughts in my head, actually those are the thoughts about the thoughts in my head. So this loop, somehow my thoughts have created a loop that just keeps repeating itself. Instead of hitting the loop, being thrown upside down for a second, feeling my butt raise off the seat a smidge, almost releasing my bladder out of my mouth, and then being righted once more and continuing on; I am hitting the loop and then just staying in it. There is no exit!
Here is the loop: “My husband thinks I’m disgusting.”
First of all, how dare I?! How dare I claim to know my husband’s thoughts, who do I think I am, God? Nuh huh, Liz, get down from that throne, you look like a lego sitting on daddy’s recliner. One of the most important tools I learned in my years of recovery was to “stay in my own lane.” Meaning, that it is not safe or productive for me to try and figure out what someone else is thinking. And 90% of the time (made up statistic, it’s just a guess) I’m wrong about their thoughts anyway.
But no matter how many times I tell myself the latter, I still find myself in this loop. Typically, this happens because I haven’t fully worked through the loop, which means the loop isn’t just, “My husband thinks I’m disgusting.” There is more to the loop. I know what that piece of loop is, but I don’t want to tell you. It makes me a horrible person. I’ve tried to keep this little part of the loop to myself in the hopes that I could continue my journey from “too fat” to LOVE without it, but it seems that this one little piece of the loop is the exit piece. Until I work through this little piece I cannot leave the loop.
I hesitate to share this for three reasons: 1.) it will make me look bad, 2.) I’m scared you will mistake my thoughts for my husband’s words and think he is a jerk; he’s not, and 3.) that maybe you will think it’s about you. It’s not about you!
Ok, so remember that discussion that my husband and I had over the summer about my overeating and weight gain? Here is the little tic tac of information that is forever throwing me for a loop:
That day on the beach he did say, “I’m worried about you: you’ve been putting on weight and overeating. I’m scared you’re going to wake up three years from now and realize you are 300 pounds. I don’t want you to struggle just to run around and play with our kids.” But I’ve left out two words. And at first I convinced myself I left out these two words to protect the innocent. But really, I left out these two words to protect the guilty…myself.
“I’m worried about you: you’ve been putting on weight and overeating. I’m scared you’re going to wake up three years from now and realize you are 300 pounds, like So-and-so*. I don’t want you to struggle just to run around and play with our kids.”
*I changed So-and-so’s name to protect the identity of the innocent.
Now that I say it, I know this is why I am stuck in this stupid loop. Because every time I say, “…like So-and-so” I shudder with fear and, oh gosh, I can’t even write it. I shudder with…
I’m so ashamed.
I actually shudder with fear and disgust at the thought that I might be “like So-and-so.” My entire approach to fixing this problem has been to not be “…like So-and-so.” Who the hell do I think I am? What makes me so incredible that I can be disgusted by someone else?
So this loop in my head isn’t just, “My husband thinks I’m disgusting.” The real loop is, “My husband thinks I’m disgusting, like how I think So-and-so is disgusting.”
Oh, I so desperately want to defend myself right now, but I can’t. It’s pointless, because no matter what I say, the fact of the matter is that I still find another human being’s appearance disgusting.
It makes me think of Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
It makes sense that I feel like I disgust others when I can so easily find someone else disgusting. The verse doesn’t say who I will be judged by. I always assumed it meant that if I judged others a certain way than others would judge me that way. I don’t think that now. I think it’s saying if I judge others a certain way than I judge myself that way too. Those thoughts become so much more than just a thought about a person. They become a way I live my life.
For example, it disgusts me when So-and-so’s too-small-shirt rides up and exposes her skin below. Not because it’s skin, but because the shirt clearly does not fit anymore, and it makes me uncomfortable to be visually confronted with the fact that she was once one size and is now a drastically bigger size. All I think of when I see that skin is, “no self-control, lots of overeating, no self-love.” (Gosh, I disgust myself. I can’t believe I am even sharing these thoughts with you.) So out of fear I try not be like that. I strive to have self-control, to not overeat, and to love myself. Just the other day I leaned forward while feeding my baby boy a bottle and my too-small-t-shirt rode up over my now pudgy tummy and when my husband, without me having to ask him, pulled my shirt back down because my arms were busy with the baby I thought, “Oh God, he thinks I’m just like S0-and-so.” When my goal is to not be “like So-and-so” I fail every single time!
You know what? Praise Jesus that I fail every single time. Praise Jesus that he does not let me get away with being mean and judgmental. Praise Jesus that He is calling me out on my crap because I can’t take being disgusting anymore! Isn’t it crazy? My fear of being disgusting has made me disgusting!
Oh Jesus, save me! I am stuck in this pit of mucky-muck and I need you to get me out!
And here is my vision:
Jesus isn’t just throwing me a rope from his clean patch of grass on the side of the pool of mucky-muck. No, Jesus is stepping into the mucky-muck. He is walking towards me, fearless of the muck, fearless of getting dirty or stuck. He swiftly approaches me and he grabs my shoulders and he pulls me close into his chest as a mother hugs her child after the child had wandered off in the mall and had gotten lost. He looks at my face, runs his hand down my cheek, kisses my forehead (which is covered in splotches of oozy brownish-green muck by the way) with a single intense kiss, and hugs me close again.
That’s where the vision ends. Damn, I was hoping he was going to unstick my legs and get me out of the mucky-muck, but I guess right now there are more important things to do: hug my savior and bask in his safety and love.
Thank you, Jesus.
Worship with me: Nothing Holding Me Back by Kalley Heiligenthal
Now nothing is holding me back from You
Redeemer of my soul
Now nothing can hold me back from You
Your Love will never let me go
Thank You for Your death and resurrection
Thank You for the power of Your blood
I am overwhelmed by Your affection
The Kindness and the Greatness of Your Love
The Kindness and the Greatness of Your Love
Jesus, You make all things new