A week or so ago I disclosed my 10 Crappy Steps to Feel Love. I then promised to look at these steps, identify the lies, and then fight these lies with the Truth (God’s word). I worked on it for maybe 30 minutes after that and then totally forgot about it.
It wasn’t until yesterday when I ate an entire frozen pizza by myself (not a personal size one) that my thoughts drifted back to my 10 Crappy Steps. I immediately wanted to go throw up, but what would that actually do? Just like sweeping dust under a rug, throwing up would simply cover up the shame I felt for binging in the first place. The outside world need never know of this shame if my body doesn’t give me away. But throwing up would only keep me from fully digesting the calories that I had consumed; it didn’t change the fact that I kept going back to pizza instead of Jesus. Going back for what though? Going back for goodness? Going back for fullness? For relief? For comfort? I don’t know.
I’m trying to remember how I felt in those moments that I was over indulging. My guess is, whatever I was feeling, somehow falls into the Seven Lies my 10 Crappy Steps revealed to me. I’ll reveal those 7 lies in a second, but first I kind of want to dig into this pizza thing.
My sponsor in Celebrate Recovery (a Christ-centered 12 step recovery program) often reminds me that when I relapse into an old behavior it usually starts way before the actual lapse in behavior. So this binge on pizza wasn’t just a moment of weakness, but a series of events, actions and choices that could have started days or even weeks ago that broke me down.
And now that I say that, I know exactly what triggered it. I’ve thought about it every day since it happened without consciously making a decision to think about it. I hesitate saying what the trigger was, because it was a simple foot in mouth scenario said by someone who I really like, and I would hate for her to think she is the reason to my eating issues. However, what was said is really important to what I’m sharing here.
(Ok, dear friend, if you are reading this and see your words, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, understand that I have 30+ years of dysfunction picking up your words and running wildly away with them. These 30+ years have turned a small meaningless thing into a giant sand storm and that is no fault of yours. Yes, you are responsible for your words, but I am responsible for what I do with those words later on, and let me tell you, none of your words told me to go eat an entire pizza.)
Several days ago I saw an old friend. She had not seen me pregnant yet and after talking for a bit our conversation went like this:
“So how far along are you?”
“I’m four and a half, almost five months now.”
“Really? You look way further along than that, more like seven to eight months.”
Not a huge deal, and yet, a huge deal! I jokingly texted this interaction to a friend and followed it up with “Good thing she didn’t say this to a girl with body image issues….oh, wait…”
But like I said, it’s not so much about what was said, as what I did with those words afterward. Suddenly, I was questioning the health of my entire pregnancy. The doctor had said that I was right on track with my weight gain, and baby was exactly the size he was supposed to be, according to my due date. But screw what the health professional said, I must look fat! I kept replaying the conversation over and over again. I kept thinking how I should have said something witty and sarcastic, but I knew it wouldn’t have made me feel better. Later, I told my mother in law and sister in law what happened in hopes of getting a couple laughs and also a, “she’s crazy, you look great!” But all I got were the laughs. Which then of course I started thinking, “does that mean they agree?”. When I told my closest confidants they all responded with the laugh and then a reassuring, “you look great”. Which was exactly what I wanted, but for some reason it just didn’t fill me like I thought it would. I still felt…wrong.
My body is doing this wrong.
My body is showing others that I am doing this wrong.
What can I change to make it right?
How can I lose weight and look the right amount pregnant while still keeping my baby safe?
How can I be the best at pregnancy?
Maybe I’m wearing unflattering clothes; I should find some more flattering styles.
What if I can’t ever drop this weight?
What if I put on loads more weight?
What if I get more stretch marks than I already have?!
I need to start running again, or at least walking.
I need to be more mindful of what I’m eating.
I need to do more yoga.
I need to do some workout videos.
And then I got sick. I couldn’t do any of the things to make “it right”, and I kept thinking about all the things that made me wrong. Now I see that getting sick was a blessing in disguise, but last week I was just frustrated. It’s cold outside, and I’m sick, and I’m chasing a toddler around all the time and how am I supposed to fix me if I can’t even do the things that would fix me?
Wow, so you can’t see this, but I’m crying now. Not because of the comment, but because I had no idea I felt so wrong. I’m not even sure what I feel wrong about; I just know that I hate feeling wrong. I want to be right, all the time. Did the pizza make me feel right in that moment? Did the pizza fill that emptiness that being wrong created? It sure felt right at the time! But afterwards I just felt more wrong…
THIS, brings me back to the 7 Lies I choose to believe every time I take my 10 Crappy Steps. I need to identify these lies so I can fight against them. These lies aren’t giving me a better life like they promised and I’m done with them!
The 7 Lies:
- Love and worth are based on physical appearance
- Feeling good about oneself means feeling better than others
- Beauty is pain
- Lust = love
- Love and worth are based on the opinions of others
- Love can be earned
- Food can fix the disgust I feel about myself
Tune in next time to see what flaming truth arrows I can throw at this load of crap I have decided to base my life upon.
Oh yea, here is a huge victory before I sign off: normally, I would have obsessively googled what 4.5 months and 5 months pregnant bellies look like and then try to decide if my belly fit in with the population. I did not do that this time! I knew that wasn’t a good choice and stayed away from google! I didn’t even Facebook stalk my friends who are due around the same time to see what their bellies looked like. I chose not to compare myself because I knew it was one of my 10 crappy steps and it was built on a lie! Praise Jesus!