Caught in a Loop

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.

“…like So-and-so.”

“…like So-and-so.”

“…like So-and-so.”

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…

…disgust.

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

It’s a Coverup

I just finished reading the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio and let me tell you it was AMAZING! The book just showed up on the suggested books page of my library app and it looked good so I checked it out. And then God spoke to me throughout the entire thing! I laughed, I cried, I felt ashamed, I felt validated, and it all revolved around physical appearance.wonder_cover_art

The main character, Auggie, is a fifth grader who is starting school for the first time (outside of home school). Auggie has a cranial-facial abnormality that caused his face to be severely deformed. Auggie spends a lot of time wishing he had a different face, and as I got to know Auggie as a character, this desire broke my heart. I don’t want to say too much, because I want you to read this book yourself. I want you to fall in love with Auggie for yourself, not out of pity but out of genuine love for who he is as a character.

Auggie used to wear a space helmet everywhere he went to keep people from gasping at the sight of his face. He felt it was so much better for them to think he was weird for wearing a helmet that covered his face than to look at him in fear because of his face. But what Auggie’s father said to him one day, got me thinking about how God thinks about me:

“’Come on, Auggie, please try to understand,’ he continued, putting his hand under my chin and tilting my face toward him. “You were wearing that helmet all the time. And the real, real, real, real truth is: I missed seeing your face, Auggie. I know you don’t always love it, but you have to understand…I love it. I love this face of yours, Auggie, completely and passionately. And it kind of broke my heart that you were always covering it up.’”

What do I cover up that God loves about me? I’m always making excuses for my weight. As if I have to justify myself to others or even protect others from feeling embarrassed or ashamed for me. I know this isn’t the same. I know I don’t have a deformed face, and I know I’m not morbidly obese, but the fact of the matter is, I have become a victim of my body.

I’m still trying to sort this all out in my head. Because part of my weight problem is an over-indulgence issue and part of it is a refusal to accept what God has given me. Could the over-indulgence issue be a symptom of a refusal to accept myself? Just like how Auggie used his space helmet to cover the face he did not want?

In a weird way I think I use my weight and beauty as a way to protect myself from rejection. Stick with me here, I know it’s backwards, but here it is:

I’m scared of what others think of me. I’m scared they will reject the real me: the goofy, silly, clumsy, creative, dancing like a fool and making up songs about nothing, me. I’m scared they will reject the me that has absolutely nothing to do with my body size. Right now if someone rejects me I can blame it on my weight. I can just be like, “Oh I must not look like the right kind of friend” or “my husband doesn’t think I’m pretty because my t-shirt is too small and keeps riding up over the little tire of chub around my belly and it disgusts him.” Just to be clear, these are MY thoughts. I have NO IDEA what anyone else is thinking about me. They probably aren’t even thinking about me at all.

But with these thoughts, I am aware of “why” I’m being rejected. So then I can explain away rejection in my mind and I can apologize to others for my weight. People don’t have to go behind my back and be like, “yea, I’m not her friend because she is fat and ugly.” Because, I “know” it already. But this is not reality! I’ve been living in a false reality and I have absolutely no idea how to get out of it. It’s like, when I don’t let people dislike the real me, I also don’t let people like the real me. When I protect myself from hurt, I rob others from the gift of me.

And if you message me and say, “just accept who you are” or “Jesus loves you the way you are” or “it doesn’t matter what other people think”, you may be speaking truth but you’re wasting your time and mine. It’s not that easy. I’m not writing this in search of compliments, I’ve done that for years, it doesn’t work. I’m not writing this to hear about the latest diet you tried, or the workouts you do, I’ve tried that, it doesn’t work. I’m not trying to be a bitch here, I’m just being honest with you. It doesn’t work because no matter what I try, I’m still the one trying it! I’m the problem and I’m gonna tell you this right now, YOU CANNOT FIX ME. Only God can fix me. Only Jesus can fix me.

Does this brokenness of mine make you uncomfortable? Good. It’s reality. Reality isn’t comfortable. Jesus isn’t needed in comfortable. Please, let me be broken right now, because this is what is driving me towards the only one that can fix me.

I know this sounds harsh, but let me try to explain this in a different way. It’s like when I had a face full of zits back in middle school. I had no idea that the best thing for my face was simply a hot wash cloth to clean it and olive oil to moisturize. My mom had her own skin care regiment that worked for her and so I adopted it as well. Only, I didn’t realize that my skin was different than hers so instead of removing the pimples from my face, I managed to dry out my face and get more pimples! What the heck?

So a friend of mine said, “I know what to do! Here’s some cover-up.” And so I began using foundation and cover-up on my face to mask the zits and give the illusion that I had a clear face. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still use cover-up and foundation for the occasional zit when I’m going out someplace nice, but I don’t use it as a solution anymore. In middle school, cover-up was my daily solution to zits, but the reality was that the cover-up was clogging my pores even more and exacerbating the problem. The more cover-up I used, the more cover-up I needed. When cover-up was my solution I still had a big problem on my face. The cover-up may have given me the illusion of perfection at first, but after a while the bumpiness, redness, and puss of my face could be seen even through the cakiest of cover-up jobs. I had to let go of what I thought was the solution. I had to let go of the fear that my face may become more zitty before it got better. I had to give it time to get better and I had to stop covering up the problem even if that meant people would see my imperfection. So when my imperfect, zitty face made my friend uncomfortable once again and she said, “Hey, here’s some cover-up.”I knew in the long run it wouldn’t fix my problem, and it would actually make it worse, so I was able to resist. But if she were to put it on my face and I saw how it helped my appearance jut the tiniest bit, I know I would feel just a little bit better, and risk starting the cover-up process all over again.

I seek the affirmation and approval of others. Every time you tell me, “but you’re so beautiful” or “what are you talking about? You’re not fat!” or “Just accept yourself for who God created you to be!” It doesn’t actually help me. It covers my brokenness with a thin layer of cover-up. I leave thinking, “Oh, I’m not that bad…” But I’m done being “not that bad” I want to be “radiant!”

I’m done covering up. And I’m done covering-up other people’s imperfections too. I’m going to start searching for the REAL solution and I have a feeling it’s going to look very different from what I’ve been doing.

Food Hoarding

I raced down the basement steps early one morning before school. My mom kept our school lunch provisions in the basement store room so we knew they were only for school lunches. Eating a Dunkaroos, Twinkie, or fruit cup on a day that wasn’t meant for school lunches was out of the question. My three brothers and I kept a tight inventory of all of the school lunch provisions and this morning was an important morning. Dunkaroos came in packs of six and there were four of us kids. This meant that my oldest brother, J, would have already taken the fifth Dunkaroo for his high school lunch and there was one Dunkaroo left for me and my other two brothers to fight over. There was of course an unopened box of donut sticks for the losers to open, but Dunkaroos were rare in our household and worth a fight. My youngest brother was still in elementary school and wouldn’t be up until after my middle brother and I were on the bus to middle school. But when I went into the Dunkaroos box it was empty. I heard my middle brother sliding on his heels down the steps in hopes of making it to the bottom of the steps faster than if he ran. He was ready to wrestle for the Dunkaroo, it wasn’t claimed until it was in a brown paper bag. But when he burst through the store room door he saw me holding the Dunkaroo box with a perplexed look on my face. He quickly snatched the box from my hands and looked inside to confirm what he already knew to be true: the sixth Dunkaroo was missing.

We both mulled over the scenario in our heads, silently hoping to reveal the fate of the missing Dunkaroo before the other.

“Did you eat it?”

“No, did you?”

“No.”

So, it was either the oldest or the youngest who would be getting in trouble for this. But as we tried to crack the case of the missing Dunkaroo my youngest brother nonchalantly walked into the store room, reached behind a can of minestrone soup, and pulled out the last Dunkaroo before sprinting up the stairs and hollering, “MOM!!!” at the top of his lungs, in the hopes that my mom would save him from the wrath he was about to face.

Hiding food: I had never thought of it before. I was astonished that my youngest brother had out witted me with that Dunkaroo. He must have figured out, when he was making his lunch the day before, that he wouldn’t even get a chance to get a second Dunkaroo because he got up so late, so he hid a Dunkaroo. This practice soon became a norm in our household, and early morning lunch making turned into a hide and seek of provisions. Hiding food soon became hoarding food. We would hide items the second the box was opened and no one was around. I remember checking on my items to ensure their hiding places were not found out. I would hide items days in advance to ensure I would have something good every single day. I would search for my brothers’ hiding places so I could take their hoarded items to lunch first and then later pack my items when all the other good things were gone.

I didn’t realize I still had a hoarding problem until, well, yesterday. I was reading Exodus 16 about the manna and the Israelites. God told the Israelites to only collect enough manna for the day. He told them not to hoard any manna, and when some hoarded it anyway, the manna they were hoarding became maggoty and smelly and unfit to eat.

My initial thought was, “You stupid idiots, why would you hoard if God told you not to? Don’t you trust that God is taking care of you and will provide you with everything you need?” For the past two years I have started a new practice while reading my bible. If at any point, while reading I think, “I would never do that” I stop and think about where in my life I am doing just that.  Yup, I was definitely hoarding. I don’t hoard like I did back when I was in school, I’m not hiding my food from anyone else, but instead I’m collecting candy and keeping it in my pantry, you know, in case the sweet cravings become too much and I just need a sugar fix. I’m really setting myself up for success with that mindset, huh? I keep candy I wouldn’t otherwise eat, just in case. I keep stale chewy jolly ranchers, just in case. I keep chocolate that starts getting white on the outside, just in case. I can’t throw away candy because what if I find myself with a huge sugar craving and without a source of sugary goodness? The world will most definitely end if this scenario ever comes to pass.


 

What is wrong with me? Why am I so scared of being without sweets? What is it that sugar even gives me other than a headache and a queasy stomach? Goodness. I want goodness. I crave sweets when I need something good. And I’m starting to realize it’s not just something good to eat, but goodness in general. When I’m tired or unfulfilled, I look for fulfillment from food. But it’s so short lived. And afterwards I feel worse than I did before and then I end up doing it all over again because I need goodness more than I did before the binge. And the cycle continues, with some workouts peppered in there to help me feel less guilty about my overeating. This is an addiction.

And at least the Israelites were hoarding something they needed. I don’t NEED sugar to survive. I have food. I have never been without food. Well, I guess the Israelites didn’t really NEED their hoarded manna either, because God was providing for them daily. So why don’t I trust God to provide me with the daily goodness I need? Why am I not even going to Him when I crave goodness? Do I not trust Him?

And there it is again, “Do I trust God will provide for my every need?” My brain trusts that He will provide, but I live as if I don’t trust Him to do so.

Results of Dare #1

God called me to fast mirrors a little bit ago, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get started. I was so ready to have an excuse to stop verbally abusing myself. If I couldn’t see my reflection, then I wouldn’t be able to point out all my flaws, right?

But after God called me to fast mirrors He showed me that this fast would need preparation, which, brought about Dare #1. dare1-post-itUnfortunately, Dare #1 meant looking in the mirror to find out what my thoughts actually were. Here are the results:

  1. How’s the hair looking? Meh, just ok…
  2. Where is that damned little chin whisker I keep feeling? Oh my gosh, where did all these chin hairs come from?! Eeewww, I am literally becoming Chewbacca. BBBBBRRRRRrrrrraaaaaaa
  3. That’s a pimple…that’s another pimple…and another…gotta pop them all!
  4. Woah, remember not to put your head in that position ever again, otherwise people we see that rolly polly double chin of mine.
  5. Can you see my roots? Ick, yup…so bad.
  6. Thank God I got my hair done and no longer have to see my roots!
  7. How does this shirt look? Any stomach lumps? What about back fat? Can you see the outline of my belly button? Yup, to all three…I need to change.
  8. What about these pants? How’s the muffin top? (*My muffin top is all that, whole grain low-fat, I know you want a piece of that, but I just wanna dance!*) Out of control! Woooo, why do you even still own these pants?! Because, when I do finally fit into them I will feel like I accomplished something. What, no longer being fat? I am NOT fat! Well, maybe a little…No, I’m not! That’s not what your husband said. Woah, excuse me, he did NOT say I was fat! Stop taking that conversation out of context! Well, you certainly FELT fat after that conversation… *Nice Imagination Liz walks away from Bully Imagination Liz*

Ouch. I am brutal. I fight dirty and don’t give up. Do you know what the worst part is? In writing down these abusive arguments I have with myself, I remembered something I said to someone in high school. I don’t want to write it down. It’s so mean, and I can’t even believe I would dream of saying that to another human being. But I guess if I can say it to myself, what is stopping me from saying it to someone else? I don’t want to own up to it, but I’m going to. Those words are floating around in the universe and I need to take responsibility for them so that Jesus can cleanse me of it.

I sat with a group of boys and girls at a lunch table in our high school cafeteria. A larger girl (but by no means fat) walked by our table and one of our group pointed out that, “she is way too big to be wearing that outfit.” We all laughed. Then someone pointed out that it looked like she had been crying. Another girl said, “yea, I heard her dance teacher told her she couldn’t continue dancing pointe.” My response….

“Her dance teacher was probably worried she would break her feet trying to hold up her fat ass.”

And we all laughed.

Did she hear? Did someone tell her? Do you know what the worst part is? I don’t even remember specifically who it was.

How could I say something like that? How can I continue to say things like that to myself? Why do I still think those things about other people when I want to love them? How do I stop this? How do I change these thoughts? I don’t want to be a mean girl anymore, even if it is just in my thoughts.

I started searching in my bible for answers, because I know it must be different than what I have been trying. I have tried to be good and nice and loving for years, but clearly those thoughts still exist and they still come out, although maybe not towards others as often as they did in high school, but they still come out towards me on an hourly basis.  I was surprised at how clear God can be through these ancient words. I’ve read these verses a bazillion times, but once again they are coming alive today for what I need now. (I wonder when the greatness of God will stop surprising me – hopefully never.)

Romans 8:5-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“5 For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. 6 Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; 7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.”

Okay, so I must be living by the flesh instead of by the spirit. I hold myself to standards of the flesh and thus I hold others to standards of the flesh, but all this does is produce hurt, death, and hostility. So, how do I live by the spirit? How do I let go of my fleshly desires and standards. I have this fear that if I let go of dieting, of calorie counting, of food, of my workout schedule that I’m going to become fat…too fat to love. What if Jesus’ plan for me is to be fat? What if His will for me is to be of average beauty and average or big size so others aren’t intimidated by me? What if? What if my husband dies and I’m alone and ugly and fat and then I’ll be alone forever. What if? What if God created me to be big and my husband rejects me for it. 

How do I let go of those fears when I have no idea what new thing I’m going to be grasping onto? 

 

 

 My Dear child, oh, my beautiful ,radiant daughter, I did not give you a spirit of fear and timidity by of power, love, and self-control (2 Tim 1:7). Do you know who I AM? Do you know my nature? Do you know how I treat my children? Maybe this isn’t about who you fail to be as much as it is about who I AM. You don’t seem to know me, the real me. If you knew Me, you would know that my will is good and perfect. I will not abandon you or harm you. I want what is best for you. You would be letting go of your fears to hold on to My hand, not some unknown thing. Come to Me, Come to know Me, the real Me. You will be amazed at the plans I have for you. 

Hey Jesus,

I’m done trying to be the king of my heart. I’m done trying to take your place. I’m done judging others and myself. I don’t want to fill this heart with more muck and tar and death. I want to keep it clean, I want goodness to ooze from me. I want you to shine through. Since I don’t know how to think good thoughts about me, I’m just going to think about you. I’m going to learn about you. I’m going to dwell on your nature. I’m going to fill myself with you, so maybe someday I’ll see you when I look in the mirror. I love you. I need you. I need you in every moment of everyday.

Amen.

 

WORSHIP WITH ME: “King of my Heart” by Steffany Gretzinger

Truth and Dare #1

God has been calling me to fast for a couple years now. Most of the time I just ignore Him, but when I do listen I’m never  able to do it. It always turns into me hoping to get skinny. I’m not even really sure what the point of fasting is, which is probably why it always turns into being about me. But God has continued to call me to it and when I asked him, “Why? What’s the point? What does it do?” He said, “I’ll show you.”

Great, this is one of those “trust-me-and-I’ll-show-you moments”. Don’t get me wrong, these moments are great for telling people about God’s glory, but when it comes to my life they kind of scare the bejesus out of me. (Am I allowed to say bejesus?)

This past week or so I’ve been chatting with God about fasting, well honestly I have just been throwing countless questions at Him and not waiting for an answer. (I really don’t want to do this fast, maybe if I spew a million questions at Him, He will get confused and leave me alone.)

“As a new mother is it wise to fast? Won’t I just be an angry person?”

“What type of fast? Can I just give up sweets or something? Does it have to be all food?”

“How long does this have to go on?”

“Should I start right now? Should I wait until Jan 1st?”

“Is blogging about my fast counterproductive to a fast since I’m not supposed to grumble and groan about it?”

I’m the type of person who wants to go all out, get it done and over with, and then get a pat on the back and huge round of applause;  but God has been telling me that my way is not always the best way. Apparently a fast is not fast, oh boy, this is confusing…a fast is not quick. There is preparation time involved. I’m not even supposed to start until I have finished reading The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory. And I’m not allowed to start reading that book until I finish If by Mark Batterson. Who knew God was such a stickler for homework?

The other thing God told me was something I knew, but I was a little scared to voice to Him. Hah, as if He didn’t know already.

“Elizabeth?”

“Yes Father, I’m here. What is it?”

“When you fast, I want you to focus on me.”

“Of course I will! Fasting is for You isn’t it?”

“I don’t want you to get caught up in how you look. I don’t want you to let your body become an idol.”

“God? I’m not sure if I know how to even do that. “

“I know, but that’s what I’m going to teach you. The very first thing I want you to do is fast from any mirror bigger than your hand. This includes checking your reflection in a window.”

“But what about the shopping spree that Dean gave me for Christmas? How will I know if the clothes look good on me?”

“How do you they look on the rack? Do you like them? How do they feel? My dear, your eyes are deceiving you. Your eyes are telling you lies and then you repeat these lies over and over again in your mind. Each time you repeat a lie it deepens a trench in your brain and it becomes easier and easier to believe that lie. When you live by these lies it causes your entire body to sin. You have made your body an idol. I want you to be able to fully enjoy the gift Dean gave you- fully, purely, and without sin. But most of all I want you to fully enjoy the gift that I gave you: your body. Just as you need to prepare for a food fast, you need to prepare for your mirror fast; trust Me in this. Remember, I do not give as the world gives.”

So, in order for me to properly prepare for my Daniel fast, I need to first prepare for a fast from mirrors. Oh boy. I’m not sure how long he wants me to fast from mirrors, but I know it is at least until I finish my Daniel fast. The Daniel fast is 21 days, and I still need to read the book, so at least a month; let’s be honest, I am a snail of a reader, so it will definitely be more like two months. But I’m getting ahead of myself already. I can’t just jump into this mirror fast without preparation.

I don’t know exactly how this is going to work, but I do know I DON’T have to figure that out. God will reveal everything I need in time, I fully trust that. He has done it so many times before. For now, God has given me a little challenge in preparation. If you want to join me this challenge, I’ll be posting weekly “Dares” that we can do together. These dares are designed to stretch ME and are by no means a standard by which YOU need to live. These are simply things God is calling ME to do FOR NOW and I just wanted to invite others to join me.  If you can’t do them all: cool, do what you can; if you only want to try one: awesome, I’ll be supporting you; if you think the dares don’t apply to you and you are in no way compelled to do them: great, consider yourself lucky. But as for me, I will be doing these dares, messing up these dares, failing at these dares, succeeding at the these dares, and learning from these dares.

If you decide to join me in one, two, or all of the dares; I would love to hear how it’s going for you. Comment below; shoot me an email using my contact page; or use #2fat2loveDARE with your pictures on Instagram to let me know what you discover: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. You can also follow me on Instagram @2fat2love

DARE 1

I dare you to start putting words to the thoughts (good and bad) that pass through your mind as you look in the mirror. Write them down as the week goes by, we will use these later.

These are the identity trenches you are digging in your brain. The more you think these thoughts the deeper the trenches get and the easier it is for your thoughts to continue in that pattern. I hate putting words to the negative thoughts because I can easily get caught in a spiral of repeating them, but I need to put words to my thoughts so I can later fight the lies and fortify the truths with scripture (don’t jump ahead, we will add the scripture later).

dare1-post-it