Thursday Thoughts [Problems and Answers]

April 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm 13 comments

Heads up y’all. This post gets a little deep.

I mentioned a little bit in my last post about how I’m trying to make God the center of my life instead of all the other things the world says is important. I wanted to go a little deeper in today’s Thursday Thoughts post. Usually my Thursday thoughts are less serious and more random, but I’ve just had a lot on my mind and needed this post to dump it out on all you innocent readers. 😉

For the past 3 1/2 years I’ve struggled with body image issues and eating disorder tendencies ranging from extreme calorie restriction to binge eating. I’ve talked about my issues with some people before, like my husband, mom, friends, and probably even a few random people. But, I’ve never really just come out and said it to the world. (Not that I feel like I have to) This weekend at the Women of Joy conference, God revealed some powerful things to me. First, let me tell you about my messed up mind.

The Problem

When I look in the mirror, I immediately see every single flaw that I have. I see a pudgy belly, thick thighs, love handles, a short torso, broad shoulders, fat toes (my mom is probably laughing at that), and so many other things. As a result, I constantly try to fix everything about myself. I eat healthy to lose weight. Then when the weight wont come off anymore, I start exercising to tighten, tone, and burn off extra fat. The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with doing those things. It’s great! BUT, it consumes my thoughts to the point that it’s all I can think about.

I’ve gotten better about it over the past year and even quit calories counting back in the fall. But the truth is, my brain still “counts” the calories. Sure I don’t know exactly how many calories I’m eating, but I know a rough estimate at least. In the past, there was no room for splurges EVER. And you know what that eventually led to? Binge eating. Once I let myself have a little taste of something “bad,” it was all downhill. “Well, I’ve already had a brownie, why not go ahead and have that cookie? Ohhh and some poptarts. Who knows when you’ll get to have those again? Quick! Eat as much bad stuff as you can because tomorrow it’s back to normal!” I couldn’t grasp the concept that healthy eating is not an all or nothing thing. I realized recently why I couldn’t stop eating once I started. I was an emotional eater. As soon as I would eat something bad, I’d feel almost elated. So happy that I was finally eating that brownie. But as soon as it was gone, the guilt would flood me. So in order to keep the guilt away, I needed to keep eating.

After a night or day of binge eating/eating a crap ton of bad foods, I would wake up feeling horribly guilty and disgusted with myself. I would check the mirror to see how much my stomach had grown, and even if it hadn’t grown a centimeter, I would see 5 inches of growth. It was a terrible cycle of restriction and binging for a while there. Sometimes I’d go weeks or months without a binge, and other times I’d binge a few times in one week. I even went as far as trying to make myself throw up. Good thing I’m a wimp and can’t do it or else who knows where I’d be right now? I was not in a good place.

How I tried to Fix It

I always thought that if I could just get to XXX pounds, or if I could just get down to XX% body fat I’d be happy. So I continued on with my journey to perfection. I made progress along the way. I stopped weighing my self so much and focused on how I felt in my clothes. I stopped counting calories and tried to adopt the 80/20 plan for eating healthy. But I still had slip ups all the time, and every time I felt like a failure. WHY couldn’t I just be a normal person??? WHY can I not eat normally without feeling like I should either eat ALL the healthy foods or ALL the bad foods??

How God Told Me to Fix It

There were times when I thought the problem was fixed, but it wasn’t until hearing God this past weekend at Women of Joy that I realized what I was doing wrong. Angela Thomas spoke about how we all have our “soul cup” that we try to fill with things of the world weather it be people or things. I realized that I’ve been trying to fill my cup with healthy eating and exercise. And on the days when I slip up and have something unhealthy or I don’t exercise, I try to fill my cup with food. And lots of it. The only thing, or should I say, the only ONE who can fill my cup is Christ. He is the water that should be pouring into my cup until it overflows! If my cup is overflowing with Him, then nothing can take away my JOY and my happiness. Having the perfect body will not make me happy like I thought it would. And I’m finally starting to feel like I’m in a place where I can love myself for who God made me to be.

It’s still going to be hard. The day that I came home from the conference, I had a night of semi-binge eating. I didn’t go as far as I have before, but still…. This was the day I got home from the conference where God had just given me the answer! How could I still be messing up? When I woke up the next morning the first thing I did was pray, and I prayed hard. I realized that I have to consistently pray for God’s help and healing or this problem wont be fixed. So that’s what I’ve been doing the past few days. And let me tell you, I’ve been SO HAPPY.

Of course it’s a constant battle between the thoughts the devil tries to put in my head, and the thoughts God wants, but I feel ready to tackle the rest of my life free from those chains that were holding me back from true happiness.

Sorry this post was so long, and if you’re still with me, I hope it didn’t bore you to tears. But I really felt like sharing my story and the good news of my answer to recovery. Questions, comments, advice??? I want to hear it ALL! Comment, email, anything. We (*ahem* I) could always use a Christian friend to talk to about these kinds of problems. Thank you for taking the time to read. GOD BLESS! 🙂

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Entry filed under: Diet and Exercise, Helpful, Life, Thursday Thoughts.

What Wednesday Super Poodle is Ready for the Weekend

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alex @ therunwithin  |  April 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I really believe that everyone needs their motivation and what I call ‘trust in the process’ to truly break these kind of cycles. For you, that is your faith and prayer. I think that is inspirational and I only hope that you see the beauty that many of those around you see. I think a big thing to break these tendencies are making sure that you are not undereating. I know it sounds so simple but for me that was a major trigger and led me to hang onto binge eating for years. just know I am here if you ever want to talk, i get this more than you can imagine and have gone through many of the situations you described. i am happy to say I am beyond that point but it was a struggle to break that cycle

    Reply
    • 2. Eat Sweat Sing  |  April 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      It just feels good to put it all out there. I’ve been flooded with encouraging messages and stories of people who struggled with the same thing. It’s amazing how many of us go through these types of situations. But I’m so ready to move past this point of my life and be completely happy! Thanks for everything 🙂

      Reply
  • 3. Erin  |  April 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Oh Grace, you beautiful girl inside and out… Thank you for posting! I can completely relate to this.

    Reply
  • 4. Katy  |  April 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Gracie, I love you and miss you so so much. Isn’t it amazing how our Heavenly Father provides for us, whether we know it or not? Even if we think we’re not ready for something, or just the opposite… we want something and we want it NOW… He knows just what we need… and he tells us every day- we just have to be ready to listen! I am so happy for you in your success and in finding your true happiness- you are absolutely beautiful- inside and out!

    Reply
    • 5. Eat Sweat Sing  |  April 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      I miss you too!!! Thank you for that, and I really need to see you and your new little family! 🙂

      Reply
  • 6. di @ life of di.  |  April 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you for your honesty. I can COMPLETELY relate to this post – as in, I feel like I could’ve written it. I know that my obsession with counting calories and working out is an idol in my life and yet, I can’t seem to break free. I’ll have a few good days, but really, they are just restrictive days in which I’m not binging. I know that I am not finding my identity in Christ (and that I should be) so the thing I struggle with the most is…how can I KNOW these things but CHOOSE to do something else? I’m holding on to the reigns of this area in my life because I’m scared if I give them over to God, that I’ll gain a ton of weight and go back to being unhappy.

    It’s huge that you’ve stopped counting calories – I know that’s going to be one of the first steps for me. Keep praying and bowing to Him. Things will fall into place. AH why can’t I just put this into practice??

    Reply
    • 7. Eat Sweat Sing  |  April 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      You are SPOT ON. It’s an every day battle to deal with, which is just like any other sin when you think about it.

      Reply
  • 8. Anna  |  April 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    This is something I found that kind of bothered me last summer when I was trying to lose weight, my mind was consumed with …”losing weight”. Our minds, as Christians are suppose to be consumed with God. It is hard!! But, a few things I have started doing is praying about my weight loss, asking Him to help me with the process, to be healthy and strong to do the tasks that He has for me. Not what I want , but what He wants. Another thing I listen to Christian music while working out…this helps me by including Him..(because I kinda sing with it too lol) so I am technically praising Him while working out. I also pray about the food I take in as well, that He will use it to nourish my body, and help me keep focused on what my body needs and less on what “Anna wants”. The final thing (this is the hardest at times) is when I think I am hungry (but really just bored), instead of eating, I will turn to Him, rather through prayer or His word. None of us are perfect, and the only way to conquer our enemy is with God’s help…that is the ONLY WAY! I guess , some may already do this, but I have been trying to include Him more in my everyday life. Now, that I am done “rambling”, hope something out of this helps. haha.

    Reply
  • 10. jessielovestorun  |  April 19, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Grace, you are such a beautiful person, both on the inside and out. I cannot tell you how much I truly enjoyed reading this post.. because it was filled with honesty. You let yourself out there, and you know what.. this post is going to help others. ❤

    Reply
    • 11. Eat Sweat Sing  |  April 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

      It was scary to hit publish, but it’s been such a blessing to share my story. I’ve had multiple people message me about their similar struggles. It’s an issue so many women are facing but also one we’re all scared to talk about. Thank you for your sweet words! 🙂

      Reply
  • 12. Super Poodle is Ready for the Weekend | Eat, Sweat, Sing  |  April 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    […] me say a huge THANK YOU to all the sweet comments and Facebook messages I received after publishing yesterday’s post. It means the world to me that so many people care and are also facing similar situations. […]

    Reply
  • 13. Thursday Thoughts [A Few Rambles] | Eat, Sweat, Sing  |  May 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    […] since the Women of Joy Conference and writing this post, I’ve been trying really hard to not let food consume my thoughts. I’ve been praying […]

    Reply

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Hello, I'm Grace! I'm a 24 year old living in a small town in Alabama. I'm married and have the most amazing job teaching music to elementary students. I blog about healthy eating, exercising, running, and the random things that happen in my life. I've recently completed my second half marathon and can't wait to pursue that 26.2!

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