The following is a guest post from my dear friend and client. I know a lot of us struggle with our attitudes about food and because she’s come so far in her journey, I asked her to share.
In the following guest post, she shares her struggles and strategies for dealing with the guilt around eating. I’m so proud of her because she has come so far. It’s a constant battle for sure, but she is handling it gracefully and it’s less of an issue than it was for her a year ago. Each day she fights the battle, her struggles become less and it gets easier and easier to make the right choices. Way to go, girl. I am so proud of you!
I have learned two very basic principals over the course of the last year. A year ago I had no idea I was so confused. Seriously. But I was. And now I am on a journey of fixing the confusion and relying on truth.
Here are the 2 things:
1. Food is not the enemy.
2. Fear is the enemy.
Thank God that food is NOT the enemy. Seriously!!! God created food to supply our bodies with the energy we need to enjoy life. Without it we wither and ultimately die. Somehow I had denied this basic, scientific proven, Biblical truth. Do not believe the lies. You can’t eat less and less to force your body to loose weight. It is a lie.
It was about 4 months after having baby number 3 that I really was struggling mentally with loosing weight and eating. I was nursing a baby, working out hard, and going for long runs on the beach in the middle of the summer. I was exhausted and couldn’t loose weight. I was counting calories and eating WAY less than what my body was craving. Then I would overeat the next day because I was so hungry. Then the guilt would hit. Guilt like a MAC truck. I was supposed to be loosing weight and the way to do that was NOT eating. Right??? I was so wrong. I would wake up saying to myself, “Today is going to be a good day. I am not going to eat much at all.” And that meant like 1000-1200 calories while nursing, running, and lifting weights. I was off the deep end crazy about those calories. My body needed way more than that!!! But I was in denial. I would feel overwhelmed with guilt and shame if I ate more than I thought I should. But you can’t live like that. It is a lie. And not eating much should NOT be a source or joy or satisfaction. How much you eat should not dictate whether you had a good day or not. Please do not feel guilty about eating. Never. Figure out how much food your body needs and then joyfully eat! You wouldn’t starve your children or your pets even, so WHY on earth would you not give yourself what you need? Maybe because of fear? Because of guilt? Because you feel guilty like you don’t deserve to eat today because you know you ate too much yesterday? Because you so desperately wanted to loose weight? That was me.
Fear can consume us if we let it. I know because I let it happen to me. Guilt can consume us if we let it. Again, I know because I let it happen to me. But I will not let it happen any more. Both of these things are not of God, but are mental attacks from Satan. We have to fight back. Satan knew the only way he could steal my joy was by making me fat. He knew it, and I knew it. I am a tough person. I can handle alot of pressure. I can juggle alot of things. But weight has always been a weak spot for me mentally. For a while I was loosing the mental battle and I was letting the lies win. The guilt was heavy, the confusion was deep, and my fear of never loosing weight felt so heavy. But when I was tired of fighting for control, and tired of starving, and tired of feeling guilty, and just plain fed up with being so freakin’ unsuccessful at loosing the baby weight, I decided to get help. Real help, and real answers.
So I called Amanda and told her I needed help. I just didn’t know what to do anymore and I knew what I was doing was not working. She told me to quit all my cardio. WHAT??? And start eating ALOT MORE FOOD. I started freaking out again. Fear started trying to strangle me. But I decided to believe what she said was true and what the Bible says about my body. And I gave it a try. I pushed aside all my thoughts of fear and told myself, “I need food. I am going to enjoy this food. My body needs it and it is good for me!” I had to say these things over and over again in my mind. It wasn’t easy. It took focus and mental determination. AND…. I dropped 10 pounds in about 2 weeks!!! I began living in the light of truth and not in the grip of fear and guilt. And as I continued to retrain my brain to healthy thoughts, my body responded gloriously.
Fear can consume us if we let it. Guilt can consume us if we let it. Both of these things are not of God, but are mental attacks from Satan. We have to fight back. I am a tough person. I can handle a lot of pressure. I can juggle a lot of things, but weight has always been a weak spot for me mentally. For a while I was losing the mental battle and I was letting the lies win. The guilt was heavy, the confusion was deep, and my fear of never loosing weight felt so heavy. But when I was tired of fighting for control, and tired of starving, and tired of feeling guilty, and just plain fed up with being so unsuccessful at losing the baby weight, I decided to get help. Real help, and real answers.
My mental state is so much better now. It is possible! You don’t have to live in a constant state of fear, guilt, and shame. You can have the body you have always dreamed of. But resetting your mind is just as important as cardio and weights. Your mind is powerful. God gave it to you as a blessing so use it!