This is a very personal post (and a long one!) about something that is close to my heart, and I realize that by putting it out here in the blogosphere it will now be the equivalent of my wounds laid open for all to see. But, we all know that the truth will set you free..........and I refuse to wear these shackles a minute longer.
Some of you have been following my blog ever since it started, back when it used to be called Aprille's Weight Loss Journal. It was a daily diary of my food intake, exercise regimen, and weight loss. I also posted about things going on in my life, pictures of my family and stories about them, what God was doing in my life, etc. However, I began to feel that since I was blogging under the guise of being a "weight loss journal", that probably I should just be talking about my weight loss journey. So, when I had not lost any more weight or when maybe I had gained a pound or two - whatever the case may have been - if there was no progress, then I felt like a failure and that what I had to say was not worth reading. I began posting less and less, and Michelle began hijacking my blog more and more trying to get me to post, etc.
Finally, I decided to change my focus. I didn't want my blog to be all about my weight because it was not doing my self-esteem any good. Also, I felt like my weight should be a very small part of who I am, not the main part of who I am. So I changed the name after much consideration to "Clay in the Hands of the Potter", to remind myself and everyone else that I am being molded and shaped daily - that we are all being molded and shaped daily - into what God wants us to be (if we let Him, that is).
Feeling better about this, I got back to posting regularly, and in the meantime, my weight has been creeping back up - I now have gained back half of what I had lost originally. Depression began to creep back in as events have unfolded in my life. I can honestly say that "Life happened" in 2008 - maybe that doesn't make sense to you, but it just seems like my life in so many aspects was turned upside down, inside out, and to me in so many ways it just seemed unrecognizable. I began to turn to food instead of God, and I have had some really low points...........of course if you're judging by Weight Watchers - I guess that would be "high" points! LOL!
Using food as a crutch was a new thing for me. I have had an eating disorder for many years, but the disorder apparently switched from one end of the spectrum to the other. My usual mode of thinking would be to do without food, so leaning on food is really a big change. I was diagnosed with anorexia in college, and rather than actually talking to me about it or at least tell me what his concerns were, the doctor sent a letter to my parents. I had no idea of the diagnosis until my parents informed me. My parents didn't mention it to me at first, but they were asking me about my eating all the time while I was 7 hours away, "are you eating good?", etc., etc., all the while I didn't really even realize that I had a problem. Then, one day I made the mistake of asking a friend if they thought I needed to lose weight, and they said that it wouldn't hurt. That was all the excuse I needed - I immediately fell into full-blown anorexia. When I came home finally for spring break, my parents thought I looked like I was on drugs. Pretty, huh? Anyway, I have battled this mindset for years, although never actually falling back into it completely. I'll lose a little weight, put it back on and then some, and cycle around again. Always though, keeping myself from actually going back down that dark road (well, most of the time anyway).
Lately though, as I felt things unraveling all around me, and I began to shovel food into me as if my stomach was a bottomless pit, I started turning back to my old friend, Ana. I would plan and plot ways to do it without my family noticing. Yes, I was actually planning it out, ways and means to an end...to the end.
Thankfully, God reeled me back into reality. And the reality is that I cannot go back to that lifestyle, any more than an addict can in good conscience go back to her drug. There is nothing about that thought process or lifestyle that leads to any good at all. You end up pushing away the people that love you because you become so obsessed with the control you feel you have, but that you really don't have at all.
Well, some of you are losing weight in healthy ways (Michelle, Terri, Dianne, Tina), doing healthy things, things that make you feel better, not just look better. So, I have decided to stop this cycle now, and begin fresh tomorrow morning. I will be a good steward of this body I have been given so that I can be the best wife I can be, so that I can be the best mom that I can be, so that I can minister effectively, and be the kind of Christian that people want to be around - not someone that they dread to see coming because of the chasm of dark misery that seems to follow behind.
And so, in wrapping things up, I just want to share a few truths with you...
The truth is that I am overweight.
But also, the truth is that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
The truth is that I feel bad about myself.
But also, the truth is that I am a princess, a child of the King of Kings.
The truth is I have a real lack of self control.
But last and best of all, the truth is that HE IS....
HE IS my strength to turn away from the refrigerator and to my knees in prayer.
HE IS my resolve to not fall back into old, bad habits.
HE IS my confidence that I am more than the mirror tells me.
HE IS THE WORD that speaks life over me and hope, not eating disorders and death.
HE IS my victory, and through Him, I am an overcomer.
For some of you, this may be more information than you wanted to know, and if so I apologize. But I hope that this will speak to someone who maybe is fighting this same war within themselves. Don't give up, don't give in, and don't give the enemy another inch because we are overcomers by the blood of the Lamb.
Special thanks to Michelle, who has stood with me through all of these years of ups and downs. Thank you for being my forever friend, my sister in Christ, for being real with me, for loving me even though you know all about me, for helping me to stay level when you know the directions my thoughts sometimes lead me, for threatening bodily harm to me if you even see the slightest inkling of old habits slipping back in (LOL!), and for always telling me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it (but need to). I was truly blessed when I met you, and had no idea what an impact you would have on my life, and that all of these years later it would seem like we're family.
To Misty, who has been in my life for the past three years, and what a blessing you have been. Thank you for becoming a mentor to me, for guiding me and teaching me in ministry, and pushing me to become all that God would have me to be, to be the warrior that He has called me to be for Him. Thank you for seeing the potential in me that God has placed there, even when I have continued to doubt. Thanks to you and to David for allowing me to minister in your church, and for always believing in me. Thank you for your encouragement, for your wisdom, and also for telling it like it is - but always with kindness and a gentle spirit. You are a woman to look up to and I have been so blessed that God brought you into my life.
To Marla, You have been in my life for most of it, even though we didn't get to be good friends until the last few years. Thank you for your prayers that have meant so much. Thank you for always reaching in to my deepest reserves to try to pull out my fullest potential. You have so much to offer, and God is using you mightily to help stay-at-home moms get to stay at home! Thank you for always building me up, and for not allowing me to accept the lies that the enemy would try and spoon feed me about myself. Thank you for allowing God to use you without worrying about what anybody will say or think, but just walking in obedience.
Lastly, to all of you, my bloggy friends - thank you for all of your kind comments. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your prayers.
11 hours ago