I have a confession to make. Some of you might remember some posts of mine from a little over a year ago. I had worked hard at eating as healthfully as I could, and had even thrown in some exercise. I lost 35 pounds. I even ran a 5K. Well, I'm here today to let you know that I've gained back all the weight. Every pound.
As soon as I stopped thinking about every single morsel that crossed my lips and relaxed on the exercise (ok - gave up on exercise completely), the weight came right back. And, this is the story of my life. I lose weight. I gain it back. Lose it. Gain it. Lose it. Gain it. Etc., etc. ad nauseaum.
And, I'm tired of it. Really, really tired. I'm tired of fighting my body. I'm tired of food constantly being my focus...either abusing it and using it as comfort or, at the other end of the spectrum, constantly monitoring everything that goes into my mouth. I'm tired of trying to attain something, to reach a goal...only to find myself in the same place months later.
I'm starting to wonder if it's really worth it. All this focus on food, on weight, on appearance. Does it really matter? Oh, I can wax poetic with the best of them about how it's about being healthy, about nurturing and caring for my body. But, if I'm honest, what it really comes down to is that it's about weight...about how I look.
I recently bought the book, Made to Crave, hoping to get a Christian rather than a secular perspective on this whole issue. And, while the author makes good points about how we try to fill ourselves with things (often food) rather than God, she kinda lost me after that. I sensed that that she was overspiritualizing something that ultimately comes down to..'How much do I weigh?'. There's also this sense I got that she feels like she needs to eliminate certain foods entirely from her diet....forever. A) I have no interest in living like that. And, B) It seems to me that she's still trying to 'control' rather than letting God control.
In all fairness to the author & the book, I haven't actually finished it. I'm only about halfway through. But, I guess I was disappointed that I find myself feeling more condemnation than encouragement as I read it. And, I'm quite finished with the whole condemnation thing. I do that to myself well enough, thank you.
So, what is the answer? Ugh! I wish I knew. Here's what I do know. Do I abuse/ overeat food? Yes. Do I need to eat in a more healthy way? Probably. Are there spiritual issues tied up with my overeating? I believe so. When I try to lose weight or eat more healthy, what is my true motivation? Well, it's not about getting closer to God. It's about getting into a smaller pant size. Do I have control issues related to food? Sure thing. Do I spend more time thinking about food than I do about God? Yup.
Here are some more things I know. I'm pretty sure that hundreds of years ago women spent far less time obsessing about their size. I'm pretty sure that those carrying extra pounds were actually more desirable because they would have been considered healthier/heartier.
I also believe that while gluttony is a sin...and, yes, I've been guilty of this...I also believe that God could have created food merely as fuel. He didn't need to create flavors, or taste buds. I believe he created it to be pleasurable.
So, I come back to this. Moderation. Moderation. Moderation. Not only moderation in how much I eat. But, moderation in how much I think about food & weight & exercise. Ever since I battled anorexia in junior high (I talked about that here and here), I can't seem to 'be mindful' of food (aka diet) without it becoming my focus. For me, food has always been a control issue. And, I either feel completely out of control with my eating or I become obsessive in trying to control what I eat.
I want to just live. I don't want to always have this issue hanging over me. Do I give up & just accept this larger size? Do I keep trying? What do I do?
I want to make peace with my body.