Do Not Worry! 5 Truths to Peace With Food and Your Body.

Do Not Worry! 5 Truths to Peace With Food and Your Body.

Good morning!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25

When I was still in bondage, I used to read this verse and think to myself, “Much easier said than done!”

But it isn’t. Jesus is the one who made this statement. He is the one who said not to worry about what you eat or drink or about your body. So that should be the end of discussion right?

But that was thousands of years ago. Food is different now. Our food is genetically modified. We are surrounded by sugar. We have fast food restaurants on every corner. We have to worry now!

No.

If you believe in Christ, you know that He is God. That day that He spoke these words He knew that He would soon die on the cross for all of our sins. He knew that in forty years the temple would be destroyed and the new dwelling of God would be in all of the hearts of those who love Him. He knew every single event that would occur in the two thousand years after His resurrection and He knew every single person who would walk the earth. He knew you and He knew me. If he knew all of this, don’t think He knew what the food situation would be for Americans in 2018? Of course, he did!

So why didn’t Jesus say, “Do not worry about your life, what you eat or drink: or about your body right now. That is for the future generations to worry about.”?

He didn’t say that because we are NOT to worry about these things! At all! NO WORRYING.

So how do we do this? We have to know the truth in a world saturated in lies. Here are five steps.

#1 You Do Not Have Worry About What You Eat Or What You Drink Or About Your Body.

I am starting with this again because we do not believe it but we must believe it. The reason that this statement is really hard for us to believe is that we are constantly being bombarded by media telling us to worry about our food and our body. When we are told something by someone on a platform, we believe it to the point that we feel it. For years, I believed that there were “good foods” and “bad foods”. As long as I ate the “good foods” I actually felt really good. But when I ate the “bad foods” I felt terrible! I would literally feel fatter after I ate them! But I wasn’t fatter. I thought I was. I felt that I was. I believed that I was. But I wasn’t. It isn’t even possible for you to gain weight immediately after eating something. It was all in my head.

This is the same thing as when I was going through terrible postpartum anxiety. I would watch the news, see all the terrible things going on in the world, and then end up afraid to leave my house! But guess what happened when I would finally go to the grocery store? Nothing.

Test this, try a bite of something “bad”. What did it do? It didn’t do anything bad to you but you may feel guilt or anxiety.

Our feelings affecting out believes brings me to my second thought…

#2 Feelings Lie All The Time

Feelings feelings feelings!!!

We live in such a feelings driven society it is ridiculous. We have all got to wake up and stop it. Really. Feelings are not facts. Do not be quick to believe them. Just because you have a feeling about something does mean that is what you need to follow. I followed my feelings for years and look where they got me.

IMG_6844
It was when I looked like this, that I got more praise than ever from the world. I was obsessed with myself, binging and purging daily, and did not feel peace or contentment one time during this period. 

I felt fat when I ate too much so I threw up my food every day.

I felt good when I felt thin so I smoked cigarettes instead of eating.

I felt like my home environment and school life was too out of control to recover, so I dropped out, moved out and ended up in MANY bad places. Maybe I will tell you about them one day…when my parents are dead. Hopefully a LONG time from now.

I felt good when I received attention from men so I dressed provocatively and exhibited a flirtatious personality. Once again…more on this when my parents are not reading. Haha!

I felt good when I received praise for being in shape and beautiful so I made sure to keep those things at ALL costs.

So reading these, it is blatantly obvious that they are completely ridiculous thought processes. But friends, I am sharing these thoughts that I have had with you because I know that there are many of you out there still thinking these things or believing other lies similar.

They are lies. And our pride is feeding them.

Friend, pray to God to open your eyes. To expose these lies in your heart and show you the truth!

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8: 31-32

Once you are truly free, you will NEVER want to go back to bondage.

Gal 51

#3 Realize What True Freedom Is.

In my bondage, I had all these food rules and exercise rules, rules rules RULES! I was actually afraid of food! I had even come to a point where I wasn’t binging and purging anymore so because life was better than it was, I thought that was freedom! It wasn’t.

When our brains sense that we are depriving ourselves, it goes into what I call “give me” mode. It’s just holding out for that day that you can forget the rules for a while and eat whatever you want without measuring without worrying and just enjoy. But if you are still in bondage, this is never enjoyable because your brain has been waiting for you to let your guard down is saying “Eat everything! We don’t know when we will do this again!”  So the all-encompassing binge urge sends you heading repeatedly to the pantry, stopping at multiple drive-thrus, and literally pushing food into your mouth even though you are FAR from hungry.

What to do: You must drop ALL food rules. You must drop ALL fear of food. You must NOT worry!

This sounds silly, right? To worry about food and our bodies. But we do it all the time? When is the last time that you had a dessert or “bad food” and didn’t feel the least bit of guilt?

Try this, choose something you really enjoy. Ice cream, cookie, brownie, pizza, whatever. Get it, sit with it. Forget everything that you have heard about sugar killing us, gluten tearing apart our insides, healthy treats, everything. Forget it all. And just eat it in the same amount that you would a “good food” and see what happens. You may feel guilty but remember that is just a feeling. There is nothing to feel guilty about and I bet nothing will bad will happen to you either. Enjoy!

#4 Know the Hard Truth That It Is Only Your Pride that Is Fueling These Actions.

Friends, I am telling you this out of love and experience so please receive this with love.

We are not killing ourselves in the gym and in the kitchen for the Lord, or for our husbands, or our children, or anyone or anything else that we are telling ourselves we are.

We are killing ourselves for US.

We are striving for unattainable bodies, we are making our diets and exercise our identities, we are pushing ourselves to the limit in all the wrong things! We don’t just strive to be healthy and able, we strive to be ripped and shredded and aesthetically pleasing.

All for our own glory.

This may not seem true but it is. Look at the truth and see the lies we tell ourselves.

Does the Lord want me to be not just healthy and able but skinny, ripped, and aesthetically pleasing to the world?

No. He says this…

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25

Does my husband need me to be skinny or super fit?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
Ephesians 5: 25-26

Nope.

Do we need to be in spectacular shape for our kids? We need to be a good example for them right?

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

No again!

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? We must open our eyes!

 #5 Live In Peace.

Easy right? Haha. But I’m telling you, once you are free from your bondage and have tasted true peace and joy you will NEVER want to return to your former way of life.

So what do you do?

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mark 7:7

Ask God to save you from your sin. Pray that He opens your eyes to the truth and release you from bondage. Drop your pride and live in the peaceful pasture of the Lord.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:2-3 

This may take some time. But while you wait, continue to seek the Lord and I promise you will be different. Know that there is a reason it is taking a while.

Hebrew 1211

 

Hear me, the Lord DOES want us to be healthy and able to do the good works that He has created for us to do. But many of us treat our bodies as OUR temple, not the temple of the Holy Spirit. Be honest with yourself and ask God to change your heart and mind.

Friends, this is where peace is found.

Blessings,
Angela

 

 

4 Things For Right Now

4 Things For Right Now

 

4 steps

“I keep making the same mistake. I’m not sure I will ever be able to change.”
-My sweet client

When I heard this, I knew the feeling she was experiencing. I remember being her exact age waking up from sleeping an entire 24 hours straight. I was too ashamed and overwhelmed by my predicament to face life back then. People seem understand chemical dependency in the form of alcoholism and drug abuse, but they do not understand that anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are chemical dependencies too. In fact, not only are they a self medicating that need to be addressed, dealt with, and recovered from, but unlike drug abuse and alcoholism those of us with eating disorders cannot just hang up our drug and never surround ourselves with it again (hear me, I am by no means minimizing drug and alcohol abuse). We have to eat to live! And to make matters worse, not only do we have to use our drug of choice for survival, people make light of our plight by shoving it in our face as well. Since they have not experienced the complete overpowering urge to binge sometimes immediately followed by purging, or the sheer and utter terror of taking one bite of an “off limits food”, they think nothing of the the phrase “Oh just a little won’t hurt.” or “Oh just this once.” Or even the damage that is caused in pushing someone to eat the food they have made because they find it rude when someone doesn’t eat what they have put forth the effort to make. They do not understand that what they are doing by pushing food on someone with an eating disorder is like offering heroin to an addict or a beer to an alcoholic. I’m sure some of you will read that and think that it can’t possibly be like that. That’s ok. I hope you never have to know what it’s like.

When I heard her statement, I felt the sorrow that she felt. But I felt great joy at the same time! While I know that feeling of inflicting your own utter chaos on yourself. The shame and humiliation of not only having the eating disorder, but the shame and humiliation that is often times feeding the eating disorder. The absolute belief that you will never be able to get a handle on it and live life like a normal person. That you may just be destined to die from it. Unless you have been through it, you have no idea the feeling of the binge urge. It is far beyond will power or “busying yourself” so that you don’t give in. No, the urge will win every time. The key is to get rid of the urge which is coming from a place of great inner pain.

So while I know her great pain, I have great joy in the fact that although she believes in her mind is defeated, she is not! There is in fact another side to the fence!

If you are struggling, it is very important for you to know that there is another side to the fence. There is. Even if you are so far from even seeing the fence! Obviously, it’s a long long road to recovery. But if you are in need of something to help you right now, here are these four steps to get you started while you are finding someone to help you on your road to recovery.

  1. Ask, Seek, Knock (Matthew 7:7) Pray for God to get you through this.
  2. Find out how to eat healthy and keep a healthy diet. A poor diet makes the binge urges stronger and keeps them coming more frequently.
  3. Exercise. Exercise not only works as an antidepressant but it also helps to regulate hunger making it easier to keep a healthy diet.
  4. Wait. Be patient because it’s a long road. Make the effort everyday and do not give up. Keep fighting.

And remember that one day, when you are past it, you will be able to walk with someone through their journey to recovery.

Then what a blessing you will be.

 

 

Go Left!

Go Left!

Good morning!

Happy Wednesday! I hope you woke up to a beautiful day this morning! It’s a rainy one in my neck of the woods but beautiful nonetheless.

Monday I shared a few of the things that helped me out while I was still on the tumultuous eating disorder trail.  Today, I want to share one more thing.

Last week we did The One Change Challenge on here. The ladies and I chose just ONE change that we wanted to make and then focused on making that one change for 7 days straight. The reason I thought of this challenge was because it was ONE change at a time that has made the big differences in my life. One goal, one change, wait, then move onto the next.

We all want to make changes for the better. Where we go wrong is trying to make all the changes for the better at once.

new me.jpg

I think we all have made a list like this in the past. Probably around the new year….

The thing with a list like the one above is that it is overwhelming. Most likely you will get up the next day, eat breakfast, maybe get your workout in, head to work, and do nothing else on the list.

So what does this have to do with eating disorders?

There was ONE change that I practiced that took me from binge eater to someone who overeats sometimes and then stops.

Go Left!

go-left

Welcome to my brain. I know for me, during my eating disorder or even just a bad eating binge, there was a sequence of events that occurred. The sequence would always go a lot like this……

Ate something I thought I shouldn’t or ate too much
Worry about it

Turn on the TV 
Grab some kind of junk and mindlessly eat as much as I could
Eat all the junk because this is a binge

What I didn’t realize was that this was a habit. I had formed this sequence in my brain that when I had anxiety about what I ate, I would turn on the TV, grab the chips or whatever, and mindlessly binge in front of the TV. I had a driving version too but I won’t go into that.

SO the one change that I needed to focus on was “going left” when my mind wanted to go right. The left turn is never the easier one when we are driving, it’s not the easier one when breaking a cycle either. But if you make it your one goal to focus on, you can do it. When I would get the urge to binge eat, I had to do something else, anything else, to break the cycle. So if I ate a little too much and I was worried about it, “going left” would be to leave the house and go to Starbucks instead of sitting down and turning on the TV. Or walking around Target. Sure, you may spend a few dollars but guess what else costs money……… a binge! You do what you need to do in the beginning.

Going left could also be grabbing a lean protein with some healthy fat instead of grabbing junk food. Sure, you don’t want the protein snack at the time but it will give you a satisfied feeling and the urge to binge won’t be so great. It’s better to eat a little more than to eat everything in your pantry. Eating junk would be the next thing in the sequence, go left and choose a heathy food to break the chain of events.

If you struggle with binge eating, picture a road ahead of you that forks, one road to the right and one road to the left. The one in my mind is a dirt road, not sure why but it works. You are heading to the right where your mind is pulling you, but today you will go to the left! Remember just ONE thing when you get the urge to binge, GO LEFT.

This takes practice but you will get it. You can practice by keeping the picture of the fork in your mind and using it to “go left” in all of the decisions that you are tempted to take the easy road.

You wake up in the morning, you are tired and don’t want to exercise……. go left
You know you need to save money but you have the urge to spend…….go left
You want to spend more time with your kids but the daily grind keeps getting in the way…….go left!

This is just something that appeared in my brain one day that has really been a great tool. I hope that it will help some of you out there.

Questions:

Do you ever do things out of pure habit? 

Did you realize that this was occuring?

Have a great day everyone!

A Few Things That Helped in My Journey to Recovery

A Few Things That Helped in My Journey to Recovery

Good afternoon!

*Warning: This blog post is highly caffeinated. I will ramble. I have gotten into the habit of staying up until midnight-1am so I got up REALLY early this morning to try to get myself to bed a little earlier. I apologize in advance for all spelling and punctuation errors. 

Hey Yall!

Since I can’t really focus anymore today on learning new things, what better time to blog about things I already know? I’ve been blogging along for three years now. Dear readers, thank you so much for reading. I love writing, but it sure is nice to know there is someone out there that I am writing to. Today I am writing to you a little more about my eating disorder and recovery. I unexpectedly had a huge response to my post where I chose an Eating Disorder Recovery Anniversary Date and realized that there are a lot of you out there struggling that need to know how I managed to make it through my day back then (which I didn’t always), and how I made it to where I am today. There is so much to tell and it’s about time I started telling. It was such a long tumultuous road to recovery and even when I was doing much better with it all, I was still having really strong binge urges. I couldn’t control them! As hard as I would try, I could never get my appetite under control. I had to figure it out. This took years. Often times, I didn’t know what was the eating disorder and what was just eating too much. But I have learned a ton! Not everything. But a ton! And I am going to share some of this with you today. If you are struggling with bulimia or binge eating, here are some things that helped me to manage the behavior until I FINALLY got to the other side of the fence!

*Note-I am not a doctor of any kind! I struggled with anorexia and then bulimia for 17 years and I am sharing with you things that helped me in my journey and recovery. 

Clean Eating

When I was in therapy for my eating disorders, my therapist really tried to get me to be comfortable with having junk food. The reason that she was trying to get me to include some junk into my diet was so that I could get rid of this “good food/bad food” mentality. Well, I came to be okay with having junk every now and then but I STILL couldn’t control myself with it. If I had an Orea, I ate the pound of Oreos. My therapist told me that it was because I still thought of sweets as “off limits” and so when I did finally have then, I would eat as much as I possibly could because I didn’t know when I would have it again. Well in the 17 years, I had a few years where I just gave up, swung to the other end of the weight spectrum and had junk all the time. So a year or so of consistently including junk food into my diet……..still couldn’t control myself. I figured I was just doomed with food. But then I learned that when you deprive your body of nutrients for a long period of time, it starts to get angry. See, our body/brain is constantly trying to rescue us from ourselves. And it remembers that the junk has lots of calories. Calories that can be used to save you from starvation! If you have ever eaten a donut or a cookie in your life, then developed an eating disorder where you are starving your body, when you do finally take a bite of a cookie or some other kind of junk food there is a hormonal response that happens that jogs your bodies memory that the cookie has lots of calories and in turn tells you to eat it…….ALL. Eat as much as you possibly can. This is the uncontrollable binge that is experienced.

Since I struggled with eating disorders for a very long time, it is well worth it for me to stick to healthy whole foods. I even quit sugar last October and this has been even more helpful.

Exercise

Ah, this blog is probably starting to make more sense. I don’t only do this stuff for the fun of it. It keeps my life in check! Exercise is so much more than burning calories in the moment. Isn’t it crazy how when you exercise you aren’t as hungry even though you actually burned more calories in your day? Exercise regulates your appetite and is also a fantastic antidepressant! Exercise was and is a crucial part of my recovery.

Healthy Fats

I used to keep fat out of my diet at all costs because it was too caloric. Then I tried the low carb/high fat diet and ate TONS of fat. When I ate low fat, I was thin and looked healthy but I felt like I was going to die all the time haha. I was always and anxious, I couldn’t catch my breath, and my teeth and gums were terrible! Then I tried the low carb/high fat diet and threw calorie watching out the window. I experienced such a great turnaround in my health! My previously loose teeth were no longer loose and I was as calm as a cucumber. I learned the reason for this was because our cells are made mostly of fat! We NEED fat to be healthy! Now I don’t eat quite as much fat.. I do watch my calories but I make sure that I include lots of good fats into my diet and I don’t stress if I go over a bit. I know the calories from whole food are different than the calories in junk. You will read otherwise, but in my experience with food and eating (and I have lots) the calories are very different between the two.

Examples of healthy fats are egg yolks, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. My favorites are eggs and cashews. 🙂

Seeking God

I think in most recovery programs it is recommended to depend on a power greater than yourself. It’s because we have gotten ourselves in over our heads and we need something bigger than ourselves to get us out of it. During my 17 year struggle, I learned ways to manage my disorder to where I could go about my daily life. But there did finally come a point where I was completely healed and I know that was God that did that. I am very thankful to Him for changing my mind and my heart.

So just pray to God and then wait. PS- it may be a while.

Practice Making the Right Choice 

youve-got-this

 

Obviously I am not perfect, but when I make decisions now I think about what will happen afterward. I have an infant, If I do not stay on top of my health, I am EXHAUSTED. So I eat healthy, I workout, and I try (I said try) to get enough sleep so that I can be mentally and physically present for my two little pumpkin heads. Whether you have had an eating disorder or not, this is how we need to think in life. But those of us struggling in an eating disorder are in desperate need of rising above the chaos that has become our daily lives. This is achieved through making one good decision at a time. There is so much power in accomplishment. I always talk about my to-do list on here. I have been making them for years and they are such a great tool for gaining confidence in yourself! That being said, I know that all is in God’s hands but we have to be able to trust ourselves that when we say we are going to do something, we are actually going to do it. Now I make sure to accomplish at least one thing of meaning to me daily even if it is small. Maybe try to think of something you can set out to accomplish tomorrow. You will actually be accomplishing more than just the task!

So those are a few of the things that helped me in being able to get through the day when I was in the struggle, going through recovery, and even now. I will try to do another post with more of my experience and things that helped me soon. For now I hope these can help some of you out there. If you are struggling now and need someone to pray for you just let me know in the comments or you can email me at coachangela7@gmail.com and I promise I will.

Until next time, have a great afternoon!