This was originally posted in my first blog, "Ramble" in April 2012 while I was smack dab in the middle of a cleanse. It was the first time that I was truly transparent on my blog and realized that I had a voice that could be used as an encouragement to women who are battling the same types of things that I am.
I thought it would be extremely appropriate to repost this blog in light of some changes that I'm currently making in my life. I hope that it will serve as an encouragement to you today, just as it did for me.
Is it just me or is this week going by pretty slow? It's probably because I've got my sights set on Saturday...for many reasons. Reuniting with coffee is definitely up there on the list, but I'm also going to be at my parent's house this weekend in Destin and I'll be wedding dress shopping (finally)! So the days seem to linger on a little more than I'd like, but it's definitely given me a lot of time to reflect.
I've never been one to put my deepest feelings on the internet. You won't find any posts from me on Facebook that passive-aggressively hint (or rather directly point) to a fight or argument I've had with Jason or my mom. There aren't any notes of deep seeded feelings about life and how I need to pursue more make some big life altering change.
But...in doing this cleanse and having time to reflect on how I'm feeling, whether or not I'm hungry, and deciding if I'm going to pass out or not (that's a joke, kind of) and through all of this over the last four days, I've realized something about myself that is important for anyone reading my blog to reflect on themselves.
Self-image issues are something that haunt most woman, and unfortunately many teenage girls as well. Most of us don't like to admit it, but it's true. I'm not claiming to have a cure for loving yourself better or looking your best tomorrow, but I do think that I've come to realize something important that will truly change my life, and hopefully yours.
Are you ready for it?
Here it is...
God is in control.
Simple, right? You'd think that. But it's undoubtedly the most complex and complicated thing for me to grasp. I'm always trying to take over!
If you read my first blog leading up to the cleanse (read it here), you'll see that I've always struggled with my weight. I remember being in second grade and looking around at the kids in P.E. and wondering why I couldn't run as fast as they could, and why my stomach was rounder than theirs. In middle school, I cheered and danced on my school's Cheer/Dance Team and I wore the little cheerleading and dance outfits, but I was also so uncomfortable going out to perform in front of my peers. I remember when my team ordered new cheerleading outfits and I had one of the biggest skirts. Looking back at that point in my life, I wasn't fat, or even really chubby, I'm just curvy. I realize that now, but as we all know, in the moment (and especially at 13 when I just wanted to fit in) I was so hard on myself and I wondered why I could not overcome this. In high school, I quit cheering and dancing to pursue other extracurricular activities and I started gaining weight fast. My mom let me have a personal trainer for a little while just so I could learn the correct way to work out and exercise. At that time, TrimSpa was really popular for girls at my high school to take and they lost weight fast, but it was not in any way healthy. I think my mom feared that I would do that, so she was trying to cut me off before I got to that point.
Here's where things got tricky. No matter what I did, I could not lose the weight. Over the course of about a year I gained 30-40 pounds. I was a 16-year-old girl, growing up in Destin on the beach, and I hated the way I looked in a swim suit. So, my mom started taking me to doctors. To make a long story short, about a year later I found out that I'm insulin resistant. From the moment I found out, I knew that my whole life it would always be harder for me to lose weight. And boy was I right.
College was a combination of ups and downs with my weight. This is when I realized that I have issues with food and exercise. I'm a fixer, and I like instant results. If I run for a week, I want to reap the benefits of it. I want to see more muscle and less fat by the end of the day. Obviously, I know that's not how it works, but I've never been satisfied with this whole waiting and keep working thing.
I also learned in college that I'm an emotional eater. The summer/fall of my sophomore year at Samford was the smallest and healthiest I've probably been since I was 14. I was running about three or four days a week and I was eating really healthy. Then, around Thanksgiving that year, my family started facing a lot of persecution and going through the biggest trial of our lives. I began eating for pleasure and comfort rather than eating for energy and I gained all of my weight back...and then some.
For the most part, that leads us to now. Now I'm just shy of 23-years-old and I'm getting married in less than five months. Now, I am the biggest I've ever been and I don't understand why. I eat healthy, or at least fairly healthy. I exercise pretty regularly. Why can't I lose weight?
This question has literally been haunting me for months.
Last night I was reading Matthew 15 and 16. Those are the passages of scripture that talk about what defiles a person, Jesus feeds the four thousand, the Sadducees and Pharisees demand signs, Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, and the call for us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Nothing about weight loss or self-esteem in there. Right? Well, no, not directly.
Here's what stuck out to me though: the story of the Canaanite woman. This woman was not Jewish, but she is asking Jesus to heal her daughter of a demon. Jesus basically just states that he was sent for the people of Israel (the Jewish people). He uses and analogy of taking children's bread and giving it to the dogs. But here's where it gets good.
Matthew 15:27-28 says, "She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly."
I'm not claiming to have an issue like this woman's. And I'm not expecting for Jesus to just say a few words and for me to be at my ideal weight or size. But, I do want Jesus to look at his daughter, Jessica Sansom, and say, "O woman, great is your faith!" Honestly, that is my deepest desire.
For me, a healthy lifestyle and losing weight a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual battle. There are not many things in my life that come this difficult for me, but this is certainly one of them.
I've always known this was a physical battle. When I found out that that I am insulin resistant, I realized that it was a mental battle. In college when my family was facing persecution and trials I realized it was an emotional battle. But just now I'm realizing that this is a spiritual battle.
This this brings me to the "call to action" so to speak. What am I going to do about this? How will I fight this battle?
Well, I'm going to pray first. I'm going to seek God. I'm going to dive into his Word. And then I'm going to be obedient.
I know that this blog post has been long and you probably know way more about me than you'd ever care to. But I hope and pray with everything in me that this post touches and helps at least one other person.
Like I said, we all have
image and self-esteem issues. Whether or not they dominate our
thoughts, minds, or lives is irrelevant. Or maybe your biggest issues aren't self-esteem or self-image, but rather something else. But regardless of what they are, have you given your issues to God? Have you called out to him? Have you accepted that he is in control and is sovereign over you and over your life?
For once, I need to stop rambling and just pray. Will you be in prayer with me today?