Saturday, November 19, 2011
Reflecting on God's Blessings
As we approach Thanksgiving, my attention turns to the blessings in my life. Mary is one of my blessings. She's a great support to me, always encouraging me, always ready to listen when I need to talk to someone. It is wonderful to have a loving sister!
I used to walk around feeling, literally, like a Big Fat Victim. I had experienced so much pain in my life and to deal with it I turned to food. Overeating didn't really make me feel better...it made me feel nothing. And feeling nothing was better than feeling the pain. Then I resented the fact that my difficulty was so VISIBLE to the world. Other people have problems, I thought, but you don't necessarily see them so it doesn't come up in conversation. For me, it was like (and I guess it still is) my weight was always Topic No. One. I hated that. So I just stacked up that resentment on top of all the stored up pain and ate a pizza or something to distract myself from it all. If I tried to diet, I wouldn't tell anyone because I didn't want to talk about it. Then as soon as someone would notice I had lost weight, I'd get mad all over again and quit dieting.
Doesn't make any sense, does it? My "poor me" attitude gave me all kinds of excuses for bad behavior, toward myself and toward others. So what is different now? Why am I online telling the world all about my weight and making it Topic No. One?
The only answer I can come up with is that I gave up. I surrendered. I gave up being mad at the world for what happened to me in the past. I gave up trying to pretend that I wasn't so overweight and in need of a change. I gave up turning to food for emotional reasons. I gave up the idea that I deserved some kind of "pass" on taking care of myself because I had been through or was going through some hard times. I gave up being mad at the world for judging me by my appearance.
And when I let go of all that...AS I am letting go of all that...God has come into my life in a very real way. As I stop looking inward, I am able to see around me, and I see that I am not the only person in the world who has ever suffered. I no longer feel like a victim. I'm just a normal person trying to deal with life just like everybody else. With God's help, I'm learning to let go of my pain, my resentment, my dependence on hurting myself with eating. With His help, and with yours, I'm learning to eat in a way that will nourish the body he has given me.
It isn't easy. There are days that the only thing I accomplish is that I stay on my program, and that takes all my energy and effort. It's slow. Sometimes I feel like I'm standing still, weight-loss-wise. Sometimes I still want to eat a pizza. I get frustrated, hungry, and tired. But I don't get mad about it any more.
It doesn't sound like I'm talking about blessings, but I am. Letting go, giving up, surrending...is a blessing! Being able to see someone else's pain instead of just my own...is a blessing! Eating for health instead of hurt...is a blessing! Having a God who I can turn to when I'm bored, frustrated, or want to eat a pizza...is a blessing! So even though I'm still nervous about the impending Turkey Pig-Out Day, I will welcome it with a full heart and deep gratitude for all the blessings God has given me. This time is different. This time I am different!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!