I haven’t posted in a while. I haven’t had much to say. I hadn’t been doing very well with my eating. It has been frustrating. It was like I relapsed into the mental place I was in a long time ago. A place where every day I would wake up and say, “today I will eat better.” I would succeed with my breakfast but at some point before or after lunch I would blow it and lose control completely, I would say to myself, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” The most frustrating part of all of it, was that I really thought I had overcome my food and eating issues. I know what freedom under control with food feels like but couldn’t get back to it.
A week ago something switched in my head and I got back on track. Since then, for a week, I have eaten almost perfectly. Everything seemed to be going really well until I realized something last night. My goal can not be perfection. I have gone from being out of control with food, to obsessively controlling food. Two embarrassing examples of my obsessive control: 1. a few days ago my hubby told me to close my eyes and popped some chocolate into my mouth, I spit it out, 2. a friend offered me two cake pops, one for me and one for my daughter. I said, “just one please.” She handed me two anyway, I handed it back to her and said somewhat desperately, “please, I just want one.” The sad part is, neither of these things phased me at the time. I thought I was doing a good job staying in control.
I met up with a good friend who is a mentor to me. She has really helped me through a lot of my food issues over the years. When we met up, I thought I was doing so much better just because my eating had been on point all week. She reminded me about the difference between being controlling with food and being free. I realized in order to escape my chains to food, I found a new pair of handcuffs to obsessiveness. And now, I am looking back and seeing this glaring tendency I have always joked about. I have called it an all or nothing mentality with food. But it’s even more than that, it’s either obsessively controlling or compulsively eating. Neither healthy.
So I think I have a few more things to really think about here. What does freedom really mean? My goal is freedom with food. I’ve said it a million times, I want to be able to enjoy food, to have enough self-control to eat just one brownie (or cookie, or scoop of ice cream, or whatever). I hate it when I feel I don’t have control and fall into a kind of bondage with food. Here are some verses that have spoken to me about this.
1 Corinthians 6:12
“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
I have been very focused on my fear of going back to a place of being mastered by food. I did not realize I had this fear. But I have been so afraid, that I have slipped into something new mastering me; obsession. (And, it’s really not new, I just hadn’t seen it before.)
What I see now is this; I thought I had it all together. I thought I had mastered my food issues (with God’s help of course). But I think what I might need in order to be successful with my food issues, is to remember daily, this will always be something I struggle with. There are two extremes I don’t want to live in: being out of control or being obsessive. While being obsessive seemed to help me be under control, it is a new kind of bondage. And as I sit here trying to have an epiphany about what to say about it, I think I can see there is no black and white answer. The answer might just be, I will never have it all together, the second I think “I’ve got this now,” I always fail.