I’ve had this post on my heart for a while, but I have just been SO scared to publish it. But it’s happening now, and all of the glory and honor goes to God. I hope that someone out there needs to hear that freedom IS possible. Because freedom in any part of our lives is where HE is.
Have you ever thought about whole vs. broken living? I lived as a broken person for most of my life. I played into a victim mentality that there should always be something wrong with me, always something to be afraid of, and always something to be inadequate in. I never knew how problematic that kind of thinking was until I reached adulthood, grew into my late 20’s (ahem…now) and found myself STILL struggling with the same, broken identity that I had created for myself.
Food was always a love of mine. I would wake up asking my mom what was for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would snack constantly, since I was a very thin child and could basically eat whatever I wanted. Those were the days…
However, when hormones arrive, so does weight gain. And I gained quite a bit of weight during my high school years. Add in there some emotional ups and downs and an insecure girl who loves food? Hello coping mechanism! I fell into a deep restrict/binge cycle in my teen years, and it lasted longer than it ever should have.
Fast forward to this past summer. I’m a newlywed, I’m a registered dietitian, I have fallen in love with my coaching business, and I’m living in a haze. Why? Because the binging is still my companion. The days of restriction are still ever-present. Food had taken over years and years of my life, and I found myself still living into that broken life that I created. I distinctly remember one night, venting to my sweet and patient husband about my food issues. He looked right at me and bluntly said, “Well it sounds like you just don’t like yourself very much. You must not think you are worth much.” And that hit me like a ton of bricks.
He was right. He was soooOOOoooo right. I didn’t value myself, my health, or my worth at all. I didn’t see myself the way God sees me, as His daughter and His princess. And the worst part? I was SO self-absorbed, because I was only thinking about my failures, my shortcomings, my weight, my appearance, and MY food.
The icing on the cake of this transformation happened this past November, while I was reading “Women, Food, and God” by Geneen Roth. In this book, a recovering binge eater was talking about her revelation. One day, she realized that she doesn’t have to be broken. It was a rude awakening. “I don’t have to be broken!” she said this over and over again, until it really sunk in. I read that sentence over and over again, until it sunk in to my mind as well. I remembered a verse in Romans 8 where Paul states:
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37
God didn’t create me to be broken. Even after "all these things," He sent His Son to die for me so that I don’t have to be broken; so that I can be more than a conqueror.
And with that, my whole reality shifted. I realized that I really don’t have to be broken. No one is making me live in this bondage except for me. I prayed, really REALLY hard, that God would help me trust Him with everything, even my weight and my food issues. Reading that I don’t have to be broken lit a fire under me. I repeated over and over that I am more than a conqueror, and I am made for more than this. I tucked this truth in my pocket and started on a journey I’d like to call nourished and FREE. It’s been 2 month since I started this journey, and I hardly recognize who I am anymore. I’ve never lived in this much freedom, while feeling healthy and nourished. I praise God that He opened my eyes and my heart and helped me release this struggle to Him!
So what does life look like for me now? Well, a lot of nourishing food, I can tell you that! I have decided to eat what I feel like, and the foods that make me feel GOOD and VIBRANT. Lately, that’s been lot of plants, and not so much animal. And that’s ok. And if I want a steak, that’s ok too. Some meals are mostly carbs, and some meals are mostly vegetables. Most of the time I snack on fruits, nuts, vegetables, and hummus. And less of the time, a cookie or ice cream may be involved. 80-90% of the time, I’m eating a plant-based, healthy fat diet. And 10% of the time, I’m having sugary treats and sharing a pizza with my husband at 10pm. Life happens, and I’m rolling with it. I’ve learned a lot this past year of following portion controlled meal plan with cute colorful containers, and I really think that’s helped me let go of calorie counting, obsessing, and restricting. I learned how to balance and fuel my body, and now I can do that, live healthfully, and walk in freedom.
I finally trust myself, or rather, I trust God with ME. I know that He has my best interest at heart. I know that a healthy choice one day will be salad, and another day will be a burger, and that’s ok. I am ok. I am not broken, because I wasn’t created for brokenness. I’m a redeemed daughter of the King. I’m made for a healthy and vibrant life. I’m made to relax and have peace. I was made to be nourished and free.
And so are you. Know that a life of bondage does not have to be your life. You can let go too, as scary as that sounds. You are worth so much more, and you are made for more than defeat. Food can be such an unspoken struggle for so many people, and especially women. There is food freedom that can be possible WHILE living a healthy life. Food freedom doesn't mean eating pounds of ice cream all day, or eating salads all day. It's learning how to nourish and fuel your body, but not let food control your every move. I am filled with hope that God will continue to redeem me, and I hope that you found some inspiration from this post to allow His presence to take over this area of your life too.
If you struggle, and this post hit a nerve, please feel free to email me at TveenRD@gmail.com! I'd love to hear your story and chat!