I’m BACK!!!! I have returned from the wilderness of Montana, wherein I ate tons of trail mix, beef jerky, chocolate, and um… no fresh vegetables or fruit.
Backpacking and body image make for an interesting combination. Backpacking is one of the most difficult things I’ve done, especially when it come to body image. It throws me right out of my routine. It means that I have to face my fear of having to sit in the car for 8+ hours without doing much ‘moving.’ It means I have to give up, even more than at home, my routine of eating what many would call a ‘balanced’ diet and eat a diet high in carbs, fat, and sugar. Yet, I did it, and I didn’t die. (P.S. Don’t take this as my health advice. Just my own personal experience.)
And it’s SO GOOD. It’s so good for me, because it’s another way of God testing my trust in Him, not my trust in myself or, ultimately, my own body. It really tests my ability to truly listen to my body and fuel it, whether I want to or not.
Backpacking is amazing in more ways than one, but for a girl in recovery, like me, it was one of the best things I could have done.
Our backpacking trip started out on Monday. We hopped into the car at 7:00 AM. We were packed up with pounds of sleeping bags, food, clothes, fire starters, and other camping essentials to make for a relatively ‘comfortable’ and memorable time out in the wilderness of Montana.
Of course, while we were on the road, we couldn’t neglect the normal trip to McDonald’s. It wasn’t lunch time, so I got a soft-serve cone… It was pretty good. . . I can’t sing the ‘health benefits of it,’ but I thanked God for the treat and enjoyed every bite! 😉
When we got there, we unpacked the car quickly and distributed the last essentials between our backpacks.
And then it was time to set off… into the wilderness for 4 days, to hike up and down hills, through meadows, camp by lakes, and spend time with God, being in awe of His creation.
Some of the views we saw while hiking were absolutely, astoundingly gorgeous.
While on the trail, one of the thoughts I had to keep pushing out of my head over and over was trying to ‘calculate’ how many calories I was burning and how much food I should be eating. I had to CONSTANTLY go back to being grateful, grateful that I could move, that I could laugh, that I could make memories with my brother and sister for 4 short, beautiful days.
I can’t say that the battle for recovery, for putting aside the idol of food and body, is something that I can completely put to rest every day, because that would be lying, but I can say that I now see the worth of fighting for it. I know the struggles of recovery, and if you are struggling, don’t stop, because when we are weak, HE is STRONG.
When you’re walking through the woods, and you see this view, you HAVE to stop and take a picture. I rarely get up early enough to see the sunrise, but when you’re sleeping in a tent on the hard ground, you get up a bit earlier than normal. That means we got to see the sunrise a few times.
As we were hiking, we probably came upon 10-12 different lakes. We camped at 3 different ones, and this one was the last lake we camped at on Wednesday night. I had ‘high aspirations’ of jumping in for a swim before we got there.
Then I went down to the lake and stuck my toes into the water. My toes immediately told me, ‘Nope, swimming in this water isn’t the most fun idea you’ve ever come up with.’ I contented myself with just sitting on the shore with my legs in the water. It felt um… kind of good.
One thing that I realized again this week is that God’s creation is so peaceful. Sitting on the shore of lake, with no one else around, but you and your sister taking fun ‘selfies’, I had time to think, to meditate, and to truly stop and count all the many blessings that God has given me in the past year and years of my life.
This. This was an awe-inspiring view. This view made the miles of hiking ALL WORTH IT. Those miles of hiking also made the pounds of chocolate, trail mix, oatmeal, and freeze dried meals extra tasty.
Now I have to go and let my sore legs re-knit together . . . Being home is truly rewarding after 4 days of hiking, waking up early, and staying up late, and I’m now doubly, triply, thankful for my own bed.
Backpacking was stupendous in so many ways, but most of all, it helped me let go of a bit more control and remember that the One who holds my future, holds me and leads me through every anxiety and stress and always brings me out on the other end. He is SO GOOD.
Now to go find some more chocolate…. Chocolate is a salad right?
Have you ever been backpacking?
Do you find traveling to be difficult on your routine or body image? How do you embrace traveling and make it fun?