I struggle with getting out of my routine. I love getting up in the morning, listening to a sermon, reading blogs, taking the dogs for a run or a walk, and then going off to do my work for the day. However, travel is so good at upsetting that routine which is a WONDERFUL thing for an eating disorder. Eating disorders love predictability, but God loves to train His children to trust Him. That’s what travel has taught me.
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional telling you how many calories to eat. I just want to share my own personal experience of learning to let go of a certain ‘goal’ in my head when my body says that it needs more or less. Please consult your health professional for how you need to nourish your body!
Let’s talk about calories. I can’t lie to you and say that I don’t count calories. After having a mental habit of counting calories, in order to give myself a false sense of control, for years, it’s been a struggle to be intuitive. It’s not that I restrict, but it’s not that I feel complete freedom around food when it comes to the amount I think I should eat everyday.
That’s why I wanted to share about the day I ate 2800 calories without doing a long or a big or a huge workout.
It was a beautiful, sunny delightful gorgeous day.
I had the precious gift of being able to spend time with God’s creatures, called huskies, spend time with my sister, eat the weirdest leftovers for dinner with my sister. I also had the privilege of getting to go to a mid week prayer meeting at the church building with brothers and sisters in Christ. We talked, prayed for each other, thanked God for so many mercies, for Who He is, His greatness and majesty, and might, shared smiles and some chuckles over the antics of little ones, and then my sister and I came home.
In the back of my mind, I still have that nagging feeling from time to time that I need to be ‘good’ about my eating during the day. I’m not saying that we should go over the top with eating, but I’m too obsessed in the back of my mind with having a self righteous attitude around eating. Alyssa’s post really stopped me in my tracks and made me think about how I still find myself doing this.
Well, the Lord is definitely keeping me humble here, because I am not the paragon of recovery.
The evening came on, and I was hungry for that evening snack of cereal. I got a mug and put some Cheerios in there with a new granola my mom got, some nut butter, and other toppings. Lately I’ve also been steering away from using non dairy milks as a ‘lower calorie’ milk, and I’ve been trying to do more dairy milk (to overcome my fear of doing high calorie milks.)
(The Sunset that night… It was like a promise. God’s promise of mercy and grace to me. God’s glory and majesty shown and reminding me that there is no battle He can not enable us to overcome) Then . . . I ate that, and I still felt hungry.
Part of me though, ‘ARGH! Why am I still hungry?’
The other part thought, ‘You know what? God gave you these hunger signals. It’s okay to honor them and to thank God for these hunger signals, hunger that was gone for such a long time.’
So . . . I ate more. And I really enjoyed it. I really didn’t think that much about the calories until I got ready for bed.
It was here that the guilt washed over me. Yet it wasn’t as strong as it’s been before.
Grace was bigger. I thought of how God’s grace has saved me and rescued me time and time again during my recovery.
This Psalm and verse has been coming to me time and time and time again this past week as I’ve had different fears, different anxieties try to overcome me.
Verse 4 was the one that I’ve been thinking about a lot, but the verse before that is JUST as applicable. Isn’t it amazing how all of God’s inspired Word is so full of richness and glory about Him and His plan?
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ (Psalm 34:3-4)
He delivered me out of all my fears. I crawled into bed and I just started praying. I’m not trying to get credit for how I handled this. I just wanted to share how the Lord enabled me to conquer these fears. I wrestled for a few minutes with the guilt. ‘Was I hungry? Was I not hungry? Did I eat too much? Why did I eat 2800 calories if I ‘only’ ran 2 miles and did an abs workout? I’m not marathon training. Am I starting a new cycle of eating too much?’
But the Lord delivered me right then and there. Peace literally washed over my soul, and I think I was only awake for about 10 minutes until I fell asleep. And I slept more deeply that night after eating 2800 calories than I have slept in a long time. I ate what I needed to eat. God ordained that I needed 2800 calories that day. Will my body need that everyday? No, but you know what? The greatest gift is that God’s grace is INCREDIBLY big.
I’m going to leave you with this song from Matthew West. It’s been running through my head since Wednesday night, that day I ate 2800 calories, and I realized that it was ok.
‘There’s a war between guilt and grace
And they’re fighting for a sacred space
But I’m living proof
Grace wins every time
No more lying down in death’s defeat
Now I’m rising up in victory
Grace wins every time’
(Remember: On days I do big workouts, I usually eat MUCH more. I’m not encouraging that anyone eat a ‘certain amount.’ I just want to share that if you’re body needs it, I learned that it’s ok to feed those hunger signals.)
God’s grace. It wins every single time.
Thank you Jesus. <3
No questions this time. Just would love to hear your thoughts? 🙂
I wasn’t going to post a WIAW, but I’m really fired up about this. After really finding myself wondering about why there are still so many labels of clean and junky food, good and bad foods, I wanted to share this. I still struggle with labeling foods in my head, but I really just want to eat. I just want to see each bite, whatever it is, as nourishment, nourishment for my body and mind, nourishment to face each day with gratefulness to God for every breath that I get here on this earth.
That’s what today’s WIAW is about. It’s about just eating. Just eat. Just eat and enjoy that nourishment. It is a precious gift from the God of the universe. Thank you a BILLION times to Jenn for starting this and Laura for allowing us to share all the variety we get to enjoy. I thought I would link up with Amanda too, to think out loud and rant a bit (in a hopefully loving way) on this topic.
I don’t want to be obsessed over the carbs or the fat or the protein. I don’t even want to be overly obsessed with how one certain food makes me feel (unless I have an allergy.) I’ve learned that obsession is a prison; obsession with having my Instagram only have certain kinds of food on it is not freedom. It’s just more obsession.
I have seen several sweet friends in recovery transition so well to intuitive eating, and it makes my heart sing to see them doing well. I don’t know what, but I’m still a sub conscious calorie counter. I don’t look up calorie counts nearly as much as I used to, but I still struggle to listen to what my body is craving. Cravings almost sound like a bad word to me, but I’m learning that they aren’t. I struggle to not eat a salad and eat something else when I feel like I should eat a salad. I struggle with eating over a certain ‘amount’ in my head for breakfast or lunch or a snack. I struggle with not keeping meal times kind of ‘rigid.’ I just want to say that I still struggle, but God is faithful.
This is not to start a party where you all feel sorry for Em, but I wanted to share that working with Victoria, my dietitian, has really helped me be more in tune with what my body needs instead of what I feel like I should eat.