I have been in the 200’s for the bulk of my adult life, but I finally crossed the threshold into “Onederland”—which is 199lbs or less—six months ago. I have to say though, it wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it was going to be. Apart from sending an all caps text to my husband with a dark picture of my feet on the scale, there wasn’t much fanfare. Angels didn’t sing. My life wasn’t suddenly sparkly and new. It had felt like such a big goal to attain—and of course I was very proud of myself—but I couldn’t help but feel like I had already arrived in Onederland long before the scale ever said 199.
It took me two long years to get pregnant after suffering a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. When I finally held my first child in February 2010, he was everything I had hoped and prayed for. More than anything, I wanted to be a mom. My brother and sister-in-law had kids before us, and while I really loved being an auntie, I was so happy to finally have my own child to raise and do fun activities with—like going to the zoo; It should have been one of the happiest days. Unfortunately, at 5 months post-partum, I pulled out my summer clothes and found that nothing fit. I had gained a lot of weight with the pregnancy and weighed an all-time high of 299lbs. I squeezed into the largest capris and a nursing-friendly t-shirt and set off to meet my parents and brother’s family, baby in tow.
The word I’m focusing on in 2018 is FREE.
Sure, I know in my head I’m free. I am experiencing so much more freedom than ever before, but I still struggle with habits and tendencies around food that don’t feel very free. I want to be ALL THE WAY FREE.
I was discouraged and miserable. I had made so much headway, but here I was again, waist-deep in the muck at the bottom of the pit. How did this happen again?! How did I get here? Why couldn’t I just DO what I knew to do? Why did I keep slipping up? Why couldn’t I just resist the temptation? I knew in my head I was free—but why wasn’t my heart free? No one knew the depth of my shame. It was a deep dark secret concealed by carefully hidden candy wrappers and forgiving clothing choices. I held the shame in my heart, berating myself for every perceived failure with my eating. It was my penance, the only weapon I held against the fear of losing control completely.
What’s your biggest goal regarding food and your body?
Mine used to be to follow a specific eating plan 100% until I finally hit a coveted number on the scale.
Today, it’s PEACE.
Picture this scenario if you will: one morning you wake up, swing your feet out of bed and notice you’re swimming in your pyjamas. You rush to a mirror and find to your sheer delight that somehow all of the excess fat on your body has melted away overnight! You stand there admiring yourself. The fact that (for the first time ever) you literally don’t have anything to wear to work doesn’t even put a dent in your pure joy. Now everything will fall into place. Now you can finally be happy.
Eddie Morra seems stuck. His life is grey and uninspired, his career is going nowhere and his girlfriend just dumped him. Things look pretty bleak. Then everything changes when he encounters a smart drug that enables him to access the entirety of his brain power. Suddenly life is in colour and full of possibility. Tasks that once seemed impossible become effortless. He is filled with a new zest for life—he wants to learn, he wants to discover, he wants to be and do all he can. The limitations that kept his life small and grey have been abolished.
We all know what it’s like to feel stuck and long for transformation. But unlike man-made quick-fixes that come with negative side-effects, each of us has something far superior available to us. When I first saw the movie, Limitless, I was struck by the similarity between the effects of the fictional smart drug and the supernatural life available to us through the Holy Spirit. When you’re yielded and filled with the Holy Spirit, it truly is like life is suddenly in colour and full of new possibilities.
It was the perfect storm. My husband was away for five days and I was home alone with the kids. I had just got them settled with supper and stood in the kitchen contemplating the next thing on my to-do list. I was stressed out. I was tired. I was bored. I had a thought, “some sugar would perk you up. You deserve it. A few bites won’t hurt.” Before I gave it much thought, I decided to comply. As I took the first few bites I began to feel control slipping away. The casualty ended up being half a frozen tuxedo cake. Intellectually, I knew that cake could not solve any of my problems (only add to them actually), but something inside compelled me to stand there at the kitchen counter shovelling cake into my mouth while I stewed in self-pity and shame.
Every woman longs in her heart to be loved. From a little girl twirling in her dress for daddy, to a young woman hoping for flowers from a secret admirer, to a woman who has been married for years and knows that one of the most romantic things a man can do is the dishes. We long for the thrill and beauty of romance in our lives. We want to feel noticed, treasured and fought for… everyday. Unfortunately, even in the happiest of relationships, it is simply not possible for another person to meet our every need for romance. Never completely satisfied; we try to ignore our longings for more or we meet them ourselves with romance novels or The Bachelor. We may simply seek to numb ourselves with ice cream or wine (or both!), not recognizing that the craving is deeper and it is there for a reason. We were made to be loved.
Slowly but surely our society is adapting to the larger size of today’s “average” woman. Plus-size clothing is becoming increasingly available, even trendy (it’s about time!). Plus-size models are becoming celebrities in their own right and inspiring “everyday” plus-size women to celebrate and display their own beauty on social media. This burgeoning culture of “beauty beyond size” is freeing women to accept themselves as they are, heal their relationships with their bodies, and hopefully recognize that it is meant for so much more than just being attractive.