I’ve never been what I would necessarily call “healthy”. For a long time I’ve gotten by on a fair metabolism and loose shirts. In high school and early college I was still in the studio upwards of 4 days a week, so that somehow carried me past the freshman fifteen. After I got married I started to add on a few newlywed pounds here and there, made excuses to skip the gym, we ate out a lot. By the time I got pregnant with Pacey I was probably a solid 15 pounds over where I would “want” to land. By some miracle of God I only gained 25 pounds through that pregnancy, but in the end it didn’t really matter. I held on to those 25 pounds like they were a life raft, only losing them approximately one day before finding out I was pregnant with Elliot. So here I am, five months postpartum from #2, who even knows how many pounds over what feels like the loftiest goal ever. Breastfeeding is holding out as a priority, something it did not do after Pacey was born, so I’m not in a place to make drastic detox moves. But I could be healthier. It’s just a fact.
But honestly, I feel like I don’t even know where to start. Food seems like a giant barrier I’ll never scale. I’ve struggled with healthy choices and probably even bordered on a binging disorder, like a roller coaster built on donuts and burritos. I tend to placate unpleasant emotions with food. And celebrate positive emotions with food, as well as events and even just generally good days. Now with two children, the word exercise can make me laugh out loud on the spot. We recently canceled our gym membership in an attempt to trim our budget (we’ve got weddings to save for, y’all), and now I’m faced with the daunting task of attempting to work out at home. I see all of these “no excuses” moms on social media and while I’m real good for you I’m actually more can you please get out of my face? The list of excuses is endless, actually. And a majority of them at least feel damn valid.
I haven’t been taking care of myself lately, and I’m feeling the brunt of it now. I’ve been eating junk and not moving my body and now I’m extra tired (which is saying something, because I also have a 5 month old that is allergic to sleep). I’ve had some bouts with anxiety lately, and even though it’s taken me a minute to connect the dots, they all point to my awful food intake of late. And even though a heat index of 90° in mid-September really is a fair reason to not hit the pavement, there are other ways to get moving, and I know it. So why all this semi-painful bringing-you-up-to-speed on my mental and physical state? Because up until about 2 hours ago, it hadn’t even occurred to me to talk to God about this. Any of it. Not that I feel somewhat hopeless and alone in this, that I feel embarrassed and like a failure. Not that I’m confused and feel un-educated in this area, that I don’t know where to start to make better choices. Hell, I literally had to Google “healthy breakfast” today because I’m at a general loss. I’ve been boxing God out of this one, fairly important segment of my life for…forever, it seems (not to say that He can be boxed out, but you know what I mean). I just kind of hit a wall recently. One of those “you know what, I give up” walls.
Jesus. I’m tired of the internal battle. I’m tired of feeling like a failure, mostly because yet again I’ve failed or given up or quit. I don’t know where to start. I’ve been fighting this fight for years now, Lord, and I don’t want to do it anymore.
Then let me.
Come again? Let me fight. I sat there playing with my three year old, half-praying, half making a play doh cake, dumbstruck. Let him fight. The words kept rolling around in my head. I reached for my phone, knowing this was a verse I’d read recently.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14
I’ll fight this fight with and for you, babe. Are you ready to stop trying to do it all on your own, yet? (Yes, the Lord lovingly refers to me as babe.) This was what I got, and this is going to be the most anti-climactic end to a blog, but I’m still not 100% sure what this means. I’m still not completely sure what letting Him fight this battle means, but goodness – I’m thankful that He wants to and can, because I’m tired. I’ll tell you what I do know: He can fight this battle so much better than I can of my own volition. And He doesn’t think it’s silly. He doesn’t think it’s stupid that I struggle with food and good choices and battle laziness in re: exercise. He gets it, & He deeply desires to be in it with me. If this is something you’ve ever even remotely struggled with, let that sink in. The Lord God, Creator of the Universe, wants to be in your struggle with weight, body image, self-esteem, fill in that blank with whatever you want. And even more significantly, He can win it. I mean, YES!!
I’m thankful for a call to be still and find peace and let Him fight with me and for me. That the Lord wants to and will be faithful to sift through this crap and help me find truth. And most of all, I feel exhilarated by the chains that are broken by letting the Lord into something that I’ve blindly kept Him out of until then. It’s pretty much impossible to feel alone and bound up when you’re doing things, even hard things, with God clearing the way and shepherding you forward. That doesn’t just apply to health, that’s a catch-all if I’ve ever known one. So apparently I’m embarking upon a journey towards health. Not towards losing weight, or really any kind of fitness goals. I want to eat real food because it’s what’s best for me and this body the Lord created. I want to move and run and jump and dance because it makes me feel good and alive and endorphins are your friend. I’ve started this journey many times over, but never with my arm tucked under the Lord’s, asking Him to lead the way. With no motives other than to go where He leads me and pursue holiness in reference to wellness.