I breathed in the salty air and stared out at the ocean.
I recently read in a book that when you stare at the horizon for a few minutes your brain starts to release endorphins.
So maybe it had something to do with the endorphins.
But suddenly I was smiling.
And the thought was given to me clear as day: “I am not my body.”
In Mexico two weeks ago it all clicked with that thought.
Remember when I used to write about my journey to healthy? And how I… ahem… haven’t written about that in a while? Right. So here’s the story on that.
I am now going to write the words that I have dreaded writing for months: I gained some of the weight back. Quite a bit of it actually.
Yep. There’s the truth cyberspace and friends.
But it’s good. Really things are good.
From January 2012 to June 2012 I was focused on my body. So focused on it. But I was also struggling internally with some stuff that really needed fixing. Stuff that wouldn’t be fixed by diet and exercise.
Last June I started on a road of some necessary and major healing processes. I won’t get into the details with that, but I will say that it’s been the Lord’s healing of emotional and deep seeded wounds. It has been a painful and arduous road that I’m still on today. It’s included a lot of tears and some serious balance of surrendering and work. And also some true moments of gratitude and goodness. True healing is a brutal thing. It hurts so good.
In that time I let my obsession over getting physically healthy go. It’s not something I’m proud of. I’m not one of those people who believes that getting healthy only happens when everything else in life is in order because that’s just not reality.
But I can wholeheartedly tell you that I was handling all I could handle this year.
Not an excuse, but my reality.
I hate that I gained weight again. I hate that I made it this far with losing weight and then went the other way. I hate that I fit into some of the stereotypes of “fat girls”. I hate that I’m going to a wedding in a few weeks where I will see family members that I love and they will undoubtedly notice that I’m bigger. (We notice. We all notice. And we all worry.) I hate that I have not been caring for the physical body that God gave me.
I could get stuck in all those thoughts and sometimes I do.
Or I could be grateful for the incredible healing that the Lord has done in my life. I could be grateful for the woman and daughter that He’s molding me into. I could be thankful for redemption and restoration. And I could believe that today is a new day and I am ready and able to start caring for this body again.
I choose the latter.
I sometimes feel waves of shame. But mostly I’m just grateful believe it or not.
So as I sat on that beach chair I felt flooded with joy.
And then I just sat there smiling like a buffoon.
The waves came in and receded again and again.
And with them the reassurance of who I really am.
I am a daughter.
A daughter of the King.
Jesus lives in me.
I am a woman. A child. A sister. A teacher. A learner. A soul. A seeker. A friend. A living, beating passionate heartbeat. I am many things.
But I am not my body.
I have been blessed with this able and healthy being. It is the only earthly residence I have. And it is my responsibility to care for it.
I also understand that having a healthy relationship with my body is very important and it’s all connected.
I share this mostly with one hope in mind for others who struggle with eating/weight issues: That would would seek help. Real help. You have stuff to work through. Eating the right food and exercising won’t make you healthy until you get healthy on the inside. You are not your body. Your struggle is so much more than your body. And you deserve to be made whole again.
I don’t have it “together”.
I’m not starting over. I’m starting from here. Learning that this was never just a journey to healthy but also a journey to healing.
I am not my body but I will care for the one I have.