Fear Food February

“Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. See it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life. Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. You will get through today one step, one moment at a time.”

I’ve been really…testy and irritable lately. I’ve been absent – avoiding writing because I’ve been convinced I have nothing positive to contribute. That saying, “If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” has been the reason for my silence.

I’ve been snapping at friends, pushing people away, stuck in a pattern of complaining. Someone’s friendly smile and gentle, “How are you?” is quickly shut down by my response of, “I’m exhausted. As usual.” And I am exhausted – endlessly, hopelessly exhausted. After a recent medication change I started experiencing fainting spells and feeling sick all the time. I finally broke down and went to the doctor where I discovered that I have iron deficient anemia and was told my EKG test was abnormal. My medical team quickly yanked me off all 3 insomnia medications I was on over just a span of 5 days. I haven’t slept for more than 4 hours a night in probably about 2 or 3 weeks. The bags under my eyes are a weird shade of gray and my eyes are almost always half closed. Because the thing about insomnia is that…you are utterly, completely, exhausted, but your body just won’t allow you to sleep.

Thankfully, just a few days ago my EKG had shown a little bit of improvement and just needs to be monitored monthly unless there are new issues. I also started taking an iron supplement to help counteract the deficiency.

It’s been sooo frustrating after everything I’ve been through medically, to continue to have issues and struggles. I’m not going to sugar coat anything (no pun intended ha) and I’ll say that I still have weight to gain from what I lost while I was home over Christmas break. I got back to school and got back into the swing of things and everything has been holding steady, which is honestly a miracle given these new issues, but I have yet to be able to gain additional weight.

That’s part of the tricky thing with eating disorders. Mentally, I realize that I have weight to gain and I’m alright with the concept of weight gain – but I still can’t seem to bring myself to choose those higher calorie options on menus or the non-skim drink options when ordering coffee.

But it’s February and I just turned 22 and I (Lord willing) have so much more life ahead of me. There’s this thing in the online recovery community called “Fear Food February” and so, naturally I’ve decided that I need to participate!

Despite having been through intensive treatment, there are still foods that I find to be very, VERY scary and experience tons of anxiety when faced with. So, here are a few of the foods I hope to conquer this month:

1. a burrito from Chipotle.
During the year of 2012-2013 I used to go to Chipotle ALL the time with my friends in Winchester and I would always get a burrito. I haven’t been able to have one since then – and I think it’s time for that to change!

2. A Valentine’s cookie from Starbucks.
They just look SO yummy but the fact that they have so many calories (and the calories are listed on the menu) freaks me out. But I am determined to do this!

3. A cheese burger!! Okay, so I have this weird thing about red meats. When I first began struggling with the restrictive part of my eating disorder I was 13 and decided to become vegetarian – I used it as an excuse to not eat at parties or social gatherings, etc. I eat meat now – just not red meat. Although, it’s not so much a disorder minded thought process surrounding it currently, it’s definitely not a healthy relationship with that food group. I don’t like some of the effects that I’ve read that eating red meat can have on your body, although I’ve never experienced these specific effects myself, I just avoid it whenever possible. But I think I need to challenge that thought process. Although, it’s perfectly fine (and maybe even healthy?) to limit my intake of red meat, I shouldn’t cut it out of my diet entirely – and I haven’t have a cheese burger in AGES! So, I will have one…even if it’s just from the dining hall on campus!

I’m always up for a challenge – but with less than 3 weeks left in this month, I think these three challenges will be a plenty to tackle! I would challenge ALL my readers – eating disorder or not – to venture out and try something new or scary this month!

“Grace defines you. As grace sinks in, earthly labels fade. You are NOT who they (the world) say you are. You are who GOD says you are.”

Weight gain terrifies me. Not because of how it will change my body – but the mental concept of it…in the disordered part of my mine weight gain is still linked to weakness. Weight gain is linked to neediness and failure. But the healthy part of me knows that that is as far from the truth as it can possibly get. The healthy part of me knows that God created this body for me to reside in throughout this temporary life. The healthy part of me realizes that earthly labels about beauty, size, appearance, etc are just that…EARTHLY labels. The only one whose opinion is of any significance to me is God’s. And I have to constantly as myself…am I able to give everything to surrender my life up to the glory of God right now? Or is there something else stealing space in my mind and heart – is Satan creeping in and feeding me lies that are only holding me back, or at the very least, preventing me from moving forward?!

All that matters is God and His calling for my life…oh, and that Chipotle burrito 😉

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