Yet I didn't realize it, not really. See it changed forms from the past so when I read this article talking about letting go of your health goals, I was taken aback by some of the truths that resonated with me.
In the past there was no doubting it. Despite my lack of most memories from childhood, I know it started in late elementary school, when I felt like I was different and tried oh so hard to hide it. It progressed in many forms over the years, now I see how it all comes back to control....or at least my attempt at doing so. In middle school there was a period when I just ate carrots for lunch. In my head I called them "Dexatrim carrots" as they seemed to take away my appetite (as time went on I learned it was just the depression), as well as some weight. (For the record this was the only time in my life I have had a loss of appetite - most of the time it is just the opposite.)
In High School I abused my body in countless ways, some to embarrassing to even write. There was the brief cutting and burning, each match sizzling a piece of my skin and broken heart. When I physically could not make myself throw-up I turned to exercise. It is more acceptable after all. I didn't think anything of running 5 miles on the track and then coming home to an hour of Jane Fonda workout tape. The more the better, right? I had no idea that exercise bulimia was even a thing. In college, to try to reel it in a bit, I would limit myself to just 2 hours at the gym. I have no idea why that "magic" number but in my head more than that would not be "healthy"and I needed to get control of my attempts at controlling the body that I loathed. So two hours of penitence for as many days as I could make it work every week. Sometimes it meant the 11pm run I had to go on, the guilt of not exercising for the day to strong. Run or you will get fat (or am to fat). The hate. I don't even really like running. There were times when it was all consuming in my thoughts, no matter how I wished and was ashamed that they were there, as really what does it even mean to eternity!
These memories, though, are so distant now. It's like they are from a chapter of someone else's book in life, not my story.
So when I realized I still hated my body, just in a totally different way....Usually now this looks like the anger I have towards it when yet again I'm down and it's hard to move because of my health. When I physically just need to stay in bed, yet again. Now that I actually want to work out, I'm lucky to be able to take a shower without needing to rest afterwords. And I get angry. Why can't I control this body? Control. I can't, as hard as I try to do all the right things. I have no ability to predict or know if I'm going to be functional during any given day. Lately it has been less and less days. I want to be able to parent, to support Beach to be more of who I am...yet I have no control and I hate my body. (In having Beach read over this blog post for me, he thought hate was to strong of a word. Maybe it is, or maybe it's just right...I'm not totally sure.) This hate seems to spill out to those around me that I love the most.
So realizing it is the first step, right? Don't ask me how to move forward. I have been trying hard to listen to my body, to nurture it, take care of it. BUT the underlying reason for that is so that I can control it to do what I want. I'm going through the motions of care but the love is not there. It's so conditional and the anger keeps coming.
So I don't have all the wisdom to move on. I do know that one day I will get a new body, one that is fully functional and without pain. Until then I want my time on this spinning sphere to be filled with love, not hate. So that is my prayer. I know the one who loves me and can heal me by speaking a word, and while I pray that He will, I also pray that he will continue to teach me in this season. More love Lord, help me to love.