If I was an alcoholic, I’d say I’ve fallen off the wagon. But I’m not addicted to alcohol, I’m addicted to food. So, I don’t know what to call this place I’ve found myself. Something happened. I’m not sure when it happened. Like most things, it came on gradually and quietly. About the time I’d hit the 100lb. mark is when it started, I guess. I went out for a walk tonight and it all really hit me. This was the first walk in months.
Here’s the journey. 300 pounds was my rock bottom which I hit around the fall of ’06. Gastric bypass is a fat person’s trip to rehab in the desert to dry out and learn how to live again before they rejoin society. Unfortunately, during the rehab process you know that even though this truly is the best option for you and things are going perfectly, it might not last forever. There will be a day when you stop fighting for it, when it doesn’t seem worth it anymore. One strike against me was that I had the surgery in a city where I didn’t live, which meant that visits of accountability with my doctor required a trip to
So, fast forward a bit to strike number two- becoming a youth minister. While youth ministry fills my life with immeasurable blessings, it does bring about certain challenges to the food addict. My life consists of going from meal to meal. I mean constant eating out- every meal. Pizza, hot dogs, cookies, Mexican food, crap, crap, crap. Not to mention very little time for exercise, personal development, emotional health, peer relationships, Sabbath or prayer. Tack on an unbelievable amount of stress to the equation and you start to see the picture.
So, tonight I find myself in this place with no name- this fallen off the wagon place. The compliments about how nice I look or how much weight I’ve lost actually sting as I think about the lifestyle I’ve slipped back into. I cringe when someone mentions my weight or the way I look. There’s so much fear here in this place. Have I done permanent damage to my body? Will I ever get back on the wagon? Will it always be this hard? There’s so much regret for the time lost and this great opportunity I’ve adulterated. And so much shame. I feel as though I’ve let so many people down. I think back to the rehab experience of the surgery. All the prayers given on my behalf. The indescribable support from those who love me and even from those who barely know me. And the roller coaster I put my parents on as they’ve had to witness their only daughter endure such a war. A war I created. All of that effort from others in an attempt to help me succeed- and where am I now: back on the losing end of this fight.
I can’t end this post with a declaration that tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of my life, because I don’t know if it will be. I only know how I feel tonight. Tonight I’m dying to be that other person again. Experiencing the confidence, personal victory, and mental clarity that exercise brings. Finding the strength to make the desired choices about the foods that enter my body. And as a person of faith, if my body truly is a temple of the Lord, what does this lifestyle say about the value I have placed on such a dwelling place?
Perhaps this post is far too personal for a simple blog typically devoted the joys offered by current tv shows. But I have chosen to be a person who can be vulnerable in the presence of others. Please respect my vulnerability here.