Contentment

Garden Steps

I have learned so much over these past few weeks that I feel as though I could fill up pages of this post with it.  But at the same time, it’s really hard to put everything into words.

Instead, I’ll do a bulleted list, and try to keep it simple :-).

  • God ALWAYS provides.  Always.  Every. Single. Time.  He has shown me in so many ways that He can be trusted with our finances, and He will show His faithfulness.
  • God used a difficult situation in our life to bring us to a new church where we feel at home, already.  We couldn’t have imagined changing churches a few months ago, but this is very obviously where God wants us.  I can’t wait to see what He does in and through us there!
  • My plan is SO not God’s plan and vice-versa.  I have held onto an idea of what I thought I should be doing coming fall, and God has slammed doors shut, making it very obvious that my plan is not His.  Instead of what I thought I’d be doing (we won’t go there), I will be subbing and working with the PTA at my kiddos’ school.  And I am at complete.  peace.  Even though it wasn’t my plan, I trust that it is His because He has made it very clear to me.
  • My body isn’t the way I would want it to be.  And that’s okay.  I have gained weight, and I don’t know why.  I run 12-14 miles per week.  And it’s all okay.  I run because I enjoy running.  I eat because I like to eat (okay, I also NEED to eat).  I don’t focus on eating perfectly anymore, and it’s freeing.  I live life.  I may be a size bigger, but who cares.  Robert reminds me that he would rather me be a larger size and just enjoying life, than a smaller size, worrying about every little bite I eat and obsessing about it all.  He would rather me live and enjoy backpacking, playing games, having a date night with yummy food, etc, than be obsessed with food like I have been for years.  It’s all worth it.
  • One of the biggest things that I’m learning is that I am not anxiety and depression.  I am Courtney.  This is a factor in my life, but unless I stop identifying myself AS my illness, people will continue identifying me as my illness.  I have made great strides in the past several months.  I have grown tremendously.  I am ready to move forward in life and start identifying myself as ME, not my illness.  I can’t wait to see what God does in and through me as I follow Him and trust Him in this.
  • Through all of these things that I’ve been learning, God is bringing a new contentment that I have been hungry for over the past several years.  He is showing me that trusting Him is the only way.

Boundaries

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I feel like posts are few and far between these days.  To be honest, while I have a lot going on, most of it is either not post worthy, or it would be sharing too much to write about it.

I have struggled for years with my boundaries in blogging, and I find that my boundaries are tighter now than they used to be.

I have always loved being open, honest, and real, but there comes a point in which sharing too much can be a problem for me.

Often times when I share on Facebook, I end up deleting the link.

I realize and recognize that there are so many that need to hear what I have to say about life, mental health, and everything in between… but it sometimes really takes a toll on me emotionally.  Just because someone needs to hear it doesn’t mean I need to be the person to share it.

I have come a long way in so many areas, but there are still many areas in which I struggle (because, well, I’m human), and I’m not sure if I need that plastered all over the internet.

There are just some things that need to be saved to be shared with close friends and family, you know?

I’ve loved sharing over the years and I’m not done sharing, but I am coming to a point in which I feel not every-thing needs to be shared.  I’m finding that it’s time to stop crossing my own boundaries and be okay with that.

There is so much freedom in this realization.

Life is About Living

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When I posted on Facebook about deciding to cut out sugar, I never thought that I would have my mind completely changed by a simple blog post and calorie calculator, but it was changed.

You see, I’ve had a problem with my body image and with food for a long time.  I didn’t quite realize how big of a problem it was until Monday.

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I obsess about my body.  I constantly obsess over how “fat” I am (and I’m not even over weight).  I assume that because of some weight gain, I’m not going to be as wanted or accepted by the people around me.  I assume that everyone else sees it and they must judge me.  I constantly look in the mirror and pick out the flaws that I see, and assume everyone else sees them as well.  I change clothes often if I feel like I look fat in something.  If there is a picture with me in it, I won’t share it with others if I feel I look fat.  I either eat “perfectly” or “horribly,” depending on my mood… but either way, there is constant guilt about what I put in my mouth.  When I’m doing “good,” I feel that I won’t be able to keep up so I feel guilty (silly, I know).  If I put things in my mouth that don’t “fit” into the mold of perfect food that I’ve created, I feel guilty.  This only contributes to my poor body image.

After reading this blog post “Stop Dieting” (thanks to a friend), I’ve decided to make a change.  I can’t live the way I’ve been living any longer.  This has been a years-long-battle (since I was a KID), and I’m done with it.  No more.  I am done with the poor body image and restrictive eating.  I am done with guilty feelings about food.  I am done with trying to eat “perfectly,” and I am done with binging on horrible foods because I’m not feeding my body enough (and because of my moods).

I’m starting with the decision to no longer log my foods.  I have deleted my “My Fitness Pal” account.  I am going to eat to satisfy hunger.  I am going to eat to give my body fuel.  If I want a cookie, I will eat one without feeling guilty.  I will eat foods that God has given us to nourish our bodies most of the time, but I won’t obsess about it.  I am going to be okay with putting sugar in my coffee because it brings me joy and it is literally something I look forward to every day.  I’m going to be okay with having a beer and a burger with my husband on our date nights.  I’m going to enjoy food with my friends without worrying about how many calories I’m putting in my body.  I’m going to eat mostly fruits, veggies, healthy meats, beans, raw milk, coconut oil, whole grains, and eggs because they make me feel my best, not because I want to be a certain size.  I’m going to remember that my body is God’s, and He created me the way I am for a reason and a purpose, and my husband is thankful for that ;-).  I’m going to live this life more secure, not in myself, but in God and His perfect creation.  He created food to nourish us and to enjoy.  He didn’t create food for us to log every bite that we take and to be an idol in our lives.  Needing/wanting to lose weight to be healthy isn’t bad.  But that can be done without being so restrictive and making food an idol.  God didn’t intend that for us.

My new way of life starts today.

Most of this comes back to my thought processes and my goal to continue the work to change them.  Instead of looking in the mirror to see my “fat,” I will look in the mirror and be reminded that God made me in His image.  Instead of thinking about how I look in an outfit, I will focus on how things feel… is my outfit comfortable?  Instead of focusing on food, how many calories it has, and if it fits into my “box” of what “healthy” is… I will focus on… does it bring me joy?  Is it nourishing and does it make me feel good?

As I continue working on my thought processes, my goal is joy.

I want to smell the flowers as they bloom.  Feel the wind in the air.  Taste the yummy food that God has given us.  Hear the laughter of my children.  Enjoy the smile on my husband’s face.  Smile back.

Life is about more than appearances.  Life is about living.