1. What are you giving up in exchange for restriction? (AKA starving yourself comes at an expense)
For a long time, I didn’t eat breakfast, because I was afraid to. I had convinced myself that I was just as hungry at lunch time whether I ate breakfast or not. Whether that was true or not, I was still hungry all morning until lunch time because I skipped breakfast every day. As a result, my productivity suffered. I couldn’t focus on anything except for avoiding food. I’d try to create distractions for myself so I could ignore the hunger, but often times the hunger even distracted me from the things I was doing to avoid the hunger! Oh, the irony of eating disorders…
Something I realized in recovery is that the hours I spent starving myself were hours wasted. I was literally giving up half a day every day for the sake of avoiding food so that by the time I went to bed, I’d have eating less. This essentially centered my entire day around avoiding food. I was living for pretty much nothing else except starving. I was living to starve so that I could go to bed feeling “in control.” But I was not in control at all. My eating disorder was.
By eating breakfast, I’ve basically gained back 50% of my life. That time is productive (found out I’m a morning person), social, meaningful, and a gift. I regret the days, weeks, hours, months and years that I wasted because I was starving, but I’m grateful to have the present!
2. I can’t ‘earn’ my worth.
I struggle with social anxiety to a certain extent. I drive myself crazy sometimes by rehashing conversations I’ve had, questioning my actions or my wording, wondering if I said the wrong thing, offended someone, seemed “weird” or whatever else. It really negatively affects my ability to be present in relationships. I was praying through this the other day, and I realized that I have a pattern in my life of looking for something to control because, I tend to believe, if I can keep that one thing under control then everything else will fall into place. But I was reminded during my prayer time that there isn’t anything I can do to earn my worth.
In my eating disorder, I believed that as long as I was thin, everything would be okay. I also had a phase where I was really obsessed with fashion, and I figured that as long as I dressed in a really calculated way, everything else would fall into place. Today, I find myself believing that as long as I make sure I don’t offend anyone and am really nice, they will like me, and everything will be okay.
But that isn’t true. Not everyone is going to like me all the time. I can’t control other people’s perceptions of me. All these little things actually have nothing to do with whether or not I am worthy of love, respect, and acceptance. I realized that I’ve been idolizing the esteem of other people (as I’d previously idolized thinness and fashion) hoping to earn my worth through them. But God is reminding me that my worth is found in Christ alone.
I saw a picture of this bible study booklet on a blog recently and I thought it was so beautiful. I really love this sort of paint look (it reminds me of Eric Carle’s books) and I find that art is such an important pairing with scripture. I really believe that the web of human life is sort of an artistic creation that God is painting thorough history, almost like a tapestry.
But I digress.
I loved the cover so much, and it inspired me to make my own watercolor/devotional hybrid. I’ve had a lot of fun writing my own devotionals in the past (this one and this one) and it has been a useful tool for keeping me engaged in my own bible time. I’ll keep you posted with what I come up with.
4. Sandwich Bread
When I was in middle school, my dad would sometimes pick up Panera sandwiches at night for me to bring for my lunch the following day. One of my favorites was this Sierra Turkey sandwich, which was discontinued like 10 years ago, much to my chagrin. But then yesterday I saw it on the menu when I was out to lunch and so obviously I ordered it. It was every bit as delicious as I remembered it.
I think what I love so much about this particular sandwich is the fact that it’s made on focaccia. My husband and I aren’t huge sandwich people, and so we usually only have Ezekiel bread around (for toast) or french bread when we’re eating it with soup for dinner. I like Ezekiel bread as toast (with pb) but it’s not my favorite on sandwiches. Using a yummier bread like focaccia totally transforms sandwiches into something super satisfying and yummy. I think we’ll be having a lot of new breads in our house in the coming weeks!
Also…I ordered this sandwich right before I went to my dentist appointment. I forgot how many onions are on it, and I picked them off to spare the poor dental hygienist. Yikes!
5. Health is more than food/exercise
Most “wellness” blogs place an excessive amount of emphasis on food and exercise in health and preventative medicine. But holistic well-being involves so much more than just what you eat and how much you exercise. Mental health, social health and spiritual well-being are all extremely important, arguably even more so than food and fitness. But another area that I’ve realized gets neglected is dental health.
How often do we talk about flossing, brushing, dental check-ups and all that in the wellness industry? Pretty infrequently! But dental hygiene is so important! It’s amazing how much a toothache affects our quality of life. I can’t imagine how much more difficult life would be if I had chronic problems with my teeth, like frequent cavities, gum disease, or the need for crowns/surgery/etc.
What other areas of health do you find are often neglected in the wellness conversation?