A Gift in the Stairwell

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

 

A Gift in the Stairwell

A gift was given to me years ago. Although, at the time I didn’t realize it was a gift. At that time in my life, I went on yet another diet thinking that my life would be so much better if I lost weight. I expected better performance at work, more smiles, a happier relationship with my boyfriend and more.

That summer I had gotten quite thin.   I had been on a restrictive diet with supplements that convinced me that I would still be getting nutrition even thought I was hardly eating any thing. I had been partying at the bar and I came home to discover I had locked myself out of my apartment. This was before the cell phone days so I couldn’t call for help because my phone was inside the apartment. I remember sitting in the stairwell feeling alone, overwhelmed and I was crying.  I remember thinking, “I’m thin and I’m miserable.” At that point I realized that being thin didn’t promise me a better life.

As I have reflected on that moment over the years I have realized that this incident was truly a gift. It didn’t stop me from dieting, but that moment’s truth got rid of one diet promise for me, a promise that many people use to this day. Things don’t necessarily get better just because of weight loss.

Although one incident doesn’t necessarily mean a life change, that day it did cause a flicker of awareness for me that has stuck with me over the years.  Losing that misconception early in my 20’s was truly a gift.

Again, I was looking to fix things my way, only today I am reminded of His way. I needed to look for joy in Him, not in my body size.

 

 

 

Lights on! Last Call!

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is an appointed time for everything, And there is a time for every event under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

NASB.

 

Lights On! Last Call!

Those were the words at the corner bar at 2:00am. It was time for the lights to come on and go home. It was always surprising when the lights came on. The party was over. Everyone could now see the carnage of the night. The empty, spilled drinks, peanut shells, and people wandering around wondering if they need to call for a ride home, or risk driving home themselves. People were leaving with other people married or not. It was either dashed dreams or accomplished dreams depending what the person was looking for. What was it about the bar life that was so attractive?  Was there a feeling of fitting in? Was there a certain type of camaraderie? Was it a way to escape from the real world that was waiting when the lights came back on?

It was time to go home and be responsible. The laughing and so called care free evening was over.

This used to be my lifestyle; this was also the period in my life when I started to diet. My dieting life, just like the bar life gave me a feeling of camaraderie and a feeling of fitting in.   Everyone talked about what the latest diet was and how much weight they wanted to lose. Guys noticed women who lost weight. Spending time focusing on fixing everything with weight loss, allowed me to avoid the real issues in my life. What I didn’t know is that I was looking for love and acceptance in the wrong places.

I don’t know where my feeling of needing to lose weight came from. I was a thin kid, and thin in high school.  Was it magazines and TV ads? Was it the “in” thing to do? Was I trying to win approval from certain people? I may never know exactly why I felt the desire to change my body by weight loss, and I know the reasons changed over the years. I do know that I spent much of my time trying to correct my “problems” by dieting, whatever my problems happened to be at the time.

Whether or not I was actually on a diet at any given time, I was continually wishing I were a different size, dreaming of the day that I would be thin. I was very attached to that dream. And that was part of my frustration. If I dreamed hard enough, why didn’t I have the determination to make that dream come true?

The diets usually felt good, although they were always short lived. Every pound lost felt exhilarating, and empowering. After those highs though, came the lows. The lows of feeling inadequate and feeling like a failure because I fell off the diet again. I was effective and dedicated to other areas of my life. Why not the diet part? It was so frustrating and confusing.

While I don’t like looking back at the discouraging times of my life, I choose to believe that looking back helps me to see the growth that has occurred during my life. It’s alright to visit our dark past but as Tiffany Peterson, a business and life coach says, “Just don’t build a house there.”

My diet mentality was full of many different aspects. This blog is about my journey into loving the body I was given, no matter what size. I choose to see how God IS working in my life, instead of  how my diet ISN’T working in my life.

Lights on! Last Call. The diet party is over.