I had forgotten myself.
For over a year and a half, after my gallbladder surgery, I had opened the door up to unhealthy eating habits again. And, over time they had only gotten worse. I went from somehow ignoring the sugar laden, heavily processed foods to picking them up and adding them into my grocery cart. What happened to me? I believe in good, clean food. I've seen the benefits in my own life and health. How could I go backwards? How could I harm and damage my body further when I know the truth about the destruction this food and lifestyle brings? It brought me high blood pressure, diabetes, a hundred pounds of excess fat that damaged my knees and joints. And still, I have been choosing to pull up in the Chick-Fil-A drive through. "The Lord's Chicken" my ass...personally I don't think the Lord would be providing chicken that is heavily processed, full of hormones and cancer causing chemicals....but that's for another day.
Although I don't understand it fully, I know that the answer to these questions lies deep within me. There's something broken within that needs to be mended. This train of thought reminds me of Paul who said, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do....For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." I feel you Paul, this is exactly how I feel.
So, yesterday my family was all sitting around waiting for breakfast when my oldest son, who's been through some rough times himself over the last few weeks, piped up and said, "Guys, I don't think I'm going to eat all this refined sugar anymore. I feel like I need to give it up and get back to eating better." This one statement convicted me. My heart wrenched inside my chest because I knew that I was responsible for bringing these things into my home and allowing my family to partake. I felt the weight of my health and theirs on my shoulders. I felt weak because I knew I had given up and become hopeless...filled with shame over my bad choices. I know that I've used and abused food this past year as a way to handle my own emotional struggles. It's no secret that I'm an emotional eater. I use food as comfort, a momentary fix to help me forget the deep pain or discomfort I'm in. This is the story of an addict and my addiction is food, mainly processed sugar. Research clearly points to the damaging and addictive effects that sugar has on the brain, lighting up areas in the same way drugs do.
I'm addicted to sugar and I remember what it was like to walk away from that. I remember the agitation and pacing in front of the refrigerator. Biting my nails. I remember opening the door to the fridge every ten minutes thinking that I'd find something...anything hidden in a back corner that would satisfy my need for something sweet. I remember how awkward and uncomfortable it felt to have to wait for my food to cook instead of the instant gratification I was used to. I remember and I hate thinking about having to go through all of that again. But here I am...facing down the same giant that I thought I had slayed.
I would have never thought that it would have been Ethan who brought us back to our senses. He was the one who would buy a soda without thinking twice or bring home some sugary cereal to sit on my counter top a year ago. It made me proud to think of how much "good" he really had absorbed over the years. He may not have been practicing it all the time but he heard me. It was there, like a tiny seed, it had matured and now he was leading his family back to the truth and the core of who we are.
To my family, I'd like to say that I'm sorry...truly sorry for this year and the lapse in my better judgement. Your health is important to me and I'm sorry I let you down.
To my extended family, I know that from a distance it looks like I'm a hypocrite. Preaching a healthy lifestyle when I can't live it out on my own....I guess that's true. But I still believe in health and wellness and all that I've preached and I'm determined to go back to that place of health. I did it once and I can do it again.
To friends and readers, I'm sure looking at the place I'm in now and the weight gain I've experienced doesn't give you much confidence in my ability to teach healthy living skills. I get that. I've learned over the years that health is not a number on the scale, it is a state of being. TRUE health doesn't just come from eating good food. It is about everything we ingest and take in. Mind, body, soul & spirit. That is what I'm after and that's why my lifestyle has changed so drastically over the last ten years. I've opted out of many things that have not served me well. And that is what I'll keep doing, maybe not well at times...but my goal is always health, wellness, peace and more of Jesus in every area of my life.
So here's to another go at health within my body, let's throw back a shot of kombucha and go at it again shall we? To health & no more Reeses cups!