Unbroken

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I love music.

Not in the – “oh, this is a catchy song!” kind of way, but more in the – take me anywhere slowly, wrapped up in thrills, romancing with my soul kind of way. I could get lost in a song. It’s like each one is an alternate dimension, whisking me away on some ephemeral journey that lasts a lifetime within.

One of my favorite artists is a British alternative singer called Birdy. Her songs reserved for days of not being understood. Songs reserved for crying out all of my hopes, fears, and introverted passions. My very favorite song of hers is a lyrical masterpiece called “Unbroken.”

The first time I heard it, I felt like it had been written out of a breath I’d breathed. It was my song somehow. And it found me unbroken.

It was my quiet anthem in the dead of night. My reminder to keep my head up. A promise to myself to remain unbroken. But, then this happened. And now I will never be unbroken again.

I never used to understand why grown-ups were so serious. Where did that glimmer in their eyes run off to anyways? I couldn’t imagine why they were in such a wonder-less mood all the time. Today though, I know exactly why.

It’s this little thing called heartbreak.

There will come a day for all of us when we die at the mercy of caring about someone else. When that happens, you have no choice but to become something different.

Most of us turn into callouses, never to be scathed by such an evil again. Transforming into this guarded, untouchable, robot of a person is my greatest fear. But it’s also my greatest fear NOT to.

In reality, I know can’t fight it. It’s happening whether I want it to or not. My eyes are done glimmering. My nose will begin to love the smell of the grind more than it loves anyone or anything around it. And whatever it is that’s left in my chest, it’s not a heart.

So, now that song means something quite different to me. It’s not about being unbroken. Because no one stays that way for long. Instead, it is a call to strength from the things that used to be unbroken.

Yeah, your eyes don’t shine anymore, but they did once. And THAT can’t be taken away. Yeah, you gave it all. But it isn’t gone; it’s all right there where you left it. No, you’ll never be that beautifully innocent, heart-wide open child again. But she’s still alive.

Somewhere in the past, she lives. Unbroken.

 

Make Your Comeback!

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Soooo…. It’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym huh? I’ve been there. Recently. You probably feel like you are back at square one. Like you don’t quite know where to start or how to start. But don’t panic! This post is gonna help you out!

It’s that time of year again: the beginning of January. (*shudders*) It’s a dark time marked by thousands upon thousands of people flooding into gyms hoping that this will be the year that they actually stick with it. It is also a time of heartbreak for me, knowing that most will all too soon give up because they went about fitness the completely wrong way. Year after year they make the same mistakes. They go on a diet, cut out food groups, spend hours on the treadmill at the gym, and use a scale as their only measure of success. None of that is fitness. Not even close. You don’t have to turn into a cardio-only, chocolate-hating, salad-crunching extremist to get healthier. True story.

So whether you haven’t worked out since last January or it’s only been a few weeks, here are some tips that you can use to make your comeback in a healthier and more sustainable way. The first five are tips for the physical challenges; the next four are for the mental ones!

1. Take it SLOW

Yeah, you read that right. SLOW. You cannot expect to be a total machine your first day back in the gym. Push yourself, but don’t kill yourself. Once your body starts adjusting you’ll be able to move a little faster and lift a little heavier but that will take some time. Always respect your limits.

2. Strength Train First, Cardio Last

If you strength train, (and I highly recommend that you do, unless told otherwise by your doctor) ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do that first. If you spend all of your energy on cardio before you get to the weights, you will find yourself exhausted and discouraged because you probably won’t be able to finish your sets and reps.

3. Cut Back

Cut back on everything. Seriously. Just because you could lift such and such a weight and run however many miles a few weeks or months ago, doesn’t mean that you should be able to do the same thing now. Instead of doing 4 sets of an exercise do 2 or 3. Instead of running 3 miles start with one. Instead of working out 6 days a week, start with 3 and work up if you want. And do not be ashamed. No matter how much you need to cut back, know that you will not stay there forever.

4. Try Something New

I dare you to get off of the cardio machines. Do something different! Keep it interesting! If you are bored and uninspired, then how on earth are you going to make fitness a lifetime habit? Try strength training or circuit training. Go on a hike. Join a kickboxing class or a HIIT class, or any group fitness class really! Doing something different will keep your body guessing but it will also keep you motivated!

5. Fuel Well

You know what that means? EAT EVERYTHING. Carbs, fats, and proteins. This is the easiest item on this list, but we make it the most complicated. You don’t have to track calories. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods. Eat what you want, when you want it. It’s this magical thing called “intuitive eating”. And it works! Because your body is smarter than you and your calorie trackers. Find your balance. Everyone knows to eat nutritionally dense foods, and that all foods can be healthy in moderation. I will give this point it’s own post later on. For now just stick with that and remember: You need carbs before a workout and protein after.

6. New Workout Outfit! WOOT! WOOT!

Isn’t that the true reason we are all going to the gym anyway? So we can buy new leggings and look fierce and adorable at the same time? Well, as it turns out there is an actual psychological reason for this tip. It makes you feel more confident when you look legit. Simple as that. So work out like you mean it! Dress the part.

7. Do NOT Compare Yourself to ANYONE

The gym can be scary, especially if it’s been awhile or if it’s your first time. It’s intimidating to see all the people who look like they know what they are doing while you are a little unsure. But you can learn too! They had to start somewhere, so do you. It is also easy to get into the trap of comparing your appearance to someone else’s. There’s a great quote I saw this week that goes along with this: “Just because you train like her, doesn’t mean you’ll look like her”. No matter what you do, you can never look like someone else. Not even if you stick to the exact same workout plan and eat the exact same things at the exact same times as they do. So stop trying, stop comparing. You have your own body, your own goals, and your own journey.

8. Don’t Look Back or Beat yourself up

Yeah, you’ve been out of the gym for a while. So what? While you were gone you were doing other important things. You went on a vacation, you celebrated the holidays with your family, you volunteered for things, you stayed in and watched a movie, you worked overtime, you focused on school. There is nothing wrong with taking a gym vacation, just as long as you never take a fitness vacation. They are not the same thing. But, since you are back at the gym now don’t be distracted or discouraged by what you used to be able to do. Yeah, it’s frustrating to think that you used to be able to lift heavier and run further, but be thankful for what you can do today. Don’t try to get back to where you were. Don’t try to get back into the shape you used to be. Instead, be where you are now and push forward. Be better than you used to be.

9. Take the First Step

This is my favorite tip. It is the inspiration behind this entire post. Just start. The first step out the door is the hardest, especially because it’s January and it’s freezing outside. But, the first step is the most important. Take it with confidence, take it with determination, take it with passion for what you do and with the knowledge that exercise is not about weight loss but about empowerment.

The Exception

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Someone call a doctor, or someone call a nurse.

No?

Then, someone call the cops and someone call the hearse.

She’s lying in the trenches and face down in the dirt.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,

They could not save her from friends bent on killing.

So, someone call an ambulance, someone call a copter.

Fine.

Then, call up all the morgues and spread around the ashes!

Please.

She’s rotting on the sidelines.

Stained shattered glass passions.

Ocean eyes opened wide, but paled by the

Lifeless.

All because another threw down the

Priceless.

So, call up the rescuer, or the hands that hold boulders.

Why not?

Then, ask for the funerals and prepare the glossy headstones.

“Here lies the girl”

the exception to grace

NO.

None will be given.

Go right ahead!

Step on her face.

 

God, Social Media, and Taylor Swift

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Whether you like her, dislike her, used to like her, or used to NOT like her, you definitely know who I’m talking about when I say: Taylor Swift. You also know that just over a week ago she released her new album “Reputation”. She is arguably the most famous pop star of this generation. Even if you actively try to avoid hearing about her, you can’t. I’ve often told people that during every significant event in my life since her debut, there has been a Taylor Swift song playing. Sounds dramatic, but it’s actually not! I could write a whole post on just that alone!

Being the “Swiftie” that I am, I couldn’t wait for her new album to come in the mail. Her choice in the release of her first single “Look What You Made Me Do” combined with the title “Reputation” for the album gave me and the rest of the world the impression that this album was going to be about revenge. But, when I played it for the first time I found something entirely different. The title “Reputation” is accurate, but the theme of the album isn’t just Taylor’s reputation in the media, it’s so much broader than that. It’s about all of us in this culture obsessed with portraying ourselves a certain way online.

If you post something negative about your life on facebook without the words “please pray for me” tacked onto the end, people will probably get mad at you for it or find it extremely annoying. Obviously, no one wants to see on their news feed that which should be reserved for people you are actually close with. Makes everyone uncomfortable. So, instead of doing THAT most of us just post our proudest moments, our best hair days, our prettiest meals, and of course our most flattering gym selfies. Posting on social media platforms is like putting our families’ scrapbooks on display for literally the entire world to see, except with more details.

And we like our “likes”. The attention and false sense of connection to others drives us into addiction. I’m guilty. It’s nerve wracking to be away from your smart phone these days. We want to be involved, we want to know what’s going on, we want to parade our lives about and show people how great and fine we’re doing even when we are falling apart. It’s comforting to us somehow, knowing that in the worlds of facebook, twitter, and instagram our lives look really great. Online, we create the kind of person we want to be and portray ourselves that way. And sometimes, others even twist that ideal we’ve created into something ugly and use it against us. Much in the way the media portrays Taylor as being a serial dater.

We as a society hold the belief that “If I don’t post it on social media, then it probably didn’t happen.” No one consciously believes this, but you know the feeling when something good is happening and you just HAVE to get your camera out so you can post it. I think that posting about things gives us a sense of permanence. It’s like we are writing a history book of our lives with deleted chapters and fake names. And we write it to be remembered…the histories of the glories of our lives forever preserved in pixels and data clouds.

We all have a reputation. Here’s the thing though, God is writing the actual history book. With real names and with every chapter accounted for and written out in black and white. Our preoccupation with our image and social media really points to a deeper underlying desire that we all have. We want to have beautiful lives and to be remembered. But, we forget that we are already remembered. Christ remembers us every day. Whether you’ve accepted Him or not. AND! He wants to make our lives beautiful. His beautiful looks absolutely nothing like our beautiful though. It doesn’t happen on our proudest days but on our humblest ones. Our idea of beauty is something that draws attention to itself, while His is in the little acts of faithfulness that only He sees.

I’m not shaming social media. This isn’t a battle cry to banish it from our lives forever. I’m a millennial to the core and I and think it’s a great tool. This is just a post for a moment of thought on the subject. I don’t think it should be as consuming to us as it is. Like, while you’re busy taking a picture of something with your smart phone, you’re forgetting to take a picture of it with your own eyes and store it in your mind. When we escape into our fantasy lives online, we start losing interest in our real ones. We want our likes from man so much that we forget to want the approval of a God who actually sees and knows everything about us.

Let’s become our real selves. Good, bad, and ugly because it’s all a part of a story to give God the glory! Your moments DO matter and they DID happen whether you post about them or not. So, take it easy with those post and tweet buttons! You don’t have to try so hard. ❤

All-or-Nothing

 

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“You’re such a perfectionist!” These words have been spoken to me on countless occasions. Whether at work, school, or play I listen to people moan and groan about how I always want things to be exactly right. And while they’re going on about it I stand there with my arms crossed wondering why it’s frustrating them so much.

What IS so wrong with being a perfectionist? Isn’t that a good quality to have? Perfectionism is a highly encouraged trait, especially in American society where we place so much value on hard work and climbing the ladder to success. After all, perfectionists are organized, high achieving, and often extremely successful. Who wouldn’t want to be that? Unfortunately, as I’m learning, that isn’t the entire story.

On the outside, their lives seem so put together. They get the A’s, stick to their schedules, and fix everything that’s out of place. But, what happens when they don’t? What happens when the red ink pen comes out? Or how about when something interrupts their perfectly balanced schedule? I’ll tell you this: It ain’t good. All of those high expectations and the constant pressure to perform can quickly become damaging when their humanity strikes a blow. Perfectionists are at a higher risk for mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Perfectionism has pervaded my life in more subtle ways as well, creeping into decisions, habits, and thoughts until I’ve become consumed with its voice and started to believe I am who it says that I am. For a long time, I didn’t see how trying to be perfect was holding me back from living fully. I didn’t understand that joy doesn’t come from getting everything exactly right. Until one day when I looked at my life and just wondered: why?

Why does my life look like this? Why did I ever go on that extreme diet? Why did I quit taking piano lessons? Why isn’t singing fun anymore? Why can’t I play board games with my friends? Why am I procrastinating on this class? And the worst why of all: Why is it so hard for me to see God in any of this?

And here’s the “why”- Perfectionists suffer from All-or-Nothing thinking. Here are a few examples to illustrate.

Oh, I only have 30 minutes to do this today, and I really need an hour and a half, so I’m just not gonna do any of it because I won’t be able to get it all done.

Ugh, I had so much sugar for lunch today; forget eating a nutritious dinner because my progress is already ruined.

I messed up on that part, and that part, and that part on this song, so clearly I sang the whole song horribly and should never sing it again because what’s the point if I can’t get the whole thing right?

All-or-nothing means either the whole task gets completed or none of it does. It means that if you eat a cookie, then the salad won’t help. The whole song is right or none of it is. There is no middle ground, there is no moderate view. And we hate incompleteness. We avoid it at all costs even if it means procrastinating because we can’t get it all done. Living that way makes it extremely hard to see any good anywhere. It makes it hard to accomplish anything. It makes you miserable. And the most horrible thing is that it is a complete and total lie.

When we are pursuing perfection. Perfection becomes our god. If perfection becomes our god, then guess where we are going to place our worth? All the while the One True God is calling. Perfection Himself, Jesus Christ, invites us into His presence on this earth and one day in Heaven to partake of a perfect Kingdom in a perfect body. THAT is what’s worth pursuing. Jesus is the One who will make us perfect. We could never do it ourselves, but we try to believe the lie that we can for the sake of pride.

I’m exhausted from chasing an unobtainable perfection when I should’ve been chasing the available Perfection.

But, here’s the good news: all I have to do is turn around and run the other way. With the wind instead of against it. And that’s exactly what you can do too.

1st Corinthians 15: 51-58

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Confessions of a Perfectionist

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It always ends in bitterness.

But not for any other person than myself.

And It’s never quite enough…

The A should’ve been an “ A PLUS” (at least!)

And I only worked out 6 days this week!

But I’ll never show you tears.

Those are for the weak and defeated.

I’ll stand taller.

Every morning I give myself over to It’s scrutinizing control.

“If you do this exactly right, then you’ll be worth something”

Or, so It tells me.

“They will love you, if and only if, you give them no reason not to”

And I really tried… (But maybe I didn’t because if I had tried then I would’ve performed better.)

And if I had performed better? Then maybe I wouldn’t feel like this.

It lies, and I know it, but I can’t see past It.

After all, what does the world look like through eyes of leniency?

It manifests Itself in the most subtle of ways; coursing through my waking hours.

Might as well not even try.

Anything.

Nothing less than excellent will suffice, and clearly I am incapable.

Eventually, I give up.

When the journey gets lost in the destination, and the learning warps into chore,

It has won.

So, I smile in lies to the world.

Because It expects nothing less.

 

Do a Brave Thing

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My secret is out.

I have a blog.

Or I should say, I’ve HAD a blog for seven months now and you’re just now finding out about it! The truth is, I hadn’t planned on ever sharing it with anyone. It was gonna be my hidden treasure amongst the trillions of pixels and web domains parading about the internet. But today, I invite you to it both excitedly and humbly for one reason: I accepted the challenge.

This story actually began a year ago, on my 21st birthday. My first day of Twenty-One was like filling your lungs with too much air and not wanting to let it out because you’ll never have that exact same breath again. It felt big. Important. And so, I made it my goal to challenge my fears that year. I got on elevators. Ate fear foods. Shot a gun. Sang a solo. Spoke from the stage. And I stopped sleeping in the basement during thunderstorms. I thought that I had done it all. That I had held nothing back….

Until a few weeks ago.

It was then that one of my dearest friends, who is also a blogger, sent out this challenge to all of her social media friends after a day of facing one of her longest-held fears:

“Do something brave today! Because being afraid isn’t a way to live; it’s only a way to wish that you had.”

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Several people reacted with brave stories of their own, while I just stared at her words; struck by the realization that I HAD been holding something back after all:

This Blog.

This blog where I’ve written my story. This blog where I’ve discovered my voice. This blog that I’ve kept hidden out of fear. This blog which is, ironically, all about being fearless.

So today, on my last day of being twenty-one, I’m not hiding it anymore. I’m going into twenty-two knowing that I left no fear unturned and no insecurity unchallenged.

This is it. This is my brave thing.

Now, I want to know yours! Help me continue this challenge by commenting your brave story either directly on this blog post or on Facebook and Instagram! It could be anything! Did you talk to someone new? Go for that interview? Stand up for what’s right? Play a piano solo? Or did you simply try an exotic food and experiment with a different style? Whatever it is, I want to know because I’m proud of you!

So go ahead! Comment! Tell me your story. Be fearless. ❤

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(I dedicate this, my first blog post to the world, to my dear friend Courtney. You’ve supported this space from the start and inspire me constantly by simply being you. <3)

Summer.

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Summer is more a friend than a season. Winter is a season. Fall is a season. Spring is.

They all make their appearance and leave at the most inconvenient times. But not Summer. Summer comes right when you need it the most. Summer would stay forever, except for the fact that fall is selfish.

And I know Summer. I know how it thinks. Giving us the gift of longer days, in the hopes that we would see more, and in seeing more that we would feel more.

It dreams for us.

In the stars.

Even when we close our windows to their whimsical whisperings.

It’s misunderstood too. I know, because I’ve listened.

The Summer heat isn’t offered in merciless cruelty, but in compassion for the bitter days ahead. It can’t take us through the winter, but it can give us warmth for the road.

And I think I’m Summer’s favorite, although it would never say so out loud. When I want to see the ocean, the tree leaves roar like crashing waves. When I’m all alone, younger days become alive again just to be my family. And when I’m not the person I want to be, Summer reminds me of all that I’m becoming in the subtle moments of bravery accomplished within its realms.

I’m not sure why it loves me the most. Maybe because I took the time to get to know it. I’ve always treated it like a person, and not a mindless season that comes, goes, and doesn’t feel.

Or maybe it’s because I was born to its sunny skies right in the middle of July, and we’ve been connected ever since.

It was even there when I was born again. Watching. Celebrating.

I’m so thankful that I was born to a friend, and not to a season.

Whatever the case, Summer is my favorite too. ❤

Tips for Coping with a Bad Body Image Day

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So, since I’ve been struggling this week and my last post was on the heavier side, I’ve decided to follow up the struggle with some positivity. Just because it isn’t always easy to love your body, doesn’t mean you have to listen to and be defeated by the lies your mind is telling you. You can choose to move past it one self-loving step at a time. Below are some tips and strategies that help me personally when I have days and weeks where I have trouble accepting my body. Hopefully, some of them will help you too!

1. Pray.

If you don’t believe in God, you can swap this one out for meditating, but for me personally I need to hear God when I’m being self-critical. Being in God’s presence and remembering how passionately He loves me is the single most healing thing that I can do for myself. Praying and worshiping puts my mind on the spiritual so that I don’t have time to worry about the physical. God knows how to speak peace to my mind so that I remember that my physical body is actually the most insignificant part of me and has nothing to do with who I actually am.

2. Stay off of Social Media (Especially Instagram).

Do it. Just delete the app for the day or however long you need to feel ok again about YOU. Social Media is wonderful and it has even been a part of my healing process because I follow some really incredible body-positive women on there. Whenever I have a hard day, I can go to their pages or stories and read about how they are fighting that day and it is SO empowering to feel like you aren’t alone in the fight. HOWEVER, there comes a time when even my body-positive heroes start to make me feel guilty about my own self. For example, when they worked out that day and I didn’t or they chose fruit when I choose Oreo’s, it can get in my head and make me feel bad. THAT’S when you need to get out, take a break, and remember that you have your own story and that it’s just as valid as theirs.

3. Talk to a friend or someone you trust.

If I’m going through it with negative body and food thoughts, I always try to tell at least one person that it’s happening. I don’t tell them because I think they can make it stop, but because it’s good to have someone on my side when it’s happening. You don’t have to feel your feelings in a bubble. Let someone in to support you, and it will remind you that people don’t love you for your body, or because you have the perfect diet and exercise regimen. They love you because you are you.

4. Reframe your mind before you even think about exercise.

Working out makes me feel amazing. Most of the time, a good sweat sesh gives me confidence about my body and about what I can do. But, on days when I’m feeling gross, going to the gym can lead to obsessive thoughts. Thoughts like “she’s fitter than me” and “I need to burn off that junk I ate” and “I have to burn off this fat so I have abs” can quickly become overwhelming and make me feel inadequate. So, before you sweat it out, remember your reasons for actually doing it. If you are in there for a look, comparing yourself to people, letting burning off food be your motivation, or are forcing yourself to do it out of anxiety, it’s time to adjust your thinking. Replace those thoughts with something like “I’m here to focus on me and my goals” or “I’m in here to get stronger” or “This lifestyle is important to me because it allows me to take care of my body, not abuse it”. If you cannot mentally handle that, it may even be better to skip the exercise for the time being and remember that even a spontaneous rest day is not the end of the world. It’s whatever works for you.

5. Wear a positive affirmation, and/or your favorite outfit.

I wear my positive affirmation almost every day. It’s my necklace that says “Strong is Beautiful”. Some people don’t’ like this quote because it implies physical strength, but to me it means more than that. I’m strong for choosing to love myself every day. I’m strong for doing this whole life thing. I’m strong for simply having the courage to be myself and that is beautiful. Some people have bracelets, some have necklaces, but it’s nice to have a daily reminder on you at all times to embrace yourself and the good you bring to the world. So find one that empowers you! Lastly, put on your absolute favorite outfit. The one you KNOW you rock and feel great in, and go rock it!

I hope one or more of those were helpful for you guys. Feel free to comment and let me know your favorites or any that you would add to the list that I didn’t touch on!

Not-So-Free

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Why is it still so hard? I should be over it. I put my body on trial, found it guilty, and punished it without a chance for appeal, but that seems like such a long time ago now. So, I should be over it, right? But I’m not. I don’t deprive myself of food anymore. I don’t run for hours every day to be skinny. I don’t try to “burn off” calories like it’s some heroic thing. I don’t track, count, or weigh what’s on my plate. And I have absolutely no idea how many pounds encompass my breathing soul. But, I’m still not the care – free girl that I was before I took my body before the judge in an autonomous feud.

My personal struggle with body image is different from many other stories I’ve heard in that it came on so suddenly. I didn’t have negative thoughts or feelings about my body until I did. Growing up, I was always active and health-conscious but I never doubted that my body was a good one or that all food was acceptable to eat. So, when I realized how hard I fell into the lies of diet culture and body negativity, I was shocked that it happened to me. When I got over the shock, I clawed my way out. Or, almost out.

Nowadays I’m free, but not so free. I can’t listen to people talk about “low-carb” this and “100 calories that”. It makes me too uncomfortable. So many of my friends and others around me glorify their diets like it’s gonna be the answer to all their troubles. So, every single time some piece of diet talk intrudes into the conversation, I have to repeat over and over to myself something along the lines of “It’s okay, that’s not real. You don’t have to do that to be healthy” or “No food is bad, you are not a bad person for eating that”. While I’m busy reassuring myself, people around me continue with the “healthy” this and “unhealthy” that. And I feel like if I don’t hedge against those words, then I’ll somehow fall victim to them and end up back in the prison of restriction. Before, those words wouldn’t have fazed me. Now, It feels like I’m always one step away from obsessing again, even though I’ve taken so many steps towards freedom and flexibility in my life.

Besides guarding myself against negative food thoughts, there are reflections to impress. Some days I wake up and I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror because I know I won’t like what I see. But I look anyway. I look because I have to know. I have to know how much my stomach sticks out and how wide my hips are and how puffy my arms are getting. Most of the time I can accept what I see and move on. But on my “not-so-free” days I just get angry instead. Why can’t my stomach be flat? Why can’t my hips be narrow? How come I have sausage arms? Aren’t I doing everything “right”? And I am angry that I feel like that when I KNOW how ridiculous I’m being.

So, I’m fine. I don’t have a real problem anymore. I don’t act on those negative feelings, but they are still there reminding me of what I put myself through. The wrongful accusation and the punishment that followed… Maybe you never fully come back from that. Maybe you’ll always have to live in the in-between. Between loving and hating. Between prison and freedom.

I hope I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just part of the process and it doesn’t last forever. I know this isn’t my usual cheerful, optimistic, empowering post. But sometimes it’s good to put the heavier stuff out there so people know they aren’t the only ones who feel that way. If anyone out there can relate to this, I just encourage you to be open about it with people you trust. Talk about it, ask for prayer, sit down and listen to God tell you how much He loves you. It helps. ❤