Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yellow and Cold

So, I was talking to mom again the other day and we came to another obvious conclusion. Eating disorders affect your outlook on your goals for life and your personality. I became so obsessed with food that I lost myself in it and I lost sight of my goals. That's something (another thing) that God has really been pressing on me this week. I need to get back on track with my goals and I need (with His help of course) to dig up my personality which has been buried by months of not eating.

Okay, so I've sort of lost do I get myself back? This is what I came up with, maybe it's right, maybe not...but either way it's what I got. I think that in order, to find yourself you actually have to lose yourself in God (self will, self sufficiency, pride, all that stuff. You have to surrender it to Him) so that He can be sufficient and He then will return your personality to you. When we are truly His we are truly ourselves. So, to find yourself you have to lose yourself in Him. To really communicate with Him you have to know who you are (imagine trying to talk to some one about your life is you have amnesia...not a pretty picture) and the whole point of communicating with Him is to draw closer to Him. Therefore, to really communicate with Him, you must lose yourself in Him. It just sort of goes in circles (and if none of what I just said made any sense, read The First Dwelling of The Interior Castle and letter 13 of the Screwtape Letters).

That was my exciting little theological tidbit for the day. I'm still praying about it and hoping God will work out any bugs that may have slipped in along the way. Now for the day to day grind of life.

This week has been interesting. Especially today. This afternoon I got a much needed massage (and by now you're going "what the crap do eating disorders and neck massages have to do with each other?" but hold on). After the massage the lady was talking to my mom and told her (and me) that my skin was kinda yellowish, which means I have a lot of toxins in me (and I probably have a lot of toxins in me because I've been starving myself for the last year and my liver is not working right). But wait, there's more. She also, said that my circulation is not good at all. The room I was in wasn't THAT cold, but I was freezing. I've always had a tendency to be cold, but I guess this was worse than usual. Two not so good warning signs that I may have done more damage than I thought. So, she said she's going to get us in touch with a good nutritionist.

Now, I know none of this should really surprise me considering what I've been doing to my body, but it was. She's never noticed it before so it must have gotten bad recently (probably during those two weeks I starved myself after the ABT audition). I don't want to say I'm freaked out or scared, but I'm unnerved enough I think to help me push through a few more calories. It's kinda weird, as much as you may not want to, you can almost romanticize a problem like this until it hits you again that this is real and you get reminded of how dangerous it actually is. Then it gets kinda scary.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Letting God be not that easy

I've been trying to let God be my reality and I'm trying to let go and let Him take care of me. It's not working too well yet, but I am starting to notice a little bit of a difference. Now, it's like there are times when it seems like I can almost audibly hear Him calling me and I almost obey, but usually at the last minute I freak out and run saying, "No God, not yet. This is mine. I don't want it, but You can't have it yet." It's starting to get better...sometimes anyways.

I think one reason I'm so hesitant is that I've got it in my head that if I were to actually eat right and do everything I'm supposed to be doing that it would somehow make me weak. Weak as in I didn't have the self-control to stop myself from eating. Which is still dumb because right now I don't have the self-control to make myself parents have to do it for me.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Got Reality?

I'm sorry...I know it's incredibly corny, but I couldn't resist.
It's truly amazing how something so completely false can make itself seem true. Eating disorders screw with your brain. The lack of protein and fat literally messes with the chemicals in your brain and causes you to not think straight (I've been reading WAY too much) and it takes a while for those chemicals to rebalanced. In the meantime (while you're being forced to eat) you become very uncomfortable. You feel like a cow (and they say this is normal to feel at first)...but it's not true. Okay, well maybe it's not true, but real enough to be. And because it feels real we tend to start living as though it were real....and so the cycle continues

At youth group we've been talking about the apostle Paul. Last night we wrapped up the series and one of the things we talked about was; after looking at Paul's life, what one thing would did we want to take from his life and apply to ours. God used that question as a confirmation to what He had already been trying to tell me. Paul had messed up over his life time and after he gave his life to Christ things weren't easy for him. He got the crap beat out of him regularly, he spent a lot of time in prison and things just didn't go his way most of the time, but though all of that he made God his reality. God was always more real to him that his circumstances. That's why he could praise God from prison, that's why he could forgive people on the spot for trying to kill him. His circumstances and the people around him were counted as nothing compared to God. And I think that's what God is trying to teach me right now. It's like He's saying: let me be more real to you than what you're going through. Let Me be your reality, not your food, and not your weight, not your calorie intake. Me.

Okay, it sounds great on paper, but how do I get there? I'm still working on that part. Refocusing on God is harder than ever right now, but I know that if I could just get there I'd be much better off.

It's kind of like what I was telling one of my friends earlier. I've always been the good kid, the obedient kid, the strong kid. And I'm tired. I'm sick of being strong and I'm sick of fighting, but I'm too scared right now to let God totally take over and fight for me.

So, right now I feel torn between what I know is true and the lie that looks real. If anyone has any ideas on how to get to the truth, I'm open. For now I'm staying in God's word, sticking with the meal plan and just trying to wait it out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Welcome to Eating 101

As I said earlier, my parents have really put their feet down regarding my eating. They're being gentle enough I guess, but any increase in food is lothesome to me. I'm used to getting about 1100 calories a day and Mom is determined to get me up to 2000....I think she's crazy, but somehow I seem to be getting there ever so slowly. Things around the house are a little tense right now. There are lots of debates over food. How much food should equal one serving, what kind of foods am I supposed to be eating. Stuff like that. It's not fun. I pretty much wouldn't talk to mom the last half of yesterday. She was making me eat and I was mad.

Learning to eat is a very hard and uncomfortable process. It's weird's like "eating? what the crap? Everyone knows how to eat, so what's the point of learning how to eat?" Here's the point; I have forgotten what it means to feel hungry and what it means to feel full. I don't remember how "normal" people eat. I don't even remember what it's like to eat a normal meal...I have to learn all of that over again. My body isn't getting what it needs and when it doesn't get what it needs I don't perform my best and I don't think straight. The less I eat, the more I don't want to eat, the more moody and irritable I get and worse I dance. It's a vicious cycle that I can't break on my own. I have to have help and I'm blessed to have parents who will help me (even though right now I would really rather just be left alone). It's been a learning process for everyone; they're learning what helps me and what doesn't and I'm learning how to eat...again. Like I said welcome to Eating 101.

Anyways, what I'm trying to get at in a very round about way is this: in order to get better, you have to have help. And the best place to get help is from your family because they care enough about you to not care whether or not you're mad at them for making you eat. If it weren't for my parents I would have probably been in a hospital by now.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Story


I don't know if anyone will ever read this, but that's okay. This is my story...sort of. It's really the story of what God is doing...I just happen to be one of the characters. I'm writing this with the prayer that someone will read this and find encouragement and hope. Maybe even come to know Christ or be inspired to know Him better. Anyway, I'll just tell the story and let Him do the work. Good? Good.

Okay, it all started two years ago at a ballet. My grandma took me to see Ballet Florida in Romeo and Juliet. I'd been dancing for several years, but I had no real desire for persue it professionally. It just seemed like too much pressure and stress. That is, until I saw Juliet come alive on stage...I wanted to be Juliet....I wanted to tell people stories and I wanted to do it on stage.

I knew from that night on that God wanted me to dance. Well, that's all fine and good, but I'm a little shall we say...behind the curve when it comes to ballet. I got a late start and I've got some catching up to do. Knowing this full well I fought with God about it. How did He expect me to do this? At the time I certainlly didn´t fit the profile for perfect ballerina body either. At 5´4¨ and 115 lbs I wasn´t fat but I wasn´t slender. So I fought with God some more. He helped me get to the point where I realized that what He wants is what He gets. Yeah I´m behind and maybe I didn´t totally fit the profile, but if I would just obey He´d work out the details. So I said okay.

Since I said okay He has brought me a long way. I don't worry about my behind-ness so much anymore. I still have some catching up to do, but I've come a long way. I even got over the image thing too for a while. Then I was on to the next thing...healthy eating.

It occurred to me one day that since I was going to be beating the crap out my body for a living it would probably not be a bad idea if I cleaned up my diet a bit. I didn't eat horribly, but there was definitely room for improvement. I made some changes, cut back on the cookies, upped my salad intake and was felling pretty darn good. Losing weight wasn't on my agenda, I just wanted to be healthier. I lost some weight, but it didn't really phase me one way or another. I was doing good stuff for my body.

But like all things (good or bad), excess is never good. I went from 115 lbs to 96. I may have gone lower, but I don't know for sure. Yeah, I was skinny and I "looked like a ballerina", but I lost a lot more than just weight. I lost energy, appetite, my period, coping skills and my attitude took a dive. I've become obsessed with what I eat, or don't eat and I hate the thought of gaining weight. The thought of consuming more than 1500 calories in a day is horrific, but so is the thought of not being able to dance. It's a quagmire.

I started getting better over the winter...I was actually doing really well. I started feeling better physically and emotionally. I really began taking some time to work on my relationship with God which I had let slip a few notches. It seemed like I might have been working my way out. But Satan hates it when he sees that he's starting to lose his grip on someone, so he throws out all his gross tricks. I went from doing really well to coming close to purging (something I'd never had any desire to do before). I didn't purge, but I also didn't eat for a week. I dropped back into the 90's, became really moody again and felt like crap. It's the worst I've ever been... and right in the middle of audition season. Not good.

At this point my parents have put their feet down. It stops here. I've got some say in what I eat, but they're really cracking down on me. I hate it, but I'm thankfull. I want to be healthy, but I'm too scared to take the steps by myself.

Anyway, now you know why I'm here. This is partly for me and partly for anyone else out there who is struggling. I don't want this to be just another blog about someone being destroyed by an eating disorder. I want this to be a blog about how God can help anyone overcome any stronghold. I want it to be a source of encouragement and hope. It doesn't matter if it's an eating disorder, or any other stronghold. He's so much bigger than that. So, if you're reading this and you've about had it...hang on. Just wait for Him and you'll find He's not that far away.