When I initially started up this blog last year, I did so with the intention of documenting my journey to a healthier body, mind, and spirit. Cliched and corny? Yeah, a bit. But I was at a very deep low. I had just seen a picture of myself at a friend’s wedding, and the site of my sinewy legs, thin arms, and sallow cheeks made me cringe.
Granted, I wasn’t as emaciated as when I was in the depths of anorexia recovery, trying to claw my way out from being 88 pounds. But I was definitely too small, too fragile, not ENOUGH to support the training I was doing and stress I had with family and work. So I asked God to help me. To help me gain the weight I desperately needed. To help me cut down on the amount of exercise I was doing. To help me seek Him first and His plan for my life.
And I felt free.
The ability to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted felt inviting and like a gift. It was almost as if God gave me a wonderfully wrapped present, and every day I awoke I literally tore open the bright wrapping and thought to myself, “Yum!!! What will I eat today!!! Pancakes? Bacon? Yum!!!”
Life was surely grand. I ate. I rested. I ate more. I rested. Rinse and repeat.
But sure enough, I started to fall back into my old ways, my old habits.
I dug out the Renaissance Periodization diet templates I bought from long ago, and rationalized that I needed to gain weight, but in a “healthy” manner so as not to gain too much fat.
I upped the intensity of my training (reps and sets and poundage all went up) because in order to “get swole”, I needed to also train for hypertrophy. If not, all the food I ate would immediately turn to fat.
I traded rest days for active rest days and strapped on running shoes to put in a few short miles on the dreadmill (that’s not a typo, by the way. Dread. Mill).
And the freedom I initially experienced, the wonderfully wrapped gift God had for me, started to diminish, the ribbon on the present wilting and falling apart.
There were moments when the light of God’s love and His renewing faith shone through the mess of macronutrients, number of repetitions of bench press, and grocery lists for the week.
I meditated on Psalm 23 for seven days straight, three times a day, and felt the warm touch and embrace of my Father–but as soon as I stopped seeking His word for healing, I turned to my RP template to give me comfort (controlling my food=controlling my life).
I listened to wonderful speakers during our school’s Christian Emphasis Week and left the daily chapels empowered and motivated to seek God’s love. And then I’d head to the gym for an extra body-building type session and forget (well, more like ignore) the things He was calling me to do (and let me tell you, He wasn’t telling me to do 5 sets of 20 of tricep extensions).
Eventually I recognized these issues, the avoidance, the fact that I was falling back into old routines that were unhealthy both for my body, mind, and spirit. But what happened then? Was I able to find that freeing faith again? If so, how did it happen? What about now? Am I still lured by the call of my RP template and barbell training? So many questions to answer, and so rather than make this post a 15 page book, I’ll share more about this on my next post. 🙂