Sunday, February 27, 2011

Healing from the inside out

A lot has gone on since my last post. I want to thank all of you who left kind and concerned comments. For the hugs and love from friends and family. I appreciate knowing I'm not alone!

I heard this song on the radio the other day. I know it's been out a while, but I just discovered it. And it brings me hope and puts me in a good mood. Last week I listened to it pretty much non-stop! Literally all day at work, over and over. I saturated my mind with the words.

So two weeks ago, I got strep. I think the depression and my poor eating choices has just run down my immune system. It was not good timing (is it ever?). Let's just say, it was another really crappy week. So between the vertigo last month and this (Mike had strep too) we haven't had any time to really give Weight Watchers a chance. We decided there was no use paying for something we aren't doing, so we canceled our subscriptions.

I've spent the last two weeks trying to figure out what I am going to do. How I am going to make things right in my life. Mentally, spiritually, and physically. How am I going to start living again? I want to finally. I feel the hope of spring, the sun on my face, and I'm ready for change. But sometimes taking those first steps is so hard. Because I know it means coming out of the little cocoon I've built around me. It means letting people in, trusting myself and others, and taking risks.It means taking responsibility for my actions and having accountability. I'm scared, but I'm ready.

I work with the youth in my church. I am the 2nd counselor in our Young Women's presidency. Last week the president was talking to us about being examples to the girls. Not having to be perfect, but showing that we are making honest efforts to live as our Father in heaven would want us to. I haven't been, not that I'm out there sinning oh so big, but I am not living a righteous life. Really, I'm not living much of a life at all. At first, it was a bit of a slap in the face (not that she meant it that way). The truth always is though, right? The truth is I have not been an example for those girls as of late. Not one that I would want my own daughter to follow.

After the initial wave of shame was over, I started thinking about what I could do. Where I could start. I decided to start by reading the Book of Mormon (I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and this is a book we believe to be additional scripture with the Bible). As a group we are reading it in 100 days, which ends up being 5 pages a day. But I haven't been reading. So I started. I'm reading more like 17 pages a day so that I can not only catch up, but by the end I'll have read it almost twice. I felt like the thing to do is immerse myself in scripture. Get some answers - which I already have!

One of the things I've really been wondering about is whether I should continue on this whole weight loss journey. Once we are healthy (meaning the strep FINALLY goes away!), do we rejoin WW, or do some other food plan. Do I keep on this rat race. Do I try Intuitive Eating again? Do I just eat what ever and not care? What about being able to have children? If I don't lose weight, how will I get there? And then there is the whole mental side of things. Why does this happen, just about every year? Why do I keep giving up on myself? Why do I stop living for periods of time? Why do I keep losing 20-40lbs, only to gain it back every time! Why do I give up on others? How do I fix relationships that are broken, but critical to me? How do I clear the cobwebs? You get the idea. Lots of questions and not really sure where I should start.

Well in my reading this week, I came across my answer. I found it in Alma 60:23. This chapter is actually about a war that was going on, so it's context was not really spiritual but temporal. But for me, it had both meanings. The last part of the verse states "I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also."

I took this to mean (and feel that the spirit confirmed this to be the case) that I need to focus inward first. And that as I cleanse my soul, heart, and mind, my body will become clean as a by-product. I think that if I can get my head on straight, I will instinctively choose to eat to live. It won't be a struggle to not be destructive with food anymore, because I'll no longer need it to survive. I will have actual (instead of what it's always been, just a hope or desire to have it) respect and love for myself and will make better choices. By doing so, my body will be cleansed of the toxins and be strengthened by the real nourishment it is receiving. Losing weight will just be a side affect. But I'm thinking at that point, it won't even be the big "everything" that it has always been. Because I'll be whole with or without it.

My other answer kind of went along with that one. My other big question was about getting out from under this depression. How to make it just go away. I found that answer in Helaman 5:40-41, "And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us? And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you."

Along with this whole cleansing thing, at the top of that list will be coming to know Christ in a much more personal and private way. In strengthening my faith and knowledge of him, how he lived his life, and how I can be more like him. The spirit reminded me this week in a quiet moment that Christ died for me too. And not just for my sins, but for all my hurts. That he knows the pain I am in, and he wants to remove it from me. I just need to trust Him. I just need to give up wanting the control so bad and have some faith.

Appropriately enough, my lesson today in Young Womens was on the Purpose of Life. It was an awesome lesson, the spirit was really strong, and I received even more answers (and I hope the girls did too!). I know what I need to do. I know that it's going to be hard, and probably very painful at times. It's going to take a lot of work and time, and patience. But I really believe it will be so worth it in the end. It's time to really give my life over the Lord. I've made a mess of it, and it's time to straighten things out.

I have two rules for now in regards to the eating. One, no binging. Two, I can only eat out once a week with Mike. This is what our budget allows for and I need to stick to it. That's it. I'm not going to pin myself down for anything other than that for now. I don't expect that there will be any more "rules". I just expect that by focusing my real attention on my insides, my outside behaviors will become exactly what they need to be for me to have a happy and healthy body. I still plan to move my body. But even there - no rules. I'm just going to move to live!

How am I going to cleanse my inward vessel? Well, I'm going to start with the basics. Which for me include prayer. Daily scripture study. Service opportunities. And Personal Progress.

Personal Progress is a program designed to help our 12-18 year old girls learn about themselves, God, and the Gospel of Christ. There are 8 values that they learn about. Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice & Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue. Going through the program includes learning about these qualities and taking part in different experiences to really learn how they apply to our lives. As leaders, and really - any woman is welcome to participate, we can do it with the girls. I think that this program is exactly what I need right now. It will be the perfect guide for me. I am already working on my Virtue project, I have a faith project I am starting tomorrow having to do with prayer. And my next will be to start on Divine Nature. For this one, I will be focusing a lot on my role as a wife and a woman, which I really feel is a divine roll.

I will continue to blog, because I think that it's a healing act in and of it's self. I still plan to blog about my weight loss and my life. The truth is there is a lot that must be processed about my weight before I will be able to finally let it go. But I will probably be blogging a lot about my inner battles as well. Because I am a religious and spiritual person, I expect my future posts to be much more intertwined with these beliefs. While my first instinct is to apologize for this because I'm a people pleaser, I'm not going to. I am not ashamed of my religion, and I'm not ashamed of my God. I would be nothing without either of them, and I will not excuse them so that I don't offend. Of course, I do NOT want to offend anyone, and I don't want to preach. But I will also not refrain from talking about and sharing what I need to, to heal. I hope you can understand that and that you'll stay with me in this new part of my journey.

I haven't lost a lb, but I already feel so much lighter! I feel the love of my Father in heaven, and I'm excited about what tomorrow will bring. I'm excited to heal my relationships with my loved ones that my selfishness has damaged or severed. I'm looking forward to feeling the sun on my face, and to taking this step forward.



Mom to the Fourth Power said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! I love how personal and insightful you are with your writing. We are doing a BOM challenge in 90 days to finish right before Gen. Conf. and I can really tell a difference in reading it this quickly. It really helps me feel the spirit more daily, even hourly as I need it.

Your lesson sounded like it went so well and was a blessing to give. I love the Personal Progress Program! I love how we can do it too!

So glad you already feel lighter and lifted from some of those burdens and worries you've carried. Stick with it my friend! You have so much going for you and have come so far. You are an amazing person!!

God bless!

Tami's Eclectic Corner said...

I love you Sam! This post was inspiring. We're in this together. We have a lot in common right now!

HCGpower said...

Good for you no apologies needed please yourself not others and the goal you are working on. The blog is for you. I love the spiritual note it fed me. My only thought was to look at the D&C word of wisdom and what he has given us to consume on the earth and partake within its guidelines. Something I too get to work on daily when the sweets or the extra grain is staring me down in the kitchen.

Natalia said...

Good for you! I do believe that if things aren't right on the inside the outside doesn't have a chance of changing!


FrogiNater said...

I wish I were in a BOM challenge, I'm always ever in Primary. :) However, I've been immersing myself in positive and keep getting the prompting to turn to my scriptures. I've been in a big black hole... our move was to bring me a lot of happiness, and it will. But I didn't factor in the "no friends here" thing. I feel like a squished bug.

thanks for sharing the references.

Joy said...

Friend, Do what you need to do for yourself. Just keep pushing through! You will get to where you need to go! You've got what it takes. Just keep focused!

Hugs to you!!

Marie said...

I feel so old. We didn't have the value "Virtue" yet when I was still in YW. But I remember how fun it was to work on Personal Progress and doing little projects so I could get signatures beside each task in my book. I should start making little goals again. It does make a difference. :-)