This is Why I’m Fat

It was the first time, I had stepped on a scale in 7 months. The last thing I remembered was weighing 240 pounds. While, obese I was content. I was close to 200 pounds. I could drop 40 pounds pretty easy. 265 pounds. I couldn’t believe it. Then, I looked in the mirror and saw it. I saw every single pound of it. My flaws became so apparent. My skin looked aged and old. There were new stretch marks, I had never noticed before. The hairs on my chin overtook my face. My clothes became tighter. Hindsight allowed me to see all the outfits I had worn recently and how I looked like a balloon in the Macy’s Day Parade. I noticed my stomach bulging over my jeans. I suffocated. I feel helpless.

My cognitive weight loss plan oriented itself around these thoughts: “no wonder guys aren’t attracted to me”, “I am so huge”, “there is no way I can do missions being this size”, “I hate myself”. It’s so easy to begin disliking oneself. I pulled out a notebook and began scripting how I was going to lose this weight, do’s and don’ts, meal plans for the week, how much water I needed to drink, and a fitness regimen. I didn’t fall asleep until 2AM. Nonetheless, even with the best laid plans, I felt helpless. I feel like I am going to fail and continue getting fatter until one day, I surrender the idea of ever being seen as beautiful by men or women.

I woke up the next morning dead set on eating healthy. I wasn’t going to go for seconds. I was not going to eat carbohydrates. I am giving up soda. I will not east fast food. I am exercising. I am going to do this right. I will lose this weight. I failed today. I began today with a workout and ended it with a bunch of dumplings. Which makes me feel like even more of a loser.

However, I am learning not to trust so much in my strength and place a little less confidence in myself. I can’t lose weight of my own power and my own will. I am not strong enough for it. Food is a stronghold and an idol. I have never not known what it was like to be anything but fat. As a child I was fat. Teen fat. Adult fat. My weight has followed me so closely. Too closely. I eat not to feel full, but to simply feel something. As each word comes out, I recognize this food issue is more tied to a lack of trust in the Father to have my needs met.

I guess I need not start with a meal plan, but a prayer.

Verse of the Day

God,

Too heavily do I lean on my own understanding. What do I even know O Lord? Have I fashioned this form? Have I orchestrated one molecule in my body? Nothing. No. And No. But rather than humbling myself to You and asking for guidance, I take it upon myself to fix a problem. I can fix nothing, for I am the one who destroys. Only You bring life, Jesus. Only You can restore what these human hands breaks. And Jesus, I am breaking myself. With each meal, I am attacking the vehicle You allow for my soul and spirit to be mobilized in. Father, forgive me. I am not worthy of Your grace. I am not worthy of Your mercy. I am not worthy of this body.

Lord, I cannot do this on my own. Countless times, I have tried and failed to lose weight. And with each failure, I deny that You fashioned me as beautiful. I doubt that You look down on me and call me good. I need Your Holy Spirit to quicken me. Please stir my desires toward loving You fully. Direct me towards worship Jesus. Lord, I don’t worship You enough. I don’t love You enough. I don’t acknowledge how vast and wonderful You are enough. As my spirit worships You, allow my body to fall in line and follow suit. I desire to be with You. I desire for You to be my everything. You are my Living Water and Daily Bread.

Holy Spirit grant me discernment on how to do this. I don’t want a weight loss plan. I want a lifestyle revolution. I want my body to be one, You are able to send anywhere at a moments notice. Make me more aware of when I am hungry. As I go through sugar withdrawals teach me self-control. I know what You think of me, but please remind me of Your thoughts towards me. Enrich my time with You. Father direct me towards a gym membership where I am encouraged by those around me. Teach me what to do and what classes to take and how to love my body and steward it as an act of worship to You. Lord, help me be faithful to carry this to completion.

God please raise up some people to walk with me through this and keep me accountable in this journey. Lord, thank you for the way You have already placed me with someone who is setting the pace before me.

God, I love You. This is not a blog, but a permanent prayer. You are magnificent and wondrous and marvelous. I can not tell you that enough. You have been so gracious to me. I am not worthy of the manner You have blessed my life. I am lowly and You are high and lifted up. You sit on Your rightful throne above and rule and reign over all creation. Whether we choose to acknowledge You or not. Yet You see and understand every single word I write. You know the weight and the depth of each letter. You know the inner workings of my heart so well. You know where my greatest need for You lies. You know my sorrow and my joys. You know my fears and my future. You know how I will look. The way You know me scares me. It is scary to be known so intimately by God. You know the mysteries that remain in me that haven’t even been revealed to me. To You be all glory and dominion. What am I that You are mindful of me? That You turn Your ear towards the laments of a wayward child. Lord, I love You.

Be with me tender sacred Spirit.

Amen

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Little Insecurities

It could be the fact that my pants didn’t fit as well as they do or that the horror that is Valentine’s Day is upon us, but lately I have felt as sorts of insecure. For me, insecurity is internalized and compartmentalized. However, when I feel insecure about something it seems to take over my thoughts. I become preoccupied about my inadequacy in areas and ruminate on them.

Lately, it has been my weight. I know I should lose weight. I know I should go to the gym. I know I should eat more salads and less rice krispie treats. I know. My knowledge is losing to my will. I have been a comfortable size 16 for years now, originally an 18. I went shopping with my sister this weekend and just could not squeeze my body into a 16 and we all know how that story goes. While, some women can’t fit into their jeans and immediately dive into a cleanse, dieting, starvation, over-exercising mode; I dive into Niko Nikos and eat a gyro and hummus and bread and french fries. Of course, I regretted it, but I don’t stop it. I don’t stop because….honestly I don’t know? I’m not a binge eater. I don’t eat compulsively. I eat emotionally. Even when the problem is eating I still eat. I have always been sensitive about my body. I have health issues attached to this body, and even though my body is not a reflection of who I am; it is. And it sucks because it does not always reflect the way I see myself. I could promise myself that tomorrow I am going to eat right and wake up early to exercise and not eat a rice krispie treat, but I don’t think that will happen.

Tied into my weight insecurity is my relational insecurity. In my head, I know my body is a factor, but it is not the only factor or the most important one. I have been this size for a while, and to you who don’t know me picture this: 5’9″ African-American female, short black natural hair, weights 230(on a really good day) evenly distributed, a bit bigger on the top than the bottom. This is honestly how I look. While. I can look back on my past at the guys that I have liked that have reciprocated my feeling have been of assorted body types (tall and lanky, football player build, average) for some reason I still cannot get it through my brain that guys will like me. Why? Well, I don’t know. The reasons vary sometimes. I feel like for the most part guys like their women the same way they liked them 60 years ago: quiet, timid, submissive, caretakers. The only addition is better conversationalist. I am not those qualities. I am bold, bordering brash. Especially with men who assume that their place it above me and not beside me. I have no intention of trading any of my personality traits or character qualities for more approval from men. Yet, there are times I wish I was a little less of me and a bit more of something more appealing. Like, the weight thing though I am making no promises.

You know all this could be tied into several factors. The weight could just be the consequence of holidays and sitting in an office for the past two weeks. The man issue it two-part. I have two men in my life right now. Both are younger than me, and I change their diapers. Honestly, I am not even in a position to meet guys. I foolishly thought seminary would open doors, but in one class there is only one guy and in the other there are three and they are all married. LOL.

You know though, I have spent the last two paragraphs documenting my current insecurities, but maybe I should focus on what makes me feel secure. God loves me. My mom and my sister care about me and love me immensely. I got to see my sister this week. I live in an amazing neighborhood with people who respect and care about me, my home, my co-parent, and my kids. I will have a job tomorrow. I will wake up tomorrow to four really good kids. I have the vast ability to help others and do good in this world.

God, straight up, sometimes, it is real difficult accepting Your plans for me without knowing You plans for me. I literally don’t know what I am doing. I am working hard, but sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough. On top of that I feel insecure about myself and want to hide in my house and never run out. I don’t know what this feeling is or where it came from, but help. I need Your help in whatever fashion that may present itself. Like a child clutches a teddy bear to comfort and protect them, I hold fast to You. Please be my strength.

Here in this Place

If you read through a couple of my blog posts (like the previous one) or have a heart-to-heart conversation with me, you will know I have had my lot of daddy issues. From hating the man to ignoring his existence to being here in this place with him, I have struggled greatly with the way that I relate to him, but all of that has taken an interesting turn recently.

September 17th, my and my dad had a conversation, where I let it all out. Many times, I have unsuccessfully attempted to do so. All ending in failure and frustration, but at the end of the conversation I said something to him that gripped both him and I. He often makes references to being the spiritual head of our family and how I should respect that. He talks about how he is without honor in his own home. Knowing God, intimately and personally, I take offense to both statements. One, because I honor him. My lifestyle brings honor to him. I am an African-American women, who has graduated from college with honors and without loans. I moved to Texas to work with people I have never met in my life and did extremely well. I was accepted into one of the top seminaries in the nation. My whole life revolves around how I can please the Lord. The one time I was drunk (and before some of y’all get ya panties in a bunch I realize bad choice), I kept screaming, “I’m so sorry, Jesus! Jesus is so ashamed of me.” So, the no honor thing just pissed me off. More than that I hated it, because that scripture (Mark 6:4) was used in a way to belittle me. And they did. I felt so little, but worse than feeling little I felt insignificant. I felt like everything God created me to be was pointless. And folks, that is a hellish place to be. But back to the conversation. I ended it with this phrase,

“If you want to have a relationship with me, you need to pursue me! Because that is exactly what God did for us. He didn’t ask me to meet him halfway or to pursue him. Because, HE is my Father and HE wanted a relationship with HIS child.”

After letting the tension settle, my dad agreed. He FREAKING agreed with me. I went into my room that night and bawled. I turned on a song called When I am Afraid by Laura Hackett and just cried. I don’t know why I was crying. The conversation ended as good as it could, but it was just one of those where I was overwhelmingly (and frighteningly) emotional. I haven’t thought much about it until today. Because, I realized something: I am worth pursuing.

I jokingly boast with friends that I am awesome, but oft-times I think of myself in relation to my deficits. I look at my left hand holding on to all the things that I assume make me lesser than some fictional other person. The biggest of them all being my body. Not simply just weight, but health issues that are out of my control. I would focus on them and just imagine, “How in the world am I going to present this to anyone? I’m so ashamed. Why would anyone even waste their time?” But in this time off I have had the time to concentrate on the abundance in my right hand. Oh my GOD (literally to God), the perspective. I don’t want to list them off, but the ways the LORD has blessed me far outweigh the pitfalls of being me. And it didn’t see that. I never noticed that and for that reason I am worth pursuing. Let me tell you why this is important.

I am the WORST at liking guys. I pick out guys based on my deficits. I say I don’t have a type, but I do. My (previous) type are nice guys with terrible decision-making skills. Typically, he is a well liked guy in a group of people, but he makes really really stupid decisions. More than that, I have always pursued these “nice-ish guys”. But I am not a tyrannosaurus looking for a partner so I don’t miss Noah’s Ark. I am a woman and I am awesome. I ain’t no Halle Berry, but let me tell you something Halle Berry ain’t no Tosin Akande. GOD has brought me to a place in our relationship where I am understanding myself a whole lot better, because I am understanding HIM a whole lot better. I am worth being pursued. I am worth being pursued because if God pursued me, then a man (the right man) can too.

I can’t believe that took 23 years to figure out.

So, if you are wondering about me and my dad. He is actually pursuing a relationship with me, but pray for me y’all. My heart very easily falls back into the bull it did before. I have forgiven my father. Forgiveness is a purposeful decision, but reconciliation is a whole new battlefield. Can I ask the readers of this blog to leave a prayer for me in the comment section or a message on Facebook that my heart would just soften towards my dad and I would just give him a chance. The way God is constantly giving me chances knowing I am a screwball.

Lord Jesus, here I am in this place. It is such a funny process walking with You. I always ask You to take me deeper than I could ever wander and You do. By the way, I meant physical location wise. However, this is much better than I had in mind. I never seem to know my destinations, but I get there and then everything just makes sense. I don’t ever think I said this before, but thank You for pursuing me. Thank You for thinking me worth the journey from perfection and holiness to sin and folly. Thank You for always loving me even when I never noticed and even when I didn’t love You back. You are so good to me. Thank You for this amazing journey. The past six years walking with You have been epic. Thank you for this month of reflection and recharge. Whether You send me to Mozambique or Sevilla or to Iran or Venezuela or to remain in Houston or return to Atlanta, thank You. My trust is in You alone, and as long as You are in my heart then I am home. I love you and Amen