Monday, September 16, 2013

What I Crave

I just spent the last week defragging my brain on my favorite beach with my husband. We call it our annual pilgrimage to St. George Island, Florida. Nothing fancy, just seven days of laid-back nothingness.

This year I decided not to use my vacation time to plan my next writing project, how to market my new book, how I was going to manage my new schedule, stuff for Spring Ministries, and how I was going to continue doing what I do, except better, be wiser, more efficient, more disciplined, be this, be that, blah, blah, blah.                     

I had one thing on my agenda. I was going to just BE.…with God.

And read. Okay, that’s two things. I love to park in my beach chair, under the beach umbrella, feet buried in the sand and get lost in my books.

I’ve been reading Francine Rivers’ trilogy which is set back in around 60 AD. She’s a wonderful writer and truly draws you into the era, her characters and stories. I haven’t been able to put it down. Then there’s the “The Walk” series by Richard Paul Evans. I buy and save each series as they are published just for my vacation.

There’s a third book I bought after hearing a few women talking so much about it. I had to see what all the rage was. “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. I was vaguely familiar with her. I knew she was president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and a writer, but hadn’t read any of her stuff, until this past week.

There under my umbrella, feet in the sand, donning my straw hat and sunglasses, God used that book to break apart a lifelong struggle I’ve had that I’ve been too ashamed to admit. Never in my wildest thoughts and dreams did I think God could be such a gentleman in how He has unsettled me (in a fabulous way) in relation to my constant struggle with food.

Do you relate?

As I read Lysa’s personal journey in regards to her relationship with food and discovering what it is she really craves, I felt like I’ve known her all my life. It was like she was talking about me!

I relate 100%.

I don’t struggle with alcohol, drugs, anger (very much) or even co-dependency that much anymore, but I do struggle, c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y with my weight, losing weight, maintaining my weight, with wanting the whole bag of chips instead of one serving. I can’t stop once I get started, even if it’s so-called healthy. My first memory of sneaking a bowl of ice cream was when I was about 8 or 9. Seriously. Why did I have to sneak it? Why did I want it?
I know, I know, some of you who know me are saying, “she’s always so healthy”. You’re thinking of how you’ve always known me to exercise and take care of myself. I did do all the right things AND all the wrong things. Mainly when I was emotional. For 19 years I was a single parent. I used food for comfort, to ease the stress, pain, s-t-u-f-f my emotions. I really do believe you can be addicted to the processed junk we eat, sugar and empty carbs.

Why do they taste so good? What is it about all that junk? Why do I crave the bad stuff….along with the good stuff?  What am I trying to satisfy? What do I really crave that food doesn’t fill? And why would I feel so empty after being so stuffed with food? Obviously, I’m not anorexic and I’m not bulimic. No one knows this until now…even my closest friends and family. My mind is constantly consumed with this issue. Hating it! And I'm just scratching the surface.

You may be reading this thinking, what’s the big deal? Eat what you want. Enjoy. So what if you carry around 30 extra pounds. These extra pounds put added pressure on my degenerating back and already two hip replacements I’ve had. No one but me knows the struggle and you, too, if you can relate to what I’m saying. You may be carrying around 100 extra pounds, 20, 50. Does it really matter if what you crave isn't filled and satisfied?

Yes, God truly satisfies me. He’s had my heart for over 30 years. But this is an area I’ve never given up to Him. I never admitted it. If I never admitted it, it didn’t exist and no one would know. DENIAL. Really? My tight clothes, loose clothes and tight again, my weight bouncing up and down the scales tell on me. Everytime. So who am I kidding?
I've had it with all the diets and eat this, don't eat that books and magazines written by doctors and people who don't struggle with serious food issues. It's like telling an alcoholic or drug addict, don't drink or do drugs. Just don't do it. The thing with food is you have to eat to live. In Lysa's book she says instead of living to eat, she can now eat to live. She shares her struggles and how God brought her to victory, one choice at a time. She talks about how it's a lifelong journey and not a diet or something you do until you reach your goal and then stop.

Now that I’ve told on myself and it’s out here for all who know me to read, this is where my personal journey begins with my own issues with food. I’m sharing this because I know women, single moms, teenagers, twenty-agers and all the way up to fifty-agers like me, struggle with their body image, food issues and on and on and on. So, please if you are reading this and nodding your head, feeling God’s tug on your heart, get the book, “Made to Crave”. Read it with me. I dare you.

Lysa, TerKeurst, thank you for sharing your story and being so transparent!

The Lord has just begun to chip away at this, so it isn’t the last you’ll hear about this issue.

In His grip,