"For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I am not one to post twice on the same day.  In fact, lately I am lucky to post twice in one month.  But today my heart is overwhelmed and I feel like I am supposed to write.

I wrote this morning's post over the weekend.  I read and reread it.  When I finished it.  Yesterday.  And today before it went live.  It weighed heavy on me and I wasn't really sure if I should send it out.  It is raw.  It is me.  As I am now.  A build-up of worry and frustration that has been five years, probably more, in the making.  I indicated that I feel humbled.  Very low.  And very alone.


Then something... in fact, many someTHINGS happened today.  The following is the story of my day, an outline of events.  It is more for me than you, but I invite you to be a part of it.  To see the light that glimmered down onto me in this very deep, very dark hole.

Today is the day God embraced his loving hands around my face, lifted my head, and showed me there is a great light.  That I am loved and I am worth so much more to Him than I believe I am worth to my own self.

I woke up this morning feeling a little lost.  As I do every morning.  In a haze, out of place.  I immediately thought about what I ate last night.  Leftover Caldo de Langostinos over rice, a big bowl of salad with chard from my garden, and 3 oz of Ben & Jerry's.  Then I assessed whether or not I should feel bad about the previous evening's meal.  As I do every morning.  See?  Obsessive compulsive.  I am always thinking about food.  I dozed off soon after and awoke awhile later to prepare for a women's Bible study that I've been attending at a local church.  I had no idea what was in store for me today.

We have been following a Beth Moore study of Deuteronomy, with the main theme aligned with Deuternonomy 6:23 "And He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in and give us the land that He swore to give to our fathers."  Every single week, the hour and a half long videos have kept my ears and heart on fire and my hand cramped from taking so many notes.  I never expected God's infinitely glorious voice to speak to me from a teeny little blonde in size zero pants.  Beth Moore, I can never thank you enough for connecting with me through your words... and your adorable outfits.

I could go on about how every week's lesson has resonated with me in some way and how every week I have come home and made one little change from the inspiration.  And how every week I've seen Divine feedback from those changes.  But I won't.  Not now.  What I will say is that this week I felt like I someone lifted up my head, stared me straight in the eyes, and said "This is for you." 

For the details of the study itself, I strongly encourage you to watch the Session Four video on the Living Proof Ministries web page.  What I took home today was a reminder of the sanctity of meals we eat.  That our table is a sacred symbol, one of the most sacred symbols we have.  Through this study and throughout the Bible there is a theme of meals and eating and how God's people have been invited before him to eat.  Within the commands highlighted in Deuteronomy, they were told "You shall rejoice."  Meal time is more than just eating.  We are to be mindful and thankful and joyful.  Our food is a blessing.  It is to be neither feared nor abused.

I couldn't write fast enough.  I could barely finish scrawling out Ms. Moore's previous sentence before she blasted me with another wake-up call.  After wake-up call.  After wake-up call.  As she read the scriptures and made the correlations to our present day, I started to remember the joy I used to feel in the kitchen.  The mindfulness I put into preparing meals for Matt and myself.  The joy it brought me to try new recipes, to fill the table with foods that were nourishing our bodies.  The thankfulness I had for the time and opportunity to put so much focus on that nourishment.

The study today continued with a discussion around our most treasured memories... which could very well be of something that was the most horrible thing to ever happen to us.  And how that memory, our most treasured memory be it good or bad, is what defines who we are today.  And if it is bad... it is up to us to change that treasured memory.  HOW do we want to be defined?  That is the memory we should hold most dear.

Sweet Jesus.

For those of you that follow me, you know I am all about "the journey"... that I choose to live with no regrets because where I am now is a product of where I have been.  And where I am going will only continue to shape my story.  It is the journey, not the destination, that is important.  And I think we ALL know how I'm never satisfied; I so strongly believe there is more out there... more to see, more to do, more to experience, more to love, more to learn.  Today's video was finished with a capstone quote, one that I will be transcribing onto my bathroom mirror for every day visibility:

"For faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.  Audacious longing, burning songs, daring thoughts, an impulse overwhelming the heart, usurping the mind - these are all a drive towards serving Him who rings our hearts like a bell."  Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion.

The study ended today with the women in the audience sharing ways that they were going to "change their tables" and how they were going to treat their feasts and meals at the table as a more sacred place.  I briefly shared about this morning's post and the message I received regarding doing away with the guilt and abuse of my relationship with food.  I was approached immediately after the service by the Director of Women's Ministries and Pastor's Wife, Nancy.  She introduced herself and welcomed me and after a brief yet warm and comforting exchange, I shared with her the blog address.

When I got into my car, I quickly checked my e-mail only to discover the most beautiful and heart-warming comment had been left on this morning's musings by a fellow Whole9Life follower.  I was once an inspiration to other Whole30ers.  Why oh why in the world am I not reconnecting with those who continue to be an inspiration?  To the beautiful woman who left that comment... thank you.  Your words resonated with me more than you know.  I will be following YOUR journey now for renewed inspiration.

By this point in the day, my heart was overflowing.  How blessed am I??  Beyond my ugly relationship with food and the unreasonable judgment I continuously lay down on myself... I am loved.  I am loved by so many people around me.  And most importantly, by God.  And today He made absolutely certain I was aware of that fact.

I met Matt for lunchtime beverages at our usual spot on The BLVD in Lancaster.  I couldn't stop gushing about my joy.  My thankfulness.  I babbled on and on about today's message.  And the impact it made.  Just like I did on here.  To all of you.

Unfortunately, I was contending with an overvolumed Eagles playlist emerging from the overhead speakers... to which Matt interjected "I've had a rough night and I hate the Eagles."  (Edited for family friendly audiences)

My story doesn't change from this morning, but my outlook is a little different.  I still have a very long and patient road in front of me.  But it helps to know that I am not alone.  To be reminded in such magnificent fashion that I am not alone.

What a glorious and fulfilling day.  All before noon.  I look forward to this evening's meal - The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat with a side of green beans grilled with grass-fed Kerrygold butter.  A pitcher of iced tea.  And companionship and conversation with my beautiful husband, two dogs, and God.


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

My Suicide Decision and Growing Addiction

Hello.  My name is Dania.  And I am a compulsive eater.  I have a debilitating addiction to sugar and any food that rapidly turns to sugar once it hits my system. 

I also have a terrible obsession with taking obnoxious photos of myself stuffing said foods into my face hole. 

I haven't written in well over a month.  Partly because I have been a slacker, mostly because I have been really depressed and hard on myself for every little thing.  Terrible eating decisions.  The increasing inability to fit into clothes.  My lack of employment.  I'm a terrible critic.  As much as I have made a few efforts, there is something short-circuited in my head right now and I'm having a very difficult time making the mend. 

I know what to do.  I do.  And I've done it before.  Get rid of the sugars.  And all the other foods that have a terrible way of altering my hormones and biochemistry and make it difficult for me to think clearly.  Easy to say, feels like impossible to do.   

I remember sitting with Matt one evening, probably eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's.  Cannoli, perhaps?  And I remember asking him "If I know the damage these foods are doing to my body and yet I continue to consciously eat them in great quantity, is that like committing suicide? Really slowly?"  I think about that concept quite often, actually.  The impact of the foods I have been eating on my long term health. 

The weight gain and the necessity to purchase bigger sizes in everything I own is merely a frustrating by-product of the growing compulsion to eat crap.  What weighs even more heavily on me, more so than my own hips, is the fear of consciously creating a diabetic condition.  Or a serious issue with my thyroid.  Or worst of all, cancer.  If I continue to "fuel" my body with garbage, it will eventually reject me.  I know that.  Heroin addicts can't continue to shoot their bodies full of heroin and come out okay at the other end.  Alcoholics can't have a glass of wine at dinner every night of the week and survive the internal battle that will ensue.

So here I am, with the figurative noose snugged up around my neck standing on a chair in the closet.  I can choose to cut the crap and stop eating the tie-dyed, chemically processed, frankenfoods with hidden sugars and grains and corn syrups and an assault of ingredients I can't pronounce... or I can keep going as I am and just kick the chair out from under my feet.

This is the worst I think I have ever felt.  Humbled.  Alone.  Low.  Very low.  Trapped.  Inside my own body.  Making baby steps to climb out of a very deep, very dark hole.  I'm tired of waking up with food hangovers.  (Think of waking up after your worst night in college.  Maybe an evening of Jager bomb after Jager bomb followed by a sunrise toast of Jose Cuervo.)  Eating wheat, sugar, dairy, and anything out of a box has me waking up with the same nausea, the same headache, and the same body aches as if I had partied too hard the night before.  It hurts.  And it is scary to not be able to stop.  I don't even know how to communicate the depth of fear that blankets me some days.  Or how to describe the demons that haunt me from the inside.

I stand here with rope in hand and I have to decide if I am willing to make the tough decisions, the sacrifices to help heal my brain and my body.  Am I prepared to truly make the change, break the habits, suffer through the detox period, and really get back to where I know I can be?  Where I have been before?  Where I know I can be again?  That is yet to be seen. 

The journey continues.  I just never expected the terrain to be so rough for so long.

If we are what we eat... then I'm in some big trouble!

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your bodies." 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20