Today, my friends, I’m getting real with y’all about forgiveness. It’s not your Sunday school lesson of forgive others as Christ has forgiven us (which is still good stuff). I’m talking about how to forgive yourself, especially when it comes to making choices for your health- the good, the bad, and the ugly.
You know the feeling. It’s late at night (okay, so my late=10 p.m.). You’re standing in the darkened and silent kitchen, staring down the refrigerator, knowing very well that you are not hungry. You half-pray no one catches you and half-pray someone does. Yet a desire to snack, to indulge, to consume, overpowers you. You tell yourself you aren’t hungry. You just need to go to bed. But next thing you know, you’re elbows-deep into the half-gallon of Cookies and Cream Blue Bell. Moments later, the shame and guilt set in, along with a demolishing stomachache.
I know the feeling, Emma Stone. You hate yourself, your lack of discipline, your weakness. And so the cycle continues.
I’ve been there, friends. Starting in college, I can remember really struggling with finding a healthy relationship with food. Up to that point in my life, I had never had issues with food, discipline, or my weight. I was always thin, and while I didn’t love my awkward skinniness, I found a wrongful self-worth in my size, my weight, and the numbers that came with it.
During my sophomore year, I gained some weight. While some of it was necessary cause I was getting a little skeletal (again, struggling with the balance thing), I went past a healthy weight gain and into a place where I was not confident, I was not accepting of myself, and I struggled everyday with forgiving myself for my food choices.
I can remember sitting in my college’s lounge above the dining hall having my quiet time, praying to God to give me strength to break this habit, to help me overcome my issues with food, to just have a normal relationship with food again. I began to get anxious about eating, about going to birthday parties where there would cake that I would try not to eat, about not being able to control myself, about having to feel guilty about eating.
Guilt is a tricky thing. Guilt, by definition, can be healthy; it can help us to be alert to our mistakes so we can make changes to our lives. Yet it can also be powerfully debilitating. Yet through Jesus Christ, we are no longer guilty of our sins.
C.S. Lewis said, “To be a Christian is to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in me.”
My friends, this struggle I share with y’all is something I battled throughout college and even into the past few years. For only about two years now, I have been able to better control myself, to approach food in a healthy way, and learn to not attack myself and judge myself based on the food I eat, the size of my clothes, or the number of the scale.
How did I get over it? I did it in two ways, one spiritual and one physical.
1) I reminded myself daily that my value and worth are not based on numbers. I had to write it on a notecard and stick it on my bedroom mirror to remind myself daily.
I didn’t always believe these words, but I forced myself to read them and meditate on them, trying to see myself as God sees me.
2) Going Paleo truly helped me turn a corner with my relationship with food and control my raging sugar-cravings, thus diminish my binging tendencies. I know what you’re thinking…Michelle, I don’t want to drink the Koolaid and put on the tin-foil hat with you. Paleo is for weirdos who believe we should eat and live like caveman. Yeah, no thanks. Well, tomorrow I’m going to share with y’all how I’ve seen my life change because of it and 5 EASY ways you can try it out for yourself. You don’t have to drink the Koolaid or even take a sip of it if you don't want to. I won’t judge you based on what you eat. I’m just asking you to be open-minded, peeps.
So this whole food-forgiveness thing…it is an issue I know many of y’all either have dealt with or continue to deal with today. Maybe you don’t have a problem with your relationship with food, yet you struggle to forgive yourself for other things- overspending, gossiping, anger, judgment of others. Paul reminds us-
Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward- to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. -Philippians 3:13
Let’s not turn back. Life moves forward, not backward, after all.
God doesn’t care that you ate half the bag of your kids’ Halloween candy. He doesn’t care that you haven’t workout out in a month or four. He doesn’t care if you lose five pounds and then gain them back in a weekend. God’s love for us is unconditional. Amen to that, right?
Today’s challenge: Meditate on Psalms 139:14 this week. You don’t have to sit in lotus position or light eucalyptus candles to meditate, y’all.
1) Take 5 minutes of distraction-free sitting (TV off, phone silenced, kids outs out of sight) daily. Repeat the verse to yourself, and invite God engrave the words onto your heart. You must ask Him to be apart of this.
2) Surround yourself with the verse. Put them on a sticky-note in your car. Write it on your bathroom mirror with an expo marker. Print out the graphic and use it as a bookmark.
3) Ask God for a change in heart. He can and will provide you with the skills and tools you need to overcome your guilt. My prayer for you is this:
Heavenly Father, I ask You to strengthen those who feel crippled by their guilt, their shame, and their past choices. I ask You to help them choose to forgive themselves, to no longer punish themselves and let their hurt control their lives. Let Your healing and redemption from Jesus Christ allow them to move forward and make a positive difference in the future. Thank You for your unconditional love that we have done nothing to deserve and Your grace to move forward toward You.
Have a marvelous Monday mis amigos and I'll see y'all tomorrow!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!