I'm on a journey.
Ok okaaaay.. I know it's a little cliche. Or a lot cliche. But it's true. We are all on a journey.
At it's core, we're all journeying through this world and trying our bests to stay above water. Sometimes we fly. Sometimes we coast. Sometimes we tread, or barely tread, sometimes we are actively drowning with random regulators and scuba tanks offered to us just when we think we have nothing left. In one sense it's helpful.. because then I don't drown, but sometimes you just want to drown.
Ok - that got dark quickly.
I'm not drowning. At least not anymore. I have, many times, and I've been in that scuba tank regulator season too. And in the treading water, and in the "just let me drown already" season. But - I'm not there anymore. Thank you, Jesus.
I'll share more about that journey a different time.
The journey I want to share about now is one of my healing - the physical healing of my body, and the emotional healing in my mind. THAT has been a journey. One that only recently have I begun to really understand the whole point of.
I've been on a journey of realizing that I need to honor the healing my body is doing. I can't always do everyhting, nor am I supposed to. I need to rest. I need to eat. I need to nourish my body and feed it the foods that make it thrive. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, I need to treat it like such.
That's all easy to say, right? But what does that mean?
THAT'S been my journey the last year.
Is loving my body mean squeezing into the tinniest size 0 jeans again, like I did pre-pregnany? Does it mean losing all the baby weight? Does it mean body building? Does it mean logging everything I ever put near my mouth into calorie trackers and meticulously slaving over getting correct macros? Does it mean only eating whole foods, non processed, farm to table, fresh foods?
This has been my struggle. I've lived the past MANY years feeling like the answer to all those questions was... YES. I must do all those, and if not, I"m FAILING. I think a lot of this has been fueled the American sexualized female body, the constant articles that somehow pop up in my feed daily of this lady who lost 100 punds in 3 months after giving birth to twins... or after 6 months this mom went from overwheight to sexy and muscular by just drinking celery juice in the morning...
The never ending yo-yo dieting - trying to find the perfect fit for me.
My journey this year has been the realization that the perfect fit for me is something only I can answer, with the Lord's help. I've been so distracted by ALL THE NOISE around me, telling me what I NEED to do, that I haven't been able to listen to Him, or my own mind.
As I've really quieted myself before him this past year, I've asked, "Lord, how do I honor my body as your home? I need you to teach me, because I know you're a good teacher. I'm not sure who else to trust. I've tried to trust just about everyone else and they aren't enough."
He's been faithful to respond, like he always is.
The journey he's had me on is learning to listen to my body, listen to my hunger cues, eat nourishing whole foods but not stressing about it if I can't. If I can't get a from scratch homemade sourdough pizza, that's ok. Is my bread homemade with freshly ground wheat berries every week? No. Don't stress over what you can't change.
When I eat foods like donuts, cake, and popcorn in excess.... why is that? Because I'm hungry? Sometimes it starts that way, but it never ends that way. If I'm hungry, and I have fresh food available, go for the fresh. If I'm having a blood sugar crash, grab a protein bar and a banana. Protein bar doesn't need to be organic or even soy free.... just grab the protein and ask the Lord to fill in the gaps.
I've been on a journey of letting a lot go. A lot of expectations. I've realized I've had SO MANY unrealistic expectations. Perfect body expectations. Perfect diet expecations. Perfect day expectations. It's impossible this side of heaven.
The journey is one of realizing and recognizing and even celebrating the simple victories in every moment. Tonight was one of those.
After going swimming with my kids this afternoon and completely enjoying ourselves, I came home with a pounding headache and I knew it was due to dehydration and hunger. I'm working on healing my gut, and many foods I feed my kids make my stomach hurt a LOT. Sometimes I eat them, but if I can avoid it, I do. I just got through an intense gut flair up and had no desire to get bad stomach aches for days - so I chose to wait to eat when I got home.
By the time we got home, kids needed to take baths and be put to bed, and animal chores needed to be completed. By the time I was able to finally think about eating it was close to 9 o clock,
All i wanted to do was eat the easy carbs my body was screaming for. Popcorn. Candy (there was a huge tub of twizzlers sitting on the counter... gaah!). AAALL the fruit.
Nothing wrong with any of that. Had I eaten those, I wouldn' thave beaten myself up like I would have a year ago.
But - I knew that if I ate those things, I'd still be just as hungry, just as crabby and likely have stomach pains and headaches for days following. Looking in the fridge, I found yogurt, salad greens from our garden, and apricots.
The yogurt was homemade (I get stomach aches with store bought yogurt but when I make yogurt from the raw milk I have I can handle it - amazing!) and the apricots were freshly canned (but didn't seal) the day before. Three apriots, one banana, a couple large scoops of thick greek yogurt, and a heaping scoop of unflavored collagen. My body was screaming for protein and carbs.
I sat on the couch and ate the salad green, and the whole bowl of yogurt.
I was so proud of the choice I made. Not beacuse it was healthy necenarily. Not because I canned the apricots myself or made the yogurt from milk I harvested myself. I mean - that's pretty cool, but not why I was proud. I was proud because I had chosen to care for and honor my body in a moment when it would have been SO easy to go for something else.
That's been the journey, and I'm continuing to journey on.
I've begun to do some basic workouts. I've had to take a break for a long time due to my adrenals healing. No running. No strenuous activity. No HIIT. Just rest. Watch your kids. Enjoy life.
Recently, exercise has become something enjoyable again. I can't do it all. HIIT is still highly overwheling and I feel the intensity of an adrenal attack if I do too much. But I'm at a point where I can do some.
But what's more important is that hearing my kids laughing doesn't trigger an adrenal attack anymore. I don't have to beg everyone to whisper around me anymore because the sound of their voices is too stressful. I can walk outside without feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I can get through my morning (hey sometimes it was a win to just get past 9 o clock!) without feeling like I can't take one more step.
I'm so incredibly greateful for the healing journey Jesus has me on. I think about how far I've come in one year and how much farther I can go in another.
What kind of journey are you on right now? I'd love to hear, and how you are learning to lean into your healing, your journey and honor your body and where it has been.