Tag Archive | Anorexia

What Are You Afraid Of?

I used to be afraid at night. Afraid of the dark. Afraid that just beyond the point my eyesight allowed me to see that there was something lurking. Afraid that the darkness itself would somehow surround me and swallow me up…as if darkness were anything more than simply the absence of light.

I used to be afraid of tomorrow. Afraid that who I was would continually dictate who I am, and that who I would be might be someone who I didn’t like very much at all…as though there was no such thing as being made new.

I used to be afraid of opinions. Afraid that though words would not break my bones, they certainly would shatter my dreams…as though I started doing this for the approval of many, rather than the glory of One.

I used to be afraid of failure. Afraid of losing. Afraid of falling. Afraid of being wrong, creating busts, and looking absolutely stupid, because who am I to think that I could ever actually make a difference? As if those setbacks were anything more than the laying down of stepping stones on the path to success.

I used to be afraid.  Used to.

But then I did a little research.  And by that, I mean I re-searched, and I re-searched, and I re-searched, over and over again, and through all of my re-searching, I kept coming up with the same exact question:

What room does fear have?

What room does fear have when I cling to TRUST? What room does fear have when I lean on HOPE? What room does fear have when I search for something more, when I discover and realize what’s good, and when I stand in AWE? When I run with PERSEVERANCE, when I walk by FAITH, and when I rest in COMFORT. What room does fear have when I sing with PRAISE, when I take hold of INSPIRATION, explore the POSSIBILITIES, and step into FREEDOM? What room does fear have when I discover STRENGTH, EMBRACE COURAGE, REMEMBER PEACE, DECLARE TRUTH, CHOOSE JOY, EXPERIENCE LIFE and CONQUER DEATH? What room does fear have when I find perfection in the one place I never thought to look? In weakness, when I’m saved by the most unlikely of heroes. By grace, when I’m invited into a relationship more loving and intimate than I could ever imagine, as a child of God.

I’ll ask you again: what room does fear have when I step out of the darkness, and I bask in the light? When I let the past be the past and the future has no limit. When they can talk all they want, but their opinion doesn’t matter! And when failure is nothing more and nothing less than the road by which I walk my path to success.

I’ll ask you one last time: what room does fear have when in His Word, He tells me three hundred and sixty-five times DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID. As if I needed to hear that every single day. And as if that’s how many times I needed to hear it before I finally believed it.

What room does fear have when I make room for LOVE?

What are you afraid of? 

 

-Jon Jorgenson

 

Here is the video if you want to watch him speak it.

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Catch-22

I’m an English nerd and I love the novel Catch-22… if you haven’t read it, you should…

In the event you are unaware, a “catch-22” is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.

For example: To apply for this job, you would have to be insane; but if you are insane, you are unacceptable for the job.

Crappy situation, right!?

The term is introduced by the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch-22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanityhoping to be found not sane enough to fly, and thereby escape dangerous missionsdemonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane.

It’s really an interesting read and makes a lot of social statements.

So, I’ve realized that women are in a Catch-22 situation!

Women are scrutinized if they are too fat or too thin! And then, finally, when they are normal… there is still something wrong with them! The interesting thing is – this does not happen to men nearly as much as women!! We hear all about the body shaming of women, but far less about it of men (not that it doesn’t happen, because it does). Why? We live in a culture where the sexualization of women is prominent and a person is made into a object for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making. Advertisement and entertainment media play a large role in the way women are portrayed, and the results have not been good (That’s a blog for another day).

If you’re too fat – you get scrutiny for being unhealthy.

If you’re too thin – you get scrutiny for being unhealthy.

If you’re normal, but athletic or strong, you get scrutiny for being too masculine.

It almost seems like there is no perfect place for a woman to be.

Tina Fey explains the female dilemma quite well in her book Bossypants:

“Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.”

A recent example of this: Rhonda Rousey

ronda RR

This woman is amazing! She just defended her championship UFC title knocking out her opponent in 34 seconds (she knocked out another one in 17 seconds). She is a healthy woman who said she actively chose to gain 15 pounds for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Photo shoot because she feels the most beautiful at 150, not her fighting weight of 135.

That photo shoot:

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After winning her fight, she posted a picture of herself (below) enjoying time with her family at a soccer game in Rio de Janeiro and was blasted by the media for being “too masculine.” So… a woman who is 135lbs with an athletic build, who is obviously fit, is also not good enough. So now, any muscle tone means “too masculine.” What about the men who have no muscle tone out there? Are they “too feminine”? Her response was great – she basically said, “screw you, I don’t care what you think!”

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In an interview with Cosmopolitan Rousey stated, “I grew up thinking that because my body type was common [i.e., athletic], it was a bad thing,” she said in the interview. “Now that I’m older, I’ve really begun to realize that my body has developed for a purpose and not just to be looked at. It took a lot of time to develop a healthier relationship with food and with my weight. My mind was backward. I thought I wanted my body to look a certain way so I could be happy. But it got to the point where I didn’t feel I looked good at 135 pounds, the weight that qualifies me for the weight class that I fight in.”

Ronda Rousey is so correct! We have to get to a point where we realize that our bodies are not made to just be looked at. Sure, that can be part of it. I’m now at the point where I can put on an outfit and say, “damn, my butt looks awesome!” but that’s not what it’s here to do. My body is here for many more things. My body is here to move me from point A to point B, to hug my friends, to worship God, to teach a classroom full of students, to love my family, to run races, to sit on a beach, and to find infinite new things that are exciting. My body is just a vessel that holds the true person that I really am, but It’s the vessel that allows me to be the person that I want to be. And, because I am the person I want to be, I enjoy what I see in that vessel and feel good going what I do.

This is why we should put down the magazines, get off social media, stop looking at models and start appreciating our bodies for the strength they have. Taking off our clothes and flaunting our bodies (Miley Cyrus…ahem…) does not “take back our bodies and take back the power,” in fact, it probably makes it worse (That’s also another blog for another day).

So, to further my point…. Here is a short list of some pretty awesome people – who are pretty normal – who are apparently all “fat”…

… and they were told they would never make it in their field because of it.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence – Award winning actress – She was “too fat” to play Katniss in The Hunger Games, her “womanly” body just wasn’t the right size. They said she didn’t look like the starving character she was supposed to portray. It’s okay to roll your eyes.

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  1. Misty Copeland – First African-American Principal Dancer – She was “too fat” and “too athletic” for many dance companies. She was criticized for not having the right body, for having a bust, and how she is the most acclaimed dancer in history.

misty

  1. Ronda Rousey – Defending UFC Champion – She was told she was “too masculine” even though her weight wasn’t the issue. So, we can be “just right” and still have something wrong according to the standards of the media.

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  1. Kesha – Pop Star – She was told she was “too fat” and needed to drop weight to stay mainstream. This advice from her manager led her down the path of an eating disorder.

Kesha

  1. Lady Gaga – Singer – She was criticized for gaining weight after overcoming her battles with eating disorders. She started a movement of body acceptance and compassion.

GAGA

  1. Adele – Singer – She may not be the fittest, but she makes the list. The director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, gave Adele one hell of a backhanded compliment, saying that, while she had a beautiful face and voice, she was a “little too fat.” It wasn’t the first time Adele was criticized for her weight in public, but the good news is that you don’t have to be a size 00 to win Grammys — Adele has 10.

Adele

  1. Tyra Banks – Model – She used to walk the runway and was told to lose weight when she started her career. She refused and still made it. Long after her career was over, she was criticized for being “fat” when her body changed (as we all do). I’m sure the writer who commented on her weight was “totally fit” when he wrote that about her! And, I’m sure he won’t criticize her “fat” bank account.

Tyra

  1. Christina Aguilera – Pop Star – The fantastically sexist website AskMen wrote an entire article on how terrible it is that Aguilera has gotten curvier since her “Genie In A Bottle Days” — you know, back when she was a teenager, before she had children! Remind her to care when she’s not dominating pop music.

Christina

  1. Kate Winslet – Actress – She was told she was “too fat” for roles and was passed over. She nailed it in Titanic and has been a sensation for positive body image for women. Too bad those people never gave her a chance, because maybe their shows/movies could have won some Oscars too.

Kate

  1. Rebel Wilson – Actress – The Pitch Perfect star may have been “Fat Amy” in the film, but she’s less thrilled with name calling in actual life. She called out her haters by saying that she’s actually not the concerned with how hot she is — just how entertaining. Amen. She probably has more of a personality than most people doing the name calling.

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  1. Demi Lovato – Singer – once she let go of the pressures of staying thin, she went into rehab for her mental illness and got healthy from her eating disorder. Her healthy body was criticized as “fat” and she has been a body image pioneer since she started her journey toward health.

demi

  1. Kate Upton – Model – First of all, she’s beautiful. She’s been criticized for becoming so mainstream and not being stick thin. People have been quoted saying, “How DARE she be a bikini model, when she doesn’t have a bikini body!” She was called a “fat cow” by models after she appeared in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show which prompted an outrage and discussion of what body image really is. And, let’s be honest… she’s hot!

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So, what’s the lesson here? Define your own beauty. Rousey says it so well – our bodies are for more than just looking at! The easiest way to begin defining your beauty is to get off the internet, close the magazines and close down social media because they are breeding grounds for comparison. In high school I wanted so badly to be a fast sprinter, but I didn’t realize that my body was built to run the difficult middle distance races. Pulling away from everything that breeds comparison allows you to drop expectations and define who you are. When you can finally appreciate your strengths, you can learn to accept your flaws and love who you are.

The Things Ed (and Addiction) Steals From Us

The eating disorder, or any addiction for that matter, is much more than a psychological or physical reliance on behavior or substances; it’s a physical, emotional and spiritual issue that puts blinders on our perspective, corrodes our value systems, and compromises our ability to prioritize normally. It literally takes over our life slowly and begins to damage every part of our being.

Over time, the eating disorder (or addiction) becomes our most important priority. And in order to continue fueling its demanding and ravenous needs, we must sacrifice other important aspects of our lives.

As I looked back on recovery and though about the damage it has done, I’ve realize that, like any other addiction, the eating disorder had affected everything in my life that was meaningful. I’m so thankful that I am recovered and that the eating disorder no longer has the control over any aspect of my life.

Ed (and addiction) is a thief, and these seven things are its most common targets:

  1. Relationships

relationship Relationships2

Watching someone suffer from an eating disorder or addiction can be both heart wrenching and infuriating. Although no one wants to isolate someone they love, our behaviors and mentality during active addiction often force family and friends to want to walk away. Our refusal for help and the want to engage in unhealthy behaviors makes for the worst combination. Ed quickly steals our most cherished relationships.

  1. Success

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Whether it’s performing well at work, honing our talents or continuing to learn, things that once made us feel successful are replaced by the eating disorder. The eating disorder is very good at stealing our passions and diminishing the quality of our efforts. It makes us feel like we aren’t good at anything and we will never be worthy. This is a lie.

  1. Time

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Possibly the most important commodity in life, our time is forever fleeting. Every minute, day or decade that we sacrifice to the eating disorder becomes stolen time we’ll never get back.

Aside from the life-shortening, physical consequences of our destructive behaviors, being active in our eating disorder also steals the quality, purpose and value of our time. I never realized how much time was lost until I was far in recovery and actually productive with my time and enjoying things. I was so wrapped up and consumed in the rituals of the eating disorder and I didn’t have any real time to actually live!

  1. Gratitude

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Addiction rewires the pleasure centers of our brain. Whether it’s a sunset, a child playing, or a good friend’s contagious laugh, we slowly become unappreciative to the meaningful moments in our lives. Experiencing the world through a veil of the eating disorder makes seeing or feeling things we once loved increasingly more difficult. The eating disorder makes us lose meaning in what is important in life.

  1. Spirituality

spirituality spirituality2

Whether it’s through religion, nature, philosophy, art or anything else, spirituality is an important aspect of our human experience. The eating disorder quickly steals our wonder and peace; it destroys our ability to dream. In the deepest of my eating disorder, trying to dig myself out, I realized that I was drawn so far from my faith that I didn’t know who I was anymore. This may have been the most detrimental loss for a period of time. Everything loses meaning when you lose your faith. Finding my faith and my relationship with God again is what saved my life. There is a reason why Alcoholics Anonymous has a focus on a higher power.

  1. Happiness

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Once we lose our loved ones, our ambition, our gratitude and our spirit, happiness becomes harder and harder to hold onto.The eating disorder promises us happiness, but simply supplements our discontent with short-term escapes. It continues to raise the bar on us as we continue to strive for what is promised. As we work harder for the happiness, it seems to get farther and farther away. As we begin to lose our happiness, it also becomes easier to steal our hope.

  1. Hope

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Once addiction steals everything else, the only remaining thing to steal is our hope. From recommitting to future goals, to mending our broken relationships, the hope of regaining our lives is continually taken as we remain in active in the eating disorder. To regain hope, we must first recognize the culprit that has taken everything away. Not everyone experiences addiction the same, but the disease is predictable in terms of what it steals from us. The eating disorder and addiction is a thief of our time, our minds, our hearts and our relationships. After taking everything else, addiction also tries to steal the hope of our recovery. These are the points in recovery when you want to give up, turn and run or feel like you can’t go on anymore. I saw a pattern in my recovery when I frequently said, “I need to take a break from all of this.” What that really meant was that I was beaten down, tired of fighting, and worn out from the loss of hope for being fully recovered. However, quality treatment programs offer millions of individuals hope when there seems to be none. I was very lucky enough to have a treatment team that recognized those statements and didn’t allow me to “take a break” from appointments. I think when we journey in recovery, this is one of the firs things we get back. Once we begin to regain our hope of recovery, we can also begin to recover the other stolen parts of our lives.

The good thing is, these things can be given back. Although we can never get back the time that was lost in the eating disorder or addiction, we can spend time building new relationships, memories and successes. Once we decided we want a healthy life (and it is possible) we can immediately have hope as we enter treatment to begin the journey toward finding our self. As we find success in recovery we learn to value gratitude and see the little things in life, feel true happiness, regain our sense of spirituality and everything comes back around, full-circle. Although we momentarily lose some things, through recovery we learn valuable lessons and become stronger for it.

Strong(her)

I have been thinking back on the years of therapy, and looking at how far I’ve come, as I patiently wait to completely finish and I thought about how much shame and embarrassment I felt for even having an eating disorder. I wanted to hide this disease from everyone and if people found out I was terrified they would judge me. I can’t say I’m one who broadcasts it to the world, but I can say that I no longer feel shame for saying an eating disorder was a part of my life. I no longer feel shame or embarrassment attached to the idea.

I think we live in a world where eating disorders are seen as something that is vain, and many people don’t understand them, but we also live in a world where the stigma of mental illness is losing the grip it once had. In this information age, people are realizing more and more that illnesses like depression isn’t just something that people can “get over” and smile through, and eating disorders aren’t about beauty and food.

So, what if you looked at the eating disorder through a different lens –  How would you view yourself?

Think about.

What if you saw it as something that wasn’t so shameful, or embarrassing? What if it was just something that you needed for a time period? What if it was something that you turned to for help for a period of time because you didn’t know what else to do? Would you cut yourself a break? What if it was just a coping mechanism, or a survival mechanism, to get you through a terrible life situation, or to help you deal with something that was so traumatic or difficult? You know, like a survival skill you learned.

How would you view yourself now?

Would you view yourself as having a shameful flaw, or would you view yourself as being strong for figuring out how to survive? Given the situation that you were in, you found a way to manage (Don’t get me wrong – it’s not a healthy way to manage, but you found a coping skill when you had none, even if it was an unhealthy coping skill – and you didn’t end your life). When things were so hard to deal with, you found a way to handle what you were going through… you were able to say, “It’s okay, I’m going to do ______ and I’m going to be okay.” You made an attempt to “be okay.” You wanted to be okay. You fought to be okay when you felt like you had nothing else. Doesn’t that make you strong?

Think about it.

What does it say about you going into recovery? It says that you no longer need the eating disorder because it no longer serves a purpose in your life. You are willing to accept help and change. You’re now even stronger than you were before because you are willing to learn new and healthier ways to cope with life. Maybe it did serve a purpose for some time, but now you realize that it no longer does what it used to do for you. You’re stronger because you can see that these disorders kill.

Sure, it was a maladaptive coping skill, but that maladaptive coping skill saved your life for a period of time. It kept you fighting through a difficult situation – whatever it might have been. Now you’re learning new coping skills; healthy ones. You don’t need the eating disorder because you don’t have to do it on your own anymore. You are stronger because you are willing to save your own life now – you don’t need the disorder to do it for you.You don’t have to figure it out on your own anymore because you have support.

Think about it.

You’re eating disorder doesn’t make you weak… It makes you strong because you thought to hold on and find a way to “be okay” in a dysfunctional situation you might have been in. You did what you had to do to get through, but now you don’t need that survival skill anymore. You were strong by yourself for long enough. Now, in order to stay alive, we have to let go of that maladaptive survival skill we learned because it doesn’t fit in our lives anymore. Each day you are even stronger because you are learning to live without it. Recovery is for the strongest ones.

strong her

Beach Bodies

I should be doing school work, or going out for a run in prep for a 10 miler coming up, but instead I felt the need to write about summer beach bodies! 🙂

I’m going on vacation to Aruba this Sunday and I couldn’t care less what I look like in my bathing suit because I’ll be reading some books on the beach in between my sangrias and dips in the ocean. I’ve come to accept my athletic build as part of who I am, but that hasn’t come easy. It came with many sessions of my therapist screaming in my face gently reminding me that body mass index, or BMI, is bogus and that it isn’t a real measure of how healthy a person really is.

She may have talked to me two, three, four, ten, twelve times and it may have looked like this by the end:

screaming

Let’s be honest, people! We don’t hear the crap they say the first time they say it!!! 🙂

Just kidding (but she probably looked like that on the inside). BMI did come up a lot, and I’m sure it was exhausting to repeat before it sank in and I could finally “hear” it. I finally had to do my own research and I talked a lot about BMI and how bogus it is in a previous post here.

After many rounds at the doctors, I realized that I will probably always be tipping the scales close to, or in the overweight category simply because I have a strong athletic build. I’ve had my fair share of doctors tell me that my glutes are strong and well developed and that my hamstrings and quads are as well (hence why they are always tight and I have issues). Oh the life of a field hockey player with strong legs and glutes!!

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OK – Back to our beach bodies!

I came across this image about beach bodies and BMI.

beach body

The illustrations were created from scans of six people in New York, who were all 5 feet 9 inches tall and 172 pounds. This means that though their bodies look very different, they all have exactly the same BMI. At 25.4, technically each of them could be considered overweight. (By the most common definition people with a BMI over 25 are overweight and those with a BMI over 30 are considered obese.)

How is it possible, you say? The simple explanation is that muscle and bone are denser than fat and some people carry more or less weight in their torso or legs.

BMI only considers height and weight, so it won’t consider the athletic guy’s muscle mass sitting on the beach next to the guy with the beer belly weighing the same, who is secretly chugging that beer from a soda can.

Alas, research is starting to catch up! A really boring research article that’s tough to read came out! You can read it here if you have all the time in the world to figure out what all the numbers mean! It is basically suggesting that body fat percentage and body composition are more important indicators of health than weight alone. DUH! It also means that burning calories and losing weight for a beach body isn’t the answer, and that building muscle is also part of a healthy body. woo hoo – I’m on track for health! 🙂

So, as I lay on the beach in my healthy body, wearing my SPF 100 (so I don’t burn), I’ll appreciate that I don’t give a crap about BMI, and that I just laugh in my doctor’s face each time they try to tell me that I’m overweight. I’m still eating my ice cream, doc!

And when they finally do away with BMI, I’ll be the one laughing considering I have done away with it long before! 🙂

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And because everyone needs a laugh mid-week…. this will be me on the beach…. for real!

irish girlThe sad part is, I’m not even kidding… that’s why I buy SPF 100! 🙂 But with that SPF 100, I’ll be gettin’ my tan peach on!

Faith In Your Body

misty

In our society today, body confidence can sometimes be hard to find. Any person would be a liar if they said they had confidence all the time with absolutely no problems. Body confidence is something we can have, but sadly seems like something we have to work for.

Misty Copeland is a pioneer in the field of body confidence and a woman whom I love! Maybe I love her because my body looks like hers. I grew up as a dancer and struggled to make sense of my athletic build in the mirror, whereas Misty has embraced it and has made a movement and danced all the way to become the very first African-American principal dancer with the American Ballet Academy.

For anyone who has no idea what this means… it’s kind of a big freaking deal! J In the past, Misty had often been rejected due to her outer appearance and body proportions. In an interview Misty said, “As an adult, I was told that I didn’t have the right skin color. I was too muscular. I was too curvy. My breasts were too big. I was too short.” In a world where your body is your tool, and often scrutinized, this is hard to hear, but she didn’t stop.

Misty told NPR in September that breaking into ballet as an African-American is immensely difficult due a combination of racism and reluctance to change a traditional art form. “I think it’s just something maybe that I will never escape from those people who are narrow-minded,” Misty told NPR. “But my mission, my voice, my story, my message is not for them. And I think it’s more important to think of the people that I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.”

I’ll give the quick reasons why Misty making principal ballerina is SO important :

  • Misty came from a very tough background
  • Misty only started dancing when she was 13, far past the age when dancers start (I started at 6)
  • Misty is an African American woman in a world of ballerinas dominated by white women
  • Misty is curvy and has an awesome athletic build
  • Misty has a bust which is highly uncommon for ballerinas

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We all know what the common ballerina looks like and Misty is not that. When you see her dance, she proves that she is just as good, if not better than any other ballerina out there. This video speaks for itself. It goes to show that there is no mold for beauty and the traditional standards are being broken. If we stand in confidence of our bodies, there will be a shift in what is expected. Misty has started that revolution in the ballet community just as many others have in other communities. The more we work at loving ourselves the less power the world has at telling us we shouldn’t. Her unchartered rise to greatness shows that faith in your body can take you places that you never imagined! Imagine what you could do!

Super Soul Sunday: Ballerina Misty Copeland [Original Short] from Zachary D. Perlinski on Vimeo.

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The Frogs In Our Lives

I was in Bible study the other week and we were discussing the plagues God brought down on the Pharaoh until he let Moses and the people of Israel free. We specifically talked about the story of the Pharaoh and the frogs. As we discussed this story I couldn’t help but think about how it relates directly with what we do in life and in recovery.

The Scripture:

9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” 10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.  – Exodus 8:9-10

Just try to picture it! There were frogs everywhere. They were in the bed, in the kitchen, in the sitting rooms, in the oven, even mixed in the bread dough. God had said to Pharaoh, through Moses, “If you refuse to let my people go, I will smite all your borders with frogs.” Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go, and now there were frogs everywhere! His pride was too much to believe what this God could do.

Imagine frogs jumping in your bed, clothes, on your lap and even on your body at all times. Everywhere you turn and every door you open is filled with frogs and you can’t get away from them. When you get in bed and pull the covers up, frogs come pouring out! When you open a cupboard door for something to eat, frogs come pouring out! When you try to sit on the toilet, frogs come pouring out!

frogs

Pharaoh could no longer stand it so he called Moses and Moses said to Pharaoh, “I will ask God to take the frogs out of the land, you just tell me when shall God remove the frogs?” And, Pharaoh told Moses, “Wait until tomorrow, give me one more night with the frogs!”

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There were millions of big disgusting smelly frogs all over the land of Egypt and, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the Pharaoh’s response. There were frogs everywhere –  in the bed, in the food, in all the houses and even in the Egyptian’s clothing. God was ready to remove them all and Pharaoh said, “Wait until tomorrow, give me one more night with the frogs!” This man was nuts! This day in age he could be admitted into a psych ward for observation for responding like that! At first, I thought it was just pride – he was too proud to admit that this mighty God could remove them all and save him from these menacing frogs. I was wrong. This is the picture of an unbeliever who is not only rebellious and proud, but also procrastinating.

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(So gross!!!! Can you even imagine being surrounded by these nasty things?)

How it relates to life and recovery:

This made me think about who we are as people in life and recovery. We are famous for the word “tomorrow”. We are famous for saying that what we have to do can be started tomorrow, and we forget that it should be started now. We have frogs, you know. I’m talking about the frogs of troubles, doubt, burdens, suffering, sickness, sorrow, disappointments and heartaches. Frogs of difficulty, grief, strife, confusion and stress; they plague us morning, noon and night. They are constant in our life. We get so caught up and used to the “frogs” that are around us that we are okay with spending another night with them. We say, “eeehh… I’ll spend one more night with them, I’ll take the leap tomorrow because I’m so used to them that I don’t have to change right now”. And maybe the change that has to happen is harder than dealing with the frogs that are there. Can you imagine being a pompous Pharaoh having to admit that this God he denied is real and powerful? The thing is, we don’t have to live with the frogs, and we aren’t supposed to live with the frogs! We are supposed to live a happy and healthy life and waiting to start tomorrow prevents us from doing that! The frogs are menacing and the change that comes with the frogs is typically a type of good or positive change! When you go through something tough, rarely do you say “I learned nothing from that! What a waste of my time!” We usually learn a lot which is why we have the old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

There are times when we are so focused on the situation in front of us that we don’t ask for help from anyone to help us remove the frogs. When we don’t ask for help, we sit with the frogs when we don’t have to. When we keep the frogs in our lives, we also keep unhappiness and everything else that comes with it.

In regards to recovery, the eating disorder frog is not going to go away overnight, but the longer we say we will start tomorrow, the harder it will be to overcome. This is also true with anything in our lives. The longer we let anything fester, the bigger and uglier it can become. If it’s dealt with right away, it has a better change of healing and healing fast. The more we put anything off, the more painful the process becomes.

Do any of these statements sound familiar, or are they close to other statements you’ve made?

“I know I should. I’m planning to do it sometime. Maybe I will do it tomorrow.”

“I’ll get to it.”

“I don’t feel like it right now. It will get done eventually.”

“I’ll start going to church tomorrow.”

“I’ll start recovery tomorrow.”  Or “I’ll get back on my meal plan tomorrow.”    (or any variation of that)

“I’ll start working out to eat healthy tomorrow.”

“I’ll start fixing my relationships with people tomorrow.”

“I’ll clean up tomorrow.”

“I’ll start looking for a new job tomorrow.”

“My legs are sore, I’ll stop running and take some rest days tomorrow.”

“I haven’t seen my family much, I’ll work less starting tomorrow.”

“I’ll call the bank/credit company and work out the problems tomorrow.”

The problem with “tomorrow” is that tomorrow may never come. When we keep putting things off, we only waste time and potentially hurt ourselves and those around us. When we continually live with the frogs around us we sacrifice happiness and living a fulfilled life.

We all have frogs!

I noticed that I had this problem with the frogs for a while. I continually made excuses about why I couldn’t make weekly meal plans and always said I’d get to it next week. I realized that I never really got to it next week. I continually got comfortable in my lack of structure with dinner plans. I finally got to the point where I had to just do it! I had to sit down and force myself to make a weekly dinner plan to take away the cluster and confusion of deciding what to eat each night. This frog would have me frustrated when I couldn’t decide what to eat after a long day and it would leave me irritated. It wasn’t worth the moments of frustration when all I had to do was stop procrastinating.

Procrastination and putting off what has to be done leads to stress and worry (and we all have enough of that in our lives). We give up peace of mind and happiness when we do that. For many years I made excuses and said I wasn’t sick enough to get help and that I would get help if it got worse, but I just never did get help. My “tomorrow” had to be when I was near rock bottom. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and frustration if I would have just stopped putting it off for tomorrow.

We don’t have to live in these situations, or with these frogs all around us. We can make the choice to fix it today. God wants us to be happy and live a fulfilled life of abundance and it’s very hard to do that when we are stuck in, or focused on, the situation in front of us. Getting too comfortable with where you are, and what you are dealing with, can lead to being okay with the frogs in your life. God wants to get rid of your frogs and to help make you happy! I hope you’re able to strive for more because life without the frogs is so much better! (so is being recovered!)

If you’re putting off calling for help for your eating disorder, food issues, or any other problem, do a quick google search for a therapy office near you and schedule an appointment. Take the first step toward happiness and getting rid of the frogs in your life! You deserve happiness!

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