Monday, February 23, 2015

Running errands typically wears me out. Running a 5K is more appealing and refreshing to me than running to K-mart, Walmart, Costco, etc. However, I would rather have the things I need than go through life without shopping.

To combat my body's opposition to errand-running, I have developed a no-fail strategy for getting through those necessary trips to "The Store." My plan goes a little something like this: eat a meal or a large snack (or a small meal) before going shopping. That way, when I get home, I'm not in the foulest of foul moods, feeling weak and tired. You'd think I had just gone days without sleep, and lived on bread and water by the way I look after shopping. Those dark circles under my eyes? Symptom of allergies to fluorescent lighting and too many shelves. The really low heart rate? Symptom of mentally shutting out the lame music and my cart's squeaky wheel.

On Saturday, I had the great idea of eating a pre-shopping adventure protein bar. This bar had 30 grams of protein in it. Yes, 30 grams in one bar. I figured that should do the trick. Although most people would preserve this kind of bar for a post-workout snack, or post-marathon snack, it seemed logical to me that instead of cooking a whole meal, I would just eat 60% of my daily protein in the form of one bar.

On a side note, the bar only cost $0.01, which I hadn't known prior to purchasing it. I thought the cashier had made a mistake, but he assured me, with 2 thumbs up, that I was good. (Thanks, bro!) He explained that the store was phasing out certain items, and that's why it was so cheap. After driving away, I wondered why I didn't buy 20 bars for $0.20. That would have been 600 grams of protein for only $0.20! I love you, Holiday station!

It turns out, that bar was worth every penny, because it sat like a brick in my stomach- like a brick of solid protein. I got a slight headache as well. I felt much better after eating ham, spaghetti, and snap peas for supper after the shopping trip was done. My body knows how to digest real food. The moral of the story? Real food is the best food. The next time I want 30g of protein, I just need to actually cook something- or eat the leftover ham, spaghetti, and snap peas that are already in the fridge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I've wanted to write about paranoia and it's manifestations/effects on my mind throughout recovery process for a couple weeks. ¡Vamanos, entonces! (Let's go then!)

When I was going to NDSU, I had a really cool female professor whose area of expertise was eating disorders. I took Abnormal Psychology one semester, and she taught one day on something that shifted a paradigm in me. I think the topic that week was Borderline Personality Disorder (at any rate, it was completely separate-at least in the world of modern psychology- from eating disorders.) She was telling a story about one of her former patients, and what happened during one of their sessions. She and her patient were walking through the campus (of a separate university) together, and they passed by someone. The young woman immediately thought that the person hated her. My professor asked her why she came to that conclusion, and she said she heard it in her head. Then my professor told her that she didn't have to listen to those thoughts. She didn't have to listen.

What a concept- she didn't have to listen to every thought that came into her head.

There I was, sitting in the auditorium, realizing I didn't have to listen to the thoughts in my head either. It was the first time I remember hearing anyone explain that "my" thoughts don't have to control me. That had most likely been explained to me before, but I didn't hear it or remember it.  This concept has since been explained to me multiple times, and I have consumed it, digested it, and absorbed it.  And it's been turned into muscle; it's made me strong.

I don't know if my professor knows the Lord or not, but she was teaching a hugely important Biblical truth. "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers, erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5.
I am to take every thought captive, and submit it to Christ.

What does all this have to do with eating disorders? The voice/voices that consumed my thought life had convinced me that others thought I was fat, ugly, that other people knew that I had to go to a shrink, so they knew I wasn't right in the head. They convinced me other people randomly knew how much I weighed, and then I was even more ashamed of my size.

The reality is that those thoughts were all paranoid lies, and I shouldn't have been listening to them. The reality is that I did listen to them for about 10 years, and I let them control me. The reality is that I don't listen to them anymore, and they have been cast away from me.

I would say prayer and a supportive prayer covering from friends and family is a huge key in being able to go from mentally-ill thought patterns to healthy, Christ-centered thought patterns. There is a huge difference between wanting to have a clear mind, and actually having one. The Lord is all-powerful, so He can overcome anything, but it has been my experience that He intervenes and allows His word to come through people, through circumstances, through years and years of life, rather than one moment of thundering power and deliverance. That's just my experince, though, so I'm not making a doctrine of it or anything :).

The bottom line is, thoughts need to be captured, checked, examined, and either cast away, or allowed to remain. I didn't come to class that day thinking that the Holy Spirit would plant something new in me, but He did. I didn't expect to remember a short story from that class 8 years later, but I did. The seed that was planted has been watered- it grew and grew, and I'm trusting the Father's steady hand to continue the pruning process.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's confession time: I work for an insurance company.  My bio explains how I feel about my job- I never thought I would ever work in this type of environment, BUT I am starting to like it.  I was angry at God for roughly 2 years after jumping into this line of work, because I was prideful.  I still am kind of prideful if I am being honest.  I was angry because I thought was too good for a desk job.  I thought sitting in front of a computer all day was beneath me.  I was wrong though, because it sits in front of me.

Bills are a never-ending part of life, so having a job is a necessity.  Are you with me so far?  Bills aren't cool, but certain jobs are cool.  If certain jobs are cool, then other jobs fall into the not-cool category by default.  The jobs that fell into my cool category were/are band teacher, pediatrician, stay at home mom, artist, missionary, wilderness therapist, and musician.  I think they explain themselves.

Uncool jobs: anything that involves a cubicle and a computer.

 Having officially obtained work in the uncool category by the age of 26, I labeled myself a failure.  Did it matter to me that the Lord had been setting up this job for me long before I was old enough to complain? Nah.  Did it change my mind to know that the King of Kings cared enough to place me where I needed to be instead of where I wanted to be?  Hardly.

 I've probably done enough complaining in the past 3 years to warrant about 19,574 slaps on the face.  (or maybe more. ) It's really pathetic to think of all the air I wasted with my opinions and my judgments about how unfair and boring my life was.

 The curious part about the whole thing, about sitting in front of a computer, feeling like my life has no significance day after day, is that I've probably matured more in the past 3 years than the previous 27 years of my life.  I've devoted all my time and energy to learning how to enter insurance applications into the system we use, processing the applications, looking behind the scenes to see how things work, teaching others how to process insurance applications, and doing all the boring things in between.  If I were to write my autobiography at this point, there would be a lot of chapters spent on insurance topics, and no one would buy my book.

The people who know me really well know that even though I wrote the previous paragraph about how mature I am now, I still am mostly a goofball, and about 50% of my daily verbalizations are giggles.  Real mature there, Bucko.

 Having said all of that, the people I work with probably have no clue the amount of transformation that has occurred in my mind while I have been sitting around, talking about insurance for the past 3 years.  "Hey, did you know I was afraid to take this job because I thought I would get fat if I sat on my butt all day?"  "Did you know that processing applications is therapeutic? My Physician prescribed it, and I thought He was nuts.  It turns out He was right!"

Where am I going with all of this info?  It's eating disorder awareness week/month/week-plus-a-few-days at some point in February, depending on which website you look at.  The people around me who have been with me on the last leg of this journey weren't even aware that I had an eating disorder, or that I was struggling with it while sitting next to them. 

But Jesus was aware, and He has my back.  No matter what month it is, what week, or what week plus a few days it is, Jesus Christ is aware of every issue in the hearts and minds of each one of us.  His love is everlasting, and that's the kind of insurance that money just can't buy.  I've got better coverage than I could have imagined- a free heart transplant, a transformed mind, a full-time Counselor, and eternal care. 

Resting well,