Have you ever asked yourself a question that you didn’t like the answer to? Have you ever felt like giving up because of the answer you gave yourself? I am not talking about suicide giving up, but that bury yourself in a hole of self-loathing because you don’t like the answer you gave yourself?
I didn’t think so. I’m sure you live a perfect life free from all the lies and struggles that I battle. You probably won’t relate to my last few weeks at all. *insert tone of sarcasm with an eye roll*
They say it isn’t the falling down that matters; rather, it’s the getting up. But what if the falling down takes your breath away? What if the falling down brings you closer to the voice of lies and further from the voice of truth? What if falling down makes it just feel easier to stay down?
The truth is that no one said this would be easy.
Living in another culture is hard.
Figuring out a new normal is hard.
Dealing with stress is hard.
Missing home is hard.
Teaching is hard.
Choosing health is hard.
Somehow I found myself entertaining the lies that it was ever supposed to be easy. Leaving your home and all that is familiar when you are trying to get healthy doesn’t help your cause. It hurts it, royally jacks it up—caves it all in on itself like a sink hole between what is familiar and easy and what is reality, between who you are and you wish to be. But that means you also get to rediscover why you started.
Here is the vulnerable truth. I tried Whole30, and I failed it. It was too difficult and I gave up. And I don’t regret giving up; I only regret what followed. At first, I was still reserved and controlled, and then I flipped. All the things. I ate all the things. I felt miserable eating all the things, but I didn’t want to cook. I didn’t want to keep trying. I was fed up with eating healthy, so I convinced myself I didn’t care. I put the bare minimum into my work, and I tried to ignore the regret, guilt, and shame of walking away from what I knew was right.
I found myself hating my body for the first time in a long time. I found myself hating the way I was created and the slow metabolism I was given. I found myself hating how hard it is, especially when there are toothpicks around me that could eat a cow and not gain an ounce. I wanted to escape my body. I wanted to escape this challenge. I wanted to escape. But, the only way to escape is to leave, and that isn’t an option. I wouldn’t trade being here, so I have to figure out what the new normal is. I have to figure out what healthy is. I have to figure out what being a fighter who maintains the will to fight is. I have to stop backing away from the work.
To fight is physically exhausting and at times emotionally frustrating. To not fight is discouraging, frustrating, and heart wrenching. To not fight is to give up, and that is worse. It is so much worse. Maybe I will always be fat on the outside, but that isn’t my identity. Obesity is a reality, but I refuse to let it be an identity. Maybe it will take 10 years to finally “reach my goal,” whatever that elusive allusion of healthy is anymore, but I do feel better trying and not losing weight than I do not trying. And I guess that says something for itself.
I fell into a chasm. I had climbed hard and then lost grip. I no longer saw the path to healthy. It got tough, and I got reckless, and I fell down. I stopped listening. And rather than enjoying the beautiful world around me in a healthy way, I got trapped in this voice of rules and legalism that were not attainable. And I killed myself in pursuit of skinny, not true health.
So this is for the rising back up. This is for the ones who have felt struck down, but refuse to believe they are destroyed. This is for those who feel like they can’t continue the way they are, but they can’t go back to where they were. This is for those who have fallen and don’t know how to get back up. For me, the falling has been about my identity and weight and health. For you it may have been different. Maybe you made a big mistake. Maybe you have a past. Maybe you have been hurt. Whatever makes you feel like you’ve lost your way, let this be the moment you rise up again.
I don’t have it figured out, clearly, but here we go… again. And don’t think this is something you do on your own. It takes listening to the voice inside, Jesus, the source of inner strength. It takes shutting out the one who tries to keep you down with lies. RISE UP! I refuse to live defeated.