Monday, October 24, 2011

Embracing Abundance--You Are Not Alone

I am what one would call “Rubenesque,” and I come by it honestly. I handle stress, disappointments, celebrations, anger, and any other emotion you can think of by eating. I have exercised and had fabulous results. In 2009 I lost a total of 29 pounds by changing the way I ate, walking more, and doing Zumba. I could probably teach a class on weight management, yet, with all that I know about it, I rarely practice proper eating and exercise habits.

Part of the problem is that my job as resident manager of the community in which I live is stressful. Another factor is that I am the chief caregiver for my mother, who has several ailments including the onset of Alzheimer’s. You can understand my need to overdose with foodstuffs!

This sometimes makes me very angry at myself. I’ll begin to feel unattractive and wear baggy clothes; then I’ll get depressed about it and tell myself that the diet or change in priorities begins now! I’ll be great at it for about two or three weeks; then I’ll have a relapse. The more I say that I won’t overeat, the more I focus on food. It got to the point where fasting became an impossibility. By hour two of my fast, I’d had several meals in my mind, and at night, I would dream about food. (I kid you not!)

I would hit the angry phase and then move on to justification of why I deserved a bite to eat. I’d been good, hadn’t I? I deserved a bit of food. Of course, the satiation of eating was quickly followed by the onset of the guilt and name-calling which facilitated yet another binge. I’d already messed up, hadn’t I? What was the use? And thus I continued to browbeat myself about my failure and imperfection. I would wallow in my powerlessness to be good and do good . . . even for myself.

By my actions, I showed that I understood that all of my attempts at dieting or prioritizing food-wise on my own, without a support system, were doomed to failure. What I didn’t realize was that also by my actions, I was living under law and not under grace. I was acting just like a person who doesn’t know Christ and thinks that “being a good person” will cut it in God’s eyes.

In January of this year, when my church did a 21-day Daniel Fast, I did the research and endeavored to make sure that this fast would last longer than the last Daniel Fast I’d attempted (a total of two hours, when the peanuts I’d been eating gave me a raging headache). All those committed to the fast exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and what ensued was the most beautiful bit of synergy I’d ever experienced heretofore.

There were recipes and food items being shared, and we were determined that no one would fall by the wayside. I won’t lie and say that I made it the entire 21 days, but I did make it to day 19. That was my abundance right there. What I learned was that when there is too much of the I’s and me’s in anything I attempt, I’m doomed to failure because I’ve left out the Savior.

Grace is a gift of relationship with Christ. Embrace the abundance—you are not alone.


This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.


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