Thursday, April 4, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: The "D" Edition


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I like to doodle....I do it all the time.  
Usually I toss them.  
Some I color and keep.

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Years ago, I would find myself periodically depressed.  There was no rhyme or reason as to why, it would just happen.   One Christmas, I was more depressed than I had ever been.  I was trying to decorated our tree, but I really wanted to throw myself on the floor, roll up in a ball, and stay there indefinitely.  I can’t describe the hopelessness of depression, because when there is no reason to be down, yet you are anyway, it’s just senselessness.   How can I describe that?

That Christmas, I had a (surely God-placed) thought to speak to the depression, and demand that it leave.   I did so, in the name of Jesus, and it left.   It hasn’t been back.   But, for whatever reasons, discouragement does rear its ugly head at times.
Now is one of those times.
In this blog, I really to try to be 
honest about what I write,
including how I’m feeling.

Last week I was off work for spring break. I didn’t get one thing accomplished.   Apparently, I don’t do well without a schedule (just one more reason to be so thankful for my job).  I had a few gluttonous days, which culminated in a gluttonous weekend.   Carbs beget carbs!  Haven’t I said that before?   It should not be so!  But last week french fries beget bread, bread begets chips and salsa, and on it went.   I didn’t binge (as in mindlessly eating the entire week), and I didn’t eat sugar (though our bodies don't distinguish between whole wheat bread and a chocolate chip cookie, I'm told), but I ate entirely too much.  I then had to deal with doubt, guilt, and confusion as to why it is I think just because I eat a few french fries, suddenly I think I have to eat them all, and something else to boot.  I ate too much, I gained a few pounds.   So, now I’m back at the 81 pounds lost mark, and I just seem to be stuck at 79 - 82 pounds.   

You may think that I’m discouraged because of the weight gain, but, no.   It’s a little deeper than that.    I really am free, and the weight will come off, of that I’m sure, even if I don't like how slow it happens.   But there is this unreasonable need for me to be perfect, to show the “world” I’m perfect…and to slide backwards, well, I don’t like that.   The truth is, I’m not perfect, and I have days where I struggle with stopping.   Since I gave up sugar, I no longer have the insatiable drive to eat, eat, eat, but there are times that I am still a glutton.   And when I overdo the carbs, it's a lot easier to keep eating.  If I let it, guilt will slap me around; I usually stand up to it, take those thought captive to the obedience of Christ, because it's not a sin to eat chips and salsa or french fries.   I do not want to minimize the battle with the feelings of guilt (and doubt and confusion) when I behave this this way, because those feelings are a force to be reckoned with.   And sometimes, I'd rather wallow than do the smart thing and take those thoughts captive.  To continue eating when I'm full...that's a sin.

It bothers me that I can’t be perfect in this journey.  Yes, I am fully aware that it is an unreasonable expectation, an unattainable goal, and it sets me up for failure, yet I want every day an unflawed day.   I still find myself eating too fast, which lends to the overeating, and I just want to stomp my foot in frustration and yell after the fact.  One reason it bothers me so much that I still have struggles is because of the people I am trying to encourage.  Can I be an encouragement to others if I’m discouraged by my own fleshly behavior?   This bothers me more than the few pounds gained, by far.  

So there we have it.   I have lost 81 pounds, and I’m being a little ungrateful.   I will work on being more grateful, more accepting of my imperfections, and less critical of my flaws.   I'll continue to try to slow down and stop when I’m full.  (I don't usually think about it until afterward.   Don't you think that would be an easy thing to remember as I sit down to eat?)

PS:  On Monday, I went back to work and back to lower carb food choices.  It was not a struggle to get back into the groove.  Accepting my freedom means knowing that I do not have to rely on my own strength.   What a relief that is.      

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Daisies...I love daisies, don't you?
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  1. You are still an encouragement simply by letting those people you are trying to encourage know that it isn't always easy and some days will be worse than others. You are not defined by a few bad days.

  2. Depression keeps house shoes under the bed of many. These rainy days don't help.

    Perfect? No matter what we accomplish it's too little. Except for those who dislike us (and you know who many of them are), then we have no right to accomplish anything because just who are we? Well, for a start, we have actual jobs...that's more than many can say.

  3. I love how your posts have so many elements to them. D day blessings to you!

  4. How interesting that most of the bigger struggle came when your routine/regular schedule was interrupted. I tend to have that same challenge... hmmm... something for me to examine.

    "Accepting my freedom means knowing that I do not have to rely on my own strength." What a beautiful and encouraging sentence!!

    I know you are learning as you go, and appreciate you sharing your insights along the way with us.

  5. I have been reading your blog for a long time now and I must say that your posts are often a huge encouragement for me. I believe that when we have the same things in common, and deal with the same issues it is so easy to relate.

    Often when I read your blog it is as if I could of written those words. I myself have had two nights of binging. I had been doing well and even had lost 11 pounds. I was feeling good and then I had some family issues come up and "bam!" Out the window goes the plan. I binged last night and then wake up feeling so down. Hating myself that I could of let myself do that...AGAIN!! So, frustrating! Your post today was just what I needed! Thank you for sharing your struggles. It makes the journey easier knowing others struggle too and I'm not alone in this.

    I keep on keeping on though even if everything within me is screaming, "Just give up and stay fat!" Keep on writing Margaret, you have a gift with words. Thanks! :)

  6. I think your doodles are wonderful. I wish I was creative like that. Your posts are so genuine. Thank you!

  7. Of course you can be an encouragement to others, especially if you have moments of discouragement. For when you pick yourself up and get back at it, regardless of all that is going on, when you forgive yourself for slip ups and keep at it anyways, that is when you encourage the most!! One thing that I've read that I find helps, although it's not always easy, is to think of how you would react if someone else were to slip up, a friend, a child, a neighbour, a parent. You might get upset at first, but generally because you love them so, you're forgiving. If we could learn to be as forgiving to ourselves, I think we'd all be a little happier.

    Have fun with the a-z challenge.

  8. These doodles are indeed amazing...loved the creativity!! :)


  9. That's a great weight loss! Congratulations!

  10. Oh, I missed this post, Margaret. I'm sorry.

    I appreciate your honesty and your willingness to admit imperfection. :} I don't think people realize it, but proclamations of perfection are not encouraging at all. At some levels, we all know that perfection is impossible, so when we read it, there is a psychological dissonance that cannot result in encouragement.

    But the imperfect one...who struggles and that is something that gives hope. It lets us know that God is able to get it done on our behalf, even if we are not.

    Hugs, Margaret.


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