Archive for the ‘body stuff’ Category

A thin time

Posted: November 16, 2012 in body stuff, Oh dear
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So, this week has not been one of those weeks. It started out as usual, lots to do, people to see, etc. But then, without warning came the sickness. The sickness that found me lying on the bathroom floor as I didn’t have the energy to stand up to be sick. Then came the aches and the desire never ever to eat or drink anything EVER again. Or even get up from my bed.

Five days later, two books, and at least 30 episodes of the West Wing, I am finally on the mend. Three days only eating a few crumbs and not feeling like anything else took its toll though. Half a stone down, I am desperate not to put that weight back on. Coaxing myself on one hand to try and have three meals a day, but on the other not to get any bigger.

Yes, this is totally daft. I think probably half the weight that came off probably came off from dehydration. The other half is likely muscle, given the effort it takes to get anywhere right now. Both of these are fairly crucial for sustaining life.

Secondly, how could the hunger really be alluring? What about the headaches? The total lack of confindence? The stomach growls that came from always needing food? The black toes from the poor circulation…And we could go on, but we don’t have all day.

I really need to remember that being fat is not the worst case scenario in all of life. That hunger is nto a good thing – it is a sign of need. And that God is bigger than all of this.

And maybe also, that there is just some food that tastes good. And that is ok.

a green eyed monster

Posted: November 15, 2012 in body stuff, Fear
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I have a friend who seems to have it all. A husband. A house. A baby. She’s totally gorgeous, even remaining radiant throughout pregnancy. She gets good grades. Everyone likes her.

Sometimes that hasn’t been enough for her. Sometimes she has wanted more. She has wanted the things that I have also wanted, and because people like her, often she has got them. Or so it seems.

Not only am I totally jealous, but also insecure about it. So, she is my friend. But because everyone likes her, it feels like everyone else is also in the friendship, in a kind of ten-in-the-bed way that pushes someone out. Somehow, that someone ends up being me.

Sometimes this makes me so angry. Sometimes I wonder what the friendship is really worth if it can be so easily pushed aside, or whether a friendship should be able to be more than one way. But that anger takes me to a dark place.

Yes. Sometimes, my friend could have treated me better, I’m not going to deny it. But then, and more often, I’m ready to admit, it is the state of my own heart that is the problem. Firstly, every time that I compare myself to my friend I’m completely ignoring my own place as a child of God, crafted in His image. And quite frankly, its not surprising that I don’t look beautiful if I’m thinking terrible thoughts. Secondly, I’m totally missing all the good things that are in me, that make me individual.

But even that isn’t enough. These are the cliches that apply to everyone. When our friendship is there, it is a GOOD thing, for both of us. Being under constant attack is undermining that, and also my relationship with everyone else at the same time. Rather than constantly worrying about who I am and whether people like me or not (as that is really what it boils down to) I need to focus on who God is and how I can be more like Jesus.

When my eyes are focussed on God, then, not only will the Attacker have failed in his mission to ruin a good friendship, but also he will have failed to separate me from the love of God. Bonus.


What do you see when you look in a mirror?

I know what I see. I see the many imperfections. My long nose. The spots I have littering my face and my chest. The wide shoulders that seem to stick out. The tummy that looked on sideways makes me look pregnant. The bum that seems three sizes larger than the rest of me. The short stubby legs that would be a supermodel’s nemesis.

What I see when I look in the mirror is so much focussed on my appearence. If I’m lucky, I might spot the bright blue eyes or the thick eyebrows around them, but more often than not, I don’t. And they are still what I look like.

Now, the Bible tells us that that is not what God sees. The Bible tells us that we are precious and loved. That we can be so much more than simply what we look like and that life is about so much more than that anyway. In fact, the Bible tells us that God loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on our behalf.

So we see a distorted image of ourselves, and we get gnarled up in the twisted thinking which spirals down into self abuse and for me, at any rate, self harm or endless diets. I try to make the imperfections perfect in my own way, and it always fails.

But there is hope if we move towards the things that God considers important. If let our lives be shaped by Jesus, and let ourselves be transformed bit by bit, surely things have to get better, don’t they?

Sometimes, I think the problem can be bigger than that though. If we have such a distorted image of ourselves, what is our view of God like? If that is as distorted as the one we have of ourselves is, then we really have an issue.

It sort of all goes back to the Bible really, doesn’t it? And not, (well, hopefully) in a cheesy “we must read our Bibles more then get healed” but more of the dwelling in the truth within its pages. One of the old prayer books in the Church of England uses the phrase “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” about the Holy Scriptures. That expresses how we need to let the truth of the Bible be ingested by our system. A bit like when you have have too much garlic, the next day you can feel it oozing out though all your pores. Or alcohol, but let’s not go there, shall we?

When we concentrate on the greater truth of the Bible, suddenly, my stubby legs seem far less important in the grand scheme of things. And if they don’t, then they really should. But at any rate, we need to get a right image of God, away from all the twisted distortions of our minds and the limits of our imagination. And then, hopefully, the healing can begin.


A gift…

Posted: October 6, 2012 in body stuff, Hope
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Sometimes, quite honestly, I wonder what on earth I’m doing. Why I even try. Why get our of bed in the mornings. Why I would dare to speak to anyone – I mean, I never have anything interesting to say, do I?

Somehow then, this makes its way down into my actions and my behaviour. What is the point of doing anything? Why even try to be nice or make small talk? And everything ends up somehow revolving back around me again. A selfish pretence of modesty.

And then I remember. I realise that God is there. That he is in control. And that funnily enough, (and I can never really understand why), he loves me. Even if it might feel like no one esle does at times. That I’m the most boring dinner party guest in the world and that I always seem to get it wrong.

And actually, everything I am, and that you are too, is a gift from God. Every breath that we take. Every hair on our head. All of my body and the fact that it mostly seems to work ok. Even the bits that I don’t especially like myself: the lumpy, bumpy bits, or the wide hips that mean I can never buy jeans right.

It is so different from what I hear in the world around me where nothing ever seems to be good enough and people can be so thoughtless.

But it is the truth.

And it is what gets me out of bed in the mornings.

At the swimming pool

Posted: September 12, 2012 in body stuff
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Today I went swimming. Yes, it was part of an attempt to exercise in a semi-healthy way, to try to get my body to lose some of the excess fat it has been carrying around recently. Sadly, that fat doesn’t seem to have got the hint yet.

Anyway, I did my sixty lengths (in a shorter pool, don’t worry) and climbed out. I was just at the point of getting dressed again in the changing room when a young girl came in. She was a character, let me tell you. She didn’t stop talking from the moment she came in (without parent) and proceeded to ask me lots of questions.

“Why did you put that on?” (deodrant, that is). “So I don’t smell.” “You don’t smell” (oh, thanks!) “Well, that’s because I put that on”…

It went on.

“Why are you getting dressed like that?” I realised I was dressing covering myself up as much as possible, with my towel over my costume under all my clothes.

Good question, really. Partly I guess it is habit, back from those teenage years. But partly, I’m just not ready to show off all my (many) lumps and bumps, especially to a seven year old audience. I’m not ready to be vulnerable. I want to hide. Even somewhere like the changing rooms where it feels that people around me are all naked I can’t do it.

But even that feeble attempt to hide was spotted. The contrast between me and her was enormous, as she was dancing about and throwing her clothes everywhere.

Then the conversation moved on. “I didn’t know you liked green” (as I put on my green trousers) Oddly enough, as we’d only met five minutes before, it hadn’t been top of our conversation list.

Then thankfully, someone else came in. The little girl then asked everyone their names, and discovered that everyone else’s except mine began with an H. “Why don’t you change your name? You could be Harriet!”

Maybe that should go on my list of priorities?