The past few weeks have been difficult as I reached a plateau on the scale and dealing with the crazy symptoms of PCOS. It's hard to be happy when I have hair falling out and also growing places I don't want it to, making me feel like a sideshow attraction. (Bearded lady, anyone?)
I've gone through every emotion imaginable. I started Spark on November 12, 2012 feeling like nothing could stand in my way or deter me from reaching my goals. And in some ways, this is true. I'm still here...still Sparking after 2 months. The first time I joined Spark in 2010, I only lasted about 30 days, and I wasn't in a position to really make lasting change.
I shared last week how frustrating it was to not see the scale move, or even move in the wrong direction. And I also did a fair amount of obsessing over my eating plan. I kinda pulled back a while...not giving up. But just myself room to breathe.
During this obsessive phase, I tried to work on some visual collages to help me work through the process of what I was feeling. Art for me is such a great therapy and motivation. I also learn so much about what's going on inside and in my quiet times with God, I even glimpse His heart towards me.
I was feeling very fat...feeling like I'm destined to be the "big girl" the rest of my life. That proverbial elephant in the room, hiding in the corner? That's me. Yes, negative I know. But that's exactly how I was feeling.
I thought what I needed was a visual reminder of what I felt like at the moment, and how it would feel living in the skinny girl's body that is trapped under these layers of fat. So I found a silhouette online and imported it to Photoshop. I began painting highlights on each body and really just allowing myself to feel the emotions that were brought up. I could feel the weight and sagginess of the skin on the body on the right. I could feel the depression, guilt, and negativity bottled up inside. I could feel the loneliness.
On the left, I could feel the muscles of the feminine, graceful dancer's body. I could feel the health, vitality and vibrancy she felt. I knew she had struggles, too. But there was an innate strength to deal with each challenge and stress that came her way. I knew she cared about herself and taking care of others. And I knew that graceful dancer's body was waiting to emerge from the shell of the woman on the right....like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.
"Butterfly Portal" by Sandra Martin November 2012 Digital Collage created on Polyvore.com
The collage above was created around the time I re-joined Spark. I'm seeing it now with fresh perspective. Butterflies have been a theme lately in my prayer life, and God has been sprinkling reminders throughout the day that He's preparing me to come out of a cocoon. (I'll share more about that in coming days). But I feel like those days of feeling trapped, helpless, a victim....that they are over. I can see the light cracking through the tiny openings and tears in the cocoon, even as I begin to struggle to emerge, but I'm not quite out yet. Yes...light is coming in...I can feel the warmth of sunshine. But there is a transformation happening inside and light is radiating outward, too...a glow of resurrection power. And I know one day I will spread my wings and fly.
(original picture source unknown)