EM_CLARK1
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Say Goodbye...

Monday, May 03, 2010

So, I've been going through a pretty bad cycle where I've just felt completely and utterly defeated. My "get-up-and-go" seemed to have just "got-up-and-left". I don't really have an explanation for it, other than I'm in that "downward spiral" that so many people (our very own SparkGuy included) refer to.

And I recognized it. Instead of doing anything about it, though, I let it continue on and on. But I'm being driven nuts by this irrational "need" to perform my very own self-sabotage.

I've been reading in Luke for my Bible reading. At the beginning of Luke, it talks about Mary (Jesus' mother) visiting her aunt Elizabeth (who was pregnant with the child who would become John the Baptist). The child leapt in Elizabeth's womb when she heard Mary's greeting and Elizabeth said this blessing over her, ending with "You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said." (Luke 1:45, NLT)

One of the nights when I was reading that passage, something began nibbling at the back of my mind. I started wondering if the reason why I was struggling with this whole healthier lifestyle really stemmed from a lack of belief in the Lord, belief that He would provide the strength I needed when I needed it and that He would do what He said He would do.

Over the weekend that I was reading that passage, I went to a Beth Moore simulcast called "So Long, Insecurity" (based off her newest book). She basically laid out what a secure woman looks like by turning the word "Secure" into an acrostic. During her introduction, though, she explained how our issues with insecurity (whether they are about our bodies, our emotions, or our situation in life) basically stem from a lack of belief in God. Particularly from a lack of belief that He is who He says He is and we are who He wants us to be. Laying it out like that, I realized that's where I was. I was struggling with believing God and His promises that have been laid before me.

The following includes some of what she had to say and what I took away from that.

A secure woman is "Saved from herself". The note I had written underneath that letter reads "I don't have to sabotage myself because I have been saved by that". What I basically meant was that I no longer have to go back to that lifestyle--just because it's familiar doesn't mean that it's right or healthy. Yeesh, if it were healthy, I wouldn't be here writing this, now would I?

In the church we are told repeatedly that we are saved from sin and saved from our mistakes--but I don't think that I've ever had someone say that we were saved from ourselves and put it that plainly before. It was like a light went off and I realized that I didn't have to give in to the urge to eat everything in sight or to seek things out like fast food when an apple or something else would satisfy my hunger just as well.

But the things that really stood out to me when she was talking were things that had been floating around in the back of my mind already. It was wonderful that she put them out there and summarized them so succinctly before. It was like God was using her to spell out exactly what He wanted for me.

She used 2 verses that have meant quite a bit to me on this journey of life--two verses I had somehow managed to forget about entirely (despite the fact that they were written in my personal signature here and were posted on note cards at work). And she used these verses to make the point that a SECURE woman is "Saved from herself" and "Entitled to Truth".

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." ~ Ephesians 4:22-24

"You were taught...." That means I already have knowledge of some sort. And with regards to living out a healthier lifestyle, I do have a lot of knowledge. It's all stuck up in my head and hasn't been getting put into action recently, but it's there. And I need to remember those things that I was taught. I need to focus on the truth and realize that it's not just true for everyone else out there, but it's true for me as well.

I know the basics about tracking my caloric intake and exercising regularly. I know to go for whole grains as often as possible and avoid processed foods whenever I can. I know that I should be getting at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. I even know how to measure out a serving. I know tips and tricks for eating proper serving sizes, like using smaller dishes for your meals. I even know about the "bikini" rule for eating (your fruits/veggies should be 1/2 your plate and your starch and protein should each be 1/4).

One of the the things that Beth more said was that many of us are trying to manage our strongholds rather than just being free. I felt like that's what I've been doing. Somehow I got it into my head that by doing all of the right things, I would be free. But I'm learning that it's not true. I actually end up being in bondage to those things and not experiencing true freedom at all. It's like when you start up a no-carb lifestyle and drop a ton of weight. But, when you start introducing carbs again (after having reached your goal weight), you start gaining the weight back. Instead of having the freedom to eat from a variety of foods and experience a whole pallette of stuff, you get stuck with just eating the same things over and over again. And you become a slave to that lifestyle of eating.

While I do appreciate the tools and things available on here, I found that I was becoming a slave to them--that everything I did revolved around those things. And so I quit. I simply stopped tracking and doing them because instead of fulfilling the supposed promise of freedom, they became more constricting.

And yes, I know that was never the intention of the trackers. They are there to be guidelines and help those of us who have no clue about we're doing to start from somewhere and then use that knowledge to live a fully healthy lifestyle.

I have since come to the realization that doing the right thing (at least in this case), will never bring about the freedom I crave if I continue to see it as anything other than a guideline. I did experience some freedom when I went through my challenge a couple of months ago to eat more veggies. I found that as I ate more veggies, I was more open to trying out other foods and there was a certain amount of freedom in that. I wasn't hampered by the "rule" that I should be eating 5 servings of fruits/veggies a day, but instead I was excited about trying out some new foods.

All of these lessons (and more) I have learned through a variety of sources. And now I need to put those lessons into action. Because, besides being "Saved from herself", and "Entitled to truth", a SECURE woman is "Clothed with intention".

As women, we tend to dress with a purpose in mind. We deliberately pick out a particular outfit for specific reasons. Right now, I'm wearing a pair of sweats and a t-shirt (not my normal attire, mind you) because I wanted to be comfortable while resting my knee at home. I needed to wear pants that can roll up easily over my knee so I could put an ice pack on it. The t-shirt was another deliberate choice--I didn't want to wear a nicer shirt because then I wouldn't be able to wear it to work later this week.

The same way that we choose to dress our bodies, we are supposed to dress our lives. You're not going to go out jogging in a pair of heels, skirt, and a silk top. It's not very functional or appropriate for that activity. We have to realize that our old lifestyles are no longer appropriate for our new lives. We have to stop ourselves and seriously consider if what we are doing is something that we would do when we were making poor health decisions or if they actually do belong in this new lifestyle. That's what the Bible means by "taking off the old self" and "putting on the new self".

A great example would be something that happened this weekend. My mom, Dena and I were all hungry. It was late in the day (around 2) and we hadn't had lunch yet. We knew that we were going to eat dinner out at a local Italian restaurant so we didn't want to fill up on a normal meal. So, we went to a restaurant and ordered salads (all of us with dressing on the side), along with an appetizer that was pita bread with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, and tzitziki (sp?). It was yummy and perfectly healthy for us--just the right size to tide us over until we went out for dinner a few hours later.

A couple of years ago, I would have just gone ahead and ordered a burger or sandwich with fries and a soda to drink because I was THAT hungry and I wans't thinking ahead about what we were planning on eating later.

"Old self" vs. "New self".

The great point that she had in the talk here was that we need to make the decision with our minds and take action BEFORE we ever feel secure in that direction. If we wait to feel better about that choice, it will never happen.

And this is something I've known in the back of my mind for awhile. I know that I have trouble getting my butt out of bed in the morning, but if I push myself to go ahead and do it, I'll feel so much better afterwards. Plus, I feel much more accomplished if I workout in the morning instead of waiting until after work (which doesn't always happen because life gets in the way).

There was more to the acrostic that she spelled out for us--if you're interested in the rest, SparkMail or e-mail me and I'll tell you what else she had to say.

But, the thing that I'm going to focus on now is her choice of yet another verse--one that God laid on my heart at the beginning of the year to focus on. It's Isaiah 43:18-19

"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."

Yes, I am to remember what I have been taught and put those truths into action, I'm to learn from past mistakes, but I am not to DWELL on them. If I choose to focus on the past (how cruddy the last several months have been as far as healthy choices and actions go, for example), I'm never going to move beyond that and get to experience the new thing that God wants to do in my life.

As always, there's a song that speaks to this. I want this to be said of me, so I thought that I would choose to focus on it as a "power song" (basically a song of encouragement) for awhile. It's called "Say Goodbye" by Joy Williams. You can find the video at this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
7q03_iemyKQ


And here are the lyrics:

I saw you today
My familiar stranger
Everything's changed
You have come so far

You're different now
Would you go back
Would you want to anyhow?

Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
Say hello, say hello
To a new beginning

Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
This is your genesis

Face to face
The present and past collide
And it's no mistake
I see the future in your eyes

You seem so free
Like nothing's ever gonna keep you down

Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
Say hello, say hello
To a new beginning

Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
This is your genesis

You're different now
You're different somehow
Different now

Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
Say hello, say hello
To a new beginning

Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
This is your genesis
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MONKEYPAM
    Erin;

    Your message is so timely. At church on Sunday the pastor was talking about trusting God. We ask God for something or guidance then we don't give him our full trust to take care of it.

    I truly believe that God is working in and with me on my weight loss journey. More than once when at the grocery store I think something would be really good (bad good chocolate) then I can't find it or forget until I get out to the car and then remember and by that time the feeling has past.

    I wish you the best of luck with your journey, and by understanding the person in the mirror is responsible for your attitude is a large step in the right direction. Give God your problems and then believe he will deal with them.
    I am still young in my new walk with God and I am working on giving everything over to HIm and allow Him to do his will. I have always believed you can ask God for anything and will give you his answer. Doesn't mean we will like the answer or even understand it, but he does answer.


    3575 days ago
  • BECCACOATS
    Erin ~ This was great.. I think we all get into this every once in a while.. Your are awsome and your focus is Great!

    Congrats on your continuing to move forward and success in Bloomsday.
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    3576 days ago
  • ALLBW2U
    Greetings, Erin.

    First....congratulatio
    ns on Bloomsday!!! For signing up, for showing and for not giving up!!! You "done" good.

    Next....I really enjoyed your blog. Not the downward spiral, as it was way too close to home! I am so glad that the Lord is patient with us. He knows that I have a hard head and that sometimes He has to keep repeating things to me. But I eventually get it!! Then I discover (again), that He didn't move away from me, but rather I moved away from Him. Ugh. I know better!

    Keep putting your trust in Him. Rest secure in Him. Trust Him with your life. The rest will fall into place!

    I hope that you have a wonderful week....Bill

    And again.....congratulations and thank you!!! emoticon emoticon
    3576 days ago
  • BYEBYEADIPOSE
    This was WONDERFUL!!! Thank you for sharing this.
    3576 days ago
  • COOKIE611
    Wow - that info about being secure and how a lack of it stems from your lack of belief in God, was very interesting. I never thought of insecurity in that way, thanks for sharing. I am sure that you can do this. Keep turning to God because He knows our hearts and our minds better then we, so He knows what you need and He will be able to get you there.

    emoticon
    3576 days ago
  • MEGANC1988
    emoticon
    3576 days ago
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