Do you have a pair of jeans that glisten in your closet? You know, those jeans you aspire to slide on with ease and button perfectly? The ones that call to you from time to time to try on to find yourself defeated? Well if you are like me, you can imagine the pair right now!
Some may ask why I talk about food, health and exercise so much. Like ‘c’mon lady, I know you make healthy food and you exercised, now let’s move on’. Today I will share a few roots of why this topic means so much to me and for so many of you as well. First and foremost, it sometimes feels like an insurmountable part of my journey. You see my size has always been an issue. I have very few memories of my younger years where I thought I fit in, literally. My weight has been like a roller coaster ride. I have had peaks where I feel like I’ve gained control, then valleys when I feel like it’s all for nothing.
In 2013-2014 as I gained my new identity as a widow, God also brought amazing insight to this area of my struggle. I finally felt like I was winning the race with my health. I was officially in my smallest size jeans (ever as an adult) and I was so much healthier. I was working out intensely, 45min-1.5hrs/3-4 days a week, then adding jogs in another few days a week. I was also on the right track with clean eating and supplemental protein shakes. God brought me to a place of new strategy. Not just for the smallest jean size, but for the play book on how to effectively be healthy in my skin.
I started the year 2014 in a fasting mindset which then carried me through the year. I had recognized that chocolate was a problem for me. You know the saying that cigarettes or alcohol are a gateway drug into something worse, well place chocolate there for me. One brownie led to three led to ‘why not the whole pan’ mentality. See food is the least talked about drug that people use everyday. ‘Hmmm I’ve had a rough day, I deserve a treat’ or ‘No one sees me eating, I will just eat all the chips’. Then we rationalize it further by sayings such as ‘well at least I’m not drunk’ or ‘I will just work out a little extra’, when in reality we aren’t dealing with the root at hand…addiction to food. Ouch.
January 2015 brought the wedding excitement with my husband Tim, still in my smallest jeans as an adult, until I became pregnant on our honeymoon. Those skinny jeans went sailing with the cruise ship we were on, possibly landed in Cuba! Deep down, besides the excitement of this new bundle of joy, was the looming fear of the bundle that would be left on my body. No sooner than seven weeks postpartum I was pregnant again now with Micah. Seriously, there was no time or ability in those seven weeks to lose anything except my mind trying. Carrying Micah became an extreme feat for my body to say the least. Looking back it feels like most of it was me on bed rest, going in and out of pre-term labor and making every effort to keep him from coming early. Those skinny jeans were LONG gone by now. The sinking pit of defeat crept along inside of me, never ceasing. I allowed the enemy to toy with my thoughts and tell me that I was less than, because of those jeans… staring at me from inside the closet, reminding me ‘you will never wear me again’.
Fast-forward to today. I can officially say I am one year postpartum! Some may smile at this and some may nod knowing the victory here. See when we celebrated Micah’s one year birthday in July, I was celebrating a new me. I had no clue what the next few weeks held but I felt the shift in my spirit. Tim had spoken over me time and again that one year was when the switch would flip…friends it has. After returning from the She Speaks conference just a couple of weeks ago, God has taken me back to these teachings He gave me just a few years ago. Realizing today looks way different then it did then, but the principles remain the same. It is simply not feasible for me to just go jog when I feel like it or leave family time for a workout class at the gym. Yet, it is feasible for me to squeeze in time before the boys are up or go for a jog early Saturday morning or better yet as a family.
When I sat down to write this blog today, I asked the Father about the title. The word ‘glistening’ stuck out to me when I thought of those jeans. I took a moment to look up the meaning. One of it’s synonyms is ‘glitter‘, this struck me:
an attractive and exciting but superficial quality
Wow. How bold is that to say these silly jeans are attractive and exciting, but are superficial?!? When was the last time you said you were excited to fit into a pair of workout pants? Or tank top? It always comes back to jeans. But in truth we should be asking ourselves, what am I clothing myself in? Am I chasing life in the flesh or life in the spirit?
The scripture I leave you with as a nugget to a healthy lifestyle and uprooting food addiction is Romans 8. Fitting title… Escape from Bondage. Here is an excerpt:
5 For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. 6 Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; 7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.
9 However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.
I pray this message settles in your heart. I pray that God directs your path on how to handle food, exercise and health. He is a God that cares about you, all of you. In the meantime I am going to tuck away those silly jeans and realize I am on the right path, doing one day at a time and celebrating the daily victories over my flesh!