I Am Not A Granola Girl.

Courtesy of Poweline Photography

Courtesy of Powerline Photography – Photographed at T.H. Benton’s

My last post concluded my portion of the four part series entitled ‘Real Love.’ Today I am writing to you on a (very) sleepy morning in my favorite local café. I’d love for you to picture me with my hair done and makeup on and clothing styled just right, so I’ll spare you the details of my not-in-a-cute-way messy bun, lack of makeup, and sweatpants covered in a shade of blue I once painted my bedroom. But, man, am I ever rockin’ an infinity scarf that I knitted myself. Take that, Pinterest.


Anyway. Heidi, the lovely owner of The Busy Nothings, suggested that I write a post concerning my newfound eating habits. Let me preface with this: I have never been a ‘granola girl.’ I’ve never cared if a grocery item I wanted to purchase was %100 ethically raised, organic, gluten free, non-processed, preservative free, no antibiotic, BPA free, no trans-fat, low fat, less fat, no fat, whatever. If I wanted it and it tasted good, I’d eat it. Diet Coke was my daily wake up call (and still is on some mornings. Judge not lest ye be judged.). I have taken every elevator. I have parked in every parking space right by the door. I have driven across a parking lot to avoid walking ‘that far.’ I have taken medicine to avoid diabetes at 21. I have been the pinnacle of the indulgent, fat, sick American.


And I have hated myself for it.


Since 2008, I have lost and gained over two hundred pounds. The first time I experienced dramatic weight loss was due to ‘controlled’ starvation and an exercise addiction. I worked out three hours per day, everyday, for over a year. I ate a maximum of 500 calories per day (often less). I started living this way in order to make other people happy, but I never experienced the satisfaction that comes with hard work and dedication when succeeding in losing 95 pounds. The entire time I was ashamed of the way I looked. My commitment was to weight loss, not health. I was trying to look thin, not be healthy. That sort of thing just doesn’t last.


And so the weight came back. All of it. Then more. I am currently the heaviest I have ever been, and more sick. I mentioned in Part III of the Real Love Series that I battle a skin condition that causes raw, painful sores. It has gotten worse as I have gained more weight and lived a lazy lifestyle. Topical medicines do not help, and I have tried low doses of chemotherapy over the years to rid myself of this condition. That hasn’t helped either. It never occurred to me the treatment my body so desperately needed had much to do with what I was putting inside it until a few weeks ago when my doctor, exasperated with my lack of progress, suggested yet another round of chemo.


I wanted nothing to do with that. And so I started researching (for the millionth time) alternatives to heal this disease. What I found has already made such a difference in my overall health.


It started with a documentary called Hungry For Change. Then another called Forks Over Knives. What I learned from these documentaries and the research that backs them up has made a huge impact on the way I see my body. Aside from the practical application of how to eat in a healthy way, I began to understand what my body is capable of. This body I was given can move its legs and take me anywhere. It helps me show people how I am feeling. It can sing. It can dance around like an idiot and have a ball. It can laugh. It can cry. It can even heal itself.


But my body can’t do much at all if I don’t love it.


In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul talks about how love absolutely has to be our motivation in everything we do. “And if  I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” I have started to see that this love Paul speaks of is for me, too. It can be so easy for me to give this love to other people: when it comes to myself, however, I am most often unforgiving and rude. I do not encourage or extend grace to Gracie. In short, I have not loved myself well.

But that’s all changing. I have decided that, if I am truly going to be an example of God’s love on this earth, I have to start letting His love extend to me. I can no longer make excuses for my laziness. Because I am loved, I have to exercise discipline. Like the father who deeply loves his child, I have to apply loving limitations to myself that I might grow. In health, in self-control, and most importantly in the love of God.

I am new at this. I am imperfect in loving my body and giving it what it needs. But I am committed to taking care of me because my body deserves love. It deserves to be taken care of well.

And, you know what? I’m going to do just that.

  • TheBusyNothings

    This is so inspirational Gracie! I’m new a loving my body (… or I’m near it- I’m not great at it yet!) and I really look forward to reading your journey!

  • http://twitter.com/JamiesThots Jamie

    ” I have decided that, if I am truly going to be an example of God’s love on this earth, I have to start letting His love extend to me.” Wow. I had gastric bypass seven years ago. I’ve lost 145, regained 40 and have about 120 more to lose. I’ve struggled with many years with self destructive behavior, not just overeating. I’ve been wanting to get a lot of ongoing health issues (some that led to the weight regain) figured out and go back and forth on my commitment when things feel very bleak. I’ve always seen it as self destructive behavior that must be stopped, not that I wasn’t taking the time to do what is right. It may seem like a fine line, but they are truly different concepts. This gives me renewed reason to try and figure out what is going on with my body. Not because I need to be shamed into not doing something wrong, but because I should “allow” God to love me and that should show through how I take care of my body.

  • Gracie

    Wow, Jamie! Thank you for having the courage to share part of your story! That’s an encouragement to me for sure.