Friday, 16 December 2016 08:15

My Distorted Self-image

Written by

"I wanted to BE HEALTHY again. I felt like everything about me physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally had somehow gotten off track."

Resolutions:

Less computer time 

Lose 55 pounds

I want to grow in prayer and be an example of relationship with God to my kids

I want to get out of the house more often 

I want to offer petitions for people in need daily

I want to open myself to God and others

I want to be more organized with housework and dinner plans and homeschooling

I will spend more time with the kids one-on-one

I want to be open and relaxed around others

I want to grow in holiness, truth and evangelism: To be an example of Christ’s Love in the world

I remember the day I wrote these words on this red fancy paper I found in my parents’ office. I remember looking in the mirrored doors in that room at my 206 pound self and wondering how I had managed to get to this point (down from 220 but stuck at this weight). I felt so alone, so big, so tired, and most of all I felt helpless. I knew this wasn’t me. I knew it deep down the way you know what is true and what is right. It was one of those God moments where I could almost feel Him trying to tell me I was very, very, very lost. I did what I always do when I feel like this. I cried. I cried and I wrote these words down. I watched myself being angry at even having to write these words and wondering why I wasn’t already doing these things. I thought: “I know better.” I’m a girl who KNOWS. Or at least that’s what I felt right in that moment. That I had failed. I had wandered away from the path God had paved for me and I, most likely, had eaten all my breadcrumbs instead of leaving myself a trail to follow home. 

That same week, I went shopping with my mom and my sister and watched my very thin and fit sister search diligently for a size 2 and thought, “sheesh…I’m barely able to find a 16 that fits in this store.” My mother had also recently gotten in shape again and was ever so thin. It was not their fault. I was in a place to blame them, to blame everyone for how bad I was feeling about me. When we got back from shopping I found one of my grandma’s shirts in the bathroom…curious…I checked the tag. I was the same size. I felt betrayed. Like Grandma should be bigger. How did this happen? How did I end up here in this place, in this size? I wanted to scream. I wanted to hit something or run away from all of it. But none of that was really my answer.  

I did what I knew I could always do in moments and times like these. I prayed. 

I felt guilty. I thought I shouldn’t ask God to help me lose weight. Should I? Isn’t it wrong? Shouldn’t I just love me as I am and not worry about this? I should be okay and happy no matter what. Or at least that’s how I felt then. I prayed and cried some more. I asked God to help me. I wanted to BE HEALTHY again. I felt like everything about me physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally had somehow gotten off track. I prayed out loud: “God please help me lose this weight. I want to be me again and healthy again. I want to fix what’s wrong. I need to.” I cried. And, as with all prayers, I knew He heard me. I just had no idea how blessed I would be thanks to His loving answer to my prayer.  

I entered therapy. Not intense. I met with a wonderful woman once a month as needed for probably only 4 sessions. It was good. I had had these thoughts about myself, about how my family would be better off without me; it was a flat out lie. I’m grateful I was raised to know what’s true about me. I knew that I needed to change. I just really didn’t know where to begin. 

Talking with someone helped me to see that I had to make the changes, to contribute to my own happiness. Isn’t that such a true statement? I had forgotten that it was no one’s job to make me happy. God would answer my prayers of course…but I had to meet Him there. I couldn’t just expect Him to sprinkle weight loss dust on me. That would help, right?!?! So after encouragement from my therapist, I began to try and meet those resolutions, beginning with the one about losing weight. 

The weight was the wedge in my life that was holding me back. At the time, I couldn’t see just how much it was holding me back, and I really just wanted to fit into smaller pants. Retrospectively I saw that the depression and hiding myself were also part of it. I had, most of my life, seen myself the wrong way. You know there are people who say things to us, discouraging things. Many of those phrases, I heard running through my mind all the time: 

“You are too short to play basketball”

 “You will never be a ballerina”

 “You have birthing hips”

“Have you put on weight?”

Deciding to end these thoughts and find a way to overcome my own inner battles; I picked up a book my mom had shared with me about inner healing. I read and prayed through this book from cover to cover. I finished and thought…well, that was nice. No big deal. Then within a month (sometimes healing needs to stew) something clicked inside me, and I realized God had healed me of my distorted self-image. I could see that He really loved me, and I BELIEVED it. It was that last part, the believing it, that was most transformative. I loved Him. He had always loved me, but the missing piece, that bit of faith in His Love…that I had lacked. I had already lost the weight when this happened. You see it was a two-part process. 

1.) Get healthy

2.) See rightly

I made those resolutions back in 2010 and by the end of 2011 I had accomplished more work on me than I had in the 5 previous years. Asking God to guide the process was the best decision I could have made. I’m still a masterpiece in the making but I see each stroke and each color in my design as His beauty being revealed bit by bit.

I am abundantly blessed that God healed me of my distorted view of myself. This discovery has made everything exceedingly simple. All things are possible for the beloved of the King of Heaven!

EvieDayEvie Day is a homeschooling mom from Orange Park, Florida. She has two children ages 8 and 10. She has been married to her husband Mike Day for 12 years. Evie graduated with a BFA in Acting from Florida State University. She has been a homeschooler for 6 years and dabbles in acting coaching, drama classes for homeschoolers, and acting on stage. Evie volunteers at Lumen Entertainment´s Film Camp and is currently working with both Lumen Entertainment and the Catholic Writers Guild of Jacksonville, Florida. She has co-written a book with her husband, Expectant Joy, which is a prayer resource for couples who wish to pray through each trimester of their pregnancy. Evie enjoys living the Liturgical Year with her family, playing geeky games, running, doing Shakespeare monologues in the bathroom and dancing in her living room.