This is one of my favorite song lyrics of all time.
The whole chorus goes:
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now…
In 2018, I got my breakthrough, and it was absolutely glorious and divine.
For years, I struggled with food. (Read more about that here.) I restricted myself to extremely unrealistic daily calorie limits, and I set tons of rules and goals and basically just set myself up for lots and lots of failures.
It was a year-round cycle that usually started about this time, right at the beginning of a fresh New Years Resolution. I would decide on a number, like 120 or 125, and this became my goal for the year. One year, I chose 3 number 34-24-34, and those were going to be my bust-waist-hip measurements. Year after year, I would starve myself of yo-yo between binging and purging, overexercising and doing pretty much anything I could for the sake of these numbers.
Week after week, I would look through my daily check-ins, usually feeling defeated, or even more discouraged than the last time, but honestly, some weeks when I had lost like 7 pounds in 7 days, I would feel so great about my results! But I would feel so ashamed that I had achieved them the way I did… Even though I pretended like what I was doing was okay, and even though sometimes I had really convinced myself it was normal, I still felt ashamed because I knew that as skinny as I may have been or as thin and dainty as I could make myself look, everything internally was all wrong.
For years, I was highly dedicated to being thin, and the sacrifices I made were my liver, my kidneys, my digestive track, my iron levels, my blood count, you get the point… I wasn’t healthy. I was sick. My mind was broken, and my body was missing all the nutrients of a healthy balanced compostition.
and then my breakthrough happened. Suddenly, I cared more about what was happening on the inside than the outside… and I’m not actually talking about like my personality or my heart… I’m talking about my physical makeup, like the inside of my body. I ended up in the urgent care with some pretty severe stomach pain… it was so bad… like the doctor urged me to go straight to the ER.
It ended up being something with my digestive track not working properly, and it had caused a cramp that could not be fixed without medication. I took the two pills and woke up about 6 hours later with no more cramping, but my gut was so sore. It hurt to stand. It hurt to laugh. It hurt to go to the bathroom. and that’s when I realized that this was completely preventable.
While I was at the doctors, they told me I was super dehydrated, and I had already known that. I was always dehydrated. I never drank water. It made me feel bloaty.
I also knew that my years of *bad habits* had been the cause of the pain I was suffering. And ya’ll all this backstory info is probably TMI, but it sets the stage for my breakthrough. When I was trying to rationalize the pain with some medical reason or error, I knew in my heart it was my fault. I had been abusing my body to try and lose a little extra weight, and I knew that’s why I was so dehydrated. I also knew that’s why my body wasn’t working. That’s why my body didn’t know how to respond to food. It couldn’t break anything down.
And the result of my body *breaking* for lack of better terms, that set me up for a breakthrough. Let me be transparent and say that I didn’t go to the hospital. It wasn’t super dramatic. I mean, I was crying out in pain and could barely stand up because of it, but medically speaking… nothing like ruptured or anything like that… I don’t want to make you think that it was something it wasn’t. However, the pain alone was enough to get my attention, and the fear that this could ever happen again was enough to make me finally, for the first time in my life, decide if this was all worth it.
I decided it wasn’t.
I decided that being thin was not worth being in pain.
I also got really convicted. All of this happened on a Sunday. A Sunday that I really needed to be in church. It was in the middle of a series that I was learning a lot from, and I had been looking forward to church all week. And as I was getting ready, the pain began. I sat in an Urgent Care room instead of my seat in the worship experience.
Not only had my bad decisions with my health affected my body, but they were affecting my spiritual development. Also… I got really convicted about how I was asking God to grow my family, but then, I was not doing anything to set us up for success with that. And I’ll be brief on this point because simply speaking, I don’t want to talk about it… But I had been praying that when the time came for Ryan and I to become parents that nothing would stand in the way, like infertility or issues with our bodies or our DNA, etc. Meanwhile, I was ruining my body… and God kinda called me out on that.
Why would He remove obstacles if I was only going to create more?
Moving on – The Breakthrough
I started down a journey of self-discovery and body positivity shortly after this painful experience. I went on my social media accounts and unfollowed and blocked out everything that fed my problems. I deleted apps like Tumblr, facetune, facetune 2, photoshop, and all the fitness apps on my phone. I unsubscribed to tons of newsletters, and I deleted all of my food trackers and calorie counters. I threw away my food journals, and this sounds extreme, but I hid the scale and threw out my trusty measuring tape. These things are not bad (well most of them are okay) when a healthy person is using them. But when someone with an unhealthy perspective of body image and an unhealthy relationship with food uses them, they are SO BAD. They made it easy for me to do what I was doing, and in retrospect, that’s not what I needed.
So, after clearing out all the clutter, I prayed a lot. I journaled. and then, I replaced the space left from the negativity with positive things. I started following new accounts that highlighted health and wellness. I started reading about body positivity and nutrition. Before long, I had read multiple success stories of girls like me who had reversed their bad habits and become so healthy and so happy. And then, I started sharing my story. I tested it out on Instagram, and the feedback was positive. So I came here and shared my soul in my Part 1 post. Then I kept going, and I started attracting people with likeminded goals and similar intentions which led me to a community of people who have started to change my life and the way I see food and health and wellness in general.
My breakthrough changed my life. It woke me up. It helped me prioritize my health, and it sparked a new journey for me.
I have so much more to tell you, but I’m going to end here. My Part 3 post will tell you more about life after breakthrough, and what I’m doing to help other people who have also experienced an unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies.
Thank you for reading and for always being so encouraging.