My poor husband.
For the past three weeks or so, I have been painfully counting calories, complaining about my weight, whining about the gym, and lamenting water weight gain. Although this isn't anything new, per se, it's gotten more intense since I made the choice to seriously commit to walking a healthier path in life.
Which, with the onset of a strange viral infection, went horribly off course.
I was prescribed week's worth of steroids, much like the ones I took as a child. The ones that contributed to my childhood obesity and helped to convince me that 2 Big Macs and fries were a reasonable meal. The ones that tasted (and, apparently, still taste) like wallpaper glue. The ones that cause mindless, incessant munching and the feeling that, even after a huge, healthy, delicious home-made meal, I need chips, ice cream, salsa, and a Hot Pocket.
The ones that made me avoid counting calories for a whole week because I couldn't bring myself to actually record the tragedy that was what I put in my mouth.
So, ugh...we're back at square one. Nothing gained, so that is great, but...big loss of momentum there. Lots of feeling like a failure. Feeling like I will never achieve this goal. Feeling like I shouldn't even bother. Oh, feelings, feelings, feelings.
Why do we trust our feelings? So fickle, they change as often as Lady Gaga's wardrobe. As reliable as shifting sand, as deceptive as the sea reflecting the sky. Why, then, do I put so much faith in how I feel, rather than what I know?
Simple: it's easier to accept our feelings as facts, rather than the fleeting emotions they really are.
It's tough to really analyze and dissect feelings. They lead to deeply-embedded ideals, thoughts, and values about ourselves and others. When your start to really examine the patterns of your feelings, you often find a root problem that is difficult to solve. Solving that root problem requires work. A plan. Often it requires sacrifice. It even involves acknowledgment of the problem - a scary idea for many. So instead of chopping down the sickly, diseased roots, we adorn the tree with pretty garlands and beads. We put a star on top and call it martyrdom, when in reality it is a blend of fear and self-righteousness.
God wants our roots to be strong and nourished by him. If they are, we grow up strong. He can trust us to bear big, beautiful fruit. He can lovingly place nests and birds in our branches. These are the ones he calls us to raise up for him, whether they are friends, children, or peers. He will know we can withstand downpours and nasty weather, because our roots are down deep, unbreakable, mighty (see Jeremiah 17:7-9).
I have lately been giving in to many, many negative and flighty feelings. I have felt unattractive, unworthy, a bad Christian, a bad friend. I know in my heart that these feelings are meant to spur me to action. To lose weight, to take care of myself, to spend more time with God, to love on people who need it. But instead, I have been breaking out the decorations and lacing up that tree with tinsel and shiny stars.
Now I see that it doesn't make the tree any prettier. What I need is some fertilizer to strengthen my insides first.
Then, I will be so healthy and beautiful I won't need decorations at all. I won't need a disguise.