Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Diet - deadline is 8-9-12 9:59 am NY time. (08/02/12)
TITLE: Brownie For Breakfast
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Can you believe that I ate a double fudge chocolate brownie with milk chocolate frosting for breakfast? And it gets better. I ate it, I enjoyed every bite, and I didn’t feel one ounce of guilt when I was finished. A piece of me had healed.
You see, when I was growing up, I felt ashamed whenever I ate anything sweet. “I see you sneaking that cookie,” Dad would say with a glare in his eye. “You know what will happen if you eat those,” he’d add. And I knew what he meant because he’d told me before. “That kind of junk makes you fat.” My older brothers called me “Fat Pig.” And I believed them. Granted I was chubby as a little girl but technically I was never obese. But in my mind I just knew I was fat. Otherwise the people around me wouldn’t have said so. And that was a problem. I was a problem.
If I had even thought of eating anything sweet, I had broken a law. At least my mind believed this lie. It led to a secretive obsession with food by the age of six. If I wanted something, I snuck it and ate it privately or if I was in public, I’d eat quickly. I figured when I was finished, the people around me would be finished secretly criticizing me in their heads. Even at my birthday parties, I’d feel guilty for eating a piece of my own cake. I could pretend I was enjoying it really well, I’d even smile for pictures, but negative thoughts reamed me afterward. “Everyone knows your fat. You shouldn’t have eaten that.” Sometimes it would take days for those thoughts to fade. Some never did. Some followed me into adulthood. And it became a pattern that left me in bondage.
A five year monstrous battle with bulimia intensified negative thoughts. And deprivation of something sweet even after I conquered bulimia seemed necessary so that I wouldn’t have to punish myself afterward. Intense exercise and starvation were common if I’d slipped. Enmeshed in the horrific thoughts of what sweets would do to me kept me in bondage. “If I eat that brownie, it will go straight to my thighs.” And gaining weight was unacceptable.
I didn’t understand that my struggle had come from unhealthy messages I received as a little girl. “If you eat sweets, you’ll get fat.” And “If you get fat, you’ll be unlovable.” All the unhealthy messages that I believed to be true were far from true. Being thin will not make people love me unconditionally. Just like being fat will not make people not love me. I discovered that I deprived myself of sweets and/or binged on them in private my entire life and punished myself for doing so because as a child I was criticized for eating them.
Freedom came when I learned how to create healthy boundaries and how to take care of me when I felt shame creeping in. Sometimes it just takes an encouraging verse or prayer to remind me that I’m okay. I can eat sweets in moderation when it’s right for me and if I choose. And I can eat in peace because I know God's Truth. He loves me unconditionally. And to me, part of enjoying my life was eating a double fudge chocolate brownie with milk chocolate frosting for breakfast this morning. And without condemnation!Though I won’t do this everyday, I will do it once in a while as a reminder that shame and fear no longer exist in this area of my life. I have self control, and using it God's way frees me to celebrate! And I will celebrate. I celebrate my identity in Christ Jesus. He always cares and carries me through with gracious patience and boundless love. And I take care of my temple with gratitude, keeping Him in mind, as I grow in His likeness.
“I am not controlled by what people think of me. As long as God is satisfied with me I am satisfied.”
1 Corinthians 4:3-4 (AMP)
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