A face full of ice cream and no regrets

Recently I have felt more in control of myself. Less swayed by the actions of others. More steady.

Until last night…

Last night I lost it with one of our children. She is going through a stage of really testing the boundaries at bedtime, there is shouting, stamping, slamming, sobbing, spite filled words, I can’t think of another word starting with S so there is also throwing.

And I was in a better place to deal with it, a few months ago I wasn’t and I would shout back, make demands of her and throw her toys on the floor (as she did to her siblings). Yes I realise it wasn’t the best method but we had tried so many other things we’d run out of ideas so shouting seemed like a good idea!

But the past few weeks I had managed to remain calm, as she swung from shouting to screaming I stayed steady, as she went from screaming to throwing I stayed consistent, from throwing to stamping I gave consequences I actually followed through on. I stayed as the parent she needed me to be.

But last night I was tired and she was tired and when it kicked off (during the Strictly final I might add) I lost the plot pretty quickly. She was, shouting and kicking, fighting with the door and the light, while her siblings were trying to get ready for bed. And I steamrollered in full guns blazing, how I thought that would help I don’t know but hey, that’s what I did!

She was left in a room with no toys, no sibling she shares a room with (she’d thrown a torch at her) no lightbulb in her light, and I was left seething outside the door.

At some point I did realise things might not have gone as I would have liked and I did take a breather and then go in to speak to her, much more calmly, but I think the damage was done by them. Carl came in to speak to her too so I stepped out and went straight to find the galaxy chocolate and the caramel ice cream to hide my regret in.

And it works doesn’t it, for that moment at least. I stop thinking about the crappy job I did of parenting and can soothe my hurting heart with food.

Until the last mouthful…

That last mouthful is like the sun coming up on a new day

As the sun slowly rises it highlights the darkness below it, almost pointing out how much darkness there is lurking beneath.

And that is what was left after that last mouthful, darkness, shame, guilt and regret. Not only had I failed my child in being the person to remain steady and constant but I’d also failed myself, food had consumed me YET AGAIN! I had believed its lies that it would comfort and heal my wounds. But it cannot do that can it!

Because in turning to food to get my needs met I am not turning to God for them to be met. Time and again I am trying in my own strength and not His and IT FAILS EVERY TIME!

And I say things will be different next time, that I will be calmer, better, but I don’t know whether they will be, I know I need to talk to God more than I do especially in the moments when food is calling, but it’s not easy is it. In moments of weakness to choose another path to take when there is such an easy well worn path we could take right in front of us with the gate already open to welcome us in.

But it is a choice isn’t it. A choice to say I am worth more that this, I deserve better than this. Because I am loved by God, even when I don’t feel very lovely or worthy He still loves, accepts and welcomes me in. As He does to you.

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Christmas, the time of year to indulge!

So I love Christmas. I mean, I really LOVE Christmas!

The decorations, the tree, the lights. I love Christmas socks and I LOVE a Christmas jumper (check out my instagram) I love Christmas movies (The Muppets and National Lampoons being right up there) I love carols and nativities, and I love all of the food!

Now if you’ve read any of my earlier posts you will know that I don’t have the best relationship with food.

More of a LOVE HATE kind of relationship.

Food has been there when I’m tired as a ‘pick me up’, it’s there when I’m bored/lonely/sad, it’s there at a certain time of the month and there when I’m feeling unsteady or unsettled. It is also there when life is going well, as a reward, a pat on the back, a ‘well done me’. I think you get the picture, whatever is going on in my life, food is always not far behind!

This relationship led me to a very unhealthy place where I both hated food and kept returning to it in the hope it would bring the comfort it always had, right up until that last mouthful, once that is gone those feelings of self loathing and disgust soon follow.

Then Christmas comes along, with food EVERYWHERE you turn.

And as someone who really struggles with self control around food I find this time of year more difficult. Even if I plan not to buy trolleys full of mince pies and tubs of chocolate I can’t avoid them. You go to a party and your surrounded or guests come to your home and they bring a small gift. And that’s it, once there in front of me I find it very difficult to stop the temptation and promising myself I will ‘only have the one’ is a promise I know I can’t keep.

And again the whispering creeps in. Now I haven’t brought over the counter laxatives for almost 6 years but they are still a huge temptation for me.

Eat the food and use the laxatives, just for a short time, you can start again in the New Year

6 years and it’s still a massive temptation for me and often it feels like a sign of weakness that it still has this hold on me.

I used to think that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels it was almost like a mantra, I’d repeat it to myself over and over and food became about what was worth the calories and very little was!

Yet God reminded me the other day that sometimes you have to look back, look back at where you have come from because often we forget where we have come from and instead look only at how far we still have to go. It has been 6 years since I brought laxatives, 6 years!! That’s around 2190 days since I have used laxatives to lose weight, that’s a big step forward. Its 6 years since I stopped doing 3+ hours of exercise a day, that’s a big step forward. It’s 6 years since I stop being deceitful with Carl about what I was doing to my health, that’s a big step forward. It’s 6 years since I reached out for some help and admitted that I had problems with my mental health, that’s a big step forward.

And it’s good to remind myself of the person I was then to the person I am now. I am much more honest and open about my struggles, I hope you’d agree. Because what is the point of struggling through something if you can’t be a support to someone facing their own struggles! God gets no glory there.

The other day I read something that finally shut up the nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, it said nothing tastes as good as peace feels. It reminded me that I still need to give my food struggles to God and that He doesn’t get angry with me for still struggling with it. He receives my ongoing struggle with love, compassion, patience and grace. And when I receive those things from Him I am filled with His peace.

So yes I still struggle with food and while I love everything about Christmas I do still have to be watchful for the whispers that tell me just to plant my face in the Christmas cake.

Food may not be the area that repeatedly tries to pull you back in, but whatever it is for you I pray the God would remind you of how far you have come and that He is walking you through it!