Today I started crying at 0715 and didn’t stop the intermittent breakdowns until I strapped my kid into our Manduca and hit the path along the creek behind our house…around 0930.
Maybe I’m a hot mess?
I also have changed my child’s outfit three times today due to saturation from vomit, pee and poop..or a combo of all three. Sometimes you just have to give in, put a diaper on and wrap them up in a blanket…it’s all just too much.
I’ve learned that the best thing for me to do is to: ask where all the tears are from.
I started Crossfit a fortnight ago (two weeks) because I wanted me time. I realised, quickly that I had to sacrifice my morning sleep (0530 class meant with the 0300 feed I was essentially up from 0300 onwards) or if I went to the 1730 or 1830 class I didn’t see my husband for pretty much the whole night.
More though, my body isn’t ready. It’s a combo of a pretty lazy pregnancy and also having just given birth 9 weeks ago. Maybe I’m being soft….Maybe I’m finally saying “yes I’m listening.” I wanted CrossFit to work badly. I really wanted to be THAT girl/wife/mom who had it ALL together. Could find time to do EVERYTHING…superMOM from the word go. I wanted my body to bounce back, for my husband to have less squish to poke. For the weight to fly off like it did the week after I gave birth.
I wanted to full throttle my life. I wanted, really, to reduce the anxiety laden fear that I’d NEVER loose the baby weight and I’d be squishy and fat forever. (That’s what I’ve held onto for five years, I’d fed the anxiety laden thought. I’ve bought into that so many times. The only way I’ve ever tried to control it is yo-yo dieting and crazy exercise regimes I can’t and don’t have the heart to maintain. I have only tried to control the anxiety, I’ve never just stepped away from it. I’ve never trusted myself to just be. If I wasn’t trying to manage it, then I’d spin out of control. The irony is, that my obsession makes me feel out of control. It’s a vicious cycle)
Ainslie needs me to show up.every.day in being present in parenting her and taking care of myself. The anxiety of trying to fit in, of trying to juggle the time crunch of sleepless nights and workouts and eating healthy and the mind games of it all…is too much. I realised that I had to let something give. I know it sounds SO silly to be crying over letting CrossFit go…but it actually means something bigger for me. I’m facing my fears down. I’m having to accept that I can NOT fit it all in…right now.
I’m NOT superMOM, fitMOM…I AM A mom who can squeeze in walks with my girl and who has to just BE STILL in her own mind.
I’ve fed, literally, the anxiety for so long about not being able to do what I need to do to be healthy, happy and fit…that I’ve never let myself and my body accomplish a balance. It’s always been feast and famine. It’s never been enjoy.
I prayed today for some sort of mantra. Some sort of insight. Something I could hold onto to let it go.
I had AInslie in her bouncy chair (the only thing that girl will nap in during the day) and I decided to read outloud. “Surprised by Motherhood” is such an amazing book. I have nodded my head so many times and for some reason this passage made me weep
There is no part of our everyday, wash-and-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and playdates and aching budgets and preschool orientations and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime marathons that Jesus doesn’t look deep into and say, “That is Mine.”
In Him all things hold together
I just looked at her, falling asleep, me reading…and realising that there is something so divine about our relationship. Something so much bigger and stronger than my own love for her. It’s what has bound us together. To know that you’re loved beyond your own transgressions, exhaustion, sin and mistakes is something that I’ve have a hard time wrapping my head around. I’m loved no matter where I am, not matter what I weigh, no matter what I eat, no matter what. That eternal love is profound.
When I look at her I love her more and more. I love her deeper and harder and wider and more purposefully. I realise that each moment with her is precious and that they are fleeting because she’s growing every.single.day. I also know that in the midst of my own issues, struggles, battles, headspace energy sucking days in my journey in recovering with food…I am loved. The truth is that. I am loved no matter what. When I binge, when I contemplate binging, when I overeat, and wallow… it’s NEVER from a place of love. It’s desperation to overcome feelings that feel so profoundly overwhelmingly negative that the only escape is to stuff.
It’s never from a place of love.
It’s also never from a place of truth.
The Bible tells us that we can be rooted in love, not emptiness that was have the power to choose truth; and that as we comprehend the love of Christ, we will be filled to the measure of fullness — not of the brownie — but of God ~Made to Crave
The truth is that I have emotional baggage I have to work through. The truth for me is that I’m worth (we’re worth) working through that emotional hurt. There have been times when it’s felt bigger than life itself, because well it has been…and also I’ve made it. I have only recently started to really let love work through it. God loves me no matter what. It doesn’t excuse poor eating choices, but it elevates the need to go, and to go back, and to go back to the old patterns of coping. It alleviates the desire to run from the place where I do not feel love for myself…when really what I desire is peace with it all.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and stop tearing it all apart, but to recognise that we are woven together with something bigger, deeper, more steadfast and gracious then we’ve could ever know.
I’m not gonna lie to you and tell you that it was easy to just sit back and let my soul marinade in God’s love for me. It hasn’t been. It hasn’t been because I haven’t felt worthy. Because for so long I’ve just hammered myself, punished myself and neglected nourishing my soul. It’s taken effort and acknowledgement and practice to let God, my husband and my baby love me. Truly, and deeply love me. It is one of the best things I’ve done.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Hands down one of my all time most favourite verses. A friend of mine had asked for prayer and I sent her this. So did another friend. God works in fascinating ways sometimes. When we need to be uplifted, we are.
As I read through the daily reading of Made to Crave I realised that it was more about having self-control….which is fine….but I think it’s bigger than just self-control. Or at least it is for me. I have often questioned a lot about my food/eating/weight journey. What on God’s green earth is God doing in my life to be handing out this path for me? What am I being used for? Why?
As a new parent the trials are vast, well I think as a parent the trials are vast. Everything is new, breastfeeding hurts, my milk supply wasn’t enough so we reached out to donors to provide breast milk for us. And you know what…I am being used. Three friends (all over the world) have decided to donate their extra supply, one friend kept breastfeeding after finding support inspired by us, and even a local news agency has reached out to feature our story. I’m connecting with women who share similar stories and have found a place to unravel their grief.
I have been tested so many times as a new mom. I have been tested in every.single.aspect of my being. Beginning with sleep deprivation and ending with how to best go about repairing my relationship with food and exercise to impart a balanced approach for Ainsle. BUT more so, a balanced approach for myself.
I do not even begin to understand why we are given the trials that we have been given. Have no idea. However, when we look around the world some of the most inspiring people are those who just go with the trials…who persevere over them…and use the gifts that they’ve been given. If that’s donating money to charity for a cause, starting a memorial race, volunteering in local schools, going on mission trips, or changing their lives..the inspiring are those who use their trials to become mature and complete.
For along time, I mean five years, I have fought against my trials with food and weight loss. I fought hard. It felt unfair. I have felt doomed so many times, I couldn’t even remember. But one thing being a parent has made me realise is that you just have to relax and do your absolute best…every single day. I’ve also learned that a lot of trials in our lives need us to afford more rest, patience and love thrown at them.
So today, my clingy child is going to be cuddled. In turn, I’m going to take that lesson for myself and afford myself more grace and perseverance.
When I first found out that I was pregnant, I KNEW it was a girl. In fact, when we decided names I pretty much was only sold on the girls name. We had a boys name, but it never felt real when I said “this is the name we’re gonna call the little one if it’s a boy.” I just knew it was a girl.
I also felt very overwhelmed with the idea of having a girl. I felt like I could screw her up more than if I had a boy. I could more easily put my own issues on her, and I really didn’t want to do that. To be honest I still hold onto that little bit of fear that somehow I will never get to a place of peace and she will suffer due to my own hang-ups.
But I do not feel as debilitated by that notion any more. I think it comes from a deep place, of which I’ve talked about here, to overcome these issues. For me it really begins in what I worship, what I’m obedient to, how I spend my mental energy.
Sweet friends, we need to define ourselves by our obedience, not a number on the scale ~Made to Crave
To me that obidence is one that focuses on my thoughts, my connection to my faith, my daily quiet prayers, the words which come out of my mouth, how I carry myself as a woman, how much effort I put into my marriage. It’s the types of food I put into my body, being attune to motivation other than health and how I expend my energy. I do not want to get caught up in trying to be obedient solely to God. I do think that the obedience is a holistic approach which ultimately fosters and connects me with my faith, but to me it isn’t so one dimensional.
What surprises me most, is that by having my daughter I feel as though my sole is finally finding it’s wings that it’s so longed to have found.
Somewhere between the extremes lies the beauty of listening, being obedient to our thoughts/actions/faith connection. That is what I’d really want for her. I’d want her to be attuned to her own sense of self, her relationships around her, and if she chooses faith…to her creator.
When I first met Andrew, I knew that he was different. I could open my heart to him…and that really scared me. My food issues, my deep rooted spirutal emptiness, was something that I kept to myself. I didn’t want, do not want, people to know that I ate/eat pans of brownies. That when I sometimes get home from a hard shift I would sit and eat bowls and bowls of ice cream.
I liked to keep my guilt, shame and secrets to myself.
Guilt wrapped in shame is a terrible burden to carry. ~Made To Crave
I remember telling him very mildly about my food issues…and then opening up to him in some sort of torrential avalanche of worry, shame, guilt and hoping of acceptance. He never ever looked away. He has ALWAYS been by my side. He’s been by my side when I’ve called him at work already binged or about to binge. He’s been there to hold me while I sobbed after such an event or right before because whatever I am needing to deal with felt bigger than life itself.
He loves me after giving birth.
He has loved me when I haven’t been able to love myself.
I got through periods of being physically and spiritually attune. Then I slip back. They’re interwoven for me. When I’m spiritually wonked, I’m eating crap. When I’m balanced I honour my body; I don’t stuff down the emptiness, stress, tired, worry, exhaustion, guilt, shame with Betty Crocker frosting. When I’m loving myself I find myself more connected to my daughter, husband and ultimately God.
The fear is that we aren’t loved. The fear is that whatever we don’t want to admit to ourselves is bigger than we can handle. The fear that we will never be able to get out of the old patterns of behaviour.
Battling something so raw, so deeply personal was hard; knowing my failures were apparent to everyone else added humiliation to my toxic stew of emotions. ~Made to Crave
The truth is that the burden isn’t ours to wallow in, we are loved. We are loved at whatever weight, whatever size, if we’ve eaten 10 Oreos or 2 carrots sticks. If we finished the running program or we didn’t. We are loved if we haven’t showered in days, or if our office is a mess or if we sobbed it out.
We are loved.
We do not have to live in shame or guilt.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand ~Isaiah 41:10
I have to be honest with myself, I have 58lbs to loose to get to a healthy weight range.
For along time I have been debilitated by the idea of losing weight, because I’ve mentally trapped myself in a relationship that is so far gone it’s been before everything fabulous I have now.
I have believed the words spoken over me, that the fear of gaining weight back was so debilitating that it became the driving force behind me spinning out of control with food.
It’s been the driving force behind all of the starting overs, behind the fads I’ve adhered to, the containers of ice cream inhaled. I’ve lived my life so out of fear, fears of someone else … out of pleasing other people … that I have NO idea (truthfully) how to do this for myself.
I came across ‘Made to Crave‘ and it feels right, it feels right for me right now. My blog isn’t going to become a food journal (i’ve done that), it’s not going to become a place where I talk about the four cookies I ate and how crap I feel (i’ve done that), it’s not going to be about how disappointed I am with the scale (i’ve done that). BUT I have to be honest with myself, I have weight to loose. MORE I have a life to create around this journey which is bigger than me, and yet totally encompassing me. It’s a relationship that I’ve so neglected and I’ve abused for so long.
So, I’m gonna spend the next 60 days, hopefully blogging each day, highlighting my way through the ‘Made to Crave’ Devotional. I’ll also probably talk about my daughter and about crossfit, because I went this week and I’m officially obsessed.
Goodbye to the shallow efforts, self-focus and suspicious fears that I’ll never find victory in this area of my life. I am an unsettled woman who no longer wishes to take part in distractions or destruction. Welcome deeper love for God and the realization I am made for more than this constant battle. Welcome my unsettled heart. ~Made to Crave
I can’t believe that it’s been 7 weeks since Ainlsie came earth-side.
I have thought a lot about how to write about the changes that having a child, our first, have had on us. I touched how it’s impacted our marriage, it’s a daily commitment (still) to be present in the blur of late night feeds, washing newborn clothes and juggling an unsettled baby during the nightly ‘witching hours’.
I haven’t written about how it’s impacted me as a woman. I’m not gonna lie, there are have been days when I’ve grieved my former life. I loved being single, I loved being married sans child, going out with girlfriends for nights out on the town, drinking cocktails, going to the stores by myself without any obligation to anything other than what Andrew may have planned.
I have desperately grieved sleep.
I really grieved and struggled to re-giggle who I am in this new (Forever) role as a mum.
There’s no build up to it. BANG! You’re a mum. A forever parent.
You’re whole entire definition of who you are is morphed instantly. I’ve found this whole process overwhelming. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that I was instantly head-over-heels in love. I loved her. I did. But I had NO idea what I was doing. I have (and still struggle) with knowing how to be the best mum I can be. I’ve had to realise that I dont get as much done (according to previous standards) as I used to. I mean, as I’m writing this I have a beautiful sleeping 7 week old sleeping on my chest…because she’s clingy and because she needs her Mama. The house isn’t spotless, the laundry sits in laundry baskets for far too long, and there’s a constant rotation of baby clothes drying on the clothes rack.
I’ve had to let go of control
I’ve had to let go of perfection
I’ve had to unwind
I’ve had to relax
It’s taken until about this past week for me to fully realise and appreciate it all. I mean, I am a Mum. A MUM! I have a huge, gigantic and beautiful responsibility to raise and nurture a child. I am also my own self, which has changed…and a wife…which as also changed. I feel like I’m getting it all…sort of.
I move forward with days at a much slower pace, because life demands it. I needent be full throttle anymore. Where I adore the kisses I can give her little head, the fact that I can carry her in the ring sling while she sleeps. I get to see myself as someone who understands her cries, who basks in the glory of the little smiles that she gives out more frequently, and trying desperately to video her little sounds that she’s beginning to make. I have become the consoler of the unsettled, the holder of the clingy and the mum I had always thought I could be…but now have confidence in myself in becoming.
No one ever talks about the process of letting go of your former self. Maybe people just expect it, and maybe I just didn’t realise it would be something that I struggled with. But I did. And I’m glad I did. I am glad that I recongised it, because it’s made these past weeks of embracing my new role so much sweeter.