I am free. If Jesus is your Savior, then you are free, too. I was in chains. I was in denial that I was in chains. The way I ate, and hoped for others to eat as well, was, as you have heard, "not a diet - it's a lifestyle." It became my life, while my spiritual life took second place. I often said, in response to, "you can't eat cake?! chocolate?! pasta?! pizza?! ice cream?!" "Oh, I can but I have no desire to." I thought I was in complete control. Food had no control over me, I assured myself. I won. Every day I won. I chose carrots over cookies. I grabbed my smoothie while co-workers grabbed donuts. I was winning. Slavery? Every one else - they were the ones in bondage; to a salt, sugar, fat addiction.
I was free indeed.
I was lying to myself.
Because the moment I told myself to, "go ahead, eat," I couldn't do it. Not without hearing all of the rules: that's not good for you, that will make you gain weight, that will make you sick, that will make your child sick, that isn't nutrient dense... Similarly, the moment I told myself I had zero issues with body image, and had complete self control, and thought people that struggled with their weight were silly, I am now falling prey to the lies since I'm gaining weight: "you're less beautiful, your self-worth is slipping away, you're out of control, you're weak, you're less loved by family and friends.."
I have been so tempted to return to slavery.
Of food rules. Of intense exercise. Those will bring me my perfect weight. Those things will make my joy return. Those things will fix everything. Only then (when I have lost this weight I have gained, when I feel physically fit again) could I focus on my walk with Christ. Only then will I be really free.
Dieting is slavery. Exercise regimens are bondage. In my case, they become an obsession to perfection. If I don't do them perfectly, I fail.
So I am very aware. That I have to trust Jesus in this. I cannot go back to my old ways. I have to trust that the way God has formed my most inward parts, every cell He perfectly place, every organ He designed, and the way He made my stomach are the perfect route to go.
Eat when you hunger, daughter. Stop when you are no longer hungry. That's how He made us, friends. Denying myself in hunger (for the sake of weight loss) and eating after my body says its full (simply because: that looks good or, that will make me feel better in this moment of stress) are not God's plans for how we are to eat.
He is good. He is gracious. He is compassionate and giving.
I can eat a donut. I can eat a salad. I am not a slave to rules. I am a slave to Jesus Christ, and it is Him that I want to follow, seek, and be faithful to. Not to a legalistic diet.
Christ has set me free. I do not have to diet, or make exercise my total focus in order to be FREE. I am FREE because HE has set me free, I am free from condemnation. I am free from rules and regulations. I am free from the lies of the enemy, and the lies of this broken world.
I love this freedom.
Onto Santi. Let's title these images, shall we?
Baby Lion Noise.
Puffy Cheek Kiss.
The Neighbor's Cat is Sleeping.
Santi is a funny book of joy.