Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hummus and Whole Milk

A little more than a month ago my doctor told me that I needed to go on a high-fat diet. This little piece of advice was contrary to basically everything else I've ever been told by any doctor, health magazine or well-meaning health nut friends, barring the few months of my pregnancy when I needed to put on some weight fast and my doctor encouraged me to stop at Krispy Kreme as often as possible.

So, I asked the question I thought made the most sense. "What the heck am I supposed to eat?" I'm used to eating fruit and whole grains, veggies and lean proteins. And yes, I've got an exceptionally large sweet tooth so I've always concluded any day with a hearty dessert to round out the healthy. But how to eat in a way that I need to gain weight? This is contrary to every habit I have cultivated in myself as early as I had a choice about what to eat.

So, I've spent a month eating hummus and whole milk. I tried avocados for the first time and promptly decided never to buy one again. I've fried things in olive oil and used lots of cheese. And it's been a lot harder than I thought. You see, there were moments when I was younger that I struggled deeply with body image. With wanting to have that perfect figure, with being frustrated if I felt even a little bit overweight. It's been years since I've really even thought about it, but the moment my jeans started to get a little snug, I started to panic. "Why am I doing this? Isn't there a different way I can be healthy? I better eat some celery now and go run a 10K!"

It seems that maybe I was not quite as over some of these issues as I had thought.

So, I've been trying to remind myself of every single thing I've told my students for the last 8 years, every time I've tried to point them in the direction of Jesus for their identity and acceptance. I've spent 8 years telling women that they are beautiful and that it doesn't matter if they are a size 4. Now I've got to tell myself and really believe it. Again.

Sigh. It feels like every time I'm coasting in some sort of newly found satisfaction, something else cries out to be dealt with. So, I will continue to snack on hummus and go to sleep each night with a large glass of whole chocolate milk, reminding myself that what I am doing has a larger purpose, that I can survive tight jeans and that God is using this particular struggle to renew my understanding of his perfect and beautiful acceptance of who he has made me to be.

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