Wednesday, March 9, 2011

only 8.

there's this certain type of ice cream at this certain little place, of which you can eat a decently enormous cup for a number calories that is in the double digits.

it's called only 8, and in my opinion, it is like a rain of blessings from the eating disorder gods (a rain of twisted blessings, that is).

i used to eat it every day. sometimes multiple times a day. sometimes i ate it for lunch and all the time i ate it for dinner. when i wrote my relapse contract (a written list of things a person will or will not do in order to maintain his/her recovery) i said that i would not consume only 8 for six months. that is how much of a part it played in my disorder.

i can remember sitting there, eating it, trying to make it last as long as i could. but no matter how hard i tried, no matter how many minutes it took to finish a cup, i was never satisfied when it was over. i always left wanting more.

when six months were over, i didn't go running back to only 8. i eventually decided, however, that so long as i had eaten my entire meal plan, a trip or two to eat only 8 on the basis of fellowship and a little something sweet every now and then would be perfectly acceptable.

now a days, when i eat only 8 (which is far less than often...the desserts i prefer tend not to come from the double-digit calorie range), its after a full day of food groups, textures, flavors and nutrients. i feel satisfied afterwards because it's a bonus, a nice addition to the day. but it's not taking the place of the substance that i need.

as i mulled all of this over, my analogous way of thinking came into play, and i began to realize that we oftentimes take the same approach to life that i took to only 8 ice cream.

we tend to think that the "icing on the cake" aspects of life are worth a lot more than they actually are, and we put all of our time and energy into them, thinking that they will satisfy, but no matter how much we get of them we just end up wanting more.

i'm not going to pretend that being thin isn't something that i still want- that most women want. there's nothing wrong with putting forth effort to maintain a weight within a certain healthy range as long as its a bonus that comes on top of the things that really matter- the "food pyramid" aspects of life, if you will.

it's the same with romantic relationships, material possessions, awards and accolades and so many other things we chase. these can easily become our focus- the things we constantly think about and want to savor as our primary source of nourishment and life. when i treated only 8 as my sole form of sustenance, i found myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually deteriorating, and i think that so many aspects of life that we blindly chase will leave us the same way.

i can't say what "true sustenance"- the foundation of life that leaves us satisfied with or without the fun and happy extras- is for each of my readers. but i can say what it is for me.

carbs, fats, proteins, fruits, veggies and dairy transformed only 8 into a bonus, rather than the object of an exhausting chase. in the same way, friends, family, creativity and most of all, the soulmate that i have found in Jesus Christ truly fill my heart, and the rest of life's aspects fall into the right perspective.



1 comment:

  1. I love being a woman, and the longer I am recovered, the further away I become from ever even thinking I could want to be thin.
    I don't like thin.
    I like woman :)))