I am an all or nothing kind of girl. Correction. I was an all or nothing kind of girl until the Lord starting working in that area of my life. I’ve found that the longer I walk with Him the more balance He brings to my life – which in my case is a really good thing.
Eleven years ago, after the doctors recorded in my medical chart that I was “grossly obese” I jumped feet first into a zealous eating and exercising
regime. I went from binge eating with no exercise to an overly strict diet with too much exercise. To say that I went a little overboard with this regime would be an understatement. I weighed and measured every piece of food that went in my body. If something wasn’t on my meal plan for the week I refused to put it in my mouth. I exercised about 3 hours a day 7 days a week.
During the spring of 2008, I was diagnosed with CMV (Cytomegalovirus) and Epstein-Barr Virus. It took me about 6 months to recover enough from the two viruses to return to my eating and exercise regime. My doctor tried talking to me about my “extremes” behavior, but I ignored her. I was determined to never again be anywhere near close to being “grossly obese.” I explained to her that if I didn’t push myself to the “all” behavior that I would run the risk of falling back into the “nothing” behavior. I didn’t know how to live in a place of balance – extremes had always been my comfort zone.
Then in 2010, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. At that point I was too exhausted and in such severe pain that I couldn’t keep up my 3 hour a day 7 days a week exercise regime. For awhile, I was unable to do more than slow walking for 20 minutes – maybe a couple times a week.
I got angry at my body and frustrated that I’d spent 7 years of doing all the right things for nothing! What had been the point of all my hard work if this was where I was going to wind up? Some days, it physically hurt to just get out of my bed to go to work. I tried to fight through the pain and exhaustion to do what I had been doing every day for the last 7 years, but that only aggravated my problems. During this time I struggled with feelings of depression because I felt like I’d been forced to fall back into the “nothing” way of life.
While the enemy meant to use these illnesses to keep me stuck in my “extremes” behavior patterns God turned it around for good. He taught me balance in the midst of adversity.
I began to try to be thankful for the days that I could walk 20 minutes – no matter how slow my pace. And to also be thankful for the days when I had moments/hours of being pain free. I became grateful that God always seemed to give me the strength to do what He wanted me to do each day. He helped me to know whenever I was straying into the danger zone of extremes in either direction.
With His help I now recognize living in “extremes” behavior is detrimental for my health. I’ve been slowly working myself back up to a balanced
exercise regime. My eating patterns are no longer so stringent. I don’t pre-plan my meals two weeks at a time anymore. And I’m now able to
enjoy a variety of foods that I’m desiring without binging on them!
God took the chaos of my “extremes” lifestyle, showed me the path to balance, and is in the process of transforming my life into a place where I no longer feel ruled by an “all” or “nothing” mentality!