Some years ago, when my weight had gone up up up with each appointment, she finally gave in and threw off her supposed professional self-restraint and, upon seeing my current weight (at the time it was 250 pounds), breathed a contemptuous, “Your POOR horses!” (No eye contact offered…)
Ok, this was ROTTEN. I mean dirty, low down and, simply, NOT good and Satan himself couldn’t have heaped better condemnation on me if he had been standing in the room. For several years prior to that comment, I had tormented myself about how hard it was for the horses to carry me and I had, in fact, STOPPED riding them. The only reliable horse I had at the time was Breezy–rather diminutive in stature (though very LARGE in spirit and attitude). The other horses I had were “green” and very sensitive and I reasoned that their behavior issues when I was aboard might be related to my size and inability to sit well upon them. Some heavy people have an amazing “seat” and are easier for a horse to carry than some lighter folks who don’t have a “good seat,” but I was reasonably assured that I didn’t have either a light body *or* a good seat…
So DragonLady, as I dubbed her that day, merely gave a voice and face to the self-condemning messages I had been sending myself for a while.
Even after I released a lot of weight through 2007, I had this sense that DragonLady wanted to hear all about the marathons I had been running (I hadn’t been) or the strength training program I was committed to (I wasn’t) or the veggies and lean meats I was eating (bleah…unless the veggies are in salsa). She couldn’t “hear” that I was eating anything I wanted when I was hungry (typically NOT veggies and lean meats) and stopping when I was no longer hungry and definitely couldn’t abide my sharing that “I go to God for all of the other reasons I have eaten in the past…” – No…I think DragonLady is pretty well anti-God and all about how great the human body is when it is thin and exercised (she would have loved me during my obsessive years…).
So yesterday, about mid-afternoon, something inside me flipped out–big time. I went into hyper-freak-out mode and my accountability partner (who follows my blog somewhat and perhaps having seen what a cheery morning post I had put on the blog…) upon seeing my accountability report at the end of the day said: Is this about your appointment with DragonLady on Friday afternoon?
Well…if she hadn’t said that, I don’t think I would have given it any thought. As it was, it struck me as a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious!) DUH!
I was freaking out about the extra pounds I was now carrying since the last time I saw DragonLady. I was freaking out about my blood pressure being up (well, gosh, if I am freaking out about anything else, I am sure my blood pressure will also reflect that…) and frustrated that I felt TRAPPPED with no way to escape. I mean, I really really really want to know if there is anything medically that can explain the *betrayal* I have felt at the hands of my body gone bonkers since I got off of diet soda. I had my blood tests last Friday and the policy is they won’t let me see the results, but that DragonLady has to go over them with me. It is a conspiracy!!!!
This morning, my heavenly Daddy led me to evaluate what is really going on here. He used the principles in His Word and in the book and workbook The Search For Significance. What I discovered was profound to me and it is clear that much of the emotional work of the previous months and years has been pointing to something like this…to be able to dismantle an extreme emotional reaction to an event and be able to counter my responses with TRUTH–God’s truth. I want to share this here. This has a TRUCKLOAD to do with weight, body image and eating, so I hope anyone who wades through all of this rambling “brain barfing” will be able to find a real life application for themselves as well.
Given over to the runaway thoughts that were plaguing me yesterday, I could have gone nuts eating and not looked back for weeks. In fact, I had a rough evening with my eating…and there was definitely a connection (thus, the question from my accountability partner).
First question to ask myself: What is the worst thing that could happen tomorrow when I see Dragonlady? She could rebuke me for my weight gain, say something sarcastic, elicit shame, and a sense of condemnation. I could end up going through the drive through on the way home, ordering 12 snack wraps at McDonalds, a large fry, and hop over to Carl’s Jr. for an Oreo milkshake, all chased with a 44 oz. DIET COKE! HA! Ok, so this is the worst that could happen…and it sounds like a crash and burn to me!
But then, worse than that, I could take that “failure” with me into the following days and weeks and the spiral down could continue. So, that all sounds pretty bad to me.
So what to do? I can either cancel my appointment with DragonLady and start from scratch with a new doctor who might or might not be better than DragonLady, let alone have to reacquaint herself with my records…or, I can evaluate this and see if there is something going on that God wants to heal.
So I am looking head on at this. I choose healing. Ouch. It is always painful when I do that. But it is also always such a relief in the long run.
So the worst thing is DragonLady may trigger all my past stuff.
I DO NOT NEED TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN.
I want to experience the present moment and maybe there will be healing here. I mean, I don’t NEED to be a victim to any more DragonLady types. I am a VICTOR, more than a conqueror in Christ!
So, God led me to ask “What emotions are present here?” I prayerfully evaluated what emotions are present as I anticipate my doctor’s appointment. I realized there are a bunch of things. I fear being “caught” and “exposed.” I fear her feeling “contempt” for me and these things: shame, guilt, feeling stupid, feeling inferior, rejection, discouragement, inadequate, insignificant, embarrassed–all of these things in relation to a DOCTOR appointment??? WOW! Talk about an overreaction!
So I asked the Lord the third question: What is at the root of all this stuff! I mean, she is just a person. No one “special” to me personally.
He showed me that my fear of abandonment is at the root of this. No, not by DragonLady, but all of these emotions are connected to “I don’t measure up and if I don’t measure up, I will be abandoned.” I know this is related to the fact that, as a kid, my mom and dad tried to place me in a foster home. We had financial stability–my dad was a well-respected physician. It wasn’t like there was a “need”…I interpreted it as “My mom doesn’t want me any more. If I were different she would. I don’t measure up.” Somehow, in feeling like I don’t measure up even to Dragonlady, it triggers that sense of “I am unworthy. I am unwanted.”
So, AHA!!! This is a lie from the pit of hell! I can counter this with God’s Truth! God led me this morning to confess that I have bought in to Satan’s lie…that my performance, how “good” I am, defines my worth. I have allowed this to define my self worth for so long and now it is actually hindering me from being able to be at peace going to something so simple as an appointment with my doctor. So, I confess that and I confess that I also know that HE ALONE DEFINES MY WORTH and VALUE. My mother in the past doesn’t and all the other authority figures in my life that were disappointed with my “performance” don’t either. DragonLady doesn’t and MY WEIGHT DOES NOT DEFINE MY WORTH either! Others’ opinions of me do NOT define my worth.
I am deeply loved, completely forgiven and pleasing to God, totally accepted by God, and a new creation, complete in Christ.
The reason I react so strongly to DragonLady isn’t her lack of professionalism and lack of tact and just stupidly rude comments of the past. It is because of the baggage I bring with me, the huge part of which is believing the lie that what others think of me defines my worth. If I go to my appointment solidly believing that God alone defines my worth, then gosh…it doesn’t much matter what she says or does. I won’t end up with the “crash and burn” thing happening afterwards. If I believe what GOD says is true…that I am precious NO MATTER WHAT…then I go in the same person I come out–perfect and holy in Christ. PERIOD. Nothing DragonLady says or does changes my value!
I have allowed my weight to make me feel like I have value or not. I have allowed my body size to define my worth. I see it as a failure or not–value or not–and I assume others do too. Because I have allowed myself to base my life and self-worth on this false belief I have set myself up for feeling HORRIBLE when I encounter DragonLady (and others). I have set myself up to FEEL like a failure. No matter what DragonLady says or does, it is NOT a reflection of my character, value, or worth.
I choose this day to REJECT the notion that my weight or blood pressure defines my worth. I have embraced these lies for so long that in a situation like this I am a mess. NOT THIS TIME! NANNER NANNER MOO MOO, Satan! You can’t trip me up THIS time!
I take responsibility for my weight, yes. But I am going to find out if there is a medical reason for my body functioning differently. I also take responsibility for feeling so agitated, worried, freaked about my appointment with DragonLady because I have believed lies. In fact, I will go one more…
I choose to repent and confess right now that God alone defines my worth. I have for too long bought Satan’s deception and it has caused me to have emotions and feelings–and subsequent sinful actions many times–that are out of God’s will for me! I reject Satan’s deception today. I choose to embrace God’s truth that I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, completely forgiven, totally accepted and complete in Christ. (I know I am being redundant…but I have to learn to think differently…for all the times I have repeated the lies, I know I may need to repeat the truth…)