After a long day on my feet at work yesterday morning on little sleep, I came home and had the urge to run. Mind you, I used to run every single day through highschool and my first year of college. It was something I “had” to do so I wouldn’t get slower, get fat, or get out of shape. It became such an obsession, especially when I entered the realm of disordered thoughts and eating. A day without a run made me believe that I was going to gain 5 pounds minimum that day. Stupid, right? I would go to bed at night and toss and turn for hours, just because I was so anxious about my run the next morning. That would be normal if it were the day before a race, but to be seriously nervous about just a run? That’s not so normal.
When I finally came to terms with what I struggling with and made the conscious decision to embark on a journey of healing, even if it meant taking a break from running, I realized how much I abused running. I didn’t do it anymore to be healthy or because I enjoyed it. I did it because without it, I didn’t feel skinny.
So, I did what I knew was right, but totally went against my desires. I decided in order for me to begin healing was to take a break from running. I always thought that any other form of exercise didn’t measure up to going on a long run. The first few days without running, my mind was screaming at me and the lies built up fast. That I was fat, that I couldn’t eat as much because I was gaining weight continuously, and that I was lazy. Slowly but surely, God took my thoughts and made them good. The lies disappeared and I seriously felt better about myself than I had in a long time. I continued to spend time on the elliptical or doing weights here and there, and I even lost weight once I stopped running. I think it was God showing me that it was so possible for me to let go of my idolization of running and still live a healthy lifestyle; I just needed to trust him with my body.
Every once in a while, I’ll go on a long run. But only if I want to. I’m done forcing myself to wake up and go run if I’m not going to enjoy it. Yesterday was one of those days where I had the urge. I don’t even know why because I was exhausted, but I set out for a 30 minute jog. It’s so refreshing to not care about my speed, how far I went, or how many calories I was burning. I didn’t bring my Garmin, which took alot of self-inflicted pressure off of me, and I just jogged and marveled at the beauty on the trails and listened to the songs of the birds and crickets. It was so beautiful…it’s those little things that make life so precious.
I came home shweaty and out of breath, but I felt SO good! I’m overly thankful for a healthy approach to running again.
And do you know what powered me through the day again and gave me the energy to go on a run? A big, whopping bowl of cereal.
Okay, maybe not. I had this bowl at 6:00 AM and my run wasn’t until 6:00 PM, but I still can’t undo my obsession with Oatmeal Squares topped with chia seeds and flax seed. Oh, and raw oats of course.
I’ve been so encouraged by reading other bloggers’ stories of overcoming binge eating, disordered eating and the like, and hope that maybe this can encourage someone in some way. I don’t want to post the victories and blessings I’ve received without giving thanks to the One who’s allowed me to experience this freedom, and I don’t want any credit at all for overcoming because ultimately I don’t have the strength to do it on my own. There is hope for overcoming disordered eating, I promise! There is such freedom from it all 🙂