As my husband was going to bed and I was playing the Hamilton soundtrack for the hundredth time in the past week, he said, “You have an obsessive personality, don’t you?” I immediately said, “Yes, of course.” It’s absolutely true; I find something I like, and I latch onto it. It’s why I have watched Gilmore Girls through at least ten times. It’s why I can’t stop playing Candy Crush on my phone even though I know it’s a complete waste of time (and man, I get a ridiculous amount of satisfaction out of beating a “hard” level). It’s why I will play an album over and over for weeks on end when I first fall in love with it. It’s why I have to stay up late to finish a good book (and it’s why the few times I got in trouble in school were because I was reading a book when I should have been doing schoolwork). It’s why I will sometimes play events over and over in my head if they were especially good or especially horrible (If the experience was a good one I don’t want to let it go. If it was a bad one, I try to figure out what I could have done or said differently to change the outcome).

My obsessive nature is also more than likely part of the reason why I have such a messed up relationship with food. If I get the idea of a certain food/meal into my head, I have a hard time letting go of it until I eat it. And then I eat it like it’s the last time I’ll ever eat again, eating more than I need or even want. The end result of this is not satisfaction, however; I rarely end up being glad that I indulged in my desire for that cake or cookie or pasta dish. Instead, I end up feeling remorseful that I didn’t exercise better self-control. It’s not that I think eating a cookie is sinful in and of itself. But I know that for me, far too often, I don’t just eat one cookie. Eating the cookie becomes less about enjoying it and more about trying to fill some need that I often can’t even identify or adequately express in words.

What’s a girl with an obsessive personality to do? I could just shrug it off and say it’s just how I am and not think anything else about it. After all, I don’t think it’s crazy to listen to the same CD dozens of times or watch the same TV series over and over. But it may not always be the best, or most productive choice, and sometimes obsession only leads to sin. Is obsession a healthy or helpful thing? Ultimately, no. What I’m missing is balance. I need to figure out how to appreciate and enjoy food (and other things) without letting it control me. I need to figure out how to replace my bad habits with good ones.

These days I feel like I have more problems than solutions, but I am grateful for the awareness and am praying that God will grant me wisdom. And I have a feeling that if I used even half the time I spend thinking about food to read and memorize Scripture, I’d be in a much better place. I guess I better get to it…

Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Colossians 3:2: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Facing the Giants

First, thanks to all of you for your congratulatory comments. They made me happy! 🙂 Second, I got a job (yay!), and I start tomorrow, so blogging may be scarce as I try and figure out my new routine. I’ll be with you in spirit, of course.

Now, I have a confession: I am scared to lift weights at the gym. I have done it before, but only if one of the following conditions were met 1)no one else was in the weights area or 2)only women were in the weights area. If neither is met, I don’t lift weights. The truth is, seeing a bunch of men over there lifting their 25-pound dumbbells completely intimidates me. I just imagine all of the guys over there smirking at me and my 10-pound or 12-pound weights, or I imagine them thinking, “What is a girl like her doing over here?” My physique doesn’t exactly scream “toned and muscular,” after all (which of course is why I need to use the weights). Even if I enter the gym that day intending to use the free weights, I may leave without doing so, which is what happened on Friday. I did my requisite cardio and kept waiting for the weights area to be free of testosterone, but no such luck. So I left. Lame, huh?

I know this fear is irrational and silly and that the men are more than likely admiring their own muscles in the mirror instead of being concerned with my lack of muscle, and I try giving myself a little pep talk each time before I go, but I end up wimping out anyway. I have some weights at home, but not a lot, and I know I would benefit from using the wide range of weights that the gym offers. I need to get past this fear, so I am pledging to all of my readers that I will face this fear THIS week! If I don’t, I give all of you permission to call me out on it!

Is there anything you dread doing but know you need to do it? How do you get past the dread and just do it?

Eating Like There’s No Tomorrow

Yesterday I was reading Jen’s blog (AKA the Prior Fat Girl), and one of the comments on the post has had me thinking about it ever since. Dineen, from Eat Without Guilt said at the end of her comment, “Because life truly is too short to be worrying about something we do daily…eat.”

Can I get an AMEN?? How true is that? And yet I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about food and worrying about what I eat. When I’m eating breakfast I’m often thinking about lunch, and when I’m eating lunch I’m thinking about dinner or what snack I will have before dinner. I know this isn’t normal, nor is it healthy, and yet as many others have written, I don’t know what a normal relationship with food looks like. I’ve never had one. I look at my husband, who has been the same, healthy weight for years, and I wish I could be like that. If it’s “time” for lunch, and he’s not hungry, guess what? He doesn’t eat anything! Me? If it’s pushing noon, I’m thinking or saying, “Oh my goodness, I need to eat lunch! It’s almost noon!” As if all of the food in the kitchen will expire at 12:01. On my post about the happy plate, Sweet Melissa commented about how, if something is really good, she will eat like she’ll never be able to have it again, and that’s exactly what I do. It’s as though I must eat everything I have RIGHT NOW because an evil food fairy will come and take it away if I don’t! I eat as though tomorrow it will be gone. I want to just eat a meal, enjoy the food but not obsess over it, stop when I’m full, and get on with the rest of life. Sometimes I feel like I will never get to that place, but I know in my heart that right now I’m not even actively TRYING to get to that place, so I need to put up a fight and not give in every time crazy urges to eat come over me.

If you have any tips for avoiding those munchy urges, please enlighten me!

In other, more shallow and superficial news, I’m experimenting with curly hair. Opinions? I’m not really sure what to do with my bangs when I wear my hair curly. (And I did take a shot where I’m not tilting my head at this odd angle, but it was harder to see the curl, hence this funky pose.)

Will You Be My Friend? Check Yes or No

On Sunday I watched a father and son eat lunch. The father was on his cell phone for most of their meal, while the son ate in silence. I found this odd because usually I see younger people on their cells while the older people are sitting there in silence, but more than finding it odd I found it sad and representative of our technologically-obsessed culture. So attached are we to our gadgets that portability is a must. We must be available at all times, to all people. We must have wireless internet access and internet and music on our phones, even TVs in our cars. We must update our Twitter and our Facebook daily, if not hourly, so everyone knows what we’re doing or thinking. Of course, the irony of all of this is that while we’re seemingly so connected to each other, we couldn’t be more isolated. We neglect real relationships for cyber ones, preferring a text or email over a phone call, a phone call instead of face-to-face interaction. It’s just easier that way. Right?

I have found myself trapped in some of the scenarios I’ve just described, and it’s only lately that I’ve realized that I’ve allowed myself to hide behind my online presence. I’m more comfortable baring my soul on a blog post or in a facebook post than I am in real life. The online me is the selective version of me, and so the online me is safe, protected. And I’ve allowed myself to believe that I’m cultivating and maintaining friendships because I know what my friends are all up to thanks to the wonders of social networking, and yet how often have I actually called them up to find out? In person communication isn’t always possible, but I know I can do better than exchanging facebook messages.

The truth is, I don’t know how to make friends anymore. It was so easy in college and mostly easy in grad school because I was constantly thrown together with people in the same stage of life as I. I lived with these people, went to classes with them, shared meals with them, goofed off with them, and so it was natural that relationships would develop. Now, however, I am an adult, and I am not “forced” into interacting with others on a daily basis, and I am floundering. I wasn’t bothered by my lack of new friendships when I first got married because I was content to spend every hour of the day with my husband, and I still treasure our relationship and his presence, but my girlie soul longs for female companionship, too. I don’t even have any close friends at the church I’ve been a member of for a year and a half. How sad is that? There are women at church that I have shared passing conversations with, but I have never managed to muster enough courage to get to know them better by inviting any of them out to lunch or to the park or even to Target. (And now I sound like a guy who’s trying to get up enough courage to ask a girl out. Awesome.) I suppose deep down I am afraid of being rejected, and so I don’t say anything. I’m good at that, it seems.

Part of me (a rather large part) didn’t want to write this post because I am aware of how completely lame I am, but I am putting it out there in the hopes that I am not alone in feeling this way. (Plus, it’s late at night and it’s possible my judgment is impaired.) Does anyone else struggle with cultivating friendships? I welcome any and all suggestions/thoughts.