Thank you for coming back. Well, I caught you up on the how I doubled my jean size in a matter of a couple of years. So, what changed? How did bring myself to finally conquer my fear of never losing weight. Well, it took a lot of prayer and faith. I had to sit down and realize that I really needed to apply what I had learn all previous years about being a conqueror through Christ (Rom. 8:37).
I did not realize how much I had been changed because of all the weight that I had gained. Gaining over 100 pounds is not easy to do and I could not fathom how or why I let myself get there. Remember when I said that I thought I was going to get healthy after I graduated college, well no one tells you how truly challenging it will be when you actually start working as a nurse. No one tells you that you need to know how to put yourself first and take care of yourself. I started working nights with the worst eating habits imaginable, and somehow caring for patients did not incentivize me to change my eating habits.
I was never diagnosed with depression or an eating disorder, but in hindsight I know I had both. I was working night shift for almost 3 years and during that time I found myself eating roughly 3000-4000 calories a day at times. I am certain that I suffered from binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder is defined as a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating. I didn’t even know that what I was doing was a disorder. I found myself in a cycle of eating to cope with emotions and at times not being able to stop.
A perfect example would be when I would have a hard night at work. I would justify getting McDonalds because it was quick and “I deserved” to have something sweet because I was working too hard and it would help me feel better. So what would I do? I would go downstairs to the McDonalds, but I would always make sure I asked other people if they wanted something, that way I didn’t look suspicious if I had multiple bags for myself. Get ready to be grossed out. I have no idea how I survived doing things like this, but a typical binge for me would be: eating my meal from home (rice, beans, chicken) and going to the McDonalds as I said and eating a double cheeseburger, large fries, 2 apple pies, 2 chocolate chip cookies, and a medium Dr. Pepper. Yes, I was full after eating my food from home, but it was almost feeling like I was mindlessly eating and going through the motions, buying insane amounts of food and eating it in one sitting until I literally couldn’t eat anymore.
After binges like this I would feel utterly miserable. I couldn’t understand why I would do something like that to myself and then I’d promise myself that I wouldn’t do it again. However, this monotonous cycle did not stop. When I finally sat down and thought of it I had been binging for quite a few years and I did not know.
In the months prior to the pivotal turn in my life I can remember I felt like I was losing my mind and like my life was slipping me by. I became consumed with thoughts of eating. All I thought was about my next meal, or my next snack. I couldn’t go two hours without putting something in my mouth. I remember I would sometimes try to go on diets, but I hated feeling restricted. Things became worse and worse to the point that my boyfriend whom I love so much pointed out to me and asked when the last time I weighed myself was. As usual, I became very defensive. This was a topic I didn’t want to talk to anyone about, because I felt trapped. I felt like no one understood me, because as I said before everyone I was around had always been skinny.
I would cry myself to sleep sometimes, I would hit my stomach, I would say bashing names at myself in the mirror. I stopped wearing nice clothes, and began to hide in baggy or loose fitting clothes. I stopped wearing makeup, I practically stopped taking care of myself. I even stopped wearing heels. I gained so much weight that I developed plantar fasciitis (swelling of the fascia in the feet) because of it. I was in pain everyday and could hardly walk sometimes. I literally started hating myself. I was in disbelief that my boyfriend truly loved me and I became conscious thinking he would leave me for someone prettier or skinnier. These thoughts became all consuming. I would get home sometimes early in the day and fall asleep because I had no energy or I was too depressed and sleeping felt like the right thing to do. I stopped reading my Bible because I thought God stopped listening to my prayers. I didn’t understand why I was so overpowered by food.
I had tried eating better and working out, but was sometimes criticized because of my choices. “Thats not gonna work” or “what you need to do is this”. I also was afraid of even stepping on the scale, because I did not want to face the truth. The last time I had I was 240 and went on a “diet” that only lasted 3 weeks and back to binging it was. I was notorious for starting and being super motivated in the beginning, but I always quit around week two or three. If something stressful happened I started saying “well, this one bite won’t hurt”. I also became afraid of having to buy clothes and I did not want to know my size.
After graduating graduate school I told myself yet again, “I’m going to lose weight”. Well, when I began praying again, I asked God and said that if I could not find a job in nursing education by the end of the year that I would do travel nursing. I wanted to for once choose myself. For so long I took care of everyone around me. I not only took care of people for a living, but even at home. I really had no concept of what it was like to put myself first without feeling like I was being selfish.
I now know the importance of putting yourself first. If you put yourself as the last choice eventually you will not be around to help those you want the most. Plus, no one will ever be able to care as much for you as you do for yourself. As the months went by and I continued to pray the opportunity for travel nursing was opened.
I know that I said I wasn’t going to get into much of what I do for a living, but these next few details are important. I had always wanted to travel. I knew that if I put myself out of my comfort zone it would give me the chance to do things that I never thought I would, or so I hoped. Not everyone was super supportive of my decision initially, but this was a test. I needed to learn that I couldn’t wait on people’s approvals, plus I also needed to learn that if God opened the door I could not let other individuals close it for me.
This, however, took a lot of courage. I quit all of my jobs and took first assignment in Iowa. I know.. Iowa… I said the same thing at first, but I knew God was trying to separate me for a time. Shortly after signing my first contract my best friend invited me to an event where there would be a Prophetic word for each individual and she encouraged that I record mine. Even as a believer I was somewhat skeptical prior to attending, but I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to go, so I did. I had a woman pray for me and she gave me my word of the year which would be CHANGE. I didn’t understand it in the moment, but I knew that it was so profound. I knew that I was going to change and that 2017 would be a year where I would do things I thought I could never do.
I had no idea that this night and quitting my jobs to do travel nursing was soon to change my life. Stay tuned to read what happened next once I headed to Iowa.