OK, so y’all know by now I am all about telling the truth…right? I am. I have also found myself in a position to share my honest, raw, crazy life with the world. Why? God wants me to! I have stepped way outside of my own comfort zone in order to be obedient to the call God has placed on my life. And, it is not easy!
During this past year I have faced many trials. Many, many, many trials. I feel like I have learned how to cope reasonably well…but not in all things! What I am about to share with you will probably shock some of you…and I’m sorry about that…However, what God has done is too miraculous NOT to share…so I’m jumping off the cliff of my boundaries. Stop reading now if you aren’t prepared for what I’m about to say.
The week after Christmas last year was the single most difficult five days of my life. Yes, they were actually harder than this week was last year…if you can only imagine. During that week I battled with God and He gave me a new purpose and reason for living. As He revealed what He wanted from me; I could feel myself getting stronger on the inside, but I could not explain how exactly. I panicked when I fully understood what He was asking me to do. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t do it. Mentally, Emotionally, and Spiritually I knew I was making progress back into the land of the living, but Physically I was struggling…big time.
See, I am an emotional eater. I go extreme when I am emotionally stressed out. I have zero self-control. I eat when I have no idea that I am eating. I eat for comfort..to feel better…to just do something that I like for goodness sakes!! Of all of the things a single, sad woman could be out doing…I was only choosing to eat! I mean, we all have to eat to survive right? Yeah…I may have been a little heavy handed with the self-righteousness around that time.
In January, I realized I needed some help. I had spent three months not eating at all and BAM! all of a sudden I was eating everything in sight. So, I reached out for help.
A friend of mine had gone to the Eaton Clinic in Tuscaloosa and had a lot of great things to say about her experience. Seeing her post on Facebook inspired me to call and make an appointment. Before the appointment I did a whole lot of beating myself up mentally. I had known how to conquer that giant in my life by using my beloved Advocare supplements for four years. The guilt of “giving in” instead of doing the hard work that was necessary was really bad. I mean, I knew what I needed to do to get control…but I lacked the ability to actually do it.
The day of the appointment I remember sitting in the little room waiting for the doctor to come in and talk with me. I already knew what the diet would be and I knew the schedule I needed to follow. I had all of the knowledge…and none of the backbone. Anyway, I sat there waiting that day and when the door opened it wasn’t Dr. Eaton like I thought it would be…it was his nurse practitioner, Brandi.
This is where God showed up. Brandi looked at my non-made-up face, my slumped shoulders, and my frumpy outfit. One look told her how miserable I truly was and I saw raw compassion fill her eyes. She said, “Tell me why you want to be here”.
So, I did.
When I finished telling her my story, she stopped and stared at me. In that moment, Brandi was seeing a patient and she was telling her patient how to loose weight. She had her spill that she probably says a hundred times a day that she was attempting to say when I shared my story with her. She looked at me and shock filled her face. She quickly looked down at my file in her hands and immediately tears started rolling down her cheeks. She said, “Oh, Emily! I have prayed for you…and your sweet girls! I have worried about you…and I watched your husband’s funeral procession on the news. My husband and his brothers at the Fire Department have been so concerned about you! I can’t believe you are really sitting here! We just talked about you again last night. We prayed for you again…last night”.
I was shocked! I sat there in stone cold silence and just stared at her face. I watched her tears. I understood what she had just said, but I could not process it. Then, I looked at her and said, “Help me find Emily again. Please.” And, she did!
Over the next couple of months I lost twenty-five pounds. I felt so good and I found a new lease on life. I began to attempt living again…and I looked forward to seeing Brandi each time I went to the office. I knew she was praying for me and a praying friend is worth more than silver or gold. My quiver is full of those jewels!
Fast forward to June. We had just gotten back from our big trip and I was determined to finish the house. I poured myself into working on it and decided I did not have time to go to Tuscaloosa right now. So, I stopped trying. In fact, I gave in to every temptation I had been able to avoid for four years. Temptations like Mt. Dew, Large Sweet Teas, Chocolate Candy for breakfast, M&M’s like a fountain, and Fried Chicken Fingers by the bucket. Can you say…complete fail? Yeah…complete fail.
It was easy to fool myself into believing I wasn’t gaining too much weight because I didn’t touch a scale until we went Ziplining in the Mountains for Labor Day. When I read the number on that scale I literally almost blacked out!
Knowing the one year mark was coming up, I told myself that I would just get by in order to get through the first anniversary of Greg’s home going. I also realized that I may be strong in some areas…but I am NOT strong when it comes to self-control and/or emotional eating. I am weak…very, very weak!
I called a trusted friend who has literally helped me every step of the way so far. She helped me understand where I was at the moment and how I needed to give myself some grace.
I am my own worst enemy.
Anyway, after talking to her I decided it was time to call the Eaton Clinic again. I needed to make an appointment to get myself back on track ASAP. Guess when they had an opening? Yep! Tuesday, September 20th!! I could NOT believe it!
I walked in to the office that day and was immediately met by K-Love playing on the speakers…and Bible verses posted on every wall…and familiar faces sitting in the waiting room. That’s when I knew I was doing the right thing for me. Only…it doesn’t end there. Oh no…it does not end there!
I found myself again sitting in the little room waiting when the door opened and Brandi walked in. I noticed that she looked more stressed than she did the last time I had saw her, but I didn’t say anything. She was all business and I knew she didn’t realize it was me sitting there. All of a sudden she stopped, checked the file, and said, “Emily! How are you?!”
I told her how I was…and she listened. Then, she told me that she had ordered my book sitting in one of the rooms with another patient who was reading it one day! She said, “I’ll have to tell Dr. Eaton I was shopping online I guess!” LOL…and it warmed my heart that she truly wanted to read my book. It also humbled me that someone was reading it in the office!
Brandi also shared her story with me and asked me to pray for her by name…and I promised her that I would. I feel like I should apologize to the other patients who were there waiting that day, because she and I had a long conversation that had absolutely nothing at all to do with why I was there. That was a God thing.
The details of life are so very, very important to God. I realize that now. I had the head knowledge that they were…and now I have the heart knowledge as well. I had 365 days to prepare for that Tuesday. I had worried about it and stressed about it and cried about it a whole lot. Yet, I had no idea how God had planned it all out for my good!
I needed time alone. The drive to T-Town gave me that time. I needed confirmation that I was doing the right thing for me. I got that confirmation. I needed a new focus for this second year without Greg, now I have it. I needed to make some good memories on that day for me and my girls. We did that too.
Our “Daddy Day” celebration was hugely successful. We welcomed over one hundred people into our home that same Tuesday night. We had hugs and smiles and stories galore. I never dreamed that the day could be so wonderful. I am still overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we received.
Now I see…Year number one was all about survival. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.
Year number two is about setting goals and crushing them.
Year number two is about teaching my girls to set goals and crush them as well.
I am so thankful that God has this whole thing called life planned out. I am so glad that I have a new reason to be obedient! I am also realizing that I am not taking the “easy” way out. I am asking for help where I am weak…so that one day I will be strong…and God has provided the people and the plan that will help me succeed.
If you are like me and you find yourself on the loosing end of the emotional eating battle…kick your pride to the side and get some help. I still have a long way to go, but I survived last year. I know I will crush the goals I have set for myself this year if I stay focused and connected. If I can do it…so can you!!
Please y’all…If you don’t hear anything else that I say, please hear this: The little details of your life matter…always. Nothing happens by chance or by accident. Listen to what God wants you to do and push yourself forward. You are making a choice to loose by not making a choice to win. You get that right? I didn’t…but boy hidey…I do now!
So there. The secret is out. Don’t waste a single moment by not telling it! LOL…and for the love of all things good…If you see me with an M&M…call me out! It takes the village to raise a child, and I’ve got some growing up to do!