"But by the grace of God, I am what I am..."
If it were not for His incredible, undeserved grace I most likely wouldn't be writing this today. The road to recovery is long, tiresome, and often lonely. Thank goodness "His compassions and mercies are new every morning; great is His faithfulness!" So, I suppose in actuality a snack didn't save me, God did. BUT, He can use anything He wishes to help bring truth and light to darkness - how lovely that is to my heart!
I assume I should explain how in the world a snack can save someone, especially since it's the title, and ESPECIALLY since it's not the most obvious title. Clarity can be helpful.
Once upon a time there was me (and still is) who loved peanut butter. As a child, I enjoyed this true delight on saltine crackers - a simple something to eat after school. I probably most loved it, from childhood to college, when encased in a chocolate shell (you can call them Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, if you prefer.) I remember loving peanut butter right off the spoon, too, while trying not to get caught jar-and-spoon-handed. Surely you didn't do this, as well! It was considered a great travesty and reason for grounding in my home... Perish the thought of doing something so terrible, right? But moving on (or I will digress. So Betsy of me.) So, for some reason or another this love of peanut butter, in a sense, was the only source of protein and fat I was not fearful of when my eating disorder began taking it's horribly ugly shape and spot in my life. That's another interesting part of this - labeling foods "good/bad" or "safe/unsafe." Peanut butter has always been "good and safe" in my world, but I know many who struggle with an extreme fear of it. Another example of how diverse this disorder is depending on the person it's affecting.
When at my lowest point, my days revolved around the exact same meals at the exact same time. And if someone dared to interfere with my allotted times I would become most upset, defensive, conflicted, angry, and frustrated. Really! And the excuses I could come up - OH, how creative the mind of someone with an eating disorder can get! All sorts of excuses can seem completely true and valid, and imagine the joy Chaz got from this. I can hear him saying, "Ha! We've fooled the masses yet again! How thrilling and deceiving we are!" Yep. Exactly.
My biggest meal, "The Betsy Snack," ultimately looked like a breakfast: Peanut butter and bananas on toast along side a small bowl of plain Greek yogurt holding frozen fruit, chocolate chips, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and cereal. I think back now and wonder why in the world I would only eat it at night! It's completely delicious, and is the one meal I looked forward to ALL DAY. I was determined to eat it, no matter if I was at home or traveling, and began taking an entire bag of food with me wherever I went. To make certain I would be hungry in the evening, I chewed SO much gum. Really. Do you like gum? Do you like a whole pack of gum a day... maybe 2, if you're really not doing so hot? Well, my jaws are very upset with me about this, and I've yet to hear the end of it from them.
I write alllllll of this for a reason: the snack I loved probably saved me from being placed in the hospital or even dying. I believe this with everything in me, too, and truly thank God that it was NOT a fear food of mine. Even though it did keep me alive, it held me back from enjoying food with others and eating meals throughout the day - I'll never understand it, and even now it seems so surreal to write about it. My nutritionist and I are currently working on increasing my dinner portions and decreasing the snack. Would you be shocked to hear it's one of the most difficult things I've ever had to give up? Talk about an interesting addiction; and, well, there are no self-help books on "How to give up a snack." Not one.
I hope, in some way or another, my stories will help others... or bring them hope and laughter... or even allow them to know it's ok to be weird. Ha! It makes life MUCH more exciting, and the right people will not only like you for it, but join in on it. How fun is that?
Enjoy your Saturday, friends. It's waffle or pancake day in many kitchens across the world, one of which I hope is yours (whoever you are!) You can't help but find some joy there :)