Saturday, September 22, 2012

By the Grace of God... and Peanut Butter

"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 :)

Love, Betsy      


  1. You are the cutest person out there Betsy! I am so glad that peanut butter and God saved you because I'm not sure what I would do if I hadn't met you!

    1. Brytyn, dear, it's always peanut butter jelly time where I am. I am happy to share that one of the things I'm thankful for is the life of George Washington Carver... among the millions of wonderful things he did while alive, my favorite invention of his MIGHT SHOCK YOU. Are you sitting? Please do. It's peanut butter. Yep. In all it's creamy glory. And that is that.

  2. Thank God for PB because the world would be a sad place without you....and without the glorious taste. I'm so glad this was never one of your fear foods because it has been a hard one for me to work through. Thanks for the post!

  3. You are amazing girl. Love you and your courage to be honest. Def been there (and still struggle with being there). *hugs

  4. Sweet Betsy! I don't know what to say...and yet I have so much to say to you...but I know that saying nothing isn't the thing to do here either. So here I am, in all my own inadequacy, just to say...I am here and I am praying for you and I love you, my sister in Christ! I am proud of you for fighting the good fight. May these verses (which I have on post it notes by my computer, that are now permanent fixtures because I'm not ready to let go of them, I need to hear them every day)give you comfort as you do battle "If you do what is right will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but YOU must master it." Genesis 4:7. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE and of SELF DISCIPLINE." 2 Timothy 1:7

    1. Ohhhh I adore your kind message! And thank you for sharing scriptures that are most uplifting, encouraging, and filled with truth! Love you so much!

  5. Dearest, Sweetest Betsy. How I loved when you and Kat were such best friends ever. The first few times, I had to bribe Kat to let you come for an afternoon! And then finally, it clicked. Each of you brought something out of the other that was truly amazing and unique. You guys had SO MUCH GOOFY FUN together. You all never failed to make the other laugh, giggle, and kept on doing it all day long! Kat has never had a friend like you - before or since. It makes me laugh that you ate at our house so much you learned our table blessing! And we were so blessed to have you there joining us. And we so loved you. Then there are memories of those times where we waited all day long for R to decide if you could come over or not that day, until it was just too late... makes me ache and terribly sad inside, just like it did then.
    Have been on that road of deepest, darkest desperation-seeing no way out. The worst never happened because I decided I did not want the girl's Aunt Kathy to be the one who went with them to buy thier prom dresses, wedding dresses, etc. And God brought me back - way slower that I thought He should!! What weird reasons not to let whatever it is holding you there not get the best of you! I probably should have been in a psych ward at least once, but no one noticed I needed to be... So I get, in a way, where you are. I know with ever fiber of my being that God has, in His great grace and mercy, is helping you, like He did me, decide that you wanted to stay here on earth to live into the promise that you are His beloved child and He has always intended you to understand that... I was 58 when I finally figured that out so hang in there!
    I put you on my church prayer list yesterday and it will stay 1 month. I figured that by then you should be cured!... Not really..... I will just re-put you next month too, etc.
    One little ditty I first heard in Alnon was: "I have enough, I do enough, I am enough" It has been helpful to me to be reminded of that daily. Take care. Know that you are in my heart and in my prayers. Love you as always. Jill