It is 9:00 Wednesday morning, and the children off being educated for the day. I've not managed yet to find a sufficient diversion, so I am stuck with a dilemma. What do I do with my morning?
I've not been to the gym since last Monday. With the exception of a few one mile walks around the block with the kids and a brief walk with my roommate over the weekend, I've not moved my fanny at all. So am I going to move it this morning, or not? Truth be told, my body doesn't feel like moving. It is tired, sluggish, a little achy, still recovering from yet another sinus infection and the monthly interruption to all health and sanity. What I want to do is to go back to bed.
On the other hand, my body is restless. Used to working out five times a week, it is straining at the bit somewhere deep inside, ready to be let loose. I need to get out and move. It is a rare day when these competing forces don't exist in conflict, when I actually feel good and want to exercise at the same time. Lately, if that miracle occurs, it usually is on a day when I wouldn't have time to do it anyway.
Geneen Roth, in her book Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, speaks frequently about the need to trust our bodies—to listen to them and learn their cues about eating or exercise and to regard those cues with respect. "Remember that your body does not want to destroy you and will not go haywire as soon as you let down your guard. Trust that the two of you are working for the same end—your health, your happiness, your peace."
Therein lies the problem. I do not believe this for a moment. I do not believe that my body is a benevolent force intent upon my health and emotional well-being. I have chronic pain. I have IBS. I have a life-long weight issue. What, exactly, am I supposed to find trustworthy about these things and my inability to rectify them?
Let's take the last three weeks as an example. In a moment of desperation and insanity, I went on a strict two week diet and actually lost six pounds. I was ecstatic. I finally had some momentum going. I went to a cookout at my brother's house and was a little freer than I should have been. Over the next week, I relaxed my guard and tried to eat "normal" again. I didn't pig out. I didn't binge every day. I ate fairly reasonably, although not perfectly. I don't know what I did that was bad enough to undo all I'd done. But here's what I can tell you with certainty: I did NOT eat enough food in that week to gain six pounds, but that's exactly what I did. Put every last pound back on my sorry, fat butt and then sat on it and wallowed in self-pity for a few days.
When left to its own devices, my body raids the kitchen for carbohydrates and plops on the couch with a book or my computer. What is there to trust about that? If I trusted my body, I'd weigh 240 pounds again, have a headache every waking moment, and be bloated 24/7. I can't make friends with that. I just can't.
So it logically goes to follow that, if my body is the place within which God resides, and I can't trust my body, then I probably can't trust Him, either. And if I don't believe I can trust the God "who is able to do exceedingly more than I can ever ask or imagine" to bring freedom from headaches and stomach aches and endless obsession and bondage, well, then I'm pretty much screwed.
And that is a much bigger dilemma than whether or not to hit the gym or hit the bed.