Friday, November 5, 2010

Putting the Faith in VeganFaith! {Isaiah 43:2-5, Phillipians 1:6}

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your god, the Holy One of Israel, your savior...
Do not be afraid, for I am with you."
Isaiah 43:2-5

So I haven't commented much on my beach retreat trip on the blog, if at all possibly. You saw a few photos, but that was about all that I was willing to share at the time. I have now had two full weeks of reflection, and after a debriefing (aka roommate reunion) last night, I started reminiscing about that weekend on the beach and I want to share what I learned. 
Sitting at dinner last night with my beach retreat roomies (we missed you Joanna) and Gerry, I was reminded of how much fun I had and how calm and happy I felt.  The beach retreat could not have come at a better time.  In my personal life I felt like I was quite spinning out of control.  Perhaps it is evident in the blog, or maybe I do a pretty good job of hiding it (which I hope I don't- I really want my readers to see the real me), but I have been facing certain troubles in my life.  And since this is a food blog let's start there:

Although food is a great passion for me, and my life (at least this blog) revolves around food, and it brings me great joy, I do have a love/hate relationship.  I suffer at times with binge eating, where I really just don't want to stop eating, no matter how full I am (maybe that stems from my undying passion for food), I also suffer from food and exercise related guilt and from negative self-talk.  This battle has upswings and downswings and I have good days and bad days.  I can honestly say that it was worse 3 months ago, even worse 4 months ago, and 5 months ago and 6 months ago.  Which leads me to believe I am on the road to full recovery and peace, but it is a long, long road. 

While I have traveled down this road, I have at times forgotten that God is really in charge of all of this.  I tend to fit God into a little "religion box" and stuff him in there tight, unwilling to let him handle the troubles in my life that I don't believe fit in that "religion box".  The retreat reminded me that God is not in a box.  There are not some evils he will battle, and others that he turns his nose up at and says "this one is yours to deal with Tanya."  No, that's not God.  He is all-powerful, all-knowing.  By putting him in a box, I am saying that I don't trust him to handle my challenges.  That I can do it on my own.  And I know that isn't true!

Now I was secretly wishing to go to this retreat and be delivered from all of my food angst and return as a brand new person, and that simply didn't happen.  I wanted a healing and a deliverance, and yet I returned with the same problems.  Disappointed? Slightly.  But discouraged? No, not at all.  I was reminded that this isn't my battle alone to fight.  That I don't have to stand up on my own.  If I tried, likely I would fall flat on my behind, as I have done so many times before. 

So how did I relinquish control and give it up to the Lord? Has it helped in the last two weeks? If you asked my husband he would be happy to tell you that I have been a different woman these last two weeks.  It is amazing what a food or eating disorder can do to your entire life and how it can affect all of your relationships.  Even if you don't make it obvious, people can sense the tension and begin to pull away.  Not that Mr. Kummerow had pulled away, in fact, the weeks leading up to the retreat, I was retreating from him.  It is hard to share with the person you love the most that you are battling such an ugly demon.  Pride, embarrassment, shame, all these things kept my lips sealed.  He knew as much as you knew, but the daily struggle I kept from him.  Too ashamed to share. 

When I returned from the retreat, the one goal I set in front of me was to share with Mr. Kummerow all I had experienced and all I had learned.  I knew that I had to right away, otherwise I might chicken out.  Sharing your struggles with loved ones is really a great form of therapy and accountability.  Once I was able to get my thoughts out of my head, they were no longer allowed to torment me.  They were less ominous. 

The other tool I use to fight this battle is my daily quiet time.  I always make it a goal to pray and read the bible 10-15 minutes each morning before anything else! But I had almost completely stopped quiet time before the retreat.  Since returning I have made an effort at attending to this time.  There are days I forget, or get side-lined, but having this time with the Lord in the morning helps me to put him first and worry less about things like food. 

It isn't easy, and at least 3 times this week I have scorned myself for eating too many candy corns (or any at all!)  But I remember my God.  He is so loving and so full of mercy and grace.  Would he scorn me for eating the candy?  Is he mad at me?  Is he holding it against me, forcing me to run an extra mile or lift an extra heavy weight to work it off?  No.  Each day is anew with God.  And he grants us each a fresh start, not just in the morning, but whenever we ask.  That is the grace of his son Jesus.  And to live in that grace I have got to stop beating myself up.  When I drag myself down, I counter all the hard work he has put into me, to make me who I am today: a strong, loving, wonderful woman of God. 

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 1:6


  1. Oh my goodness. I'm so happy I found your blog. I feel like I could have written this EXACT post at one time in my life. And I still have to depend on God and spend time with him daily so I can keep the perspective and love for myself He has helped me gain over the years.

    I too suffered from binge eating, exercise/food guilt, a poor self image, etc. It really was when I gave it all up to God and prayed consistently for Him to help me see myself through His eyes and learn to respect myself that I finally started making a difference.

    All things really are possible with him. I think its beautiful that you opened up about that here. :)

    And I had to comment with my old site, but I'm Tina (

  2. Tanya, thanks so much for your honesty here. I admire your willingness to be an inspiration because you are that to so many, especially now that you are willing to be so real with your struggles! I, too, have an eating disorder and one that I have for years and years refused to deal with. I have resolved to be a different person since the retreat. I went dairy-free about 5 days ago and am attempting the most vegetarian that I can be, no meat now for 4 days and want to accomplish a vegan lifestyle in the near future. My struggles are obvious to most as my weight is always up and down and then up, up, up, but I want to change it so badly!! Please commit to praying for me and this battle I wage and I will promise to pray for you! I love ya girl!