This Is Us, But Mainly Kate

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This Is Us is the best show I’ve ever seen. I know that sounds extra, but I’m pretty sure I’m telling the truth. The show follows the lives of three adult siblings with complicated lives. 

I have a DEEP appreciation for amazing portrayal the Black character, Randall. His backstory, his current story, his family #Swoon. The whole show could just be about his family and I would still be as invested.

As much as I love all the richness that is Randall and Beth Pearson, I can’t help but admit how much Kate’s subplot speaks loudly to a fat girl in me who is constantly healing.

This Is Us - Season 1

All the people reading this who relate to this scale moment, exhale. You’re not on the scale in front of people any more. It’s ok. I totally get how seeing this pic could cause anxiety, but breathe. OhCAE… moving on.

Recently, I’ve reached a new place in my weight loss journey. Or maybe we could call it my journey to changing my relationship with my body. In a 2010s world of body positivity there are still women like me and Kate who grew up in a world that hated fat people. It’s hard to not internalize some of that hate. It’s SUPER hard to push some of it out when it’s been part of a person for so long.

Kate bikini

Look at kiddo Kate in her Care Bears bikini! Cute! She’s 8 and hasn’t learned to see herself through other’s eyes yet. I have a bikini pic from around the same age and size. (I’ll find it and update this later, maybe.) In the pic, I was having a super fun time at Wheels Inn. (RIP Wheels)

Pig Kate

So here’s Kate enjoying her life with her bikini, then her friends laugh at her and explain that they no longer want to be friends because she looks like a pig. This, of course, devastates her. But it’s not just the note. It’s a combination of the note and her mom’s constant pressure for her to lose weight. She makes her eat cantaloupe while her brothers eat sugary cereal. 

People wrap their encouragement to lose weight in fake concern for fat people’s health, but never discuss health choices with trash eating people in slim bodies. Kate couldn’t eat what she wanted, but her brothers could even though it wasn’t good for them. 

Now, lemme clarify. This isn’t my story. But I definitely know how lonely it can be to feel like you’re the only kid you ever see who has to be concerned with food intake. It’s an unfortunate and sobering moment to realize you’re a 7 year old and sitting at a fat doctor. Going to your pediatrician because you have a cold and he scoffs when your dad asks if it’s safe for you to take the prescription at 11 because “she’s 200 pounds” is an unforgettable experience.

Thinking about this stuff makes me reassess why I’m so comfortable only acknowledging Randall’s family line. Randall’s life reminds me of the current me. The one who has taken my trials and built the life I want despite the difficulties. Kate’s inability to move beyond her childhood hurts makes me face the fact that I still have work to do to heal little Cae.

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It Was Never Just About You

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I had a conversation recently and while we were talking, I immediately felt more peace. Because in that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me “It was never just about you.”

That was an insanely profound moment for me. One of my repeated prayers has been to just understand the purpose for some of the things I have dealt with. I’ve let the scripture replay in my mind that “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” But I lived in a constant place of wondering “Where is the good?”

Then suddenly, after a decade of asking, I received and experienced the purpose. In that moment, a life of pain and 10 years of prayers made sense for me. It all made sense when I understood that the situations were never about me.

I can’t get my time back and I actually don’t want it. I have my peace and I have made a difference.

One Day…

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Look at the chest

Make sure it’s still moving. 

Up and down it goes 

Sometimes the breathing is fast

Sometimes it slows 

You watch with hope,

But in the back of your mind is the nagging of the inevitable.

One day…

It’s gonna stop.

This life that once brought you joy 

Will soon cease to exist 

All that will be left is that dull pain in your chest 

That used to be filled with their presence, but you’re left behind to remember their essence

“It’s not so bad,” they say. 

The hole will be filled and

You’ll feel whole again… 

One day.

God’s Gene Redeems

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Every time my knee hurts, I think about my mom and everyone else in my family with arthritis and any other health issue that is genetic. Instead of accepting that as my destiny as well, I remind myself that I have a new DNA. Arthritis runs in my blood, but there are no diseases in the blood of Jesus.
Sickness is not my inheritance. With His stripes, I am healed.

*i snagged this post from my tumblr blog. I think I stole the title from one of my pastor’s sermons in 2011.*

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Photo cred: wakethesilence.deviantart.com/art/By-His-stripes-we-are-healed-41556439

Sometimes life causes pain. Sometimes pain is good.

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I have a faint scar on my hand and it’s been there most of my life. I got it when I fell off my bike as a kid. I was riding with no hands and I simply fell, but it was a pretty hard fall though. I blacked out for a second. Shortly thereafter, I decided that I was done riding bikes and playing outside because I was tired of getting hurt. Today, I am still struggling to overcome obesity which became a part of my life as a result of inactivity and poor diet choices.

Today, I looked at that scar and asked myself, what else am I dealing with today because of a decision I made years ago based on the idea that I want to avoid hurting?

It was a legitimate hurt, but hurt happens. I’ve learned that being afraid to hurt can sometimes cause more pain than the isolated incidents.

India.Arie has a song that says
“Child it’s time to break the shell. Life’s gonna hurt, but it’s meant to be felt. You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself. You cannot fly until you break the shell.”

You may be preventing yourself from reaching the next level because you’re anticipating pain. I totally get that. Seriously, who goes and does something knowing it’s going to be painful? Someone who understands that suffering is always temporary and things always get better and there is always something valuable to be gained even through pain.

The beautiful thing is that pain heals and it leaves a perceivable scar.

You can look at a scar and remember the pain that caused it. Or you can look at it and realize that it’s there because the pain has been healed.

Sometimes life causes pain. Sometimes pain is good.

2015/01/img_4713.png -Tim Sheets