The World Needs More Parks

Isolation.

The enemy lives there. He yearns for you to meet him there, to be anxious with your own thoughts, to fear the outside and the attacks it may bring. On the brink of training for my first pro race and a few speaking engagements he whispers those lies into my head that I’m better off alone… when the majority of our culture centers around food and meals it can seem easier to just stay home. When the “stability” of isolation can seemingly combat the anxiety that can come with meals or large arrangements of food, everyone suffers.

And I love coffee shop dates just as much as the next person, but I believe the world needs more parks…

Jon and I were driving home yesterday and the old Boys & Girls Club off North Druid Hills was completely flattened. While completely aware of the real estate demand in Atlanta, our undertone thought was “How great would it be if we had another park?”.

In a culture that battles not only excessive screen time but also the epidemic of Mental Health related illnesses, how great would it be to have more spaces to engage with people away from distraction or anxiety?

While there are moments that facing a fear head on are important and necessary, there are as many times where handling it means creating a new space where the light can shine. Gathering in community, basking in creation, and letting truth shine into the darkness, into the lies that isolation can bring.

And yes, parks are “everywhere”, but within walking distance, a place that you can truly be a neighbor? In Atlanta, usually not, and I argue even in NYC where everyone walks everywhere and there is a giant green space to explore people are still longing for close by intimate spaces. A place where activity and community meet on an intimate scale.

So maybe the resources aren’t there for me personally to create a new park, but that doesn’t mean opportunity isn’t there to help gather people. So that’s the hope: to create a park, but like a Church isn’t just the building, so the park is more than land, it’s a people coming together, sharing life, being active, and experiencing freedom together.

In September the desire is to create these parks for women to come together engage and keep taking steps forward, hence Fueling Her Forward began.

But before that happens I challenge you to get outside, get you some vitamin D, and ask the Lord to shine in the darkness. Break the chains of isolation and be free! The lies and anxiety DO NOT get the last word.

Any thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Email me jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog

For now friends, Happy Monday!

Jordan

 

 

 

A Thought in the Life.. A Peek Into a Day of Thoughts for Those with an Unhealthy Relationship with Food & Fitness

*trigger warning

It’s a daily battle with the very thing that keeps us alive: FOOD. The way we take care of our bodies isn’t rational any longer and a paralyzing fear and anxiety takes grip.

Much of the following is probably hard to hear and grasp for those that face different battles, yet I think it’s important for people to get a glimpse of the reality that people with an unhealthy relationship with food & fitness face, especially for those in support roles. In italics I’ve added the way that God has redeemed my thinking and how mental health, food, and fitness play a role in my life now, not to disregard the fact that sometimes those lies of the past still creep in and God has to come in a rescue with His truths.

The following is just ONE example – we could flow chart this thing in a thousand ways based on the day and activity level of work and other commitments. The other thing to note is that with different people come different areas of Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders, but regardless the mind is powerful and there isn’t one size fits all of suffering, but God does have a one size fits all plan of GRACE.

*Disclaimer: Days are spent trying to not think about food – and yes you are ALWAYS hungry – and find distractions, keep away from food and try to will yourself not to binge. Healing is possible, but it takes TIME.

The alarm goes off, you roll over and check messages & emails, brush your teeth and then the day begins and you settle into the every day of the anxiety that encompasses food & fitness…

5:30a – please let me sleep more so I can avoid becoming my minds own worst nightmare today.. this was genuinely a regular thought for me, I was scared of waking up to my own mind.

5:40a – Do I grab a cracker or two before workout or wait until afterwards – don’t want to eat too much too early… today the thoughts shift to : how can I fuel myself best for the day ahead?

6:40a – How can I prolong this workout a little more to avoid the kitchen and give myself more room to eat in case I fall into a binge? … 30 minutes of moving is great (even if it’s just walking). If I feel like more a couple days a week that’s great also, and if I just want the extra sleep it means my body needs it and I can go for a walk later.

7:00a – How can I make the most food with as little calories as possible in case food surprises are available later… how can I get as many nutrients on my plate as possible without overdoing it – egg & veggie scramble with fruit salad and/or avocado & egg toast?

9:00a – Snack or ignore the growling in my stomach – just drink more coffee and/or tea… first ask am I really hungry, then, what nutrient is my body really telling me it needs?

11:00a – Just give me a distraction until 12p… just keep busy, just keep busy, ignore my stomach, sink further into anxiety… (it’s regular for food to consume 80%+ of your thoughts in a day) I’m hungry a little early today what’s for lunch, or if I have plans eat something small (like an apple)

12:00p – Lunch time. Do I want a carb with this meal, I know Mexican is for dinner and those chips will be tempting… same rules apply to breakfast – nutrients galore without overdoing it – but you want that burrito – keep it simple & clean and enjoy 

2:00p – Hey the growling is back – if I can just wait until 3p for a snack… usually Im not hungry here if i have fueled myself properly for the day..

3:00p – Snack time – do I really want a bar that has 200 calories or try to do more food simply… I’m still trying to get some extra protein and fat – how can I best get my body that today – quest bar! 

5:00p – Mexican bar for dinner – mild panic – no snacking and probably no dessert, just one serving of chips and you probably should forgo the meat in case you eat one to many… I’m a little hungry I’ll grab something small and it will be fine, I can make adjustments as needed based on how I feel. 

6:00/6:30p – It’s time, try to engage people and not think about the food, you can do this. Don’t binge, don’t binge, don’t binge… unfortunately this is still a reality for me that I am working through, however my process of the after affects depending has dramatically changed. One major area of improvement is having accountability if I feel like I am struggling.

7:00p – I binged and now feel completely terrible both physically and mentally… no food for me tomorrow and a run over an hour… If I want a few extra it’s okay, I can handle it and if it goes too far, I have someone to talk through it with instead of letting simmer in my mind. I’ll workout based on how I feel and what I rationally think my body needs. 

8:00p – Just get to sleep without putting anything else in my mouth – sleep aids sometimes are taken here to try to shut down early to escape the night… a small thing of trail mix or piece of peanut butter toast will satisfy any extra craving, then I can step away and read a book and/or do a pre-bedtime yoga/stretch routine before bed! 

Part of it is learning how to take hold of your thoughts and shift the perspective before you ever give it a second thought, but that takes prayer and practice.

If you sit in a place as a support system or caretaker, we don’t enjoy dealing with this and we often feel guilty for dragging you into it even though we KNOW you love and are there, but we hope you find this insightful into a day in the life.

If you’ve dealt with things like me or are still in the midst of the storm I would love to talk more @ jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog as always, the team I have around me including my friends and family, fitness community (The November Project, Big Peach Running, and Oiselle), and my favorite fueling products (Nuun, Quest, Honey Stinger) make all the difference!

For now,
Jordan