I am more competitive with myself than with anyone else. I throw down the challenge more to prove to myself that I can do it than proving it to anyone else.
I ran a half marathon last October just to prove to myself that I could. I bake a recipe and tweak it to be my own just to see if I can make it better. I lift weights because I want to know if I can do it even when my muscles shake and I think I’m going to die.
Knowing I can set a goal and smash that goal feeds my fire. I thrive on accomplishment.
ED Plays with Your Personality
On one hand, this is why my eating disorder clung so tightly. ED played it off as a game. He’d throw down the challenge to fight my need to eat, to see how many pounds I could drop, to do “better” than I had done the day before at appeasing ED.
But when I finally realized ED sucked, my challenge turned to fighting him off instead of listening to him. With so many of the people at treatment with me there for the second, third, or eleventh time, I knew that I was NOT going to be a repeat patient. ED wasn’t going to win the challenge this time.
I laid it down loud and clear.
I fought him because I am competitive. I thrive on being challenged. I dig in my heals when someone doesn’t believe I can accomplish my goal. ED obviously thought he would win again. Forget that.
God and I had other plans.
Find Your Why that Matters
But in a challenge, I need to have a why. Why do I want to win? If someone challenged me to a basketball game, I wouldn’t care less if I won or lost. I have no stake in a basketball game because I don’t like basketball. I’m not grounded in it.
Challenge me to see who can catch the most fish? Don’t care.
Challenge me to see who can throw a baseball the farthest? Doesn’t matter.
Challenge me to a video game? Bleh.
But, challenge me to a bake off. I’m all in. Challenge me to run a marathon? Bring it. Challenge me to do ten pull-ups? Let the training begin.
Those challenges interest me, they intrigue me, they flip my competitive switch because I’m grounded in those things. I like doing them. I want to get better at doing them. Throw down the challenge that pulls at my interests, my loves, and my passions, and I’m all in. Just to prove to myself that I can.
So when my ED basically assumed that he’d win me back, my competitive edge sharpened to a shiny point. I had so many reasons to win – Benj, my boys, my family, being a teacher, being ME. No way was I going to let that evil monster beat me. No greater challenge grounded me than the fight against my eating disorder.
Baking, running, pull-ups? I love doing those things – improving at those things.
Basketball, fishing, baseball, video games? No interest at all.
Kicking ED’s butt? Best thing ever.
Do you want to fight ED? Do you love knowing you are putting ED in his place? Do you have a deep desire to be free? Do you have a why?
God Gives You Purpose
I may not be an avid fisherwoman, but if my life depended on fishing until I caught 100 catfish – you bet your butt I’d fish until the 100th one was on my hook. Do you truly realize what is riding on you fighting ED? Do you understand that your life depends on it?
When it gets hard, you need to be grounded in why you are fighting ED. And if you don’t feel grounded, dig deeper. Look around you for the hook you can latch onto. Find your competitive edge. Throw down the challenge.
God held out my saving grace and I superglued my life to Him. If you don’t feel God’s pull on your life right now, don’t worry. He’s still holding out his hand – and the glue bottle – to you. He’s waiting for you to latch on. He’ll wait forever. He’ll throw you life lines in whatever form will bring you back to life. You may not even know those lines originate in his love.
So start looking for God’s life lines and connect to that grounded-ness. Begin uncovering your why and your own competitive spirit. Saving your life is God’s passion. And he will breathe that passion directly into your soul. He will breathe into you the desire and competitive edge to once again be YOU – the you he created you to be.
Not the you who follows ED mindlessly. Not the you who lets ED tell you that your worthless. Not the you who drags around the weight of false rules and illogical beliefs. God knows who you are, and he can – and he will – ground you in that.
Because of who you are in God, you have purpose. You need no greater stakes than that to beat ED. God will throw down the challenge to stand up to your fear if he knows that’s what it will take to get you to your feet.
God gave you a life to live for a purpose maybe only he knows right now. Even if you’ve been hurt, demeaned, hopeless, or lost, God didn’t set you on this earth for no reason. Your story has and will intersect with a thousand others. And who knows what even a small brush past your arm or the whisper of your smile could do to alter the course of another’s life for the better.
Ground Yourself in God’s Story of YOU.
Let Him fuel your why and make you an intense competitor in the fight for your life. ED is small potatoes compared to the God of the universe. So instead of bowing to ED, look up, lock eyes on the prize, and smile your own secret smile. Believe freedom is possible. You’re going to take ED by surprise and knock him out for the count. How can that not fuel you?
ED is evil. God is good. You are a fierce warrior. ED is a punked out bully. ED is over confident. God and you are the perfect tag team to take ED by force. Know that you have purpose, but until you fight ED to the death, you cannot truly live out your calling to be free to shine.
You are a fierce competitor, grounded in purpose, created by God, fueled by freedom, primed for the win.
Bring. It. On.