old place, new mind

In the midst of my 15-hour travel day, I am spending some time thinking about who I was the last time that I boarded a flight to Paris.

It was the summer after my senior year of high school, long before I picked up bodybuilding, lived and loved at Point Loma, and decided to embark on a journey of self-love. Much like my current trip, I was loaded with all of the go-to healthy treats. I was determined to maintain my weight loss efforts while I was abroad because no taste of another culture was worth a setback in my goals. If you haven't noticed by now, I have a bit of an addictive tendency. It benefits me quite often by allowing me to focus in on a goal and actually achieve it, but the tunnel vision causes several challenges as well.

Since my previous Europe trip, I have been made new. My mind has somehow shifted to this big-picture view that allows me to see the people, places, and beautiful world that surrounds me. Even in contest prep mode, I keep my head on straight (for the most part ;) ). It's the part of overcoming any kind of disorder or addiction that is so vibrant and breathtaking; the waterfall at the end of the treacherous journey. 

I have spent the past year thoroughly analyzing this trip. By "analyzing," I mean how I could possibly handle being without my nutrition tracker, a gym, and a kitchen. The handcuffs of an eating disorder. The tools that destroyed my life for so long. I had to be sure that I wasn't going to do this to myself again. I enjoyed many treats my last time in Paris, but none that weren't first fully considered and then reprimanded at later meals. I checked off every "must try," but I missed all of the points in the "relax and enjoy" part of the trip. I was a mental basket case. I refuse to fall victim to this fear and anxiety this time around. I have wanted so badly to go back to Europe, but I'm afraid that I'm not healed enough to actually enjoy myself. This has been a year-long battle of soul searching and praying that I could handle this. 

Europe isn't the only place that I stand guard against the old me. Sometimes she shows up when I step into my gym and feel that lump of guilt to get on a treadmill and run off my late-night treat, or when I look in my bedroom mirror that I used to throw clothes at when I was insecure and hated myself. Phoenix, in general, is her stomping grounds. I was am afraid to come back here and stay.

It's moments like these that I have to take a step back and remember who I am. Point Loma gave me what no recovery center could ever provide: healing in a place without judgement and genuine love and friendship. My time there shaped me and built me. God made me new in that place. 

It's time to re-associate the dark places with the light of Christ that has lit up my life. The gym, my room, my home, Paris, and wherever else the old Kendall has left her mark. Praise Him who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine!

Take your life back. You're worth it.

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