“Best” Friend?

I will be the first to admit that I am not the greatest at being friends with people. Especially friends with other girls. But really, just friends in general.

I can remember as far back as elementary when I started public school. At the start of every new school year I’d pick a person I got along with (they usually sat next to me in class) and we quickly became “best friends”. We hung out during recess, helped each other out with classwork and chatted on the phone occasionally on the weekends. Nothing would be wrong but all of a sudden, I’d get bored of them…literally tired of them.

This usually happened by the end of the school year. And I’d drop them. Actually stop talking to them with no notice as to why.

As we signed each others yearbooks they’d make me promise we would hang out during the summer. I agreed while fully knowing in my mind, heart and soul that I’d never talk to them again.

Every school year I chose a new best friend. I remember towards the end of 3rd grade on the playground I had gotten into a petty fight with my current at the time best friend. I told her I didn’t want to be her friend anymore and I started to storm off (I’ve always loved a dramatic exit). To this day I remember as if it was yesterday, as I stormed off I passed the previous years’ best friend and she very clearly said,

“Well, there goes another one…”

The pang of guilt I felt in that moment was too much for a third grader to fully articulate. But this 27 year old can: I was embarrassed, ashamed, I felt small.

But I didn’t change. Wanted to. But just couldn’t. I still got tired of them, got bored of them, they had nothing new to offer me, I had learned everything I needed to know about them within those 9 months together.

High school was the first time I remained friends with certain people for longer than a school year. Confession: There was absolutely a time I felt bored of some of them, tired of some of them, felt I knew everything about them already…but I didn’t break off our friendship.

When I went off to Bible college I was meeting a ton of new people, making a ton of new friends. We all hung out everyday, during classes, after classes, lunch and dinner, in our dorms/apartments. I confessed to a close friend my track record with friendships. I think I was trying to warn her. She looked me in the eye and told me that she is not going anywhere, she won’t let me bail out on our friendship. She was the most intentional friend. She didn’t give up on me and would not allow me to give up on her haha!

I needed her during that time. She helped me come face to face with this weird thing I do in friendships. I realized that my view of friendships was “I don’t NEED friends. I don’t NEED people” and it came from watching my mom in her friendships. Now this is not bashing my mom in any way, just to make that VERY clear before you read on (especially if my mom is reading this haha hey ma).

My mom has never felt the NEED to have a best friend, someone always hanging out with her, always texting her, always wanting to be together. That’s just not who my mom is. She enjoys her alone time (#introvert). She absolutely had friends but always kept them at a safe distance. I unknowingly picked up on this and began to believe I didn’t need to let people in, didn’t need to let them get too close and that it was totally normal and okay to just drop people and not talk to them anymore. This is not to say this is what my mom did, this is just how that thinking manifested in me.

My motto for a while became “friendships are seasonal”. That was my legit excuse whenever someone annoyed me or bored me and I was ready to drop them.

Over the years I learned that this is not what it looks like to have gospel friendships. I’ve made LIFE-LONG friends that will not allow me to just drop ’em. I am continuing to learn that it’s better to have just a few close friends, being picky and choosy about who I share things with and who I don’t. Using discernment to see who I can trust and who I can’t when I make new friends. Gossip is a bitch and I’ve been hurt by friends gossiping about me, in turn I’d gossip about them. Now it is a conscious decision for me to choose to not gossip about a friend.

My mom taught me that gossip is “any conversation where you mention a third party and they are unable to defend themselves in that conversation.”

That is the bar I (try to) hold my conversations up to. I fail, a lot more times than I care to admit actually. I’m working on it. I have a circle of friends that have the freedom to lovingly call me out on my sin–and they do. I learn what it looks like to be a faithful and constant friend. I’m far from the “best” friend title, but I like that this is my journey, my challenge, and I have incredible friends around me who won’t quit on me and won’t allow me to quit on them.

The Weight of It All

Caution: Vulnerable post ahead.

A few months ago I had a REALLY trying week. I arrived at work (for those that don’t know, I’m a nanny to two fun toddlers. I work in one of those toddler’s house.) and as the nanny-mom was getting ready to leave the house she showed me a bunch of little bundt cakes that someone had given her. She told me I could give some to the toddlers as a snack and then told me I could have some too. I thanked her and she walked out for work.

Leading up to that week I had become increasingly aware of my body and weight. I was beginning to feel down about my weight (as the number on the scale was going up, lol). So arriving to work and seeing all these tiny bundt cakes scattered around the kitchen kind of triggered something in me. I told myself that morning that even though I really wanted one of the cakes, I would commit to practicing self-control and not allow myself to run to the kitchen and shove a cake in my face.

That “self-control” turned into self-verbal abuse. Everyday that week my eyes wandered over to the counter of tiny bundt cakes. Every time I thought about having one of those cakes I told myself “Keilah, stop. You don’t need it. Have you seen yourself lately?”

Every hour that I couldn’t eat a cake I heard a voice in my head saying “You are disgusting. You are a disgusting person. You are struggling THIS hard over cake? You disgusting, fat girl. You should be ashamed of yourself. If anyone knew how hard you were struggling right now they’d only ever see you as a fat girl.”

I work 40-50 hours a week. These thoughts flooded my mind every hour on the hour while at work that week. You guys, this was verbal abuse. These were things I was believing about myself 50 times that week. I didn’t share this with Jon out of fear that he would see me as a “fat girl” and be disgusted by me. I went that whole week silently verbally abusing myself and not even knowing it. I felt like a child being torn down by a bully.

The next week at work I was still feeling the aftermath of a weeks worth of tearing myself down. While feeding one of the toddlers breakfast I broke out in tears, sobs. Poor baby girl was watching me with such a confused look on her face. So, fighting every thought and emotion that was keeping me isolated, I reached out to my city group ladies and spilled (but not everything, because again, I heard that voice telling me to not let some of those ladies in that deep because if they knew they’d just see me as “that fat girl”).

My city group leader called me after work and I spilled EVERYTHING to her. Thank God for her friendship and love. She lovingly called out those things I was believing as LIES, she encouraged me, and spoke TRUTH over my weary soul.

That night I laid on the couch and yet again spilled everything…this time to my sweet husband. He held me, told me that he understood what I was feeling and experiencing because he too has been there. I told him I was ready to make a change. I needed to not only fix how I was thinking about myself, but I needed to fix my eating habits.

Jon has been doing the Ketogenic diet since the first of the year and has lost over 60lbs as of today! I’ve done keto before (last year) and fell off after losing 24lbs. I fell off because I realized my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t committed. I didn’t have a purpose behind doing it.

 

I’m choosing to go keto to be healthier, to lower the number on the scale, to feel comfortable in my favorite clothes, to be confident in my own skin, to feel better in the day and sleep better at night, and ultimately to help me get pregnant. I want my body to be a safe space for baby Knowles someday.

For those who don’t know what the keto diet is, I’ll give you the short version.

  • low carb (we stay under 20g/day)
  • high fat
  • no sugar

Since the 1st of June to date, I’ve lost 11lbs. While it’s coming off slower than I’d like, I am seeing the results and feeling the results. Doing Keto this time around I have found so many awesome recipes that I can’t get bored of. I have motivation, I have a purpose. I am so excited to continue feeling better and thinking better about myself!