Can I be super real with you? I’ve always had weight issues, but I never believed they would get as bad as they did. I remember in high school being upset that I’d reached 230 pounds and justifying that my BMI rating suggesting I was extremely obese was a bit of an exaggeration. In my mind, I thought at least I wasn’t over 300 pounds, and I told myself that I would end my own life if I ever got that big. I endured enough torment as the overweight kid. The thought of it ever being worse was unbearable.
After giving birth to my daughter, I did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 240 pounds. Then I talked to the doctor about getting on birth control. I picked the IUD, because they swore up and down it wouldn’t cause weight gain. As Maury would say, the results are in, and that was a lie.
At my peak weight in my mid 20’s, I suddenly found myself ballooned out to 345 pounds. At 5’9″ that put me in a tight size 22/24, and I was absolutely miserable about it. The first time I saw it on the scale I couldn’t understand how it was even possible. For awhile I battled depression followed by trying many different weight loss systems in attempts lose it. One of the pills I tried even landed me in the hospital due to the pains I experienced from severe dehydration.
Eventually in July 2013 I moved to a new city, and the fresh start helped me gain the focus and determination to get down to business. For so long I felt hopeless like I would never be under 300 pounds again, but I managed to lose 110+ pounds! I hadn’t hit my goal of 200 or less, but it was such a huge weight off my shoulders – literally! During this time I became obsessed with studying physical health from every angle. I even studied to become a personal trainer, though I decided not to take the test. Eventually burnout took over around the same time a slew of loved ones started dying in my life. I went through a dark night of the soul, and spent several years focusing on my emotional and spiritual growth. During this time I went through many changes and had a radical encounter with Jesus! I also ended up gaining back some (not all) of the weight I had lost.
Today, several years later, I am a Christian Author, Public Speaker, Master Certified Life Coach, a founding board member for two nonprofits, and the Community Outreach Coordinator at my home church, all alongside fulfilling my responsibilities as a single mother. The love of God I have experienced constantly motivates me toward making the most of every moment through service; however, I felt it was finally time to finish out my weight loss journey and reach my big goal.
This time around I have a new viewpoint! I have been a vegetarian for going on 3 years, I’m a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ (Yeshua), and I have a great deal of information/perspective/experience I didn’t before. I write and preach a great deal about what I learned, and this is an opportunity for me to be raw and transparent about what it looks like following my own advice. You will get to see behind the curtain of my life, and I will have a means of remaining accountable to my goals and to God in caring for the vessel He gave me to be a temple of His Holy Spirit.
My overall goal isn’t just weight loss – it’s holistic health. God has helped me feel whole and at peace inside myself over the years, but my weight not being where I want it to be has always felt like somewhat of a missing piece. I believe part of going deeper in my faith is implementing it in my physical reality. God is part of my workouts, He influences my eating habits, He is my strength when I’m battling for self control, He motivates me to be better and do better, and my desire to be of greater service to Him and His kingdom places more demand on me to maintain excellent health.
A fully healthy, whole, complete me needs to have balanced physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, all woven together in Christ. That is a lifelong journey that will not be complete until death, but I believe that if I can share what it looks like for me, perhaps someone else will benefit as well. I’m certain I will have haters at some point, but it is worth it for even one person to benefit from all of this, even if at the end of the day the only person was me. God Bless.