I was the skinny girl everyone called “bird legs.” I was the wimpy kid who always got picked last. I was the musician because I couldn’t be the athlete. I was the insecure girl always trying to fit in when I knew I didn’t.
I grew up and out of a lot of that childhood insecurity, but to be perfectly honest, it isn’t so much that I grew out of it, but more that I compensated for it. I stuffed down feelings of not fitting in and made my own way. I developed a rebellious side and decided if people didn’t like me as I was, then too bad for them. But deep down I was still just a little girl that wanted approval. I made some good friends, got married, and for the most part lived a happy life. But the truth is, I was never enough.
After a difficult divorce my life drastically changed and I went searching for God in a deeper way. I experienced comfort like never before from the only One who really knows me– my Savior and my King. Then He introduced me to fitness. In a season when I felt weak and defeated, I found my strength in the gym. For the first time in my life I realized I was strong. It was a gift that changed my life, undoubtedly given to me by my Heavenly Father who knew exactly what I needed. He is so good.
I became a Certified Fitness Trainer because I wanted to encourage wimpy women like me to find their strength just like I did. All was well for some time, but God wasn’t done with me. Over years of working in the fitness industry the gift of fitness began to become my everything, an undeniable idol. I was in the best shape of my life but I was never truly happy with what I saw in the mirror. There were moments when I felt pretty good, but they were short lived. I was forever in search of the next program or workout that was going to give me that six pack I hadn’t obtained yet.
I also struggled with food. I found when I had a plan, all was well, but as soon as that plan was done I was sneaking cookies, chips, and chocolate behind closed doors, beating myself up the next day. I weighed myself daily, let the scale tell me how to eat, and had to think through what I had eaten every night before I went to bed to determine whether it was a good day. I was in bondage, big time, and didn’t even know it, and all in the name of being healthy and guiding others to be healthy too. I still wasn’t enough.
By the grace of God I was introduced to The Wellness Revelation. I began to get a glimpse of the freedom available to me and the women like me that I knew struggled every day. I realized that I was enough in Christ and He wanted my attention to be on far more important things than my belly. I started to see the absurdity of it all and began to take my attention off of myself and give my attention to loving others.
Taken from The Wellness Revelation ~
“When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus said it was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). God asks us to love Him completely, just as He has loved us. Jesus then added that the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving others, however, is impossible if we are not fully connected to God, the source of pure love. After all, how can we love if we feel broken and disconnected from our true selves?”
Friends, this is what turned my life upside down in a fantastic way! I was broken and disconnected from my true self and The Wellness Revelation helped me to renew myself from the inside out. When I focused on loving God with all my heart and took my attention off of myself– including the workout plans, diets, and goals that were dominating my mind and my time– I was filled with His love and able to love others and myself well. And here’s the best part, it was so much less work! His strength really is made perfect in our weakness. When we surrender to Him, He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine! (2 Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 3:20).
Today my eyes are open. Being healthy and whole, instead of lean and sculpted, is my goal. I am happier. I’ve given up my morning trip to the scale, my nightly recap of what I ate each day, and my once-frequent glasses of wine to “unwind.” I am free. I am not perfect by any means but I am free. Free to accept God’s love and grace even when I run to the pantry instead of His arms for comfort. Free to begin again each day in humility knowing that there is nothing more satisfying than loving Him and showing others His love. Free to enjoy seasons of focus, seasons of celebration, and seasons of rest. Free to love myself and others well.
I will leave you with this verse that simply and powerfully sums it all up for me. I pray that you too find freedom and wholeness in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father.
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” -Matthew 6:33
To your freedom,