I am going to trust the leading as I take on this topic.
Disclosure: I am NOT an expert on this subject, not a Certified Personal Trainer nor do I have this area perfected in my life but I know my learning process can empower you to make the consistent change you're looking for. And beyond that, encourage you to go deeper into the weight gain, the weight loss, #goals, the hate and results.
And if it's that you're here because you've read my previous posts but may not be into your own health and fitness journey, I am confident this will ignite hope in an area of your life you have been praying to be strengthened in.
I know health and fitness is a common goal for a majority of us, as January approaches and a new year unfolds. Hop into the gym around 5pm in January and then watch it decline as the months dwindle. I believe there just isn't a deep enough REASON why some of us hit the gym or continuously diet.
I started my fitness journey when I was 16. My current gym membership has been active since then. When I was in High School, as an elective, I chose Sports Medicine and a 24HF membership.
There has always been something about pushing yourself beyond your limits and tangibly being able to see your ceiling become your new floor is mind-blowing refreshing to me.
I may complain the entire time about the fragments of my muscles I did not know could hurt (hahah) but it is always so interesting to see how the human body works by doing the work. Both in exercise and the way we eat.
But I want to talk on this for a minute as it is one of my most passionate hobbies that yield some amazing results and continuous fruit beyond surface-level evidence like pounds shed and groceries receipts that seem expensive.
I would love if you would chime in on this in the comments below. If it resonates or doesn't, have questions or need my help, holler at me.
If you want to know what it is like to die to your flesh, tell your body to keep going when your mind says NO and tell your mind NO when your body says it's craving something.
When I started, it was not with the healthiest of mindsets or purest of motives.
I remember being 12 doing Tae Bo, my Mom's Billy Banks videos, in my grandparent's living room over the summers with my best friend. I was determined to be skinny like everyone else.
At 16, we all signed up for a family plan at 24Hour Fitness. I worked out so I could eat whatever I wanted without feeling guilty about going "over board."
At 18, I found joy in Group-X classes and workout videos. I still thought I was fat. (I look back and technically, I am not THAT fat but fatter)
At 21, I was partying daily which was always accompanied by drinking and I was smoking nearly a pack a day that would continue habitually into the next 5 years. I was in the gym struggling to breathe properly but I was there. As my insecurities in my image progressed, the more health-cautious I became but I was nowhere near healthy. But man, did I know how to craft the best salads.
At 25, the gym became a release and an amazing community was created. I was also partying, smoking (which altered my emotions and appetite) and kept the Mexican Taco Shops in business with all of my 2am after the bar visits (because hi, the after-party)
I continued on with this same toxic mindset that empowered me to believe my worth and confidence was found in the way I looked: "Surely if I am skinny, I will feel better about myself/be confident/love myself." But also that most of it was to please someone else. Eyeroll.
And then thereafter, I found myself face-planted at the altar surrendered to a real God I knew only by religion. When I surrendered my life to Him was as soon as He addressed this area that I so admired and loved.
I would effortlessly wake up for a 5am workout or hit up the gym twice a day sometimes but struggled to keep my eyes open to get in The Word. I was so determined to get skinny, I didn't realize it was based off comparison to other bodies. And so, God snatched my life real quick and put me on a fast from my workouts for 40 days. Even though this area of my life was disciplined, it was also an obsession.
Through it, awakened a relevatory desire and re-commitment to honor Him with my entire temple -- from my mind to my heart-beat, my flesh and every working muscle and limb. So I decided to commit to renewing my mind on His standard, devote every heart-beat to serve Him, choose victory over any fleshly desire to remain pure even in my thoughts, use my feet to walk out of and into everything He had for me, and remember the power in refueling this temple properly by remaining cognizant of what I ate, drank and entertained.
And I invited Him into this area of my life, knowing it would affect every other area of my life if I remained intentional; the overflow here would bleed in to so many other areas that would cultivate discipline, joy, peace, goodness, power, victory and strength.
And as I did, I had to surrender my fleshly desires: releasing something that had taken priority over Him and my obsession to spending my time to accomplish goals based off lies that I thought were my truths to knowing my worth and loving the vessel He asked me to manage.
At this time, I was finding my way into Health Coaching empowering women through health and fitness both physically and spiritually, addressing the deeper roots of weight issues and body-image insecurities. As I walked this journey, we walked together. #TeamBOD4GOD
So I found scripture to hold on to. And found that my thoughts lead to actions that have created habits. These have continuously helped me onward.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
- Hebrews 12:11 NIV
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. - 1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT
Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. - 1 Corinthians 6:19 TPT
So, little children, guard yourselves from worshiping anything but him - 1 John 5:21 TPT
And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
- Ezekial 3:1-3
You ever find it interesting that the first temptation was with an apple? Satan has tempted us with food for so long. The lie based on the mere fact that our hunger would not be satisfied in Jesus alone, but in something else.
But see, the thing is I did not always get it right. God set a standard and I still fell short. He interrupted my life and I still lost sight at times.
I also discovered that no matter how much weight I lose or how skinny I was becoming/getting, there were deeper issues at the root that need to be addressed. Like lies I was empowering by believing them (alot of our thoughts funnel through without realizing we are thinking in a certain matter), and hurt that was unsettled and lingering.
Lies: the formula in my mind that I equated to "finally being satisfied" --
"I would feel more comfortable if I was skinny"
"I need to be skinny like ____________" And even the playbacks your brain repeats of people who have insinuated your fat or not good enough. These playbacks are so profound.
Let me be clear: it was always bout feeling good about myself in my thoughts, it has not always been about feeling good in the way my body operated.
But it has been a process.
We constantly change and grow so we are constantly learning the alterations needed in our rythyms and habits.
Be okay with the process even when it is slow; if we did all of the things all at once, we would collapse from being so overwhelmed. But also, why do we feel like we are entitled to fast results?
I noticed some powerful things about myself the more I chose self-care, soul-care but had to become self-aware to notice.
Here are three revelations that convicted me. This is where change really took place. If we can recognize the habit to reveal the thought or belief system, it changes things.
Here is my discovery.
The weight gain is the result of the weight I am carrying from hurt, trauma, and unsettled unforgiveness. Though addiction is the most known by alcohol and/or drugs, addiction to food is a real thing. It is a real relationship we need to sometimes address and break-up with. I start to see myself gaining weight not as cue to desire a better body but to stop and think about how this is happening. Most times, it is from a lack of discipline but it is the #1 way I try to cope with stress. This signals me to address anything I may be avoiding and ask myself "what is food becoming a distraction for?" And then some people like to cope with stress by staying busy. Also, if your calendar seems entirely booked, this might be your way of coping.
The wait. That W-word can be an offensive word, huh? jk. I am always waiting on God for something. Some times that duration seems long. I have learned to revert the focus off why I am waiting to who I am waiting on. I am a waiter. I believe so heavily this applies in every area of our life. And I know I may be stepping on toes with this but why do we feel entitled to fast results just because we put in the effort? Why do we create shortcuts? Why do we create formulas (if I do this + then it = my worth / what I deserve / what is owed to me)? And why do we do this same thing with God? He asks us to wait on a spouse, wait to take position, wait to say YES, wait to join leadership, yet we create shortcuts. There is also this mentality of "If I do _____ then God will _______." if I pray, serve, fast, and do all of the right things then maybe my prayers will be answered, or ill be forgiven, or God will hear me etc. Those things are for us not for God. We pray and fast because we need to draw nearer to Him. Stewarding our temples is for us. God doesn't need our workouts for Him to be good. He needs healthy vessels that say YES because they are refreshed and not sluggish, in good health so we can plant where He says plant and invest where He says to attach. A life that honors Him, manages the things He puts in our hands. Psalm 127:1a
The hate. I had to basically became sick and tired of putting in 100% of my effort 60% of the time. I had to get to the end of being okay with tolerating toxic thoughts that lead me to toxic behaviors. Behaviors that interrupted the way my body operated and the ability to GO when He said GO because I was too tired. Enough was enough. I find this breaks habits in every area of our life. I also had to hate that I was damaging the vessel God entrusted to me. I know this can go on the slip perspective too: we turn to dust when we are called home. But why then are we treating ourselves like dirt before we are called home? Our bodies are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. YALL - the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Imagine the power of keeping this temple in purity and cleansing? I imagine crisp clarity in His voice, certainty in the way He prompts us to move, and so forth. wheeww. We have to get to the point that we hate living in toxic habits, hate tollerating abusive behavior, hate enabling ourselves to living in gluttony, and hate being okay with medocrity. We have to get to the end of ourselves. If you don't hate it, you'll allow it.
Are you here?
1. Invite God into this area of your life -- allow Him to interrupt your eating habits, your workout and exercise times + your healthy-living goals.
2. Recognize that the hustle is not to be your idol. The hustle = obsessive behavior of working out, dieting, doing all the things. Idol = anything that takes His place. IF you cannot rest from it, take a break or step away, it may be an idol. (1John 5:21)
3. Put yourself in a reflective space to be honest with yourself. Once we become honest with ourselves, we can get honest with God. Its powerful.
4. Create a plan of action to take baby steps in creating discipline so it bleeds into other areas of your life. The power of discipline is also a fruit of the Spirit.
If you discover that an area of your life has remained unchanged, stagnant or stale, it means there needs to be a paradigm shift in order for change to take place; a renewed mind is needed to change a habitual pattern or cycle.
paradigm - a pattern or cycle
I am not in any posture writing this as the most disciplined human. My strength is not always in remaining consistent. It is in getting back up even if I "fell off" for the hundredth time. It also confirms the importance of why I decided to start in the first places.
But the revelations in this area has helped me so tremendously in the last year. I still have to take authority over my flesh that has more cravings when I give into horrible food choices because I have a choice. I have to choose to recommit back to my YES to staying healthy every single morning just like I have to CHOOSE Jesus again today.
I have to fight through exhaustion some days to push through a workout. But my job is to manage what God has put in my hands to build even when my flesh wants to be lazy and tap out.
The mission is bigger, the commision was a YES when I said YES to Jesus --
"Now go in my authority and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age" - Matthew 28:19-20TPT.
I find I am less likely to GO when I am sluggish because of what I continued to eat. That GO is this continuous moving; it is not just a GO once, it is a "keep going, while you go..."
The best part of it all, is that every journey is meant for us to drawn nearer to Him and to know Him better. Even in the funk, the obsession, the idolarty, the wrong mindsets, the lies. If we recognize the toxic parts to bring them to His feet, He is more concerned about our hearts for Him than us getting it right for Him. In my own opinion, I feel like the mystery of His will, is really just for us to know and love Him.
Are you here in this journey? Ready to start?
Or are you in the "now what?"
If I can help in dissecting some of the cycles or empower you in encouragement, feel free to email me or leave your email below. If you are into your health and fitness journey, send up smoke signals with an emoji!
Let's live lives that honor Him in our physical and spiritual health and fitness, all around altogether and in the going. to GOLD + GLORY--