My Story: Learning to Run the Faith Race

IMG_8744 (1)My weight loss journey has not been an easy one. It has been full of twists and turns with several bumps in the road. I’ve climbed hills and mountains, and I had stumbled along the way. However, as I look back over the last few years, I would do it all over again.

I have always been overweight, even as a child. I grew up in the south, where the fried food is abundant and we celebrate everything with casseroles and apple pies. When I graduated from high school, I took a job as a receptionist where I worked long twelve-hour weekend shifts. Most of the time, we would grab pizza and soft drinks to get us through these days. At the same time, I was in college studying for my accounting degree, so every moment I wasn’t at work, I was busy working hard on papers and studying for final exams. I was exhausted, running on very little sleep, and fueling my body with junk food and “emotional” eating. I realized that my clothes were beginning to get snug and I had to go up a few sizes when I went shopping for clothes, but my mind still did not seem to notice that my body had a problem.

One day, I went in for a routine exam at my doctor’s office. She took my blood pressure and noticed that it was elevated. She asked if I had been experiencing any problems, and I told her about the constant headaches I had been having, but always assumed were due to the stress of my college career. She then proceeded to tell me – at the young age of 21 – that I had hypertension and would need to begin taking blood pressure medication. My doctor told me it could be genetics, but this was not acceptable to me. After further research, I discovered that my issues were most likely due to being overweight. 21 years old and already on medication for life? A daily reminder of my bad choices? That was the breaking point when I made the decision to take back control of my life before it got completely out of hand.

I started my weight loss journey by going down the same roads I had tried in the past: counting calories, low carb diets, wraps, diet pills, cleanses, fad diets…and again, I was left frustrated. One day, a Facebook friend posted about a challenge group she was offering that provided accountability and support, and I was very intrigued. I contacted her, and she began to tell me how she had partnered as a coach with Beachbody (the creator of programs like P90X and Insanity) and how these programs had worked for her. I purchased T25 shortly after, and honestly, had low expectations. However, I quickly fell in love with the program. I began to learn about clean eating and how to fuel my body with whole foods. I stopped eating “low fat” and “low carb” and just ate more lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I also cut our processed foods and artificial sweeteners. I learned how to prep my meals in advance so I would not be tempted to grab fast food in a time crunch. I also learned how to portion my food so that I was not overeating. The community aspect of the group was great because I knew I had other ladies I could depend on to hold me accountable to make good choices. They would check in on me to make sure I made my workouts a priority. I began to realize that before I joined the group, I had not been treating my body as the temple the Lord had given me.

A few months later, I decided to become a coach myself so that I could help others overcome the same hurdles and struggles that I had faced. I am happy to say that I am now down 45 pounds and at a healthy weight. I no longer need blood pressure medicine (or any medication at all). I am so glad thankful for this journey, and I am grateful that the Lord used it to help me discover my true calling – to encourage and support others along their faith and fitness journey. My “why” is about so much more than a number on the scale. It is about my relationship with the Lord – taking care of the precious gift He has given me while using it for His glory. Yes, my journey resulted in a physical transformation, but more importantly, it resulted in a transformation of the heart.

If your story is anything like mine, I would encourage you to really search for your own “why.” Get connected with like-minded individuals that will help you grow and hold you accountable.

If you need help, please contact me about upcoming programs. I would be honored to run the faith race with you!

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