Tag Archive | deliverance

My Health & Fitness Journey (Thus Far)

My relationship with food has always been a focus. I remember going on my first diet at the tender age of 10 years old and the person who influenced me the most to do this was in my home. She was someone I looked up to and highly esteemed.

I also remember being told I was overweight by my physician and that my family needed to monitor my eating. They then replaced my after school snacks with healthier options and informed my after school child care faculty this new regimen. Although I’m sure the intent behind their efforts came from a good place (they only wanted me to be healthy) I still remember feeling different from my peers, and even somewhat ostracized. Normally if we finished our milk with our meal we could have a second. Now I could no longer have seconds, but others could.

Middle school was full of dieting. Weight was an issue for the woman who had the greatest influence on me. Then in school I was surrounded by my more slender, caucasian peers. By sixth grade I had developed my first eating disorder. Anorexia. It didn’t start out that way. Like any addiction it was a gradual progression. I watched shows that depicted the women I wanted to look like. I went to school and was surrounded by these types of girls. And then in my home, my petite and lighter-complected influences were a constant reminder that I was not them. I was dark, and “bigger”.

The only thing that brought me out of anorexia before it really complicated my health was my grandmother, my biggest influence. She said, “You have to eat, this isn’t healthy.” Thankfully that’s all it took. I started eating again, but the poor self image and insecurities with my body had already been deeply rooted. My first bout with an eating disorder would not be my last.

Part of the reason this was the case was my own distorted self image. But the other reason was the attention and affirmation I received from outside influences. All of a sudden after losing weight in the 6th grade, the popular boy I had had a crush on was flirting with me. People wanted to be my friend., and I grew in confidence. This all happened from losing weight. The problem was, my confidence was superficial. It was predicated on something as flighty as my physical appearance, not on the internal value I had as a person. But at 11 years old who has that type of deep rooted confidence? Even as an adult we can still struggle…

To make things even more interesting, middle school was socially rough. In elementary school we were all friends, then in junior high people started clicking up. I found myself on the outs and while going through puberty, I was experiencing bullying and rejection. My home life was also a wreck during that time. Reading became my consistent outlet and books were my best friends.

High school was better socially but again I fell into my old habits of feeling that my weight was the precursor for self confidence. My junior year I found myself enthralled within the grasp of another eating disorder, this time it was Bulimia. My family tried to help me, taking me to counseling and talking to me about it. I only lied and said I would stop, but I didn’t. They didn’t realize the seeds were so deeply planted that I could not simply stop because they wanted me to, or even that I wanted to. I was experiencing a sense of control over myself when I couldn’t control my external environment. And again, I was getting a lot of attention. I was now “fly”.

It wasn’t until my college years that I was able to be free from Bulimia. It was a supernatural experience where I didn’t have to go to counseling or through a long drawn out process. It was God. He was showing me my identity and purpose, neither of which had anything to do with my weight. I was finding my worth, and I wanted to treat myself accordingly, so no more vomiting.

I did put on a lot of weight as a result and my highest weight in college was 185lbs (I am 5′ 4″). I was a size 18 but I don’t remember even being too upset about it because I was so in love with God. I was experiencing a happiness I never had before. Nothing else seemed to matter.

Right after college, 2006. (size 16/18)

After college I got my weight down to around 165lbs. I was very active and got into running. I was maintaining a healthy size 12 and I felt that I was the best version of myself. I didn’t want to be extreme anymore. I didn’t want to starve myself. I was learning that our culture tries to depict the normal weight of a woman to be different than what really is. And I was learning that in the black community curves were “in”.

Graduating with my MBA, a healthy size 12.

It wasn’t until my Pastor started teaching a health coaching class that I felt led to eat even healthier. I participated in her detox plan and experienced a change in my perception of food and my desire for it. No longer did I crave sugar; it was too sweet. All of a sudden I wanted to eat food as if it were fuel for my body, not out of pure pleasure. I had developed self control over my eating in a healthier way then I ever had dieting or battling bulimia, and as a result I dropped down to a size 8. I hadn’t been in the single digits since I was a kid! I couldn’t believe that my body could even be that small. That is when I knew that I was manifesting more of who my true eternal self was and not who I thought I was. God was revealing me to me.

2013, right before I started the detox.

I maintained that size 8 for about 7 years with my healthy eating lifestyle but when I started dating I gained about 15lbs. All of a sudden I was fearful because it had been a long time that I was unhappy with my weight. But God met me again. He showed me different ways of eating that would help me lose, but not go overboard. Even though I was experienced with eating healthy there were some changes I needed to make in this new season of my eating journey. In the midst of this I had gotten into strength training. Although after college I had been pretty active, up until 2 years ago I had never done strength. I learned that strength training boosts your metabolism even after you are done working out, unlike cardio where you only burn while you are working out. I learned I need more protein to build and tone the muscle groups I am targeting. I also need to eat more frequently to fuel my body for the workouts I do (I usually eat every 2-3 hrs).

When I gained 15lbs from dating, aka “happy weight”.

After losing the 15lbs I had gained, I was satisfied that my body was where it was supposed to be. After all I was comfortably back in my size 8’s and at a strong 158lbs, (which is where I had been for years). Then more recently I found out I had unexpectedly lost 4lbs. How did I lose 4lbs without trying? I wondered. I have been very “in tune” with my body for several years and just believed I was where I was supposed to be without being extreme and staying active. Yet God is showing me again that my body is changing and it is a new season. Now I am intrigued as to where my body can go given my new regimen of strength training and a higher protein diet. I am excited!

Me flexing in the mirror LOL

I am so grateful by the Father teaching me the best diet and exercise regimen for me. I have received the affirmation and attention I did when I was younger and smaller but now my confidence is not superficially based on that. It is based on knowing who I am to Him. My value to Him. And His love for me.

I know many struggle with their weight and women have so much pressure to be a certain size just like men are pressured to be a certain height. I can share that my experience is that we can overcome our weaknesses and be free from addictions, however it is rarely an overnight occurrence, and it truly does not happen without discipline and intentionality (although I did randomly lose that 4lbs, LOL).

The unique thing for me is that I know my discipline and desire for fitness comes from Him. The self control I have is His fruit and I can taken no credit.

My health and fitness is truly a byproduct of me manifesting my true identity in Him and I’m glad He has revealed such an important concept, especially when as a youth my view was distorted.

He does great things.

And loves giving us the desires of our hearts.

The new Me.

Come thru abs! LOL

SHALOM

When God Is Silent (And You’re Single)

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Check out my FIRST guest blog post with Single Roots!  They are an AMAZING ministry and resource for Christian singles!  In this post I discuss mental health issues and being a Christian.  Often it’s taboo to discuss such topics but I believe freedom and healing come through transparency.  Click to here read more…

Unexpected Paths

I watched a periscope from my friend today where she shared about the unexpected outcome of some events in her life. She had been counting down to this point in the year and had an expectation of what it would look like when she got here. She was dissappointed, crushed even, with what she found.  I can relate.  I had such high hopes about this year.  Such an optimistic, expectation of what lied ahead. But instead of promotions and financial blessings and the next level of glory I desired, I became engaged in a battle I did not want to fight.

I have faught many battles in my faith and have had victory over them all (He always causes us to triumph). But never have I ever felt I was fighting alone. Until this season.

This season revealed some deeply hidden things. It exposed a lot of lies and false mindsets and beliefs. It showed me that God’s mercy has been the reason I have had the strengths that I have.  He showed me this by taking them away.

Life does not always turn out the way we plan or expect. When faced with this season there were many times I wondered if I would make it through the transition. Yes, I’ve seen His victory so many times but not with this particular situation. How could I receive deliverance if it has been an issue for this long? 

Finally before my final breakthrough I came to a point of believing that “Though He slay me yet I will trust Him”. No I did not believe He was slaying me but I did believe it was in His power to help me and He was choosing not to for His own purposes.

God has done too much in my life for me to leave Him but I see now He is the One keeping us together. It is His love, His strength, His grace. Not mine.

Here are some really good moments that have happened lately…   

  
SHALOM

Walking Through The Fire

A long time ago there were three men who were so full of faith they risked their lives to prove it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were thrown into a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they refused to bow down to his golden image. Even with the consequence of disobeying the King their belief that God could deliver them from the fiery furnace prevailed.  This type of faith is definitely impressive! But what is even more remarkable is their belief that even if they were not delivered, even if God allowed them to suffer at the hands of this man, they refused to forsake Him!  For months now I have sought the Lord to move on my behalf. I have asked Him to deliver and fight and heal. I have experienced His movement on my behalf so many times in these ways prior to this season. I did not understand why this deliverance was “taking so long” to manifest. It was during a moment of brokeness that instead of asking Him to deliver me I instead asked Him to walk with me through this season. Instantly I was reminded of the 3 Hebrew boys.

Sometimes the Lord will not remove our obstacles, even when they are very difficult. Sometimes He will not remove them because we as believer’s are not exempt from the trials of this life. Instead, He chooses to hold our hand and walk with us through the fire.

Years ago while I was in a similar transition season God gave me a word that I was going through the fire to be delivered of some baggage I had be carrying. I needed to be refined before my new season. God may not start the flame as was the case with the 3 Hebrew boys (Nebuchadnazzer took care of that) but He will certainly use it.

Sometimes God gets the glory from immediately delivering you from a situation so that you dont have to go through it. Other times He chooses to allow the situation and be with you in it, keeping you from being scarred by the flames.

In either case He is faithful to make you as pure as gold when your season of testing is over.

SHALOM

Give God One More Day

When this new season started I thought I had this faith thing in the bag. I thought “I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve passed my share of tests. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness so many times. Too many times. But there is never a point of arrival. This season has backed me up against the wall. In mere days I have fought simply not to lose my mind and even my faith. 

I’m still fighting. 

The one thing that has kept me is remembering my testimony and His promises for my future. This present battle cannot be my end. But when will it end?

I was encouraged by Elijah’s story that even after such a great victory he lost courage. Yet God took His time wooing him back to faith. 40 days in fact.

One morning I woke up in the midst of the battle and Jesus reminded me of the man who was blind and the Lord brought back his sight in stages. At first the man saw men as trees which some believe were really angels. And then his natural sight was fully restored. Not to mention there was this unorthodox way God had of healing him, a concoction of saliva and dirt. The point is God moves however He wants to move and sometimes He moves in stages. Sometimes He doesn’t move in the way He did in the past. That can be difficult when I want things done overnight. I want healing overnight. Deliverance overnight. But sometimes it takes 40 days. 

Or longer.

What I’m learning in this process is to just give Him one more day. Maybe today was a battle but maybe the next day won’t  be. Maybe my deliverance is coming in stages.

This mindset is one of resilience. I didn’t have this understanding before this season. I didn’t need it because I had His presence and assurance and awareness of His love. I was very dependent on my feelings and awareness of God. But when feelings are gone what do you have? You are left with your testimony. You are left with all the ways He moved in the past in your life. You are left with His word that doesn’t change. 

And that has been enough for me to just keep giving Him one more day.

In other news, here is a selfie from this morningšŸ˜‰:

  
  
SHALOM

Breaking Strongholds

Sometimes things happen and we don’t understand why they are happening. Sometimes we just want the bad things to go away and for everything to be good again. I wanted everything to be good again. But that is not this life. Sometimes, many times, we need to FIGHT.  From day one of my faith journey I was awakened to the spiritual warfare we as believers are in at all times. Time went on and I was more “balanced” out in these experiences however my call did not change, the attacks themselves only became more covert. 

These last 2 months have been so difficult because  of a stronghold of fear in my mind. The definition of stronghold: a place where a particular belief is strongly upheld. Even though I loved Jesus I had a lot of false beliefs about Him. I was carrying a lot of fear in our relationship. No matter how I tried I could not shake this fear. All of a sudden my back was against the wall and I was forced to fight or else I would lose my mind. 

Christ is a deliverer. He restores our minds. He heals mental illness. He removes the strongholds. Let Him deliver you this day from false ways, false thinking and false beliefs. 

He has given you a SOUND mind.

SHALOM