Tag Archive | rejection

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

7 More Days

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:1-3‬ ‭NKJV

I am reminded of this passage as I count down the days. 7 more til I am released. I am comforted to know that they also did not see my Savior for who He was. He was a Healer and yet they called him a demon. He was kind and they returned his kindness with persecution. If He is our Master how can we expect to be treated any differently?

I am comforted but my heart still hearts. To have poured out so much, given so much, and to still be passed by…but His response through me is to honor. Honor like David honored Saul. The very man who loved him and had taken him in, eventually sought to end his life.

If God is for us who can be against us?

I believe God uses trials to shape us into His image. I believe we can grow and be Him in the earth.

Still, my heart is tender. I must move slowly in my demonstration of His character. 7 more days and I will once again be in a transition. This time I have no expectation.

Just one day at a time.

He will open a door in His timing. And it will be purposeful. It may not be the reward everyone keeps hoping for me, but it will be purposeful just the same.

His grace is sufficient.

SHALOM

My People

Have you ever interacted with someone who just doesn’t see you? Your gifts, your talents, your beauty? No matter how hard you try they are blind to the greatness that is “you”.  I found myself in that position recently. And what made it worse (actually there were a lot of things that made it worse but I’ll address just this one thing) was that I kept seeing myself through their lense.  And because I saw myself through their lense I became a lesser version of myself.  Sigh.

This lesser version was insecure and needy and very unattractive. I was sincerely surprised at my own conduct and tried several times to pull it together and yet was unsuccessful. What is goin on with me? I thought. Why am I acting this way.

In hindsight I still have a lot of processing to do but the one revelation I do have is “not everyone will see you”. Not everyone will see you because they are not called to.  Christ walked the earth, God in the flesh, and there were so many who allowed God to walk right by them without even so much as a glance. What a missed opportunity for them! But they did not have eyes to see.

Those in my life who see me are “my people”.  They affirm, encourage and love unconditionally.  They do not define me by my flaws but by my position.  My position in Him.

Its ok if there are some who are not your people. There are plenty who are. And as we stay on the path and move forward we will meet them.  I have met one particular young lady through this here blog, and now in just one week she will be moving in with me! I never could have foresaw those events but God has great surprises on His path for us.

Those who are called to us, those who deserve the title of being “our people”, they have demonstrated His love and grace which in turn brings out our very best. It is a cycle when this happens, but a very good one.

Here’s to my people, new and old…


SHALOM

Facing Disappointment 

I did not get the job I applied for. I kind of knew that would happen but it’s still a letdown. Even applying for it tugged on so many heart strings. This journey of surrender and waiting never gets easy. When I was told there was another more qualified candidate I did a quick debate in my head. Should I fight for it? Should I believe in myself, interview and list all of the great reasons why I could do the position? Instead I chose to view it as “not the right fit” and continue on the current path I’m walking.
My mom asked recently if I had applied for the job she had suggested for me. I had honestly forgotten about it. It’s out of state and I don’t feel called to relocate. It’s difficult explaining to others how practical things in life actually pertain to a calling. I can’t just get up and leave just b/c I want to. There aren’t very many things I can do just because I want to.  My natural tendency would be to bottle up my disappointment, stuff it down, and keep moving forward. I would not have written a blog about it. I would not have written about it at all. But I’m learning the “buck up” attitude is linked to perfectionism and type-A-ism and so many other isms that keep me from walking in grace. Instead I’m putting it out there. I’m writing on social media and I’m letting you, my faithful readers know. I’m disappointed. Not necessarily because I feel like this job was a perfect fit b/c that is not the case. But because it never feels good to have a door close even if there’s a better one that will one day open.

I got to spend the weekend with loved ones doing something new. We visited Disney World and saw so many of the highlights you hear about in advertisements and media. There was one highlight though we did not get to see b/c we were too late to see it. I was disappointed. We all were. But in that moment I knew, it is not about being disappointed, that is inevitable in life. It is about how we respond to disappointments. And I think we all responded well, choosing to enjoy our remaining time together, rather than sulk about the missed event.

My friend told me I was resilient. That was something I always wanted to be. People who can bounce back from adversity and keep moving forward have a special place in my heart. I always wanted to be that type of person. But I’m learning, it is not my resilience, it is His. It is not my strength it is His. So I’ll let myself be disappointed, so I can rely on His strength instead of my own to keep moving forward. 

  
 SHALOM