It was sometime in July of 2017, summers in the Texas heat are always brutally humid. Young girls are sporting their cute, skimpy outfits while I walk into the doctor’s office with my mom, wearing uncomfortable Old Navy shorts and an oversized bucees t-shirt. I was 18 at the time and weighing in at 172 pounds at 5’2”. My mother cried when she saw me step onto the scale. I was clinically overweight.
My weight always fluctuated throughout my adolescence. I didn’t grow up watching my diet and my normal food intake consisted of mainly processed carbs and meat. I struggled so much with my self-esteem and periodically tried the trendiest fad diet with no luck in seeing results. When I left for college in 2016, I was amazed with all the variety of food available to me in the cafeteria and made use of my dining hall pass. I typically ate dinner late at night since I worked in the evenings, resulting in a 20-pound weight gain. The typical “freshman 15” that is talked about blindsided me. Which left me in the doctor’s office, unable to have a period.
172 pounds. I went numb as the doctor explained my options for gaining my normal menstrual cycle back. My two options were: get on birth control, or diet and exercise to get my body healthy.
Now, this is a Christian blog, so if you’re looking for a sweet story about “self-love” and acceptance, this it ain’t it.
When I returned for my sophomore year at UTA, I made the decision to start exercising and get in shape. Understand that the body positivity movement that was gaining popularity at the time, never once enticed me to stay at the size I was and be content with it. Not only did I feel ugly at my weight, but my body was not doing the proper functions it needed to do due to my negligence. Getting the medical evaluation done scared me into action for the first time in my life, for unselfish reasons.
Before I stepped into the university gym, I prayed long and hard about this journey I was about to embark. For context, I was a broadcasting major with the hopes of becoming a “Fox Babe.” Whenever I told people my desired career path I was met with smirks, laughs, and a condescending “good luck with that.” I was even told by a teacher that I would never “make it” based on my looks, so I better be one hell of a journalist, to even be considered. Anyways, I prayed about it. What were my motivations for losing weight? Was it to be sexually desirable? Was it to climb the political influencer ladder? Or was it to mentally, physically, and spiritually health?
I made a deal with God that I would diligently go through this and prayed for the strength and dedication to meet my weight loss goal. I prayed daily so God could give me a healthy and Godly mindset throughout this process, for the sake of my sanity. I wanted to lay my heavy burdens down, literally, and find peace in the Father, not social media’s portrayal of women.
It only took me around six months to lose over 50 pounds. I cut carbs, sodas, and desserts out of my diet, ate meals at reasonable times and went to the gym an hour day to use the elliptical. Losing weight turned out to be pretty simple, (of course you should always consult with a doctor first before trying anything since what worked for my body may not necessarily be healthy or work for you. The measures I took are in no way advice for your personal health.)
There is so many things that happened during that season of my life, but I’ll save that for a later post. Ultimately, I did not become a Fox Babe with my new image, but I did get something even better. My husband. I know the Lord was there with me during this change in my life and with his guidance I was molded into becoming the wife I needed to be. This isn’t to say my physical appearance made me “more acceptable” as a mate, but I did a lot of maturing during that time and overcame what I thought was impossible.
Sometimes I still struggle with self-esteem issues and it took a while for my brain to catch up with what was really in the mirror, however, I could not have done this alone. It was so amazing to see God hold me and walk along side me. If God can show up and protect me during something as simple as my weight loss, He can do so much more.
The main point I want readers to take away from this is: God will give you the desires of your heart when they are pleasing to him and give you the strength to overcome the challenges in this life. Finding your worth in the Lord will be far more sustainable than anything the world can offer.
I’ll end this post with this:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9