I thought the best way to start this blog was at the beginning – with my story.
My earliest memories are of me telling my mother I wanted to be a nun. I used to carry around a children’s bible before I could even read it.
I know that even then God was calling me, but instead it started me running from him for the next 35 years.
Through my childhood and teens I was always overweight. I was brought up that food was love. If I didn’t clean my plate at every meal my mom assumed something was wrong and worried; so I always cleaned my heaping plate. By the time I was 16 years old I was 165 lbs at 5ft 2 inches. I was the girl that would be so pretty if she only lost some weight. The funny girl who made everyone laugh and was everyone’s friend. I thought that if everyone liked me no one would notice or mention that I was fat. Then the incredible happened, I met a boy and he liked me. Being overweight was not an option. Looking back I don’t know how I found laxatives but I do remember being traumatized after trying to make myself throw up. I knew I needed to find a way to get rid of everything I ate and lose the weight.
It worked like a charm. I started with 2 pills a day and limited what I ate and the weight started coming off. I have always been a person of extremes, always had to be the best, so I figured if 2 worked 4 must work better, then 6 then 8 until I was up to almost 15 pills a day. Nothing stayed in my body, my stomach always hurt but I was skinny I looked great and everyone told me so. I was “winning” at this weight loss thing.
I hit bottom one day when I was on the NYC subway and fainted. The EMTs were called and I was found out. My body just could not take what I was doing to it anymore. By shear force of will I commanded myself to stop. I told no one. I struggled alone, embarrassed and feeling like I was broken. I Still felt out of control and always felt scared. But I have always been able to cover well, a hold over from a childhood of being taught that kids were seen but never heard. I knew how to keep my head down and keep moving. I was a functioning person with an eating disorder. Functioning so well that I had a very successful career, friends and loved to have a good time. I was in my 20’s making 6 figures but personally I was a mess. I had replaced my obsession with food with other things. Things like sex and alcohol and drugs. All the time feeling like I was running, always tired and always out of breath mentally and physically.
I know that God was always watching over me regardless of how badly I behaved. I think back to the situations that I put myself in and I know it is only by Gods grace that I did not overdose, was raped or died. Those 15 years flew by. I was married, divorced, got pregnant, had abortions and a miscarriage. But I managed to make it to 35. That’s when things began to change. I met my husband and all I know is that the moment I met him something fluttered in my soul , I know that flutter was God whispering to me “ he is the one”. For once in my life I chose to listen. Our courtship was fast, I got pregnant even faster and we had my beautiful daughter, another blessing from God which among many other things was his way of telling me to slow down. But it was not soon after she was born that I started to get scared again. Since I was just getting over losing my baby weight I threw myself into fitness. Being the overachiever that I am I got a trainer and read everything I could about nutrition and exercise. I decided to participate in a Fitness competition telling myself that I needed a goal. In retrospect I just needed to have that control again, to weigh, measure and count calories, to shape my body; to prove to myself that I was strong enough and good enough to do it.
I was good at competing. So good that I did it for 5 years before I won my professional status. I told myself that I had to keep competing to finish what I started, that I loved the challenge. But in reality I needed to continue to compete to maintain the physique that everyone admired and noticed me for. To maintain the control. I got a trophy for my efforts so it can’t be bad I would tell myself. After my final show (after competing over 10 times) I retired. The first few months were awesome! I was finally free!! But then the bottom fell out of this fantasy I was living. Again I was the 18 year old who took too many laxatives. I had no idea how to eat or even what real hunger felt like. Food scared me to death. But God is good and puts people in your life for a reason, I was invited to church with a friend. I was brought up Roman Catholic but this was a Christian church and it blew my mind! People read the bible here and sang happy songs and the Pastor spoke like a real person and wore real clothes and for the first time in my life I felt I was where I belonged. So I went back again and again. Then I brought my husband and he loved it too. On a hot June day as the Pastor called people to the altar to accept Jesus I turned to Adam with determination and said “I am going up” at the altar I turned to my left and there he was my husband accepting Jesus with me. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
Don’t be fooled things have not gotten magically better when I stepped away from that altar. I have had TRIALS. But what I have learned in church and from the bible and from praying and speaking to God is that he loves me no matter how much I try to make him not. Because of what Jesus did on the cross I was forgiven for all the things I had done in my “running years”. That I was made for a purpose. I no longer looked to men or drugs or sex or food to make me feel love. God gives me all I need. God is always there and will never leave me. I have finally stopped running. I have now come home to Him and his grace. I now share my story with you so that maybe you can see yourself in it and know that there is a different way. That there is someone who can make you feel whole. Someone who loves you no matter how broken you are. Someone who inspires you to get healthy to be the best you for Him. You are able.
I believe God’s purpose for me is to help women find this God given strength within themselves. To understand that love and acceptance does not come from abs or a specific size jeans. That God does not care if you are Paleo or count macros or love running or Crossfit. To see the world and fitness and all of its crazy expectations through the eyes and Words of Christ. I am so excited to start on this journey and I cannot wait to see what God has in store!!
I can do all things through Christ who give me strength