It came and it went. January 18, 2014 was the official one-year anniversary of my move to Fredericksburg. It has been the most amazing, life-changing year. It has also been one of the most challenging, but God is my shepherd and is taking care of me. I’m seeing dreams come to fruition and am truly beginning to build a life here. I recently took a job with the YMCA as their Wellness Manager, so I will be overseeing all of the Wellness programming, including personal training, and their fitness center. I will also be managing staff and taking on some other duties. I will also be teaching a few group fitness classes (high-intensity–none of that Zumba or step business–let’s get beast and actually get some results!) as well as continuing to train my athletes with Alpha Elite. I firmly believe the past few years have been preparing me for the future plans God has for me. He never removed dreams from my heart, they just went on the backburner for a while and while I doubted their reason for existing, it seems as though God has truly had a plan for them through it all.
When I moved to Fredericksburg, it seemed like a chance to start over. I moved here with a dream of training athletes, and believed that I could ONLY do that or ONLY work for a big-box gym as a personal trainer or ONLY work in group fitness, while my heart’s desire was to train athletes, help people achieve holistic wellness, and teach group fitness (because hellacious workouts are so much better when you’re enduring with other people, and I find that I end up getting a better workout with others around because I “secretly” compete…am I alone?!), but never doing all of them at the same time. I was not happy with who I was at the time, knowing I was not myself. I was still figuring a lot of that out and growing comfortable in my own skin. When I moved back to NY, I was a wreck. My nutrition had gone out the window, I was depressed, and I was stressed. I put on a mask like everything was okay, because I wanted it to be okay, and thought that if I could fake it long enough, everything would become okay. Life doesn’t quite work that way, and the less I dealt with the causes for my stress and depression, the worse reality became and the bigger pit I found myself unable to climb out of. I thought Fredericksburg would be a quick way out of that, and while I have been coming out of the pit here, it’s been a process. I’ve crawled out one inch at a time. Occasionally I’ll slip back down a bit, but that is life. God is giving me strength and has surrounded me with an incredible support system for whom I am absolutely thankful. Without the family God has placed me in here, I KNOW I’d have easily fallen further back into the pit. I didn’t get one aspect of my life on track and approach “fixing things” that way—I approached it with God’s help to do what I could not do alone. By His grace I am getting my life together and beginning to build off of His foundation. I feel like myself again. The major factors socially and spiritually were my church family, the major factors physically were sleep and nutrition. I’ll continue to brag up my church family because they are amazing and truly love God and people—they’ve welcomed me in as one of their own family members, and while it’s been an interesting adjustment, and challenging at times, it is a blessing from the hand of God. As my life has gotten on track spiritually, it has gotten on track socially, and it has also gotten on track physically.
When I left NY, as I mentioned, I was extremely unhappy with who I was and what had happened to my body. I had put on over 30lbs over the course of two years (I peaked at 193lbs), and that was while increasing my physical activity by teaching group fitness and doing more cardio than I think I ever had. With that being the case, and pulling crazy hours, I wasn’t sleeping or eating properly. When I moved to Fredericksburg, I changed up my nutrition drastically. I had noticed a dairy sensitivity while I was in NY and cut dairy out completely. I also cut out most refined foods from my diet and now eat an almost entirely plant-based diet. I eat meat, but it’s not the majority of my food intake. I quit counting calories eaten and calories expended and began to listen to my body. You know what happened?
My energy balanced back out, I began to sleep better, and my bodyweight regulated to my college athlete weight. I haven’t done insane amounts of cardio, I’ve done heavy strength training, short circuits, and played Ultimate Frisbee. I haven’t counted calories in or out, I’ve listened to my body (most of the time :)) and when it is hungry, I feed it, and when it is full, I stop. I don’t overanalyze nutrient breakdown, I simply ate food that God created and listened to the indicators He gave my body.
There was no magical process I followed other than simply submitting my life to God and committing to doing things His way and trusting that He knew what He was doing when He created food and when He created the body. He intended them to work together to fuel holistic health! We need to quit looking for quick fixes that we want to work and instead make lifestyle changes that WILL work because they align with our Creator’s design.
Here is an interesting article that you may enjoy, and I think it reiterates that God knew what He was doing when He created our bodies and gave us food to fuel them:
Here is a picture from March 2012 (when I was near my heaviest–ironically during a half-marathon). I swore that the next time I was in public with my belly showing, I would have visible abs, because this was embarrassing. It was a freaking hot day, though, at 80+ degrees in March in WNY:
And August 2013:
I hope that my life story is able to positively affect and impact someone’s life, and will continue to share it with you all as it unfolds!
May you know God’s deep love and trust in His ways above your own.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes, but fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”-Proverbs 3:5-8