My relationship with food, exercise, and my body has gone up and down many times in my life. It really all began when I was a pre-teen, and I began to develop earlier than the other girls, leading to feelings of insecurity about my body from a very young age.
From the age of 14 to when I was 21 years old, I began down a road of disordered eating, which manifested in different forms. It all began when I had the thought that eating a very small amount would make me skinnier, so I began to starve my body. As with any unhealthy means to lose weight, this excessive restriction of calories and food groups could only last so long. This ultimately led me to a cycle of bingeing, which began when I was about 16 years old. (It just so happened that I was working at a bagel shop at the time).
As my weight started creeping up, I started doing everything I knew to do in order to gain control of my weight. This ultimately lead to a vicious cycle of bingeing, starving, dieting, and compulsive excessive exercise. As I attempted to control my weight over the years, I went from one extreme to another, and as I did, my weight fluctuated from extremely low, to high, and everything in between.
When I entered college, I began to work out at the gym on campus and I began to eat a lot of ‘healthy foods’. However, despite my best attempts, my weight still fluctuated dramatically, which always lead me to feel fearful of ‘certain’ foods and I never could miss a workout. It didn’t take me long to learn that my efforts were not healthy. In fact, it left me feeling fatigued, stressed, anxious, and tired all of the time! Realizing that this was not how I wanted to live the rest of my life, I knew I needed to make a change.
Everything finally started to change when I took this to the Lord in prayer. I knew I wanted to glorify Him with this body that He gave me to take care of. I came to the Lord and asked Him to help me. I asked Him to reveal to me what His plan was for me and to show me what I needed to know in order to to treat my body right.
And so the pursuit of true ‘BALANCED’ healthy living began for me when I finally got off the ‘control’ wagon. I realized that all the ups and downs in my past really stemmed from my need to control. I finally made the choice to give God ‘control’ of my weight, and it was then when I saw the most dramatic and beautiful changes in my weight, health, and life in general!
My transformation didn’t happen over night, but the more that I sought God in this area, the more free I became. I truly believe that when you seek God with ALL of your heart (about anything) and spend time with Him daily, that His desires will become your desires. You suddenly come to a place where you stop worrying or being anxious, and you finally have peace!
I also realized that everything in life comes down to a balance between the spiritual and physical. For example, I asked God to speak to me about how much I should work out, how I should fuel my body, and even about how much He created me to weigh. I knew that although I asked the Lord for His help, that it also meant I needed to put action to it. After all, the Bible says in James 2:17, “Faith without works is dead”. I have to admit, it wasn’t an easy process to live healthy without any shortcuts. But in the end, it’s always worth it, because anything worth keeping takes hard work and determination to get.
For me, this meant not only having faith that God was leading me, but also getting proactive with my health. So, I started going to the library for hours and began reading research articles on how nutrition and exercise effects our bodies. (Since I’m a registered nurse, I have always found these articles interesting.) I also began trying out different workouts and finding ones that worked for me. This meant finding workouts that I actually enjoyed enough to go back to. For me personally, a combination of circuit and strength training is what has truly transformed my body. I also got in the kitchen and started creating healthy and tasty meals that were quick and easy to make, which is essentially how Dashing Dish got started.
God also taught me that one of the greatest ‘tools’ He gave us is the ability to listen to our bodies! That’s why when it comes to my everyday food choices, I choose to eat foods that are healthier because they make me feel energetic and satisfied. Personally, I have found that when I eat a higher protein diet and stay away from foods with sugar and white flour, I feel energized and my blood sugar feels steady throughout the day.
I have found that everything in life comes to one principal: The more you seek Him, the more you have a revelation of His great love for you. As you begin to understand His love, the more you trust Him with EVERY area of your life! If you haven’t already surrendered your life to Him, He is just a prayer away! He loves you, and He has AWESOME plans for you, if you simply let Him work in your life.
It’s truly amazing to stand back and see what the Lord has done in my life as I surrendered (and continue to surrender) anything and everything He shows me to give over to Him! The cool thing about God is that He only asks us to give Him something if He has something better to give us in return. I now find myself enjoying food, listening to my body, and feeling more fit and toned than I ever have in the past… and it’s all because I chose to follow His leading.
The neat thing is, that’s how faith works with everything. The more you start to trust God and give areas of your life that you are ‘in control of’ over to Him, the more freedom and joy you will find. It might not make sense at all to your brain, but it’s not supposed to….that’s why it’s called faith and trust! I can promise that God has a better plan for your life than you could ever imagine or achieve on your own!
Dashing Dish is a place where I hope to share what God has taught me both spiritually and physically over the years to reach a healthy balance. I hope that as I share what He has poured into me, that you will be refreshed with the great love and plan that He has for you!