I grew up in the south eating southern food the southern way. Both sides of my family have weight issues, so I assumed early on that the same would be true for me. I remember writing in my elementary school diary how I wished I could be a normal weight. No one ever taught me how to eat healthy or incorporate physical fitness in my day to day life. For all I knew, eating healthy meant adding more vegetables to your casserole or an apple to your daily routine! After getting married (great comfort) and entering infertility (great sorrow), my body began to suffer from my unhealthy eating habits. I remember getting on the scale and seeing 200 lbs. I immediately went to the doctor in tears. He prescribed depression medicine and an appetite suppressant. Bring on the joy and decrease the pounds, right? Well, the medicine did help me get out of the fog and after about 3 months I had lost 15 lbs.
I decided at that time that I didn’t want to take the medicine any longer and instead chose to address the problem on my own. I knew I couldn’t depend on medicine forever and realized it was my responsibility. I joined Weight Watchers in an effort to seek out support and encouragement. I managed to maintain my weight over the next year. After adopting our 2nd child I found myself on a 5K race committee fundraising for a local adoption agency. In order to become more involved and better represent my committee I felt the need to learn how to run. I began running in 2012 and actually ran my first half marathon in just over 2 hours. I was running 10-15 miles a week and really enjoying it. Later in the year I also began attending a ladies bootcamp (strength training) 3 days a week. My body was feeling better, I had more energy and I lost about 20 more pounds. I ran 3-4 days a week and strength trained 3 days a week almost consistently over the next 3 years.
My weight began to plateau, but it didn’t really bother me until I went for my annual Doctor’s appointment and had my blood panel completed. It was at this time that my Doctor suggested that I take cholesterol medicine. My cholesterol and triglycerides were still unacceptable. Although it seemed like a normal next step considering all of the work I had done to lower the numbers, that I had a thyroid condition and high numbers were genetic, I was still determined to avoid medication if at all possible.
I still hadn’t changed my way of eating and knew that it was the next step. The bootcamp I was attending began the year with a fat burning competition. Whoever chose to participate pitched in $5 and the one who lost the most body fat in 6 weeks won all of the cash. I am pretty competitive, so I decided to give it a try. My class instructor began giving me tips on protein intake, carbs, meal ideas and she even helped me calculate how many calories I needed based on my age, activity level, etc. I remember being shocked at how many calories I had been eating before. I began searching for healthy options online. There honestly didn’t seem to be many at first simply because I was still thinking about processed foods.
I remember when I found the Dashing Dish site…I was hooked. It wasn’t long before every meal I made was Dashing Dish. I’m happy to say that I won the fat burning competition and a whopping $25! ☺ I joined the Dashing Dish website and have been a member for about 1.5 years now. Since I joined the site I have lost an additional 35 lbs and my Doctor is blown away at the improvement of my Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels. My husband jokes and says that I am a walking Dashing Dish commercial, but it really is what made the difference for me! He loves my new way of cooking, is impressed with how delicious the recipes are and really likes the simplicity of the ingredients.
So, in the last 5 years I have lost 70 lbs. I’ve gone from a size 16 to a size 4/6. I can honestly say that I love being healthy for my husband, for my children and for me!
People that haven’t seen me in a while immediately comment, “You must still be running!” Well, yes, I have continued to run and strength train, but there are times when it has to be placed on the back burner. I am, however, eating well…and that is the ticket! Eating well is a major component of good health. You can’t run 5 miles or strength train for an hour so that you can justify a 500 calorie slice of key lime pie at 11 pm. It’s not going to work.
I love Dashing Dish because over the last year and a half it’s been a tool that has taught me how to eat. If I dropped my membership tomorrow (don’t worry, Katie! ☺ ) I could still eat Dashing Dish style because I’ve been equipped and trained to continue on. Katie doesn’t just offer amazing recipes, but helpful cooking tips and videos. She helps you think through meal planning even to the point of showing you the inside of her fridge and walking through the grocery store with you!
What have I loved about Dashing Dish? Katie is real. She talks about having cravings just like I do. She enjoys food just like I do. Katie walks with you. She walks with you because she knows that the struggle will still be there even after goals are met. She walks with you because she knows that eating healthy and exercise isn’t the root of the problem. She walks with you because she knows that the only tools she has to offer (although they are valuable, helpful and unique) are indeed temporal. She walks with you in the hopes of pointing you to our eternal Helper who is always beside, with and in us.
So, I ask myself time and time again…Am I going to keep “rolling my sleeves up” and fighting this battle myself or am I going to look moment by moment to my Abba Father who is the source of all strength and ask Him for the help that He has promised to give? Whether in suffering (infertility, sickness) or life (marriage, parenting) we all tend to want to get right to work towards our goals. It is so important to remind ourselves of the Truth each day or we will be sorely mistaken. Ask for help.
- Help to remember that I am of great value because I am in Christ, because I am a daughter of the King - not because of my size.
- Help to remember to glorify my God in whatever I do. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Help to remember where my hope comes from – the blood of Christ. My hope is not to be found in the ability to attain futile goals.
- Help to choose joy.
- Help to remember that I am weak, but that He is strong! I need thee every hour.