“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20
Contrary to the likes, follows and glossy images you see today, I did not always honor God with my body. In fact, I did the exact opposite. Diet and exercise where my god and the sin that manifested because of it was a 14-year long eating disorder. So the fact that I lived to tell it is the testimony that inspires the messages and content that you so graciously like and follow today.
It is an honor to share my journey with you, however my deepest desire is to inspire. To ignite a RADical change in your life that will leave you feeling and doing things you never imagined. Why? Because this is the gift that was given to me from Christ several years ago…
I remember crying out to God after those 14 dark years for one thing and one thing only. Healing.
This was my prayer: Dear God, only you can do this. Please change me. I will do anything.
This simple prayer was a prayer of pure desperation, and desperation may be the place where you are today as you read this. However I encourage you to not be afraid of your helplessness, for it is not synonymous to hopelessness. In fact, desperation is the best position to be in in order to start.
When you have nothing, He can do anything. But only if you are willing to give everything.
This is what I did. I used the same drive and determination that it took to maintain my disordered behavior and coupled it with the power of Christ. And it was in this space that He took my disordered ways and ordered new steps in my life.
And step by step I began a new journey known as recovery. In fact I am still on that journey. Because to be 100% honest – being healed was a miracle, staying healed is a choice.
So today, I am faithfully fit simply because fitness is my witness to the power of Christ in my life. I do not share this part of my brand with you very often, however as I attempt to help you RADically change your life, I know that it is pertinent for you to know the true source of my strength.
Here is how I stay strong and committed to this ultimate race called life. I pray that your body and soul are RADically changed.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got…” 1 Corinthians 9: 26 MSG
To begin, like I said above, the first step was to give my all. My best…without judgement.
So no matter where you are today commit to whatever your best may be right now. Not what it was last year or what you want it to be in a year, but your best today. Being in the present is a challenging task I know, but if you can commit to giving your best and forgetting the rest, you will truly be giving God your “everything” in this journey. And you already know what He can do with that…
“But now take another look. I’m…working a true healing inside and out. I’m going to show them life whole, life brimming with blessings. I’ll restore everything that was lost…” Jeremiah 33:6 MSG
The gift of restoration is my ultimate motivation. I am truly amazed and overwhelmed with emotions every time I think back on what was and what could’ve been. To be healed is a blessing, but God has so much more in store than what our current minds could even imagine.
Initially, I had a very limited idea of what life without an eating disorder would look like. I thought I could never run a mile without it hurting or me hating it. Now I run races and love it. I never thought I could return to the entertainment industry as a model/actress because of the constant pressure to be thin. Today I’m signed to an agency that chose me for exactly who I am and what size I am. So don’t think your next won’t be your best. It will, because that’s just who God is. A restorer.
“But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired…” Isaiah 40: 31 MSG
“How do you stay motivated?” is a question I get asked a lot. And while I used to have a hard time formulating an answer to this question, I know that the real answer is that I constantly surrender to and make peace with the unknown.
Again, blowing minds is God’s speciality, so when I approach new fitness endeavors or workouts I simply pray, “God have your way.” Letting go and letting God lead me has developed a strength that no kettlebell or dumbbell ever could. So it is the determination to resubmit and not quit that keeps me going.
“It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is key…to win, you need a lot of good counsel.” Proverbs 24: 5 – 6 MSG
Speaking of strength beyond muscles, another key element to staying faithfully fit is to first train the brain. Mind over matter. It’s all mental. I know you’ve heard this before. But it’s true.
Every workout or fitness goal I’ve set and accomplished since my healing began with one thing – a thought. A thought becomes a plan, a plan leads to a victory, and a victory gives birth to another thought. This is the cycle for not only success in fitness, but in life. However don’t make the mistake of doing any of the above alone. Life is a group experience (I say this all the time), so participate and appreciate the people who can help you reach your goals. There is no shame in needing and asking for help. In fact, I’m currently reaching my next fitness goal doing just that (read this).
“…Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” 1 Corinthians 9: 24- 25
“It’s bigger than fitness.” This is what I tell myself and my clients all the time. We are not exercising, we are training. Training for an event, and that event is called life.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many issues in life that I’ve worked out through a workout. How many miles I’ve prayed or how many obstacles I’ve overcome – all through my love of sweat. So show up and get your heart rate up for something bigger than yourself. It’s always more than a race, more than a workout and more than a number.
And in conclusion, if ever in doubt of whether or not you can achieve your fitness and health goals this year, please refer to Philippians 4:13 RADicals…
“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”
May this be the year we find true strength. Amen.
What are your fitness challenges? Let me know below.