My Weight Gain Story

Not the blog headline you were expecting or are used to I'm sure. I'd bet your facebook feed looks just look mine, filled with before and after pictures, transformation Tuesdays, and fitness app statuses about the latest run around the neighborhood. For those of you on those fitness journeys, WAY TO GO! (I mean that with all sincerity.) Some of you are very encouraging and inspiring... some of you make me feel like I'm inadequate because I don't run every day and eat quinoa and veggies every meal. Sorry, that's just me being honest. While that's not what sparked this post, I hope those of you who are on that road will hang around to hear my story. 
 Friday night Husband spent the evening working with the Honor Guard and I decided to eat the elephant of reorganizing the closet. It only takes 1 or 2 Sundays of me going through 5 outfit changes before it's all messed up plus I needed to inventory for Fall. Four hours later I sat in my closet floor looking at all my beautifully organized clothes. It was a relief to have it done, but deep down the whole process deflated me. Over half of my clothes don't fit, won't zip, or just look like a suction-sealed slip right now. 
I sit going back in forth in my head between the lie and the truth. The lie that I'm a failure. The truth that this doesn't determine my success. The lie that I'm not beautiful like a year ago. The truth that God made me beautiful even when I'm not at my best.
While wrestling with myself in my closet floor, the realization hit me that there are probably many of you out there feeling just like me. Feeling like you must ignore half of social media to keep a little bit of self-confidence. Going to your closet day in and day out wishing you wardrobe was wearable. Wrestling with who you are and what you're worth and where your beauty level is. Hungering to be healthy but wondering if you'll ever find fit and stick with it. 
If you're anything like me you find yourself starting out a fitness plan chasing after beauty. Anyone with me? I was reminded in a sermon that Scripture says "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain (some translations say fleeting), but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." I want to be that girl.  The girl who fears the Lord above all else. The one who isn't caught up in the vanity of worldy "beauty." Please don't get me wrong. I think fitness, health, and self control are all important but there a comes a point for most of us that we ask if it's about being a healthy servant of the Lord or a more "beautiful version of ourselves."
I guess this is as good of time as ever to flashback and tell you how I reached this moment. My weight has something I've always struggled with. While it's been something that most of my high metabolism, tall, skinny friends never struggled with, it's never been out of the ordinary in my family. All of the women in my family fluctuate and I've always been in the boat right with them. Some of this I'm sure can be attributed to southern cooking, busy lifestyles, and a mad sweet tooth. However in doing life with numerous people (eating the same and being active the same amount of time), I can also tell you with certainity that my metabolism is not on my weightwatchers team. Between my mom, my sister and I we have quite the jean collection. Five+ pairs in each size ranging in 6 different sizes. I can now say that at some point I've worn every collection.
 Through high school and college I was very active. Always playing a sport and never just sitting around in the summer. Regardless of my exercise level... I fluctuated. Sometimes explainably and sometimes not. 
Steriods for 1 week....add 17lbs. Stomach issues for a month... minus 31lbs. First semester Freshman year... MINUS 15lb. Christmas break Freshman year ... add 10lbs (thanks to Grams cooking for 3 weeks). You get the picture. If I wanted to maintain I had to be counting calories and if I wanted to lose... well that took a lot of work (or being away from home eating college cafe food).
Then comes Summer of 2012. I leave college. Visit Delaware. Move in October. January comes and I still hadn't picked up a new workout routine (I cheered in college which kept me in pretty decent shape). At the start of the new year I had put on some weight and moved up a jean size. I was frustrated. With the help of 2 dear friends (one of which is an amazing fitness instructor), I started my very own weight-loss journey. I gave up soda, sugar, white flour, processed foods. I worked out 6 days a week (most of which involved a run). I loved what it did to my body! I felt great! I lost 25lbs, 2 jean sizes, and gained so much self confidence. I learned a lot about food, eating habits, working out, and myself. My fitness lady... well she's awesome! Seriously revolutionized the way I ate.
Then comes Summer of 2013. Enter student camps. Enter cookouts. Enter Rita's. Enter Joel. I fell off the wagon. I didn't go crazy... but I definitely lost my strictness. We started dating which led to being up late to spend time together, me not exercising, and us eating out quite a bit. We quickly got engaged which led to us planning a wedding in 2.5 months, celebrating everywhere we went, both of our birthdays in the mix, me still not exercising. We of course then got married in October which led to cruising for our honeymoon (might I add that those are all-inclusive all-you-can-eat), Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, and a week at my family's home for Christmas...... Total: add 20lbs. 
I really wasn't worried at this point. I knew I could lose it so I said. I would start exercising again in January so I said. We'd be pregnant soon anyways so I said. Nothing to worry about so I said. 
But then came January 2nd. Where it rained and poured on my plans. We were in a car accident. Six months, shoulder surgery, lots of couch time later.... add 20lbs. 
Though I haven't given up soda or sweets completely, Joel and I eat pretty healthy. We still have beef burgers instead of turkey and we don't always eat salads when we eat out... but all in all we eat clean 80% of the time. I've started to work out some but never do it more than 3x/week. I haven't lost much in the last 2 months.. but I haven't gained any either. 
Don't get me wrong I know what it takes. I know what it does to my body... but I also know what it does to my mind. I long to be one of those girls who can do healthy all the time and not be consumed. I long to be one of those girls who runs and enjoys it. But that's not me. When I'm dieting, I think about food and exercise 24/7. I am constantly planning meals, counting calories, weighing in, trying on old jeans, and wishing I was even smaller. I am frustrated when I run and am constantly comparing myself. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. I'm a rule follower through and through. So all of a sudden when I declare I'm getting on the wagon, I become that girl who feels as though she's a failure because she decided to have one cookie. I become the girl who plans her weeks around her workouts. Although I know what it takes, I am not ready to go there. In fact, I never want to go there again. 
So here I am starting over. Taking all I know about exercise and clean eating and trying to make it my life. In the coming months I'm going to try to the best of my ability to lose weight without getting consumed. For me it will be one healthy decision at a time, not doing it out of obligation, and not trying to achieve a target weight or size. It will consist of unhealthy times of this I'm sure and times I must use self-control. It will consist of times I workout for fun and times I work out because I know it's what's best for me. It will consist of me being a good steward of my body which is a temple and will not consist of me basing my success or worth or beauty off of my weight. It will be a long process, not a quick fix. 
I hope those of you out there who can be fitness guru's and not get consumed will understand how much I admire you. I hope those of you out there who are great at this game will not judge me for my lack of devotion to fitness. I hope those of you out there who struggle like me will know you're not alone. I hope you will join me in making one healthy decision at a time but not letting it control your mind. I hope you will finally feel like you can relate with someones weight journey. I hope you'll know that God made you worth much more than what your jean size is. I hope that in 6 months from not I'm sharing my "getting fit but not consumed" story or even better my "being fit while pregnant" story. Until then... this is where I am. Running my own race. 
"Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God." (Hebrews 12.1-2)
This race mentioned here isn't a 5k or a half marathon or a lap around your neighborhood. It't the race of living by faith for the glory of the Gospel. It's the race of enduring any persecution, hardship, or temptation with the mindset of following in Christ's example. So I'll be here running that race, or at least trying daily. I hope all of you will join me in that.
Summer of 2013

 Summer of 2014



  1. Awesomeness awesomeness:) love this- you speak my truth ��

  2. Well, I just wrote this really great comment to your post, and then when I tried to sign in to Google to publish it, my comment was deleted. So I'll just say what I ended my post with and we can chat about what I tried to tell you before. Thank you for sharing this and if you're looking for a buddy, I am too.


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