- The Grace and Strength Lifestyle
- Success Stories
Like many people, my struggle with weight and body image issues started in childhood with having been the youngest of three girls and falling into the trap of comparing myself to them. This led to self-esteem issues, which led to marrying someone who was emotionally abusive in my early 20s, but I divorced after only 1 1/2 years. Since that time, my weight would fluctuate. My self-esteem improved, overall, in my 30s. I received my master's degree in counseling and was able to lose 30 pounds and keep it off for about a year using the traditional methods of tracking calories.
Then, in 2010, my father died of multiple myeloma at age 69. We were very close and I cherish the time we had together. I took care of him during various times of illness and was with him, along with my mother, sisters, and nieces, when he died. I'm forever grateful for that opportunity as his last words were, "Hold my hand, I better go up now." Praise God for the peace that a statement like that gives those survivors on earth.
However, with respect to my own health, weight, and stress, his death also was a turning point. I moved back to Indiana from Tennessee about seven months later, primarily to help my mother and to be physically closer to my family again. Several factors contributed to the return of my unwanted pounds: changing family dynamics as a result of my dad's death, my own poor use of coping skills (failure to turn to God first), stressful jobs that required too much time in the car, and, overall, lack of balance. My old method of losing weight no longer seemed to work in my 40s. My boyfriend, Al, told me that he had lunch with a friend whose wife was successful on Grace and Strength. When I learned that it was a combination of diet, exercise, and application of Biblical principals with daily accountability, I finally felt like this could be something that would work and it gave me hope.
During my first week on Grace and Strength, I realized I put limits on myself and what God can do for me. Prior to GNS, I thought, "I could never give up bread, cheese, and Diet Coke." But, once that was surrendered, and I trusted that I truly could do all things through Christ who strengthens me, they no longer had a stronghold over me. Then, on the second week of GNS, I was driving for work to a remote location several hours away from my house and God revealed to me that it was okay to quit that job and just focus on the counseling work that I enjoy that does not require travel. I had always been too worried about finances to make that move sooner. I kept thinking I just needed to work on my attitude, but God showed me that even an attitude adjustment was not going to help as that lifestyle was not conducive to healthy living. So, I gave notice, which was so freeing. Along with GNS, I was participating in a small group study based on Rebekah Lyons' Freefall To Fly, where this statement really stood out to me, "Our calling is where our gifts and burdens collide." Having been through this process on GNS, I was feeling really passionate about the obesity crisis in the US and all of the misinformation in the media and foods that are packaged as healthy, which truly are not healthy. So, God placed it on my heart to get a certification as a nutrition and wellness consultant, so I can use my gifts as a counselor with my burdens of weight issues to hopefully help others.
* Individual results may vary.
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