When I email another blogger asking them to write a guest post for my blog, I never know what to expect. I wonder if I’ll be rejected, if they’ll accept or if I’ll receive any reply at all. So when I started following Katie’s blog Dashing Dish, I quickly knew I wanted to ask her to write a guest post for me. She has a king-size heart for God, such a zeal about healthy living and staying fit and she’s also a nurse! I mean, really….how could I not ask her to write a guest post for me?
Katie graciously accepted the offer and several corresponding emails later, she asked would it be okay if she simply shared Her Story? “It is really just my testimony”, she boldly proclaimed, “which we know ultimately gives glory to God”.
I know! Don’t you love her already?
So without further ado, here is Katie’s story.
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, that would manifested in different forms. I went from one phase where I would think that not eating very much would make me skinnier, so I would starve my body. Many times I would starve my body completely of a certain food group, like carbohydrates or fat.
As with any unhealthy means to lose weight, this excessive restriction of calories and food groups could only last so long. So, when I was about 16 years old, I started working at a bagel shop where I started bingeing on all of the baked goods. As my weight started creeping up, to an uncomfortable 135 at 5 foot tall, 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 exercise. As I attempted to control my weight over the years, I ran from one thing or 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 lots of ‘healthy foods’, but would still go up and down with my weight, always leading me to feel fearful of ‘certain’ foods, and/or skipping a workout. It didn’t take me long to learn that this was not healthy as I was 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 came to the Lord and asked Him to help me and for Him to show me what to I needed to do to treat my body right. I knew I wanted to glorify Him with this body that He gave me to take care of.
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. When I finally made the choice to give God ‘control’ was 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 about what size jeans you wear. The more you seek Him, the more you begin to trust Him with EVERY area of your life!
I also realized that it comes down to a balance between spiritual and physical. For example, I asked God to speak to me about how much I should work out, how I should fuel the body He created for me, and even about how much He created me to weigh. And although I asked the Lord for help to make me healthy according to His standards, it didn’t mean that I didn’t need to put action to it. After all, the Bible says in James 2:17, “Faith without works is dead”.
For me, this meant not only having faith that God was leading me, but also getting pro-active 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 and that I enjoyed enough to go back to. (For me personally, 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 why Dashing Dish was created.
The biggest thing that God showed me was to listen to my body. God has showed me when it comes to nutrition it’s best for me to eat what makes me feel good. Sure, I’ll have treats from time to time, but every time, sure enough, I feel lousy afterward. However, I 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.
The bottom line is is this: Pray to God, Surrender your body (and/or any area of your life He’s telling you to surrender to Him). Don’t try to figure it all out on your own. Listen to God. Ask Him to show you in His word and in your heart what the truth is… and follow the peace of God that rules in YOUR own heart!
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. 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! God has taught me so much that now I 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 called faith and trust! I can promise, however, 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 share what God has taught me both spiritually and physically over the years to reach a healthy balance in my life. I hope that as I share what He has poured into to me, that you will be refreshed with the great love and plan that He has for you!
I can’t say enough how appreciative I am to Katie for sharing her story with me and with you! I genuinely hope you have been inspired and blessed as much as I have.
You can learn more about Katie, her Dashing Devotionals, Dashing Workouts and lots of healthy recipes by visiting Dashing Dish Healthy Alternatives to the Food You Crave.