Today’s devotional is a personal testimony of mine. I hope whatever you’re feeling defeated about, you remember that the Lord is the God of second chances. If He can do it for me, He can do it for you!
1 year ago today I was 100lbs heavier. I was a 2XL/18 and busting at the seams.
1 year ago My health was declining. I had High blood pressure, and a severe case of acid reflux that had made ulcers on my vocal chords, and everywhere else. I could barely walk when I got up in the mornings because everything hurt. I couldn’t stand for very long without needing to sit down. I didn’t want to do anything physical. I couldn’t keep up with my toddler. She just wanted to play and I just wanted to sit. I didn’t want to see anyone, or have anyone see me. Miserable isn’t a strong enough word to describe how I felt.
I could tell you all the things that lead me there, but I’ll save all that for another day. Because today I’m celebrating my one year anniversary of the second chance God gave me to get it right with my health. This time last year I was being wheeled back for gastric bypass. My bad health had lead me to a place I never thought I’d be. I fought the suggestion from my doctor for several months and prayed hard about it before I finally accepted it was the right path for me.
My doctor told me it would take at least a year for my ulcers to heal up after surgery, but if I used the tool I was about to get properly, I could avoid esophageal cancer, and whatever else I was headed for. That meant changing my entire relationship with food. I couldn’t use it to cope with life any more. I couldn’t eat my feelings. I had to dedicate my self to only using food to fuel my body. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve struggled with eating disorders since the age of 12, and food addiction for as long as I can remember. But God is faithful. He has helped me every step of the way.
When I was mentally preparing myself for the big change ahead, I knew I wanted to be fit again. I have always been extremely active, and loved to compete athletically. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get there again, but knew I was going to try. I started seeing posts from my friends on Facebook about this trainer named Dorian L. Johnson who had this gym called Fit From The Core. I saw them transforming.
I was so intimidated to walk into a group class though. I was sooooooo out of shape. I didn’t want to be embarrassed. But I made up my mind that pride wasn’t going to hold me back. I messaged Dorian a few days before I was released from the doctor to exercise after surgery, and told him I wanted to come that next Monday. I almost had myself talked out of it, but low and behold Sunday night he messaged me “see you tomorrow sis”. The rest has been history. I was welcomed in with open arms. I never felt any judgment because I couldn’t do a certain move. I never was criticized for not being able to keep up. But instead I was promised that if I keep showing up and putting in the work, I would see the changes.
I saw the changes. From Barely fitting into a size 2XL/18 last year to slipping into a small shirt and size 2 jeans this morning is completely unbelievable to me. I’ve done things physically this year that I couldn’t do as a super fit 18y/o and It feels absolutely amazing. I’ve climbed ropes, completed a mud run, done obstacle courses, 5k’s and I’ve gained some of the sweetest friendships. It’s been wonderful.
But best of all, I am finally getting a grasp on the woman God created me to be. My heart is overjoyed that I can be the Mom Lydia needs now. I am excited to encourage others on their journey knowing I have been there and come out on the other side.
So thank you to Dr. Scott for showing me the reality of my health, and then showing me how it could be turned around if I was willing to do the work with the tool you provided.
Thank you to Dorian for pushing me to the limit every single time I step foot in that gym. Thank you for believing that I could do more than I thought possible. Thank you for always showing up and coming up with new ways to make us better. Thank you most of all for welcoming me with open arms and becoming more like family than a trainer. And thank you to Derrika for being the leading lady behind all the madness. You are always willing to help anyone and have helped me more than you know.
Thank you to Terri English and Cassie Ferguson for always being someone to keep up with. Since day 1 when I saw Terri killing it at the front of the class, I was determined to be able to do the same. And then I ran into Cassie on Saturdays and killed my self to catch up. So when they both became trainers and started leading a class for Dorian, I knew I had to get there. I knew it would push me over the edge, and I’d either catch up or die trying. And I’m pretty sure I’ve died trying a few times at least.
Thank you to my precious family and friends that have offered support along the way. I definitely wasn’t prepared for how hard any of this would be, but have had so many wonderful people there to encourage me. I won’t tag you all, but just know your love and support has been a life saver to me.
2020 has been an exceptional year, and bad for me and so many others on many levels. But even with the world falling apart, the Lord helped me get my world back together and make this one of the best years of my life. I can only describe this year as truly living out this verse:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:13 KJV
To God be the glory, great things He has done! ❤️
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