Battling Depression · Body Image · College · Finding Purpose

Fitness Re-evaluated

It has been a hot, hot minute since I did a post that was fitness related–and with good reason. The past two months I’ve been doing nothing (physically speaking) outside of walking the pups or yoga.

Now, I don’t regret this time off from exercise whatsoever. Taking the focus off of the workouts allowed me the necessary time to re-evaluate my meal planning and the food side of things (which, to me, is more important than any workout anyway!). I’m working on a post that goes over how God’s been working through my meal prep, but what do you think: do a general spiel or maybe provide an example of what I eat in a day? I could even do both if you’d like 🙂

Anywho, as I mentioned in my post “Fitness… or Fun?“, I have tried a lot of different workout routines in the past year and a half. When you’re starting a health journey (notice that I didn’t say diet or weight loss; this is your body, for life, not a fad’s get-fit-quick scheme ❤︎ ), I think it’s important to test the waters. Even if you don’t like it, at least you tried it! There’s all sorts of workout options out there: running, weight lifting, yoga, karate, zumba, hiking, sports, and many more. The important thing is that you give it a chance–say, four weeks or so, before deciding you don’t like it or that it’s not your style.

So, after my recent reprieve from all things exercise, I’ve once again turned back to lifting. When I started lifting for a few months this past summer, I was towards the beginning of my health journey and honestly didn’t really know what I was doing. Now that I’ve experimented and taken time out to work on form, I’m ready and excited for the growth ahead.

“She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence, and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand.” Proverbs 31:17

The further I get into this renewed fitness journey, the more I’ll share about the Biblical reasons I believe God wants us to exercise our bodies, but right now I want to share my former mindsets about exercise–in case you have ever shared similar insecurities.

As I’ve been putting together a weekly lifting schedule, I realized that in the past, I was holding myself back from giving my workouts my all out of fear.

Fear I wouldn’t achieve my dream physique.

Fear I would become obsessed with my appearance.

Fear that God would give me an injury if I started obsessing over my body.

But fear comes from a misunderstanding of God’s love for us.

I didn’t see working out as a form of worship when I started this journey. I didn’t understand how I could grow in Spirit while I was growing in physical strength. So, I never gave it my all because I feared that our Heavely Father would smite me where I stood.

Oh, how he must have sighed at me.

When I drew closer to Him, spending more time reading the Bible and praying, He showed me how askew my rationalization really was. He loves me–He hand-crafted this very body and is delighted when I want to take care of it. He’s not going to punish me for exercising it. The more I know Him, the more I know His will.

And if I’m living for His will, I don’t have to be afraid of anything. Because when I’m constantly in communication with Him, I’m not obsessed with outward appearance.

Sure, the temptation’s there. Do I want sleek, toned muscles? Who doesn’t haha?! But I can balance my goals–God already knows I want a stronger physique. If I believe and put in the hard work, the victory is already mine, not because of me but because He’s the God of all.

Physical training is good… Spiritual training is even better.

It’ll take time. It’ll require hard work, patience, sweat, discipline, and dedication. But doesn’t our faith require the same things?

God can use your body and workouts as praise. Just ask Him to show you the first step you need to take.

I’m still tweaking my new workout routine, but I can tell you I already feel SO much better! Sitting all day doing homework and going to class just takes a toll on my body, so adding a half hour to an hour of movement is incredibly rejuvinating. I’d love to provide extra encouragement or tips if you’re just starting out on your healthy journey! Know, however, that I am by no means a professional and I’m still learning, just like you. I wish you the best my dreamers! You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Body Image · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: On a Mission

Oh, how I have missed this community!! As anybody who’s been in college or is currently in it, you know the kind of schedule it comes with–and sadly, blogging has been on the lower end of the scale lately (I’m sorry!). But, whether once a week or more often (when I’m not loaded down with pigs and homework lol), God has a beautiful way of using this blog as a ministry, whereas on my own, in person, I would not be able to reach half as many people.

Which leads me to an important point about missions:

The who of missions is you. The when of missions is now.

Until VERY recently, the whole missionary thing was just a foreign concept, for those “really brave” Christians. Thanks to two beautiful friendships (Dreaming of Guatemala and Through Ink & Image, please go check them out, I wouldn’t be where I am in my faith journey without them ❤︎ ), my horizons have been broadened.

My doors have been opened.

My heart has been changed.

You see, whenever I used to think of missions, I honestly got kind of jealous of the people who go on them–I mean, it takes guts to go all the way across the world to a place you’ve never been and to a language you probable can’t speak! Coming from a police officer family, I’ve had more than my share of “The world is an awful place and these are the million reasons why: ” spiel. While I can’t argue with most of it, that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve been letting fear keep me from considering grander plans than I’ve ever dreamed I’d pursue.

God’s bigger than all that though.

I’m not quite ready to get into the whole change God has put on my heart, because there is just so much I’m praying over and researching in these beginning stages, but I can say that missions are in my vocabulary now. More importantly, I’ve realized that “missions” aren’t just some global outreach program: you can be a mission servant of Christ in your very own home. The reason I think we don’t realize this is because going and serving in Africa or some far-off place sounds so grand, when staying at home is less than an adventure. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, if I can’t wholeheartedly serve God in the place he chose with the people he chose, what right do I have to go off to a foreign country and profess his love?

When you let go of fear, God can show you things you’ve never even believed possible. I know that’s a bit cliche and rather vague, but 1. it is so, so true and 2. I don’t know what you’re going through right now. I just don’t. I can’t tell you what fears to let go of or where you’re headed, because I don’t know what’s going on in your life.

But I do want to let you know that God is already there. Whatever tomorrow, today, the next hour brings, God’s there and He already knows.

“… and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25


I hope this encourages you today. Not quite as short as my other Monday Mantra’s, but this has been on my heart a whole lot lately. It was a long process for me to give Him control of my fears, so I understand if it takes baby steps–I’m still taking mine. In my opinion, it’s better when that thing you’re battling takes time–it gives you time to adjust and to learn. Seek His wisdom and I promise you that He will freely give it. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

P.s. If you are someone interested in mission work, have been on a missions trip before, or are simply curious, go check out Maggie’s Missions Monday post series! I cannot put into words how God has used her to embolden me on my journey for him, so I will simply say thank you so much Maggie ❤︎  She has a beautiful heart for Christ that illuminates absolutely every area of her life, and I pray to shine that same light every single day.

Battling Depression · Body Image

You Go, Girl!

Good evening my readers 🙂

Now, as most of us know today is International Women’s Day, which means most all of my men followers probably are sick of reading such related posts and will be ignoring this one–understandably so lol.

But you wanna know something?

I’m sick of them too.

Not your regular feminist attitude, is it? While I have nothing against women’s rights (obviously, I rather enjoy my life as a young American woman), I have never considered myself to be a feminist. Thus, the endless articles and posts about women’s strength were honestly a little tiresome and overdone to me. (No offense to any of my beloved followers who posted on the subject!)

The theme behind modern strength is that women are their own superheroes and don’t need anyone else.

I get the idea, the sense of empowerment that comes from embracing womanhood. No, we as women do not any man to complete us.

That’s because we need the man.

Sure, we don’t have to swoon for every Prince Charming. But we also don’t need to slay our own dragons, we don’t need to do it all on our own, and we don’t need to shoot down every many in sight while we’re at it.

Yes, we as women are strong–only when our strength comes from the Lord. I recently came across five steps for being a woman of God, and I want to share them with you tonight, as steps for gaining biblical strength–an unfamiliar or even uncomfortable concept in our era.

The strongest woman you’ve ever met still has a breaking point. The God backing her up doesn’t.

A lot of our definitions of strength stem from outward appearance or climbing the ladder. Strength of faith and quiet self-confidence is far overlooked:

  1. Seek God first: Before the car, house, job, career, money, friends, family, or husband
  2. Speak faithfully: Let nothing pass between your lips that does not bring you or others closer to God
  3. Show true beauty: Any pop star can get on a stage in today’s hottest fashion; it’s the real woman that has none of that, but can still shine, that exemplifies beauty
  4. Stay humble: In a world that goes on and on about you, it takes real strength to step out of the spotlight and serve others
  5. Serve the Lord: When we aim to please God, things like being selfless towards our family or lending a hand to a stranger start to bubble out from us unconsciously

In case you’d like to check out the website where I found these 5 tips, here’s the link.

I by no means have these to the -t, or am anywhere close. But, if you put in the effort and prayer every day, you’ll see–like I have been–that each day brings you more wisdom and value to life than you could have possibly imagined.

So, the strength I’m talking about gaining with these five steps isn’t exactly what the majority of the world is thinking of today, I know.

I’d like to think that strength of character is of more value than any feministic strength our culture roots for anyway.

I hope you enjoyed my outlook on this subject dreamers! And I pray that these steps bring you closer to God, because there is no strength like knowing who’s there for you at your weakest. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Battling Depression · Body Image · College

Confessions of a Not-so-Former Binge Eater: Forgiving Yourself

Good evening everyone 🙂

With this being the “looove” month, I wanted to take a different approach on the profound concept of self-love as February comes to a close.

Obviously the resolution fitness ads on TV have died down significantly, but we are still in the beginning throes of 2018–meaning exercise and diets are still a hot topic (and to some, like my mom, hot as in branding-iron you don’t want to touch or think about!). With all the hullabaloo TV places on “looking your best” and being “bikini ready”, I find it sadly ironic how much we start to hate our bodies because of those same messages.

While I’ve briefly mentioned my past food struggles in a few of my past posts (“5 Tips to Combat Overeating“), I’ve never gotten terribly deep into those struggles.

Tonight, I’d like to.

You see, I’m a very empathetic person–to a fault. When my father makes a dinner large enough to serve an army, in our small family of four (with some very picky eaters), a lot of it won’t get eaten. With his tendency to guilt trip (“I didn’t want to cook you anything anyway”; nice, right?), my overdeveloped superego kicked in full force and I’d end up eating enough for three of me–no joke. I would eat past the point of content, full, uncomfortable, to painful. All because I didn’t want my dad to feel like we didn’t appreciate his cooking.

Then, the binging took a turn.

What had started with me–rightfully or not–compensating my eating for my dad’s feelings invaded all my other meal patterns. Snacking? I’d crave a little sweet… so I’d eat a piece of chocolate, and then another, and another until I had the entire bar. Then, to ward off the sickly-sweet nausea welling up in my gut, I’d be craving something salty… so I’d eat a chip, handful by mindless handful, until I’d eaten the whole bag. Dinner at a restaurant? You could count me in for the appetizer, my entree, every bite my dad offered me, and then the last crumb of dessert. Afterwards, I felt greasy, gross, and like my pants had shrunk a good three sizes in one sitting.

But none of that compared to how much I would hate my body after the binge.

If you’ve never experienced binge-eating for yourself, then there’s really no way I can describe the vehement, loathing, degrading thoughts that come after a binge. I just can’t. There are no words to explain how you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror.

How the thought of eating makes you want to hide, like it’s some shameful, dirty secret.

How you can’t bear to touch your own stomach, because you’re so ashamed.

It’s not a pretty picture. There are people who would pass binge-eating off, saying it’s nothing like anorexia or other severe eating disorders. I, of course, am not by any means downplaying their significance either, but I don’t want the severity of binging to go unnoticed–or worse, casually dismissed as no big deal. Yeah, you may not be able to see the effects of binge-eating like you can with starvation, but it doesn’t make it any less damaging.

The reason I bring all this up is because binge-eating isn’t something that’s “once and done”. You don’t just binge at one meal and then go about the rest of your life carefree–at least, that’s not how it is for me. This battle has been one that is slow and very, very hard.

It’s hard because it’s never been just a physical battle.

Binge-eating is always rooted in emotional pain, one form or another. With that pain can come a lot of shame, regret, and self-hatred. Forgiveness is the single last thing you want to feel for yourself after a binge.

But what if I said you don’t have to forgive yourself?

Forgiveness implies that you have done something wrong, something selfish and horrible. Forgiveness insists it was your fault in the first place.

That’s not how binging works. Yes, something is wrong, but it isn’t necessarily because of you–abusive relationships, cruel parents, work stress, anything could cause you to spiral down that dark path. For me, it was a combination of factors. I tried for awhile to convince myself to “forgive myself”, but it never worked because I thought I was to blame. I thought, because of my binging, something in me was messed up, something about me was wrong.

You’re not messed up because you binge. You’re not dirty or gross because you binge.

You are, however, in a place of hurt and in need of some serious love–and, yes, even forgiveness. The sort of forgiveness you need, though, comes from only one place: Christ. To correct the emotional turmoil that causes binging involves learning how worthy, valuable, and cherished you are, a knowledge that can only be found after long study in God’s word. He will forgive you, you need only ask. Even when you can’t stand to see your reflection, He always loves you and thinks you are the most beautiful creation in the world.

“I loved you at your darkest.”

Romans 5:8

Reflect on that. Heal in that.

If you don’t struggle with binge-eating, I hope I discouraged you from that path! And if you do, I pray you find solace today in God’s arms. I’d love to share any tips I’ve learned to recover from a binge, even if you’d rather email than publicly comment. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Body Image

4 Reasons Why It’s Not About the Pounds Lost: Rethinking Your Resolutions

Hello there! 🙂

As some of you may have noticed, this week has been a busy one for me! I’m in the midst of my last semester at a community college before transferring to a four-year university in the Fall. Presumably, I will be transferring for Elementary Education–but that is a whole ‘nother can of worms lol.

This afternoon after school, I was snacking on oil-free popcorn (yes, you can grow to love the, how shall I put it, simpler taste; it doesn’t leave you feeling gross like buttery movie popcorn does. I can’t eat the stuff, it tears up my stomach so bad! Buuut part of that could’ve been my past tendency to binge it… Honest confessions of a former binger friends). As I sat there with my second batch–no, I did not eat enough to feed an army, but yes, I did burn the first batch because I am t-totally-TERRIBLE in the kitchen–I pondered over how, not long ago, I would have had a complete guilty complex because I ate the popcorn.

Then the guilt would’ve had me reaching for another handful of popcorn to shove those nagging thoughts away, and it would have been a binge-for-all.

And then I would have anxiously checked the scale the next morning to see how severely my snack had derailed me from my health course.

Of course, I never gained ten pounds from a bag of popcorn. But it didn’t keep me from checking each morning.

Like 90% of Americans, maybe you too decided to start a weight loss journey this New Year’s. Maybe you’ve already dumped it; maybe you’re still trudging along. Like I used to, you may constantly be checking the scale, making sure you haven’t gained an ounce.

When you see that you haven’t, it’s great! Everything is fine and dandy, and you can go about your day unscathed, having averted disaster. But if the number has gone up at all, if you’ve gained anything, you deflate like a child’s balloon, leaving you depressed and insecure the rest of the day.

I know that’s how it was for me.

In case you are still stuck in that mindset, I want to give you a couple reasons why your health journey and resolutions shouldn’t be about a number. Our confidence and sense of wholeness in self was never meant to come from a scale, but in God’s love. He loves you–yes, you reading this right now–more than you could possibly imagine. It is that love, the love of a father to his beloved child, that is meant to strengthen us.

P.S. Your weight can shift because of water retention. It’s literally always fluctuating.

Instead of some number on a scale, it is about the life gained:

  1. How you feel: As you lose any extra weight you may have, get your body moving, and eat better, you will probably notice that you are feeling better. (If you aren’t there yet–don’t quit! You’ll get there if you give it time, I promise!) You’ll have more energy, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll be less stressed. And who doesn’t need less stress?
  2. How you feel about yourself: Your body will thank you when you take care of it. You’ll be less bloated because you’re no longer consuming junk foods (which your body was never meant to handle anyway) and you’ll wake up refreshed. It’s like you’re a car that’s just been given an oil change and wash–because you’re clean on the inside, now you can operate at your personal best and run smoothly out on the highway of life.
  3. How you feel towards others: Now you’re operating at the best you that you can possibly be! From this point, you’ll find that your relationships improve. The insecurities caused by food disorders and obsessions can destroy personal relationships, whether it be with your parents, kids, spouses, or friends. Because family outings often come with fast foods or other uncontrollable circumstances, your reliance on the scale will force you to shut out those friends and family, to avoid anything you cannot control. Letting go of the scale can be step one in repairing those relationships, or even preventing future damage.
  4. How you look: Last–and least. Take a second, if you will, and notice how this was not my “Reason number one!” for why you should ditch the scale. Yeah, I’m pretty sure everybody has, at least once in their lives, wanted to see ab lines in the mirror. (Honestly, abs were the only thing I had on my mind the first three months of my fitness jourey, so trust me when I say I’ve been there too.) I used to measure my fitness success on only two things: if I could see ab lines in the mirror each morning and what the scale said. Fitness isn’t about appearance. It’s about being able to take the dog on a walk and not be miserably winded in the first five minutes. It’s about being able to keep up with the kids on the playground. It’s about living life to the fullest. However, if you do take proper care of your body–loving it each step of the way–you will see signs of physical improvement, which can be quite rewarding.

Consider each of these the next time you sit down to determine your resolution progress. Evaluate the why behind your goals.

Are you working out and eating right just to see a number drop? Or are you doing it out of a love for yourself?

Thank you very much for reading my dreamers! I hope this helps you during your own journeys. You are worth so much more than some number. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Body Image

5 Tips to Combat Overeating

You did it again.

You’re sitting, staring at an empty bag of chips. An empty tub of ice cream. An empty pie plate.

You don’t know how it happened again, but it did. Now, all you know is the guilt sitting as heavy in your stomach as the frozen lump of mint chocolate chip.

I’ve been there too. For me, it was triggered by a cranky sweet tooth and a severe case of boredom.

First, I’d have a bite of the chocolate bar in the fridge. One bite would turn into half the King size bar. Second, it’d be a couple chips to combat the sickly sweet with some salt. Then, next thing I know I’ve eaten half the family size bag, some crackers, and a handful of pretzels. And I don’t even remember what most of it tasted like. After the flavor faded, it became purely mouth feel, eating to fill the void.

Do you want to stop the vicious cycle? Do you want a healthier relationship with food?

I know I did, every time I found myself staring at the decimated remains of my binge–which was, naturally, followed by forbidding myself from eating anything else the rest of the day. But if you’ve been there, you know it’s not as easy as simply stopping.

It’s taken me a year to develop a healthy relationship with the food I put it my body. A long, long year of so many trials and a much larger number of errors that I can’t possibly name them all. And because I know people just like that me, people like you right now, suffer that same cycle of eating-and-punishing, I want to give you some tips I’ve learned to combat overeating:

(As always my friends, I am not a professional, certified health expert or dietition. These are just my own opinions and things that have worked for me–and will hopefully work for you.)

Out of sight, out of mind:

This was, and still is, the most essential to me. If you get home from work and there’s a box of cookies right there on the counter, how much more likely are you to just grab a cookie… and then two… and then three, before you dig into the fridge for something healthy? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Make your home a safe zone. There are enough temptations on your way to school/work, at school/work, and then on the way back home again that you shouldn’t have to also fight them at home. During a moment of sheer willpower, toss out all the chips and cookies and crap that’s sitting around. If it’s not there, you won’t be able to eat and then binge on it now will you?

Don’t wait until you’re starving:

Your stomach’s announcing the mating call of a humpback whale. The TV is blaring doughnut ads. Your coworker is chowing down on Domino’s. Then, he offers you half.

What do you do?

See, when you’re hungry, those brave resolutions you made somehow magically vanish. Poof! Your self-control weakens to a point of nonexistence. This is the thing that can still get me today if I’m not careful. Therefore, I don’t go more than two hours between meals. For some of you, this might sound crazy–and for you, it might be. I eat a bunch of smaller meals throughout the day, but you may need the routine of a standard “three meals a day”. Find what works for you. Just let it be what keeps you satisfied enough between meals that you can, even reluctantly, say no to that sprinkle-covered confection.

Change of scenery:

You know the spot. In my case, it’s the end seat at the kitchen island. This spot is where every single one of my binges have occured–and can still occur, if I’m not careful. Maybe it’s your sofa, your bed, or your dining room chair; wherever the spot, pinpoint where you tend to be when you fall prey to your unhealthy eating habits.

Now, you know the spot. Next, walk away from it. Leave the binges there. Leave the cycle there.

Find a different spot. I merely moved one seat to the left at the island. Sounds silly, right? But it works. You see, you play with your brain when you eat in a different location. You’re no longer at the “scene of the crime” anymore, and if you don’t repeat the bad habit you started out with, your brain won’t know to send the message to mindlessly stuff your face with Doritos. It sounds so small, but try it. You’ll see the difference it makes.

Take a breath:

One of my dad’s most common statements throughout all of my childhood was “Breath Jordan! Taste your food.”

I wish I had listened sooner.

I don’t know if it was because I didn’t want my food to go cold, I don’t know if I constantly had something else I wanted to do after my meal, I don’t know why, but for some reason I have a horrible tendency to shovel food in without thought. This is something I’ve only very recently begun to battle. However, the importance of chewing more and pausing for breath is highly significant.

When we’re just shoveling food in mindlessly, we’re not truly paying attention to what we’re putting in our bodies. Food is fuel. A bag of Lays honey-barbeque is not going to nourish you or energize you for the day. But if you sit down on the couch, TV on, one hand scrolling through Instagram and one hand immersed in a chips bag, you’re not going to think about it. You’re going to grab, chew, repeat.

The purposeful mentality you’re attempting to cultivate is so much deeper and I won’t go into detail here, but it all starts with a breath. Take five seconds–that’s it, five seconds.

1… 2… 3… 4… 5.

Stop and actually think about what you’re eating. Think about if you want to continue down that awful binge or starvation spiral.

“Put the spork down”:

Rio 2 had it right here.

You can even time it with your breaths–every time you take a breath, set your spoon/fork down. Or vice versa. Whichever. The point is to disengage your fingers from the utensil. This goes right along with purposefulness, mindfulness, and taking breaths.

Meals were never meant to be mindless snacking. Filling the void. Repairing a broken heart. These are all holes in our lives Jesus wants to fill with his love ❤︎  These are not holes meant to be filled with food, but somehow, that’s what happens. I am just as guilty of it as you. I’m going to do it again, I’m going to mess up–and so are you. Sure, you can look up all the “Quick Fix”‘s you want, try all the diets, and buy all the fitness programs. But until you make the choice for yourself to eat healthier and love your body, none of it will work.

It’s not a quick fix. Mistakes are as much a part of the process as the workouts and the healthy eating. Heck, they might even be more important, because that’s how we learn. You will fall. It won’t be easy.

But it will be worth it.

Let me know if any of these tips helped you! Health journeys are hard, and all the diet fads choking us on social media today aren’t helping. You’ve got this though; I believe in you! You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎


Body Image

Fitness… or Fun?

Welcome back dear readers, or hello if you are new to my blog 🙂

As we are still in the throes of the big New Year’s resolution hoorah, I thought it might be fitting to discuss the basic meaning of a health journey and fitness methods/exercise regimes that I’ve experimented with in the past year.

  • Of course, I am by no means an expert or professional loves, this is just a list of things I’ve tried or that have worked for me.

A little fitness background I suppose I should share about me is that I’ve only been on this health journey for a year. My family–mother, father, brother–lives a consistently unhealthy lifestyle: the only time they move is to get into their vehicles or fridge; their diet consists of chips, potatoes, and sodas; and, most importantly, they hate their bodies.

I’m not bashing anyone who lives a similar lifestyle, nor is it my goal to be harsh. My point here is that there’s a cycle: my family members take very poor care of their bodies and feel like crap about themselves; because they feel like crap about themselves, they turn to junk food to fill the void of denial and despair. It’s a vicious cycle and one I am, slowly, attempting to change.

  • Slowly. Throughout this post, throughout your own health journey, take it slowly. Baby steps. It’s cliche but it’s true: you did not get where you are overnight and you will not get where you want to be overnight. Have love and grace for yourself in the present.

I’ve not made it too far with my family yet, but you can bet I’m going to keep trying! You see, it’s not because I want to change them–their personalities or what makes them, well, them. It’s because I love them that I want them to live their lives the happiest they can be, not stuck in a cycle of self-hatred. This can be applied to any situation (drugs, alcoholism, gambling) you’re trying to change in a family member: it’s going to be slow, it’s going to hurt a little, and it has to be their choice ultimately.

Just like your health has to be a choice you make–for you.

So here is a chronological list of things I have tried this past year and the lessons I’ve learned:

Beach Body 21 Day Fix:

If you’ll take a moment, you’ll notice how I’ve said “in the past year”; as in, I started my health journey last January. Yep, the “New Year’s weight loss resolution” fad sucked me in too! I got into fitness for all the wrong reasons: hating my body, feeling hopeless, wanting to impress others, and wanting that “perfect” body. But I’ll get into how my mentality changed later.

  • I know legitimate fitness experts will probably bash the whole concept of “get fit in three weeks”, but I’m being honest, and this is the program that got it all started for me. Now, I won’t recommend this for the long run. This program is based on a pretty strict restrictive mentality and working out almost every day of the week–which is not realistic for most. But it can be an efficient boost to get you started on your journey: it’ll introduce you to workout and eating plans.
  • I did thisprogram for about 5 months–so obviously it didn’t take me three weeks.


During the five months of 21 Day Fix, I was getting into better shape, but my relationship with food and my body was still very much askew. I would still binge on chips or ice cream and then exercise as a severe form of punishment against my body, so I wasn’t getting the results I could have been and I was still stuck in a negative mentality.

  • The end of my five months coincided with the end of my first year of college for summer break. I was burnt-out on the program and I needed a break. This was when I turned to the smith machine in our basement. Keep in mind, I had no instructor to ask for help, so I didn’t experiment a whole lot to prevent possible injury. I researched A LOT before hitting the bar. But weight-lifting a couple times a week was the necessary mental break I required–and it made me feel like I was truly growing any time I found I could go a little heavier or do one more rep.
  • I stuck with this about 4-5x a week for two months.

Lifesum and Macro Counting:

School hasn’t started back up again yet at this point, and my eating habits are still off. I’d gotten a little better and starting to appreciate the strength of my body. However, I was using a calorie/macro tracker app called Lifesum.

  • First, this is a GREAT tool for beginners: it will educate you about the truth of the things you’re eating. Instead of guessing (ohh, this scoop of ice cream is only a hundred calories), you get the hard facts–and it really can be a hard truth to swallow (get it, swallow? because it’s food? 😉 sorry, going on). You will be more aware of your basic macros (fats, carbs, proteins) and what to put into your body.
  • Second, if you have the slightest tendency towards OCD or perfectionism, be warned. After the first few weeks, I started to use this as an excuse to binge off junk and restrict myself later, just to fit it into my set number of allowed calories. Eventually, I had to stop using it altogether, to get out of that harmful spiral.
  • I used these, in correlation with my now 3-4x a week weight-lifting schedule for about a month and a half.

Kayla Itsines BBG:

A week before school started I did a complete 360: I stopped weight-lifting, I cut off the calorie tracker, and only did yoga or natural exercise like walking (I’ll get into yoga more later). At this point, I was still feeling stuck and hopeless when it came to my poor eating habits, as I’m sure you have felt too at some point.

  • If you visit my “It’s Okay–They’ll Think Santa Ate Them!” post, it breaks down in detail the food plan I learned from one book–a food plan that has changed my life.
  • In reference to the workout aspect though (also in my post), about a month and a half into the Fall semester I started going to my school’s fitness center every Monday and Wednesday, working out at home on Saturday, and taking my dog on a walk every day between.

That’s really all it takes. It sounds like bogus, and if you’re going for ripped hunky machine, then this probably is bogus for you. But for the average human being, exercise 3x a week paired with natural movement and healthy eating will get you in the best shape of your life. But to enjoy your new body you need to grow your mentality.


This is it. This is THE THING. Not the weights, not the running, not the programs, not the calorie trackers, not even the ab lines I see in the mirror–that’s right, abs will not make you love your body. Yoga in combination with my faith is the single, most imperative component to why I love the skin I’m in.

  • Every morning after I read my Bible, I do yoga. It can be 5 minutes or it can be half an hour–sometimes I have that luxury and sometimes I have five dogs demanding attention, so you know, I totally get the busy schedules. But whatever the time, I have dedicated those minutes to me.

Yoga teaches a mindfulness that hurling yourself through a workout never will. Sure, it’s not going to burn as many calories. But you become aware of the very breath you bring in… and every breath you exhale out… You become aware of what all those “thunder thighs” do for you each day: chasing the kids up the stairs, jogging with the dog, lifting you from your chair at work.

You learn to love you–the you right now.

Not the you of tomorrow. Not the you of your golden days. Because you make today your golden day.

As of right now, I’ve taken a brief hiatus from the typical “workout routine” and am focusing solely on yoga. “Yoga with Adriene” is the perfect thing for beginners, but my favorites are Christian yoga channels: while you move your body, you get inspired with messages of love that will resound within you all the day long. I challenge you to try it for a couple days and see the difference it makes!

There is nothing like it my friend. Once you love your body, you will want to eat healthy foods to fuel your body, because it will make you the best you that you could ever be 🙂 It’s a long road. I’m one year in, and not only do I still struggle with body image issues and food temptations, I can count on my hands… your hands… and probably your friend’s hand the number of times I messed up this year.

But mistakes are beautiful opportunities for growth. I pray you recognize that today and take one step closer to the you you’re capable of becoming.

I know this was a long one, and so I give many thanks to the brave soul who read all the way to the bottom! Remember dear one, you are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎