The Year of NO Pictures!

Hey there friends! It's Danielle here with you today. I'm so glad ya'll were able to meet Jenica last week. Oh, the sweet warm welcome you all gave her! It was beautiful and I'm so thankful for you all. As we continue on this journey, I'll be writing to you every Monday and Jenica will be encouraging you on Thursdays! We love that we get to offer you two different perspectives about our journey's but both from the same encouraging word of God!

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Today I wanted to take a moment to talk a little about my personal journey with food, exercise and overall health. It has been a loooooooooooooooong loooong long journey for sure, but that's what life is essentially. One fantastically long journey with our heavenly father. But to be completely honest, up until recently, I hadn't really asked God to come along on my physical health journey with me. In fact, it hadn't even really crossed my mind. 

I grew up as a pretty thin and energetic kid, that is until middle school. That’s when it basically all went down hill. But by the time I started to gain weight, I already had nearly 13 years of unhealthy eating habits built into my life. From then on it was a fantastic feast of yo-yo dieting and crazy scale fluctuations.  

To be honest, I never really hated my size. I had a ton of friends and for the most part really loved high school and college. I tried to make sure that my pendulum swinging eating habits didn’t affect my relationships or activities.  

While in my early 20s I decided to stop the yo-yo dieting, lose the weight for real, and keep it off. And with my mind made up, I did just that. I got to the lowest weight I had been since 6th grade (whaaat?!) and for the first time in my adult life, I felt really good about myself.

And then it came. A comment that I know was not mean spirited, but one that rocked my world. A comment that made my heart believe that my self worth was wrapped up in this smaller size. A comment that made my heart believe that I still wasn’t thin enough. And there it was. For the first time ever, nothing was more important than being skinny.

I’ve never really talked about this (not even to my closest friends), but for about 4-5 months I ate next to nothing. My already thin frame dropped an additional 20 pounds making me over 10 pounds under weight for the first time in my life. I feared food and felt completely trapped by the pain of this comment. There was no way out in mind.

Enter Jesus!

About a year after I started this journey of eating next to nothing, I walked into the beautiful double doors of the church I now call home and was introduced not to a distant God, but a savior. Now I’d love to say things changed over night but it was a lot of reading the word, late nights in prayer, and amazing friends God had brought me to live life with that has lead me on toward my healing heart. The greatest of all these people being my incredibly supportive and amazing husband.

I’d love to say the story ends there but me and that pendulum, we’ve had a long term relationship. And once I let my guard down, here he came a swinging! Once married, I went straight spiraling into the other direction. On the weight began to collect until I had swung all the way back to one of my heaviest sizes. Y’all this swing is intense and a bit exhausting!

I’d love to say that I immediately got myself together and lost all of the weight, but to be honest, I just wanted a rest. To pretend like I was fine, my body was fine, and I could just live comfortably at this size. But I wasn’t comfortable. Not in my clothes, not during activity, and then I realized something even worse. I had almost an entire year without a single picture of myself. I spent one whole year not documenting my life because I didn’t want to have to see what would be looking back at me.

For the first time I knew I needed to not just change my size, but the mentality I had about food and exercise in general. I looked around my home that I take oh so much beautifully precise care of and I heard God speak to my heart, “You take such sweet care of your temple, but completely neglect mine.”

It wasn’t a judgment. It was a sweet reminder from a daddy who loves me so much. That’s when I read this in His word,

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!” -1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT

I let that seep into my heart a bit and realized that I needed to make a change. And not one that was about getting skinny, fitting into the cutest jeans, or impressing people around me. But one that was focused on physical and spiritual wholistic health.

My starting place really was, what are the fruits of the spirit?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” -‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Self-control. The fruit of the spirit is self-control. I never wanted to admit that because it’s easy to think you can’t control what you eat or how you exercise. But the truth is, that if the Holy Spirit is living in me, then the fruit of that spirit is self-control.

That is what I’m taking into this new season of health. I have the capacity to be healthy and the fruit of self-control to do it well.

You have that same spirit living in you my friend. The Holy Spirit is there to guide you, not to harm you. To give you new life when the exhaustion of this one just takes over. And to give you the greatest wholistic health you can receive. I definitely know how hard the struggle is and that is why I am inviting you on this journey with me and cheering you on along the way! Please let me know if there is something you need a little extra prayer for. We would love to join you in that! Praying for health to be your focus moving forward sweet friends!!