If you've read my bio, you know that I've experienced a weight loss journey of my own. There is something about early summer that inspires me to share this story because it was this time of year, three years ago, when things started to move for me.
While I've never been classifiably overweight, I do know what it feels like to be uncomfortable in my body and to crave my "natural weight". Through antidepressant medications, stress, and a loss of self-control in diet, I put on a little weight in college. I didn't like talking about it and I felt pretty self conscious that people would notice the difference. I knew it was time for a change when I graduated. I didn't exactly have a plan, but I knew I wanted to eat less junk, eat more from our garden at home, and move my body more regularly. By God's grace alone, those habits began taking hold and a year later, I looked back and realized that not only had I lost 20 pounds, I was feeling a great joy, energy, and focus in life like never before.
I took the "after" shot right before my missions trip to Europe. At that point in life, God had begun to tug on my heart that nutrition may be an area for me to work and/or minister in. When I came home from the trip, I felt a deep sense of calling to the field of nutrition, as I had gotten the chance to meet and speak with over 20 missionaries who all had a positive response to the idea of nutrition as missionary care. God eventually led me to IIN, where I'm getting my certification, and showed me that I should be doing nutrition both as ministry and vocation.
The reason I mention my calling to nutrition in this "before and after" story is because had it not been for the experience of loosing a certain number on the scale, health may have never "clicked" for me. Looking back on that transformative year, I realized that health is about more than just being slim; it's about tapping into a greater empowerment to live the life God means for his children to live, without the hinderance of physical disease. God allowed me to have a "before" so that I could learn the lessons I would eventually get to pass on to the people with whom I work about having an "after".
Now, I realize that if your health journey is looking a bit more...dare I say drastic, a 20 pound weight loss may not inspire you greatly. I want not to focus on the number when I tell my story because to be honest with you, I currently sit somewhere between my "before" and "after" and am realizing that for my age and pace of life, it's my natural weight. I tell my story not to encourage others to compare theirs, but rather in an attempt to give God glory for redeeming broken health in me and to inspire you, my appreciated reader, that he desires to do something important in your body as well.