the blog headline you were expecting or are used to I'm sure. I'd bet
your facebook feed looks just look mine, filled with before and after
pictures, transformation Tuesdays, and fitness app statuses about the
latest run around the neighborhood. For those of you on those fitness
journeys, WAY TO GO! (I mean that with all sincerity.) Some of you are
very encouraging and inspiring... some of you make me feel like I'm
inadequate because I don't run every day and eat quinoa and veggies
every meal. Sorry, that's just me being honest. While that's not what
sparked this post, I hope those of you who are on that road will hang
around to hear my story.
night Husband spent the evening working with the Honor Guard and I
decided to eat the elephant of reorganizing the closet. It only takes 1
or 2 Sundays of me going through 5 outfit changes before it's all messed
up plus I needed to inventory for Fall. Four hours later I sat in my
closet floor looking at all my beautifully organized clothes. It was a
relief to have it done, but deep down the whole process deflated me.
Over half of my clothes don't fit, won't zip, or just look like a
suction-sealed slip right now.
sit going back in forth in my head between the lie and the truth. The
lie that I'm a failure. The truth that this doesn't determine my
success. The lie that I'm not beautiful like a year ago. The truth that
God made me beautiful even when I'm not at my best.
wrestling with myself in my closet floor, the realization hit me that
there are probably many of you out there feeling just like me. Feeling
like you must ignore half of social media to keep a little bit of
self-confidence. Going to your closet day in and day out wishing you
wardrobe was wearable. Wrestling with who you are and what you're worth
and where your beauty level is. Hungering to be healthy but wondering if
you'll ever find fit and stick with it.
you're anything like me you find yourself starting out a fitness plan
chasing after beauty. Anyone with me? I was reminded in a sermon that
Scripture says "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain (some
translations say fleeting), but a woman who fears the Lord is to be
praised." I want to be that girl. The girl who fears the Lord above all
else. The one who isn't caught up in the vanity of worldy "beauty."
Please don't get me wrong. I think fitness, health, and self control are
all important but there a comes a point for most of us that we ask if
it's about being a healthy servant of the Lord or a more "beautiful
version of ourselves."
guess this is as good of time as ever to flashback and tell you how I
reached this moment. My weight has something I've always struggled with.
While it's been something that most of my high metabolism, tall, skinny
friends never struggled with, it's never been out of the ordinary in my
family. All of the women in my family fluctuate and I've always been in
the boat right with them. Some of this I'm sure can be attributed to
southern cooking, busy lifestyles, and a mad sweet tooth. However in
doing life with numerous people (eating the same and being active the
same amount of time), I can also tell you with certainity that my
metabolism is not on my weightwatchers team. Between my mom, my sister
and I we have quite the jean collection. Five+ pairs in each size
ranging in 6 different sizes. I can now say that at some point I've worn
high school and college I was very active. Always playing a sport and
never just sitting around in the summer. Regardless of my exercise
level... I fluctuated. Sometimes explainably and sometimes not.
for 1 week....add 17lbs. Stomach issues for a month... minus 31lbs.
First semester Freshman year... MINUS 15lb. Christmas break Freshman
year ... add 10lbs (thanks to Grams cooking for 3 weeks). You get the
picture. If I wanted to maintain I had to be counting calories and if I
wanted to lose... well that took a lot of work (or being away from home
eating college cafe food).
comes Summer of 2012. I leave college. Visit Delaware. Move in October.
January comes and I still hadn't picked up a new workout routine (I
cheered in college which kept me in pretty decent shape). At the start
of the new year I had put on some weight and moved up a jean size. I was
frustrated. With the help of 2 dear friends (one of which is an amazing
fitness instructor), I started my very own weight-loss journey. I gave
up soda, sugar, white flour, processed foods. I worked out 6 days a week
(most of which involved a run). I loved what it did to my body! I felt
great! I lost 25lbs, 2 jean sizes, and gained so much self confidence. I
learned a lot about food, eating habits, working out, and myself. My
fitness lady... well she's awesome! Seriously revolutionized the way I
comes Summer of 2013. Enter student camps. Enter cookouts. Enter
Rita's. Enter Joel. I fell off the wagon. I didn't go crazy... but I
definitely lost my strictness. We started dating which led to being up
late to spend time together, me not exercising, and us eating out quite a
bit. We quickly got engaged which led to us planning a wedding in 2.5
months, celebrating everywhere we went, both of our birthdays in the
mix, me still not exercising. We of course then got married in October
which led to cruising for our honeymoon (might I add that those are
all-inclusive all-you-can-eat), Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, and a
week at my family's home for Christmas...... Total: add 20lbs.
really wasn't worried at this point. I knew I could lose it so I said. I
would start exercising again in January so I said. We'd be pregnant
soon anyways so I said. Nothing to worry about so I said.
I haven't given up soda or sweets completely, Joel and I eat pretty
healthy. We still have beef burgers instead of turkey and we don't
always eat salads when we eat out... but all in all we eat clean 80% of
the time. I've started to work out some but never do it more than
3x/week. I haven't lost much in the last 2 months.. but I haven't gained
get me wrong I know what it takes. I know what it does to my body...
but I also know what it does to my mind. I long to be one of those girls
who can do healthy all the time and not be consumed. I long to be one
of those girls who runs and enjoys it. But that's not me. When I'm
dieting, I think about food and exercise 24/7. I am constantly planning
meals, counting calories, weighing in, trying on old jeans, and wishing I
was even smaller. I am frustrated when I run and am constantly
comparing myself. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. I'm a rule
follower through and through. So all of a sudden when I declare I'm
getting on the wagon, I become that girl who feels as though she's a
failure because she decided to have one cookie. I become the girl who
plans her weeks around her workouts. Although I know what it takes, I am
not ready to go there. In fact, I never want to go there again.
here I am starting over. Taking all I know about exercise and clean
eating and trying to make it my life. In the coming months I'm going to
try to the best of my ability to lose weight without getting consumed.
For me it will be one healthy decision at a time, not doing it out of
obligation, and not trying to achieve a target weight or size. It will
consist of unhealthy times of this I'm sure and times I must use
self-control. It will consist of times I workout for fun and times I
work out because I know it's what's best for me. It will consist of me
being a good steward of my body which is a temple and will not consist
of me basing my success or worth or beauty off of my weight. It will be a
long process, not a quick fix.
hope those of you out there who can be fitness guru's and not get
consumed will understand how much I admire you. I hope those of you out
there who are great at this game will not judge me for my lack of
devotion to fitness. I hope those of you out there who struggle like me
will know you're not alone. I hope you will join me in making one
healthy decision at a time but not letting it control your mind. I hope
you will finally feel like you can relate with someones weight journey. I
hope you'll know that God made you worth much more than what your jean
size is. I hope that in 6 months from not I'm sharing my "getting fit
but not consumed" story or even better my "being fit while pregnant"
story. Until then... this is where I am. Running my own race.
us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us
run with endurance the race so closely, and let us run with endurance
the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and
perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured
the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God."
race mentioned here isn't a 5k or a half marathon or a lap around your
neighborhood. It't the race of living by faith for the glory of the
Gospel. It's the race of enduring any persecution, hardship, or
temptation with the mindset of following in Christ's example. So I'll be
here running that race, or at least trying daily. I hope all of you
will join me in that.
Hi there! I'm Brandy, the writer and photographer here at A Sweet Aroma. I hope you find this space to be one of encouragement at transparency as I blog and photograph my way through this beautiful life.