What happens when you surrender?
Desire to a Passion
It started out with a desire to lose weight, and then it turned into a goal to compete, and somewhere along the lines it became a passion for sharing, but before I started this fitness journey, it was not the Bible-thumping FaithFueled™ fit chick who began. The women who started this journey was so broken, desperate, lonely and spiritually deprived. Just my motivation for starting this journey indicates where my head spaces, vanity. The superficial, meaningless outside of life. It is what had gotten me to 205 lbs at 5’3, ’’ and it was holding me captive.
Up until September 2014, I was a Christian woman who was doing everything all on my own and called on God when needed. All my needs were to be met by me; I was a “self-help,” book study junkie. Hopping from Book Studies (some people call them Bible studies but in my opinion, if you’re just skimming over a few devotional verses and ain’t cruising through the word -it’s a study of a book some Christian author wrote.) Again, just my opinion.
I wanted the fulfillment, the inner peace, the joy of Jesus and I didn’t realize it was right there just a prayer away. It was until the end of September that I became aware of what I genuinely had been seeking through food, companionship and other things. Have an intimate relationship with Christ.
“ Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13
It wasn’t until I had put all my insecurities, disappointments and let downs into a scale. It’s my “Surrender to Jesus moment.” I remember it vividly it was a long week of HIIT workouts, deprivation dieting, and just plain old self-willpower that had gotten me through that week, and this planner girl likes to track, so I took my measurements, weighed myself and lost it on my scale. It was not pretty, Christian-like or even something you tell people that you actually did, but I don’t mind; I did it. I smashed that and a small dent in the bathroom wall till it was in pieces.
I had put all of my own energy into that week. I thought I was actually getting somewhere I had also done a 30-day Cleanse, and I lost inches, but that scale only went down 6 pounds. Seriously? I was hungry, sore, tired and my need for instant gratification was not met, and that is when I let all that aggression out on my scale. Until about three months ago we didn’t own a scale haha. I really had a lot of resentment towards, and that is when in despair and frustration I dropped down to my knees, and I said, “Lord, I surrender…” Along with an extensive list of everything that I was trying to control on my own and then I said, “…..Lord, take my burdens and direct my path.”
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
That is where FaithFueled™ Life was born on that bathroom floor out of despair. I had run the race as far as my own two feet could carry me and it was time to tag God to help me finish the race. Now don’t get me wrong it was not an instant change of behavior.
This anxious control freak had a lot of growing to do. For about nine months I tried my best to “Be still” It was probably the hardest thing that I had done in a while. I went to the Word inductively studying it, sharing my breakthroughs here on the blog and journaling (because I love to write if you didn’t notice) through my journal almost a year and a half later Bibles and Bootcamp was created. My daily devotions had inspired months of Bible research and devotional writing without me even realizing it.
A few months passed, and my exercise experience began to transform. I was praying before and after workouts which motivated me to work hard in every workout. I was meditating on memory verses during challenging exercise, and I was conquering them with ease.
I was praying every day for “Lord, give me an appetite for the things you want me to fuel my body.” Two years later I no longer crave poor choices (like I used too), I actually crave healthy things. That was a battle all on its own.
Then all of these Godcidences began that was putting the exact people I needed in my life some to the exact day it’s amazing to see God’s in action.
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Then the Facebook ad that literally changed the trajectory of my life. I was scrolling (as I do almost daily) and a Facebook ad for the college I attend, Bryan University came up. I clicked “Learn More” and like that got a call from a man named George from BU. I had done those go back to school ads before and never answered the immediate ring, but this time things were different. We spoke for over two hours, and by the end of the conversation, I was gathering paperwork to see if I could get financial clearance. Like taking action on something that I never thought I would actually achieve. Two weeks later by the grace of God and some number crunching, finagling and reorganizing I was able to afford to go back to college to get my degree in Fitness and Exercise Science. First of all, say what? And then why? Why does someone need a degree to be a personal trainer? At the time I had the same question, but now that I have graduated I know exactly why- God’s plan!
Bryan University was challenging, and it was a huge adjustment, and very quickly I wanted to quit. It wasn’t until I was about 15 weeks in that the reason “why?” I decided to get a degree and not simply take a test was made very clear.
My professor at the time began talking to us about Special Populations. It actually wasn’t about the current curriculum it was an off topic chat that our class engaged in, but that day I had a clear, profound thought. “THAT IS FOR YOU!” I thought Senior Fitness “yep, that is what I am going to do when I grow up.”
As I have continued my degree, I have a passion for all special populations, and the majority of my VIP clients fall into that category. I actually don’t sign on VIPs who just want to look good you have to want to improve your health with me. I feel like there are plenty of trainers who can help people look good but the diabetic or 73 years, hypertensive, and metabolic disordered clients there aren’t many trainers for them. The people who just want to live a better life are usually left going it alone or with Trainers who took the cert and have no idea how to address their unique needs, understand their why or care.
The purpose-driven school I continued and now graduated from Bryan University. My plots to quit and just take the certification ceased and I actually began to enjoy everything but homework and discussion question. Then in November, I got a fantastic opportunity through NASM and AFAA they offered to pay for a certification in group training so that I could beta test their 2018 certification. So, two certs for free!!! Blessed! I took them and got certified and then my time I spent in the “desert” with God asking me to “Be still” let up and the floodgates poured out. ( I can be so dramatic, but it really did feel that way)
Since then I have been honored and privileged to be teaching group fitness classes to nearly every category in Special population. I also have gotten a job as a trainer at a fantastic gym which focuses on corrective training, sports performance and has a high special population client base.- Praise God!
Through this, I have seriously filled a void with a relationship with Christ. I used to suffer almost daily from high anxiety, and now I don’t feel anxious all of the time. I used to hate being in front of or on camera….now it doesn’t bother me because my confidence has increased and I have something to say.
The education that I received at Bryan University has allowed me to be a better trainer. My client yesterday said, “My trainer never did this….(asked her to stretch, warm up AND cooldown). She also never gave her assessment for muscle imbalances. Took her money and gave her some exercises that were not at her skill level and discouraged her from doing it on her own. Through this, I have become passionate about research and am looking into evidence-based research almost daily about things of the human anatomy, kinesiology, and body mechanics. When I began this journey my go to Fitness Resource was Pinterest which I tell all my clients STAY AWAY! (That’s entire other posts 😉 )
Purpose Driven Living
I feel called to serve people through fitness. I am living and walking in my purpose. I am reflecting as I just completed an amazing Month! I got on stage for my first Figure Competition, got my degree and got my NASM Certified Personal Trainer Certification. (oh yeah I can add that one too the list) I am now working on my Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification, and I am astounded at all the things God has given me. The direction He has given me through this experience.
I also am excited about the opportunities that God has for me and set up for me in the future. I did a school presentation talking to students about Honoring Their Temple and Biblically Based Eating! We made snacks and read this amazing book for kids, called “Kool Kids & the Land of the GIants” teaching Kid’s about relying on God and honoring their temple. (My Kind of book) I have spoken at events, Church’s, two national magazine features, possible cable access fitness show, getting paid to travel and teach fitness with my family as well as amazing clients that I get to work with every single day.
You think I am inspiring? When these women achieve their goals; My 85lbs. Weight loss is going to look like small potatoes, and I get to cheer them on the entire time. I am truly blessed.
I am no longer lonely (I have a really great friend in Jesus), the people in my life are fantastic and love me unconditionally and support me and the ones who I thought did; disappeared or just left me alone…weird. (That’s another post)I have restored my relationship with my mom. I no longer care what the next step is because I trust that if it’s through God’s provision, it’s the right step for me. I feel content, at inner peace and feel the joy of Jesus.
My life has turned around from being purposeless to purposeful, and I am a testament to the glory of God creating beauty out of broken things. All because I decided to do something different, take a chance, surrender, and trust in God.
Are you holding back your potential trying to do it alone? What is preventing you from surrendering?