Last week CrossFit posted a before and after photo of me from a couple years ago when I was at the peak of my weight loss journey. As usual, when one of my side by side photos circulates, I got a ton of new followers and people reaching out to ask me about how I accomplished this crazy transformation … which got me thinking … if people knew where I was right now … would they still be inspired? Wouldn’t it be awesome if, when I had reached that moment of my highest success, I had been able to just stay there?!?! Wouldn’t my story be epic if I just succeeded and wrapped up all of my loose ends into a perfect package, tied a bow on myself and called it done?!?!?
But life isn’t neat and tidy, or at least mine isn’t. And my story didn’t end when I reached my goal. My life took a turn that I wasn’t expecting. Maybe some of you can relate? The detour for me was called 2020. I know so many people who buckled down and gutted out that year with more organized closets and a new hobby. I was not one of those people.
My experiences in 2020 shook my world apart. At first I stood in defiance against the shaking, determined to stand strong. But eventually, the shaking had crumbled so many things down around me that I couldn’t see anything left to stand on. And I became afraid.
I began to experience daily panic attacks, the kind that are impossible to explain unless you have felt one yourself, and day after day I found myself desperately crying into the rug on my bathroom floor. Eventually, the attacks became so relentless that I would just wake up in fear of the next panic attack that was sure to grip me at some point.
Afraid of fear. That’s where I found myself after reaching the peak of my health and fitness journey. My mind became so overrun by potential worst case scenarios and the plans that I needed to devise to avoid them that I completely lost the ability to think outside of my own personal nightmare. A nightmare, grant you, that was only taking place inside my head. And even though I knew it wasn’t logical or reasonable, I couldn’t seem to get ahold of my thoughts, and I wondered if I would ever have peace in my mind again.
So, it’s fair to assume that I didn’t do a lot of calorie counting or consistent working out during that time. And so … I’m not as fit as I was 2 years ago. I’m not as thin as I was 2 years ago. I don’t have the muscle tone that I had 2 years ago. But I’m not as worried about the number on the scale as I was 2 years ago either, because I found out that when life got real, the scale wasn’t the thing that I went running to.
I’m doing really well now. I’m standing up again. I’m thinking thoughts of hope again. I’m feeling joy. And I’m praising God, because when my whole world shook, I found the one thing that withstood the shaking. It turns out, there wasn’t a level of success or security that could sustain me. There wasn’t a president or governor or political party that could insulate me. There was no pastor or religious leader or spiritual guru that could fill me up. I couldn’t get security from my parents, my husband, or my kids. There was only one place where I found peace … and that was in the arms of Jesus.
I’ve known Jesus my whole life. I’ve walked with him and talked to him. I’ve studied his Word, the Bible, since I was a toddler. But it took falling on my face on my bathroom floor while my world shook apart to realize that Jesus was the only solid thing left to stand on. Not my scale.
And so here I am. Heavier but lighter, broken but rebuilding, and alive! I don’t know exactly why God has given me this small platform to share my journey, but for as long as I have it I will testify that The Lord has dealt bountifully with me. I’m not where I was, but I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.