The thing about progress is sometimes you don’t realize how far you’ve come until a moment of breakthrough hits.
This picture was taken today while goofing off with my sisters about mowing the yard. One picture that took less than a second to snap led to breakthrough that has been a long time coming. Breakthrough from a battle I didn’t even realize I was fighting.
Those closest to me know that my passion and calling from the Lord is to speak to women about identity. My weight loss story is more than just losing pounds – it is a journey of hope. It is an ever-evolving journey of a battlefield of the mind. Finding your identity and where that identity comes from is the most important part of determining your story.
One of the things I say over and over is we cannot find our identity in what we perceive to be perfection on a magazine cover. I continually speak confident things like this and yet today, at the snap of that picture, I realized I’ve been holding myself back from walking in one of my greatest desires. It was like a slap in the face, and for a moment, I was disappointed in myself.
I had allowed myself to be controlled by the fear of rejection and judgment.
In fact, though I didn’t realize it at the time, just tonight I let it hold me back. I was working out at a local gym and a close friend (someone I trust) tried to help correct me in the form & execution of my cable bicep curl. They corrected me loudly and did so in a joking way as to make light of it. Instead of responding to their help and correcting my form, I was immediately embarrassed and went on the defense. I immediately assumed everyone was looking at me and judging me with thoughts like “What is she even doing here?”, “Doesn’t the manager of a gym know good form?” , “How is she, of all people, a personal trainer?”
I was being ridiculous. Seriously, RIDICULOUS! I am most positive that 5 seconds after it happened no one in the room was still even thinking about it, except me.
It’s this same subconscious fear of rejection that has been holding me back from reaching for my dream of telling my story through Oxygen Magazine. I first read Oxygen Magazine in 2009. It was the first fitness magazine that I could read cover to cover and I haven’t missed an issue since. In 2013, I had the desire to submit my success story to Oxygen in hopes of being chosen as one of the many stories that are featured and, in turn, inspire other women.
But I didn’t.
Well, what if they didn’t like my picture that went with the story? Sure, I was a transformation – but half of my transformation has taken place in my mind. My physical transformation is dramatic, too, but what if it isn’t muscular enough for a fitness magazine?
My excuses for not sending in my story changed constantly.
My leg muscle has gone soft. I’m not lean enough. My triceps are gone. Every girl with a story needs shoulders. What if I want to wear a modest tank instead and that isn’t allowed? My surgery left me with a muffin top. There’s no way I could submit. I don’t deserve it. I haven’t been training 6 days a week anymore.
I spoke negative over myself before I even tried! I spoke death over a goal before ever even reaching for it! I basically sat down in defeat at the start line because I feared I wouldn’t finish.
If I tell women to love their bodies and be more than a wish on a magazine cover, then why would I not let myself submit my story just because I don’t think they would like my picture?
But today, things are changing. I love the picture I playfully snapped this morning. I love my body! I will not let a “what if I am rejected” hold me back from submitting my story. I will no longer let fear of not controlling the outcome stop me from starting.
So today, I decided to begin the race and to take my starting position. Today is the day I have decided to have some “professional” shots done and to send in the story of my journey. It’s a journey of hope and hope should be shouted from the rooftops and shined from the light house. It should never be hidden and I will no longer hide my journey of hope under fear.
My identity is in Christ and I know he has called me to tell my story. So if I love God and want to share this hope with women, I must boldly go. I must boldly put out there the hope that I have found in my journey and the truth I have learned, and leave the rest to The Lord.
What dream have you been telling others to reach for that you aren’t?
What have you been telling others to do but yet not practicing yourself?
What are you allowing to hold you back?
Why aren’t you taking off from that start line?
What fear are you holding on to?
“For God hath not given us a Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil;”Hebrews 6:19
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14
“Growing in Grace as A Christine In The Fitness industry Means Realizing That Honoring God With Our Body Has Nothing To Do With Intensity, But Has Everything To Do With Intent.” – Jimmy Peña –
“Grace removes the burden of trying to perfect a body that won’t last, yet grace is the reason to honor God with it every day that it does.” – Jimmy Peña –