I don’t know how many of my readers will be able to relate to this post, but it’s something that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while now, so I hope it can reach at least one of you.
For almost a year now, God has called me to a season of rest. When I started college in 2012, I began really working out for the first time in my life. I cheered almost my whole life and played other sports off and on, but I never went to a gym or ran for leisure, etc. So, when I went to college and that’s what everyone did in their free time, it was kind of a shock to me. This was just not part of my life and not something that interested me.
That year, I started going to the gym a few times a week, would take classes, get on the elliptical, go for a short jog, and so on. It still wasn’t something that I did every day, but something I started to enjoy and wanted to do more often.
Fast forward to my senior year of college, I have run my first half marathon, work out every single day (sometimes more than once a day), and am in my third year working at the campus rec center. Working out was something that I couldn’t imagine cutting out of my life and didn’t even remember life before going to a gym. If I took a day off from running, I felt lazy and fat. If I ate too much unhealthy food in one day, I was disappointed in myself and would get discouraged. I compared myself to every single girl I saw in person and online. I didn’t understand how people could eat whatever they wanted and not feel guilty for it. It consumed me.
With all of this being said – I LOVED to eat. I was always hungry, could eat three times as much as I did in high school, and enjoyed eating EVERYTHING. I was always thinking about my next meal and wondering when I could allow myself to cheat on eating healthily.
I’m telling you all of this so you can understand where I am at now. Last November, I was struggling with the loss of my lifelong cat, and going through some personal struggles. It was like I woke up one day and didn’t have an appetite. With the things going on at the time, it made sense. I was sad and didn’t want to eat. But as time went on and these things went away, I still didn’t want to eat. There were few things that sounded good to me, and I felt full within eating a couple of bites.
I began losing weight very quickly and did not have any energy at all to work out. I went to multiple doctors throughout the year where they ran numerous tests on me to see exactly what was wrong. Nothing was really coming back as a clear diagnosis.
Long story short, the doctors never really could figure out what was wrong with me. To this day, I am not sure why I lost weight so rapidly or why my appetite and energy vanished. It is all bizarre and unclear. But, I believe that God used this circumstance to call me into a season of rest. I have not been to my gym since last December and only ran for the first time a month ago. I needed this time in my life to learn that it is ok to not have an intense workout every single day, that I don’t have to do two workouts in one day if one of them wasn’t as strenuous as the other, that I can eat what I want to and not beat myself up about it. I got to a point in my life where the thought of being thin and fit consumed every move I made. I would get upset if someone wanted me to do something and I missed a time to workout. My day would be ruined if I slept in instead of going to the 5:30am spin class. I would not let myself eat dinner if I had a big lunch. This mindset is just as unhealthy, in my opinion, as not having any health routine at all. It was paralyzing me and controlling my life so strongly that I wasn’t enjoying little things and God knew this.
I am so thankful that I have had this year to enjoy resting. I have enjoyed not going to the gym every day. I have enjoyed eating the foods I love so much and I have enjoyed using my time for other things. For the first time in almost 6 years, I truly feel happy with my body and confident in my own skin. With all of that said, I do enjoy working out and will eventually get back into a fitness routine, but for now I am content in resting in my God. I have gained some weight back and my appetite has also increased, so I am thankful for that. But, I am not going to rush back into my old lifestyle and I don’t intend on going back to the way things were before.
Thank you, Lord for calling me to a season of rest and for showing me how to trust you and take a step back.