12/ 01/ 19
Most days the thought of how I used to look makes me cringe. I like to block the “fat Abbey” stage of my life out completely. I get embarrassed of her. I think “how could you have ever let yourself get to that point?” I look back and see an out of control, emotionally unstable, and all around useless person. I see a girl who couldn’t go shopping without sobbing in the fitting room, who made an enemy out of every mirror because of its reflection when she walked by, who completely emotionally isolated herself from every single person who loved her in her life because she thought they would judge her solely on her looks. Because she was fat she didn’t deserve an opinion, or to be treated with respect, or to be loved.
But God. But God came to me the night of Christmas Eve 2016 when I was looking at a picture I had taken earlier that night with my friends at the Christmas Eve service. I looked at this picture loathing myself, hating how I was always the biggest one in all of my friend groups, hating my very existence. But God wrapped me tight in His grace and whispered in my ear, “I see your desire to change, and I will be with you every step of the way.” By the time I was 14 I had tried every single diet under the sun. I would lose 5 pounds only to gain back 10. I was leaning on my own understanding and not on that of God. That same night, I surrendered. I knew from experience that what I was doing was no longer going to cut it. Not until that point was any real change ever made. I had to change the perspective of my heart and mind before I would ever see any physical change. I had to stop hating myself and see me through God’s eyes. I had to stop thinking healthy food was the creation of Satan himself and see it as nutritious fuel that would only benefit me. I had to stop letting the thought that other people would surely judge me in the gym, thinking to themselves that this girl has no place here.
The thing that I believe most people get wrong about physical transformations whether that be losing weight and leaning out or gaining weight and bulking up is that the confidence will come throughout the journey. Later on, when you start to see progress. But it’s actually the exact opposite. Until you learn to love your body for what it is at exactly this moment you will always deal with insecurity and fear of judgement and rejection. God made you to his good and perfect standards and so what, you may have lacked in maintaining yourself to the best of your ability but that’s where His grace takes over. He sees that you’ve strayed, and He still loves you. Your purpose and worth do not change because you’ve gained weight. So knowing that, walk with the confidence of Christ within you into that gym right up next to the skinny girl on the elliptical and know that you, through and through, are just as beautiful and just as loved by our creator, as she is. Give it your all, and I promise promise promise that God will honor your hard work.
Then there are nights like tonight where I think back on the struggles I went through. The loneliness, the depression, the rock bottom self-esteem. No confidence whatsoever. And I am so proud of myself. I am proud of the countless hours spent at the gym I am proud that I tried and failed countless eating plans until I found the one that works for me. I’m able to look back at the girl I once and be so proud that I never gave up on her, that after deciding that some major changes needed to me made, I loved her for who she was in exactly that moment. That the confidence that I prayed for and received got me through the hard stages that most never get through. I am proud that through it all I persevered. I did it to prove to myself that I would not end up as another obesity statistic.
I’ve come a verrrryyy long way, and I’m almost to my goal but not quite there yet. I would love to claim that I have sky high confidence 24/7 and that I’m completely comfortable in my own skin but I’m not. There are moments where I scroll though Instagram and compare myself to another girl and wonder how it is humanly possible to be that pretty. At the end of the day it is more a journey of the heart than a journey of appearance. I think that my most favorite part about my journey in particular is that I learned to see myself through Jesus’ eyes. And because I learned to do that I can also see others through Jesus’ eyes. Whenever I go to the gym and see a girl fresh on her fitness journey I am able to look at her the way Jesus once looked at me, with love in my eyes and a prayer in my heart that she will know how truly beautiful, valuable and loved that she is because it’s the truth and I am praying the same prayer over anyone who is reading this and wanting to embark on a fitness journey of your own. Know that God loves you and that I love you. You are beautiful and worth more than rubies. God knitted you together in your mother’s womb to be born with a purpose far greater than you can even imagine. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were made for such a time as this.