So, why am I here?
This blog has taken on many forms and shapes throughout its life, largely because I am indecisive. However, its first and foremost goal is to share a little about myself and my faith. I wanted to focus on my journey through weight loss and health, but then I realized I am so much more than that – and so shall be the blog.
Here, I will share a bit of my testimony – a small glimpse into who I am and how I found Jesus, and how I have reconciled my love of Him with my love of science.
I have been overweight my entire life, although not always unhealthy. When I was at my thinnest and healthiest, I weighed in between 160 and 180 pounds. I was technically overweight, but I was extremely healthy. I was active, walked everywhere, ate well, and looked good. It is for this reason that I place very little stock in the government’s BMI calculator. At that weight, I was overweight, and right on the edge of “obese.” In fact, it was a running gag that I was “obese” when I never looked or felt it. I could walk 4 miles in under an hour (and often did) and had no trouble doing steps, jogging, or breathing. Even my doctor was never concerned. My blood work was always perfect – everything was in check.
And then one day, it wasn’t.
I was 20 years old and gaining weight at an alarming rate. The doctor began to lecture me about exercise and nutrition. I adamantly argued that there was no way this was all my fault. I didn’t drive back then – I used to walk back and forth to college (which was four miles from home) and back and forth to work (a mile from home), plus I was in Phys Ed classes in school. So finally, he tested my thyroid, and found that it was seriously underactive.
By that time I had gained about 30 pounds, however something in my brain never clicked that I looked or felt any differently. To this day, I have this strange view of myself. Whereas some people look into a mirror and think they look worse than they do, I will look into a mirror and think I look better than I do. It isn’t until I see a photo or something that I realize there’s a problem.
This may seem like a good problem to have – psychologically. I assure you it isn’t. You see, while you are looking into the mirror, feeling good about yourself, it does wonders for your self-esteem. But when you are walking through a store and catch a glimpse of yourself in the window – your self-esteem enters a terrifying downward spiral. This, in turn, makes you seek solace somewhere – with something. I have found solace in several things throughout my life – sex, shopping, and mainly food. None of which are actually doing anything to help the situation – they only feed the flames.
Fast forward through 15 years of compulsive overeating, terrifying and detrimental personal relationships, dozens of different diet attempts, looking for love all the wrong places – using relationships as a means for making myself feel loved, desired, and beautiful, millions of mistakes in every facet of life, tons of health problems, blaming everyone else but myself…
And then there was Jesus. I found the real Jesus in 2012. He was always there, in my life, that little voice in my head and my heart telling me that I was putting my faith and trust and control into all the wrong things. I believed in Him for most of my life, except for a short period of time when I thought I wanted to be a Druid or Wiccan or something “goth.” (Ah, youth.) No matter what questions I had or doubts I faced in the truth of the scripture, I always went back. The problem was, I was never in it 100%. It was always an addendum to my life, not the nucleus. I used it when I needed it and forgot about it when things were going well. Then, I started college again.
I have always been interested in science, and always felt like you could have both science and faith. I took classes in Psychology and began to surround myself with more science-minded information. When you start to read and learn about science, you learn quickly that for many people, and in many publications, there is absolutely no room for faith in the study of science. They are constantly and consistently trying to use science to debunk Christianity. Why they can’t live and let live, I have no idea. However, it’s there and so I began to question my faith. “Maybe it’s not true. How could this be real?” Those thoughts began to seep into my psyche. But instead of changing my mind, they pushed me to look for the connection. I found a church that went well with my Bible-based Christianity in order to bolster my faith, and I began to search for other like-minded individuals. A few years later my efforts have been fruitful. There are societies and associations dedicated to the interconnection between science and faith virtually everywhere. I am not the only one who believes this way. Faith and science work together quite well, as long as you stop trying to use one to debunk the other. The Lord is smiling on me. I feel like I have something to look forward to now, not a life full of tedious battles between my mind and my heart. They are now on the same page, and I am moving forward with that.
My health is still a concern. After a whirlwind of life has gone by, including a happy marriage (after some difficulty and bad decisions, I assure you) and a renewed faith, I still struggle with food. I’m still learning to eat better. I’m still learning to exclude the bad stuff from my diet. I try and fail, but I pick back up where I fell and keep on moving. So here I am, reshaping who I am from the bottom up, and you are along for the ride.
Is the story not what you expected? Did you expect me to have some deep-seeded issue with which I must contend before I can go forth? Well, I am sorry. I am through blaming other people. Yes, I have my share of problems. Who doesn’t? Who hasn’t been through something terrible that affects everyday life? I certainly have. Many things. And there are a lot of things that I wish could be different, things I wish I didn’t do, things I wish I did. There may be different characteristics I wish my parents had instilled in me, or ways they might have raised me differently (better eating habits, more physical activity, and financial smarts, to name a few.) But I have no desire to rehash the past. No desire to blame my parents for things over which I now have the control. It does no one any good.
It’s all me. And while I am responsible for how I got here, I know that the only way I can recover, change, get better, become better, is with the help of Jesus Christ. My goal, first and foremost, is to serve Him. To be a good steward of all He has given me. I cannot do that at 315 pounds. I am certainly not being a good steward of myself, who God created in His image. Once I learn to point every single aspect of my life in that direction, the rest will fall into place.
So here it is. The pointing of everything in His direction. I hope you can learn from both my success and my failures. I hope we can encourage each other as we find a path to righteousness, and to health, and to science. I hope I can provide some research and links to help others reconcile the fact that faith and science are not at odds, they work hand in hand. Faith helps us reach for the stars, science helps us get there.
Throughout these pages you will find personal stories about me and the state of my life, you will find scientific information and research, done by me or others, and you will find faith-based information, advice, and research. All of it forms the nucleus of my life, and all of it is firmly based in a love of Jesus Christ.
I welcome you into my little world, and I pray for all of you that you can find help and solace within Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please, pray for me, too.
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God…” Colossians 3: 1-7 (MSG)