Julie’s Fitness Journey

My own fitness journey

I don’t want to bore you (or myself) with the whole story. Let’s just say that if you struggle with food, you’re no different than me. That means there is hope for you because if I can do it–if I can become free from this area of struggle–you can do it as well. From the time I was a kid, food has always been an area of great bondage for me–even to the point of bulimia when I was in college and my early 20’s. We’re talking at least a 30-year captivity stint here. My identity and self-esteem were always wrapped up in my appearance and body image, for all the wrong reasons. Even when I was basically thin (which was really most of the time), I was never free. I was always on a total roller coaster. I constantly thought about food from the time I got up until the time I went to bed.

But I believe now God has given me the keys (using the long hard route) to win over my addiction to food. I want every area of my life to be under His control, and after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, I’m finally getting there (but I say that with much humility because “you-know-who” wants to trip me up every single day).

One thing I have learned is that freedom always comes with a price. That’s the part no one wants to hear. One of the great sacrifices I made in April of 2005 on my journey to freedom was to give up my biggest addiction-refined sugar! The more I ate, the more I wanted. My husband teased me that when I looked at a cookie, it was the same look a man would give a playboy centerfold. No matter how many sweets I ate, it was never enough. I couldn’t stop. God helped me to realize that giving up sugar was a small sacrifice compared to getting free of this terrible bondage. I knew it was all or nothing in this area because no matter how long I left it alone, as soon as I ate it, I was thrown right back into bondage (the story is identical to that of a friend of mine who has a drinking problem and is in recovery).

The things I want most will kill me

Funny thing. Whenever I mention to any of my friends who wish they could be free from the addiction to food and particularly sweets that I made the radical decision to give up sugar, they all look at me and say, “I could never do that!” What they really mean is, “I’m not willing to do that…I’m not ready to be free because sugar means more to me than being free in Christ.” That’s what it really comes down to. I didn’t give it up to punish myself or to make myself look “holier than thou.” I did it because it was my “giant” keeping me from the Promised Land. This giant had to be struck down so I could enter and live there. Yes, it was big, but in the power of Jesus, I was able to conquer this enemy and move into my large and blessed territory.

Numbers 13:27-33 selected, “They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size (giants).

I hope that my own tips and ideas will help you become free, too. Don’t give up! Don’t be afraid of your giants. Face them. Conquer them. God is on your side!

Q: Can I EVER let down my guard and just eat like “normal” skinny people?

A: Once a food addict, always a food addict. Just like other addicts, you’ll get to the place where you learn to manage your addiction so it no longer controls your life.