How to be Content

I don’t know about you, but birthdays for the last few years have kind of freaked me out. I know, I know, I am definitely still a spring chicken but when you go from the positivity of sweet 16 to the idea of ever being older than 21 it’s a weird adjustment. This happens for a lot of milestone Birthdays and I just wanted to take a minute to talk about it all.

Lately, I have been pondering the fear of aging. We are all fearful of some degree to age, whether it be for our looks, our abilities, our time with family members, etc. Becoming older is the one big thing everyone knows we have no control over and it’s a scary thought.

The problem I have with this thought of not wanting to age is what age gives us. Age offers experiences, children, wealth, friends, knowledge, memories, resilience, and strength. Yes, playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer’s day as a 5-year-old is a magical time of life, but we tend to idealize certain ages, thinking of only the good. We might always think back to the best moments and we often forget the moments which caused us pain. I did run through a sprinkler in the summer, but I also tripped over it and got into fights with my sister and brother over it. We had it easy, but even as a 5-year old I wasn’t content with what I had.

You might say you don’t even realize what you have no matter how old. Every day is truly a gift from God and I believe that when we spend a life in discontentment and worry we undermine Gods plan. He is involved in every small detail and we can’t even begin to see what he does.

I was recently reading Matthew 6:25-34 where the Bible discusses the importance of not worrying about tomorrow. It goes over how if God cares for something as small and insignificant as flowers and birds then he surely will care for us and we are not to worry. As well as worrying, God wants us to be content with what we have! Paul teaches us about the power of contentment in Philippians 4. In verse 12 Paul speaks to the people, saying “I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” and Philippians 4:13 he goes on to tell the people “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

When our focus is on God we find contentment, security, fulfillment, and peace! When we focus on him, age doesn’t matter because with a content heart and a mind free from worry we will truly enjoy the gift of life that God gives to us every single day, no matter what age you are!

So here’s to a worry-free birthdays and a big BYE FELICIA to social media trying to convince us we always need to have a life that portrays perfection. I’ll leave that to the only one who is perfect in this world!

Thank you again for stopping by, and for being a part of Gods Plan for my life!

-Sonya Peacocke

Prioritizing Health and Wellness

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to health and wellness things usually turn out the best for me when I focus on it as an afterthought in life.  

I know what you might be thinking, because hello Sonya, isn’t health and wellness what you are all about? And to answer the question, Yes it is what my main focus is here and I believe it is my calling from God. The thing is, I believe that when our lives are focused on the right things in the right order, everything begins to fall into place.

Think of your time like a budget, where people often assume the thing they put the most time into will be successful; therefore bringing with it true happiness. There, of course, are several different types of investments, but the one thing that people (Myself included) need to realize is the only way to gain true balance and success is to first invest in your relationship with Christ!

In John 3:30 the bible says “He must increase, and I must decrease.” This doesn’t mean you as a person have to give up on everything brings you joy or makes you feel good. What it does mean is that what you invest in first and foremost in life is God.

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My life did not reflect John 3:30 at the beginning of college when all I truly cared about was getting healthy and fit. It sounds innocent enough, but because I was putting myself as my main investment I began to act as though I was the only thing that could provide happiness in my life. I became so obsessed with obtaining happiness that I became a slave to myself. I stopped eating, was over-exercising, and lived for the high of loose fitting pants.

If you read Proverbs 27:19, it says “So as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” My life reflected a selfish and broken system, a life dependent on self. I believed that in turning to myself and leaving God at the bottom of the list I could make everything right when in reality, my life was a disaster.

In Proverbs 21:2 it says, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.”  

My ways were not right, and even today I don’t always invest my time properly, but my end goal is to first and foremost focus on the LORD. I know that when my heart is not invested in him, my relationships, work life, and health suffer. 

So the next time you dive into a self-help book, blog, Instagram page, make sure that before working with these tools find out what's going on in your heart.

Thank you for stopping by, If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below or dm on my Instagram handle at @sonyasopencupboard. I would love to talk to you more about the freedom and LOVE which comes from God!

Love always,

Sonya

The Importance of Loving Other

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

I don’t know about you, but I tend to take people for granted. I want to be the type of person who calls their mom every day, who meets new people in coffee shops and knows my neighbors. Unfortunately, it’s not the case because more often than not life takes my attention and puts in on things of this world that don’t necessarily matter.

I have a hard time especially getting caught up wasting valuable time on social media. It’s not that you can’t connect with people on social media and I definitely do, but for me, the percentage of time spent on social media actually connecting with people is not half as much as the endless scrolling.

In this life I want to live a life that is pleasing to God, investing time in Him and then People. In Matthew 22:34 talks about “men of the law” who tried to trick Jesus by asking Him what law was most important. Jesus replied in the following two verses that the greatest law is to love the Lord with everything you have and to second love others.

The life I desire is this passage, but in order to do this I have to take a different approach in life. Taking the time to be with God in prayer and in the Scripture, then focusing on observing what other people around me need.

One of the reasons I started this blog was my love of people, and I have to remind myself constantly that even if only one person reads these words and finds them helpful I am doing what I need to be doing. Blogging is an amazing tool, but I am also going to challenge myself to go further and begin to be more intentional with the people around me. To put away my MANY selfish desires, and work on getting to know and love people that God has put into my life for a reason.

Whether or not you believe that Christ is Lord we must do our best to come together and care for one another, no matter how difficult. Things are always being replaced, but the friendship, love, support, laughter of another human is irreplaceable. So let us focus this week on putting down the screens and showing some love to those around us.  

Love always,

Sonya

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Hot to Form Healthy Habits

I don’t know about you but when it comes to keeping habits, I am usually a little all over the place when it comes down to it. Of course, the intentions are always good, but sometimes I lose focus, lose interest and my big plans usually fall flat.

After many attempts at fighting the desire to form a habit and then rebelling against what’s expected I have figured out some secret weapons informing and keeping habits.

· Tip #1: Learn how YOU operate.

One of my favorite things I did last year was take the Myers Briggs personality test and learn more about me as a person. When you learn more about how you operate it can make all the difference in how you begin to approach things like forming habits.

For Example as an ENFJ, I know that I can be a bit, well VERY idealistic. In order to combat this, I need to reel myself in a bit and start small with forming habits but keep my big ideas at the forefront to keep me motivated!

You can find the test HERE https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test and use your results and the next three tips to start to build the healthy habits that you want!

· Tip a#2: Give yourself a time slot.

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Sometimes if I know there’s no definite ending point I won’t even begin trying, even if it’s something I actually want to do. So instead start with a week-long commitment and when the week is over, start your week goal over again.

This way if you have a hard time committing to something long term by keeping things simple you’re more likely to continue with it, especially if you realize you actually enjoy doing it.

· Tip #3: Show yourself some Grace

Okay so one thing I find about forming habits, after a few weeks (or days) of staying on track something might get in the way and you have the time, forgot, or maybe just chose to not do it. In these situations, I usually get discouraged and quit since my plans for perfection have been derailed. This is where the grace part comes in.

It’s good to remember that nobody is perfect no matter what their Instagram feed looks like or how they come off. Everyone gets derailed, and it’s OK the only thing you have to worry about is to keep moving forward.

· Tip #4: Remind yourself WHY you started

When you first decide what habits you want to form write down a list of WHY you want to make the habit. If you want to go to bed early because you don’t want to be grumpy with your family in the morning then write it down. This way if you start to move away from your new habits you can take a look at the list and use it as motivation to stay on track!

Hopefully, with these tips help you feel motivated to form and keep those healthy habits!

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out this post!

As always, lots of love and have a wonderful day!

-Sonya

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How to Avoid Burnout / 2019 Goals

I don’t know about you, but January was one heck of a month. I keep seeing all these memes of people saying how January felt like the whole year and figured I would talk about it a little bit with you.

When it comes to the New Year there are a lot of positive vibes flowing the first week. Things like people starting over with a clean slate, forming new habits, working towards a big project, etc. and then life happens. Your apartment floods, you get sick, you realize you forgot to pay a bill and now you have to pay a fine. These types of thing happen whether or not you have a plan to reorganize and revamp your day to day life. We end up idealizing what our year will look like and by February feel disappointed we weren’t’ able to put life together in four weeks.

The new-year cycle is far too familiar with us filling January with possibilities and February filling us with disappointment. When we start to feel disappointed instead think about November and December. The months where we get the opportunity to take a look back on the year and express our gratefulness for everything. We take time to reflect on the good and bad, to see the changes in our personal lives and get excited because in just a few weeks we get a whole new 12 months!

I don’t know about you but I want to feel like every month, week, or day is a new opportunity to achieve something great! I want to acknowledge the fact of each day is a gift from God and we can accomplish anything because God has given us the chance. It says in Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Instead of focusing this month on what stopped you from achieving goals and filling your days with regret for how you might have spent your time, rejoice in the time God has given you! Each day we wake up, each day we have a chance and as long as you wake up these chances never end. They last all day, all week, all year, and all you have to do is decide what attitude you are going to greet your day with.

Start with a grateful heart and an optimistic attitude and before you know it every day will feel like January first.

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Thanks again for stopping by,

Sonya

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New Year New You

New Year New You. 

So I know this is coming a little late in the season, and all of you probably are killing your new year’s resolutions but I wanted to just take a minute to write about the whole New Year new you.

New Year new you, is something I have seen all over social media and it got me to think about what New Year new you actually means. For me, I tend to fantasize January 1st seeing a perfect version of myself. Waking up before the sun to smash out a workout, reading my bible, blending THE PERFECT chocolate smoothie, etc. 

When in reality, I might accomplish this the second or third day because January 1st means waking up late, reaching for the leftover chips and chocolate, and chilling. This lasts for a few days and then I get serious and start to attempt to work towards what I want to happen for the next year. As you might have guessed this also lasts for maybe longer than a week and then I am back to plain old me.

Now I don’t know about you guys but this whole New Year new me doesn’t seem like the most productive plan. Therefore; this year I decided to nix the New Year new me and stick to plain old Sonya Peacocke, the aspiring wellness blogger, and awkward situation maker. I know that In order to accomplish my bigger goals in life I have to stay focused on living a life that is honoring and pleasing to God. In Colossians 3:23 it says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”.

We are created perfectly by God and there’s no need for a “new you”, but there’s always room for growth. For now, I will simply look at goals like they are a continuation of my whole life and morals. I don’t need to lose 15lb this year, but I want to continue being active and eat well to honor the body God gave me. I don’t want to earn a certain amount of money, but I want to continue encouraging others because of my desire to share Gods love.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to feel like every January I have failed just because the world is telling me I need to be or do something better. I want to always feel the desire to grow and change so that I am ready for whatever God has in store for me.

Missed you all and hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Thanksgiving!   

Thanks again for stopping by,

-Sonya

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How to Regain Focus and Motivation

I don’t know about you guys but when it comes to other people I love to love them. It’s not me being weird or anything, but I genuinely aim my day at helping people become a better version of themselves. People are amazing and I love to see others accomplishing big goals, going out of their comfort zone, finding joy and accomplishments, etc. It makes me feel on top of the world when I see others do these things, and I strive to help them accomplish this!

The amazing part of blogging and Instagram is it gives me a platform to encourage others, but lately it’s felt more of a reminder of failure at giving you guys my all. Emotionally and physically I feel drained, and I almost like a fraud coming here to help motivate you while figuring out how to even motivate myself. Thankfully I have a loving God who gave me perseverance and an amazing husband to lift me up with encouragement.

In Romans 5:3-5 it says “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”.  Now I don’t know about you, but to me this means the fact I feel so defeated is exactly why I need to keep on persisting through this time of trial!

I don’t want to be one of those people who in the midst of a personal trial I give up because I would be admitting everything I have felt called to do and have done would be worthless. I know when God calls you to do something it indeed is worth more than rubies!

Whether or not you are a believer in Christ I know we all feel a strong pull to do something in our lives and it is easy for us to get derailed. We tend to feel small and alone in these times, and for me I tend to accomplish everything I need and more before even reconsidering taking a second look at what needs to happen in my life. I want to just stand here for you and for my future self to keep searching in these times of distress and demotivation. For every person rediscovering there passion and drive for something looks different so don’t do what you think is expected, do what you know works for you!

For me I tend to always spend my free time with people, I love deep conversation, getting to know others and experiencing deep emotional connections, but I have a hard time finding the time to be alone and reflect. I am realizing if I want to be there for you guys, I have to also stop and be there for myself.

If you are struggling in this area take some time for yourself whether it be alone time, time with family and friends, time spent researching, dancing, cooking, etc. Do something today to recharges and brings you energy and motivation! When you feel your best you create more, you love people more, you accomplish more and overall feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders!  

Now if words from my human brain didn’t encourage you here is some scripture I find inspiring!

·         Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad”

·         Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”

·         1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

·         Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

·         2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  

Thank you so much for stopping in and taking the time to share some love,

-Sonya

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Howto Overcome Daily Obstacles

I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to food the daily struggle is real. I stopped eating for about 8 months at the beginning of college and ended up lighter than I had been in middle school. I was extremely underweight and unhealthy. Thankfully I discovered food again and with some trial and error, I am now a pretty healthy person.

What people don’t see is the struggle that goes on in my mind and in my heart every day. I don’t walk past a mirror without checking to see if I “look skinny” and I don’t drink chocolate milk without thinking to myself I just messed up big time (Yes I’m drinking chocolate milk right now). This might not seem so bad, but these types of thoughts and habits are consistent and can leave me feeling like I am little to no value in this world. It sounds dramatic, but whatever your struggle may be, it is easy to get to a place like this.

For quite a long time I tried to work through this problem on my own which sparked my interest in health and wellness. I focused on changing my mindset, my diet, my sleep pattern and I relied on Instagram as a focal point to remind me what I wanted from this life with God as an afterthought.

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Even as I began to progress and make positive changes I suffered in my attempt to become my own source of stability. Even with loves ones supporting me I realized you can’t stabilize your life all by yourself. This is not to say that people can’t heal and begin to do better with the help of other and a positive mindset. What I am saying is the only way to truly overcome these obstacles in life is to lean on the Lord Jesus Christ. Proverbs 3:5 says we should “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” and in 1 Peter 5:7 it says “Casting all anxieties on him, because he cares for you”…Did you see that last part there? He actually CARES for you.

We all face a daily struggle, and no matter how different they are each is extremely real and extremely difficult to overcome. I do not want to learn to live with mine, but I want to fight and change the way I think and feel every day so that I can focus on what is truly important. The only way I have experienced true relief from my burdens is when I am focused on God. He is the one who has brought me to a place where I can love myself, where I can take the voices of failure and replace them with rejoicing in the life he has blessed me with.

The next time you feel yourself in a situation where your daily struggle seems to become a heavier burden every day take a look into why you are feeling that way. Take a look at what you have been spending the most time on and what you have been prioritizing.

I know that for me it’s when life gets busy and there’s not enough time in the day for God. When I don’t read my bible when I don’t spend time in prayer or keep the burdens on my heart to myself. I struggle when I choose my own strength instead of looking to God for his help.

Thank you so much for stopping in and I can’t wait to talk to you guys again!

Thanks again!

-Sonya Peacocke

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Stop Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to how I snack it all comes down to emotions. I say snack because eating three balanced meals a day is easy. I look forward to my smoothie breakfast, my salad for lunch and my hot meal for dinner. This is all good and well until I look in-between the lines, where I see the secret snacking and quick bites of food here and there. Then there is the “I AM SO STRESSED THAT I NEED THIS CHOCOLATE ANYTHING TO RELAX AT NIGHT”….Yeah so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but maybe it’s not…?   

I find that I eat when I am disappointed or proud of myself, I eat when I am bored, when I feel happy or sad and for any other occasion in between. This is not to say that all is lost and I have no way of changing the way I eat. The real situation is that I have the power to change my habits and rituals, but that it takes time effort and a willingness to do what it takes despite how scary it feels.  

Eating in general is an extremely emotional experience that is often tied with memories and feeling of guilt, pleasure, pain, etc. This emotional experienced paired with a life that encourages mindless eating can wreak havoc on personal goals health wise. We don’t only have to deal with the emotional aspect, but that food is at the ready for us 24/7 and opens the opportunity to easily eat on the run  or while we are preoccupied. I don’t know about you, but the opportunity to sit for half hour to enjoy a meal is a rarity and the busy lives we lead don’t exactly encourage creating homemade nutrient dense meals.

The problem we face here is the loss of connection with food as well as with our emotions, we can however work towards improvement. Here is a good starting point to become a more intuitive eater in order to stop the emotional roller coaster of eating in-between.

·         Start a Journal.

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Yes I understand you might have heard this before, and it is daunting thinking about tracking the food you consume, but let’s take a step back and look at this tool a little differently.

If you feel like it is too overwhelming, start out with journaling 2-4 days per week. With your journal entries don’t just focus on food, but focus mainly on how you were feeling, whether or not you were actually hungry, and in what setting you were eating in. If this is confusing here’s an example from my own personal journal.

“…Today I entered the kitchen tired and slightly dehydrated. It was an hour past when I normally ate lunch and had worked out that morning. I felt happy and confident from my accomplishments that day. Once I opened the fridge I grabbed ingredients for a salad and then proceeded to instead toast some bread and ate an egg sandwich, two slices of cheese and half of my salad. In between I snacked on random bits and pieces from the meal as well…”

This might seem like a lot of detail, but it helps you to determine the situation you put yourself in around food and how easy it was to go off track. I could have gone for lunch an hour early to prepare a well-rounded meal and focus more on taking the time to sit down and eat.

This tool helps your brain to connect the dots and realize when you are choosing to eat based on emotion or hunger.

Now Emotional eating is not something to be ashamed of or worth giving up over, it is a struggle that even though it is small, still causes harm. Instead of giving into the temptation of something familiar, work on becoming uncomfortable. Start a journal and make a plan to stop the bad habits and create new ones. The more you take the time to understand why you are turning to food the more power you have.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want food to be my safety net, rather I want it to be a tool. A tool to help me stay healthy and active with my children and family. I want to put aside my obsession with food and instead God with worshiping him rather than food and allowing Him to have the control rather than passing it over to myself. I want a life that is simple and pleasing to God, where I don’t have the overwhelming focus of food to distract me from the life He has lead me to lead.  

This week I was reading in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and found it an encouragement to remember the importance of the process…

 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear down, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Hope you all have a lovely week! 

-Sonya

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How to Balance a Social Life & Healthy Eating

I don’t know about you guys, but for me I have had a hard time balancing a social life and healthy eating. Back in the days where I was counting calories I would simply order seltzer water and lime because it was free and low calorie! A win-win for sure, or so I thought. Now don’t get me wrong, seltzer water and lime tastes great, but not ideal for a meal replacement which is exactly what I was using it for.

After ending my days of calorie counting I found myself overloading on all the food that I wasn’t able to have beforehand and grew accustomed to over eating. This led to a different reason to be stressed, because I couldn’t stop myself from eating until I was almost sick. This meant that the whole time leading up to eating and afterwards I would be consumed with the thoughts of food rather than enjoying the time spent with the people I love.  

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After a few years of trial and error I have come to a point where I have a better understanding of how much I need to eat and how I should be eating. I know that I’m not facing my last real meal for a few days, or that I am eating a food I have put in the “don’t touch” category. I can stop at one plate of food, but I also feel free to go for seconds without guilt. I know now that if my friends want to go out for a treat I won’t shut them down. I am okay if there’s nothing on the menu for me because I will plan ahead with snacks and order a seltzer with lime because it’s delicious.  

This being said, I still have many struggles when it comes to food, but because I have put my faith in God he has strengthened me to keep moving forward. Lately I have been reading a devotional created by Cambria Joy and two verses have really captured my attention. In Matthew 11:28 it says “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” and Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Even though I still fight it, I have decided to let God be in control of my life. It has taken quite a bit of time, effort, and tears, but through it all God has been my strength.

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If you find yourself stuck in an unhealthy mindset when it comes to food, take it to the Lord and read through Philippians 4:4-13. Search the bible for encouragement and pray for strength, it is only through God and his grace that you will find complete healing!

Now go enjoy an evening out at a restaurant with friends or a date night in with your favorite treats and I will do the same!

Sincerely,

Sonya

Don't Starve Yourself // Eat Food

Eating food is better than starving.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have struggled with the idea that starving is better than eating food. This is a viewpoint that came to life as a young adult and is something I still struggle with today.  

It started in high school when I began to be conscious of what I was eating. This was in a sense great because I had a good relationship with food and a simple mindset to become a healthier person. Unfortunately, it morphed into something much bigger than I thought possible without even realizing. During high school, I maintained a healthy weight, but once I graduated and the stress of holding down a job and paying for school I lost both weight and understanding of what healthy looks like. Originally it was the feeling of losing control of my life and the desperate search for what I could still hold on to. Instead of looking for the Lord for Guidance and stability, I tried to fix things myself. I began to control the one thing I knew I could and that was what I put in my body. I began to cut out foods, restrict calories, exercised obsessively, took water pills, and binge-watch dieting shows in my free time. In the midst of it all, I actually developed a fascination for anorexia because I thought I was better than them. It also gave me confidence knowing I had some "cracked the code", and therefore validated my behavior.

After a year of going hungry, I found myself unhappy in several areas of life. I was losing weight and acing my classes, but I had begun to look sickly, my temper and stress were out of control, my relationships began to strain and I struggles to find Joy in life. 

In order to combat the pain I was feeling, I began to treat myself to eating exactly what I wanted and however much I wanted. Now going from eating minimal amounts of food to excessive amounts can take its toll. As I began to gain weight I felt like a failure, I was more anxious and full of fear. The only way I was able to get through this time in my life was to look to God for forgiveness and His grace in my life. I knew what I was doing was wrong and in order to change the direction of my life I needed to rely 100% on God. In no way was this transition easy, and I still struggle today, but I thankfully have the Lord to guide me and lift me up in my time of weakness. 

Though I still struggle with thoughts of whether or not to eat, downloading and deleting fitness apps, and feeling the urge to work out every single day and assuring myself at meal time that I don’t have to gorge myself. I know that I am free to eat whenever I please and whatever I please. I now know that

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·         Food is not the enemy

·         The feeling of fullness should not cause guilt

·         & it’s better to build a foundation on the Lord rather than a scale.

Matthew 24-27

 

Pst* Shout out to Cambria Joy who inspired me to write this blog post!