3 Steps I Took To Get An Amazing Body And How You Can Too
Is your body amazing? Mine finally is. I worked hard at it and it would be my honor to share with you the 3 steps I took to finally reach my goal. My journey was long and tumultuous, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
My journey started in the year 2001. I was 20 years old the first time I looked in the mirror and responded in disgust rather than in appreciation. I never struggled with body image as a young child. I was more concerned with trying to get rid of my curly hair than I was any unwanted body fat. I don’t remember ever being inundated with images of thin women with unattainable bodies. I don’t remember being made fun of for my weight, my height or my curves. I don’t remember my mom practicing any kind of body shaming behaviors. So, this new disgust with how I looked took me by surprise. To remedy my issue, I took up a new hobby and started lifting weights.
I remember walking into the gym for the first time and seeing a rack of muscle and fitness magazines standing in the corner. I was in awe at the perfectly sculpted physiques adorning the covers. The craftsmanship of the muscles, the definition, and the perfection caught my eye right away. I knew in that moment that my goals in the gym were going to be focused on making myself look just like those cover models.
I bought as many weight lifting magazines as I could. I started working out everyday. I ate what body builders ate, I drank what body builders drank and I immediately began to see changes that I liked. Those magazines, the gym, and my body quickly became my obsession.
Several years later at the age of 25 I decided it was time to make my goal become a reality. I was tired of looking “kind of fit.” I wanted to look “cover model fit”. I wanted to have an amazing body. So, I decided to enter a figure competition. I found a coach, a sequined bikini, and a gym and I embarked on a 4-month journey towards creating my dream body.
My plan consisted of precisely measured meals that I weighed on a scale. I used masking tape to make sure each portioned meal showed the exact time that I was supposed to eat it. I carried around a large cooler with me wherever I went to make sure that I always had my food on hand.
My daily meal plan looked something like this:
-Breakfast – oatmeal with Splenda and cinnamon + 7 egg whites
-Mid-morning – protein shake
-Lunch – 5oz of protein, and 1 cup of vegetables
-Pre-workout meal – I ate this exactly 1 hour before my workout. This meal mirrored my lunch but I could have some starchy carbs such as rice or more oatmeal with this meal. I love carbs. I loved this meal.
-Post-workout Meal – Protein shake mixed with instant oatmeal. Can you say belch!!!
-Nighttime meal – I had another protein shake.
On top of my scheduled meals, I worked out twice a day. My early morning workout was a fasted slow cardio workout. I spent about an hour on the bike, elliptical or stair climber. My afternoon workout was where my heavy lifting came in. I spent about 60-90 minutes in the weight room. I went to bed by 9pm to ensure a full 8 hours of sleep.
During this time, the weight fell off, my muscles became more defined and my body fat got close to being in the single digits. I started tanning, I straightened my hair and I even bought jeans a couple sizes smaller than what I normally wore. I was getting attention I had never experienced before. I loved it. I craved it. This new way of living became an obsession for me.
During this time I also alienated friends, refused dozens of social opportunities, ruined my relationship with food and gained an unhealthy sense of what my physical appearance was supposed to be.
I may have achieved what I thought was an ideal physique, but on the inside I still didn’t feel amazing. I still didn’t feel like I was enough. I was hungry, exhausted, constantly in pain, my period stopped and I was truly miserable on the inside. I didn’t know which food was good or bad anymore. I didn’t know what I could eat. I was afraid to eat anything off my meal plan for fear of gaining weight. I didn’t want to go back to looking “kind of fit” but I was also craving bread and skittles. It was as if I were trapped in a body that felt earned and deserved. I felt required to exercise and mandated to eat broccoli. I longed for a deeper sense of belonging in the world but I just didn’t know how to find it. I quickly gained 35 pounds (twice what I had lost) and began using food as comfort.
It took several more years and a relationship with Jesus to ground myself in faith and begin to learn what an amazing body truly meant. I eventually found a healthy balance in the middle of overeating and obsessing. I learned to find a comfortable weight for my body that allowed me to move freely, lift heavy things and still enjoy life outside of calorie counting and weighing my food. And, instead of having a huge transformation where I get to show you how much I shrunk, I’m proclaiming victory in a transformation that shows you how much I grew spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Here’s how I finally got my amazing body and how you can too.
- Stop listening to the world and start listening to God
When the world tells you to shrink, pay close attention and hear God tell you to grow. The world will never tell you that you are enough, but God will tell you that He is enough. The day I stopped following the world’s ideal body and started seeking the Lord instead, I broke free from the chains that tied me up like a captive. Instead of feeling like a prisoner inside an imperfect body, I was set free and given permission to accept myself no matter what I looked like.
- View your body as a way to worship instead of a thing to worship
With arms held high and heart abandoned, I began to view my body as a vessel to give worship to the Lord. No longer would I worship my own body or the body of someone I wanted to look like. My body had a new purpose, a new meaning and a new job.
- Stop following perfection and look forward to it instead
Jesus is the only perfection we will ever encounter this side of Heaven. I don’t care how many protein shakes you drink, miles you run or burpees you perform, you will never have a perfect body. The world’s standard of perfection is wrong. Pay close attention; God tells us that one day we will have the perfect body. We will have a heavenly body made for us by God himself and not by human hands (1 Cor 5:1). Stop striving for perfection this side of Heaven and start preparing your heart to receive perfection on the day the Lord returns.
I leave you with this my friends; a benediction from my heart to yours:
Your body is amazing because of what it can do and not what it looks like.
Your body is amazing because of who created it and not because of how quickly you can change it.
Your body is amazing because it allows you to serve, to love, to hug and to hold.
Your body is amazing because it gives movement to the soul inside of you.
Your body is amazing because it gets to glorify instead of gratify
Your body will be amazing if you gain weight or lose weight, get sick or stay healthy.
Your body is amazing, and no one gets to tell you any different.
Your body is amazing.
In His Strength,
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