Monday, December 14, 2009

taking off the 'old self'

It's been a long journey...

I have struggled with food and weight for so long. Through my teenage years and into early twenty's I was the ballet dancer who could stand to lose a few pounds. One day in college my ballet professor told me that I deserved an A for technique but that until I lost 25lbs that he could not give me that grade. He gave me a strict eating and exercising routine to follow... which led to me obsessively working out for hours on end and allowing myself an orange and an apple a day. I no longer felt the joy of ballet that I once had. I saw the dark side of starvation and countless hours rehearsing just to be the best. I had many friends admitted into eating disorder rehabs as it was beginning to really affect their health. I couldn't keep up that life... I felt like I was dead inside.

Thankfully the Lord stirred me to leave dancing behind for awhile and focus on Him. It was at that point I transferred to Texas A&M and began studying psychology. It was at this point that I began to truly turn my heart back to God and clear the idols of weight/dance out of my life.

As I have gone on with my life, I have not really thought much about my body... in fact, I have downright neglected it. I have been pregnant 5 times in the past 4 1/2 years, which has created alot of extra weight. I actually loved being pregnant because I felt that I could blame being fat and gorging on junk food on the pregnancy. That would explain a 60lb weight gain with my first child. Six months later I had two back to back miscarriages - gaining about 10lbs each with those. I was so depressed and began to hate my body. I hated it and blamed it for losing the two babies. Three months later I got pregnant with Jude... then when he was 5 months I got pregnant with Evy.

I am going to be candid with you... At my delivery with Evy I weighed 207lbs. Within two weeks I lost all my baby weight with her (20 lbs) and weighed in at 187lbs. I have always used my kids and my husband's work schedule as an excuse to not work out. But after having Evy I made a decision to begin this journey. I didn't have any set goals at first... I just knew that this lady at our church was offering free 'bootcamp' classes during the summer. I figured I would check it out.

At first I was a mess... couldn't do a real push up, couldn't run a mile, couldn't do a pull up... but I kept going. I didn't lose any weight the first 6 weeks. I felt defeated and blamed my body - saying my body just doesn't lose weight. I had an excuse for everything. But I decided to keep going until the end of August. In the middle of August I began to have a revelation that I truly am in charge of my own destiny. I can do anything I set my mind too. I began to make small changes in my eating and began to actually enjoy working out.

My trainer, Miranda (who also trained Danny Cahill - winner of The Biggest Loser Season 8), began to really push me to give more and to make even more changes in my life. What I love about her is that it was not just changes with food and exercise, but it was centered around spiritual health. She motivated me to push past failure and enter into success. One of the biggest things for me was running 3 miles... we started with 1 mile, then 2, then 3. I tell you, I was scared to death to even attempt 3 miles. I was anxious all week and knew there was no way I could do it. But I pushed through that fear and accomplished it. Then 3 weeks later I ran 6 miles... 3 weeks after that I ran 10 miles. I am learning that this journey has been more mental than physical for me. I had been living in defeat. I wouldn't even try things because I knew I couldn't do it. I was too afraid to fail. But now, I see that failure is not scary. It is necessary at some point. And if you don't risk failure, you will never revel in success.

In the beginning of July I weighed in at 187lbs and today I weighed in at 136lbs. A 51 lb loss so far. Not only that, but I am a much better wife, mother, and follower of Christ. My life is balanced for the first time. I have energy. I truly have grown to love myself and believe that I am worth investing in. I spent much of my childhood in the midst of abuse, which set the foundation for self hatred and little self worth. Though Satan tried to hold me down and live in the lies of my youth, I have conquered all things with Christ. I am no longer a victim. I have taken hold of my life and am victorious because of my Jesus. I am loved by Him. I am worth being loved. That has been hard to say and believe. But it is true. Each one of us is worth it. Jesus died for each one of us personally. His blood was shed for you. Let us glorify Him in all we do. For me, this has meant with my physical health. I encourage each of you to seek out what He has for you... what area of your life is mundane? Where are you defeating yourself before you even get started?

One thing Miranda always says is, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right." So true.


Angela said...

This is great stuff Cassie! I am so proud of you and praise Jesus for your victory:)

Tonya said...

Wow, Cassie! I NEEDED to read this! This is amazing! God is so good! You are such an inspiration to me! Thank you for sharing!

Tamara said...

What an amazing testimony!! I have struggled with my weight for a while too. It is one thing that has prevented me from wanting to become pregnant again. It is such a hard, self-defeating battle. I need to remember that God is great and he helps us overcome all obstacles :) Thank you for sharing and congrats!!

Laughing Amersons said...

Good job! Thats awesome.

Harms Family said...

Cassie - Congratualtions and what an awesome testimony for Jesus. I am so happy for you and can tell you it encourages me so much. Weight truely is a struggle. I personally never had to worry before I had kids. Now it is a constant battle but you have truely given me more to look forward to. Thank you for sharing and I pray that someday soon I will be able to share this same post or something similar.

Love you friend.

amberdawn said...

Cassie you are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

GranLee said...

Dear, dear, Cassie. Your story is great... I know you must still work hard at it... but it is worth it right? God is good and incredible things can be accomplished only by his grace and mercy. We have a great and merciful Father. I'm so grateful for your success and willingness to share.

Milla & her mommy said...

What an amazing story! Congratulations! I find chasing toddlers to be a great workout. :)c