What Did Anne Gain?
Anne has been with Faithful Workouts for almost a year now. Anne says that Faithful Workouts helped her GAIN confidence in knowing she could live a healthier lifestyle because God was by her side! After doing a few FW exercise videos on YouTube, she signed up for the F3 plan and says her life completely changed for the better!
Read how she battled through the journey to a healthier life.
April 17th, 2016 will mark my one year anniversary for signing up with Faithful Workouts F3 plan. Before I tell of what God and Faithful Workouts has done in my life, let me share a little about my battle with food and body image. I have struggled with a lifetime of weight issues...I've almost always been overweight. But the part I struggled with the most was my body image. I never thought I was pretty enough or thin enough. I believed the lie that I needed to look like others. As a teen, I struggled with bulimia. After I became a mom I tried everything from diet pills, to exercise programs, to juice fasting, to Atkins and more! I'd starve myself for a week only to binge and become overwhelmed with guilt. For years, food was either my enemy or best friend...
About four years ago I really began to turn to food for comfort after some overwhelming family issues took place. Stress, depression, and my emotions would drive me to eat in order to numb whatever pain in my heart I was feeling. Some friends of mine actually helped me to believe that God made me overweight and I should just except that. Now, I do not believe they were maliciously out to deceive me. They were only sharing the lie they themselves had come to believe. Still fairly new to my faith, I was naive to the fact that this was a distortion of the truth. Instead of seeing how my own actions were contributing to my deteriorating health, I consciously decided that I'd always be overweight and it wasn't my fault - it was God's. Food recklessly took the place of God. Today, I can admit that but at the time I was terribly blind to see it.
In January of 2015 I was in the worst health I'd ever been in my entire life. Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and my weight pushing 300 pounds, I was constantly in physical and emotional in pain. Looking for help from doctors, I ended up on several different medications that weren't helping. I still didn't have the energy to do youth ministry with my husband, let alone play with my kids. I decided I needed to change my habits and do something - anything to help with my depression and the pain that tormented my body.
Searching through YouTube to find some free workout videos, I stumbled across Michelle and Faithful Workouts. At first I was shocked.... You mean there's such a thing as a CHRISTIAN workout?! The first video I exercised to, I cried. It was hard for me at the time and my body ached, but Michelle's "ABCs of Fitness" message took hold and changed my entire perspective of what I was doing. Honestly, I had no idea that I could invite God into my journey of better health! More importantly, I knew my motives for working out weren't aligning with God's. I was still more fixed on my looks and a number on the scale rather than being healthy. My relationship with food still overtook my relationship with God. It was then that I asked God to break the chains of my bad health habits, and through the Faithful Workouts ministry, He did! Praise His name!
The verse I constantly clung to (and still do!) was Romans 12:2 - "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (NLT). And that is what happened. My thoughts transformed from believing lies about food, my looks, and my weight to His Truth that, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:14).
For the first time in my life, I had the confidence in knowing I could live a healthier lifestyle because God was by my side! After doing a few FW exercise videos on YouTube, I signed up for the F3 plan and my life completely changed for the better! Each week I looked forward to an encouraging email which included a powerful faith-based message, learning tools for a healthier lifestyle, a meal plan, and access to several workout videos.
It's been 14 months since I began and I've lost over 100 pounds. I'm off of all prescription medications and while I do still struggle with pain, it is nothing like it was before. Even better than that, I have broken free from the lie that I have to look a certain way or be a certain weight to be accepted. Food is not my enemy anymore! Now, I exercise and eat healthier in order to have the energy and strength to fulfill the roles He has gifted me: servant for Him, wife and helper, and mom. It was only when I participated in a couple of online fit camps last summer that I realized the freedom I had truly encountered through the F3 plan. I had purchased a fitness program from a dear Christian friend and while the workouts were good, I had a terrible time listening to the fitness instructor's constant message of working hard to "have the body you always wanted." It may work well for some, but not for a recovering self-image-approval addict like myself! Personally, I need Michelle's uplifting, truth and scripture-filled messages when I workout!!
I've been so touched by Faithful Workouts and Michelle's message, that I've stepped completely outside of my comfort zone and have begun to lead a FW Group. My desire is to be a vessel to other women who struggle with their body image by sharing Michelle's words and knowledge. God is so, incredibly good! I absolutely love how He uses Michelle's ministry to speak Truth to so many women who are believing lies about their health and body image. Thank you, God! And thank you, Michelle and everyone at Faithful Workouts for setting out to make a positive difference in people's lives!
In health and in Him,