When I was younger, I was super athletic. I played varsity volleyball, basketball, and baseball (on a guys baseball team) and swam miles in the pool. Playing sports was so easy for me and it was always so easy to stay in shape.
A year ago in Peru, my best friend and I were at some of the lowest parts of our lives. We were depressed, lonely, and struggling with a binge-eating disorder. We were struggling with so much emotionally (grief of a lost friend, some of the kids heart breaking stories, missing our families) that we often gave in to letting emotions control our diets and forgetting to exercise. It was a terrible cycle of food and then shame and then trying to exercise but failing. We felt so disgusting and we hated ourselves for it.
So we decided to write our own program: FNF: Fit Not Fat. Oh my goodness, it was a total fail. But we tried to make ourselves swim and run and do Insanity. We tried to do pull ups and push ups in the hot summer sun and run in the humidity. But we would never reach our goals. The parasites that we developed that grew in our stomachs made us look even fatter and people at church would literally call us out in front of everyone and share how we were no longer "flackitas" (skinny girls) but now "gorditas"(fat girls). We gave up. We still tried to exercise occasionally but it was extremely difficult in Peru and eating white rice and loads of beans didn't help us out either. When we came back to the states, we had both gained over fifteen pounds. We were so mad and we felt so self-conscious and we had no idea how to lose the weight we had gained.
I started to understand the emotional roller coaster many people go through. They get depressed, eat terribly, and then finally don't want to work out. And I began to feel so bad for people with obesity because often they don't feel comfortable going into a gym because they don't know how to lift weights or what to do and they may look around and feel so discouraged when they see all the skinnier or more buff people. It's so easy to compare our bodies to other peoples but the thing is so much of what makes up a person (whether they are tall/ short/ built/ little) is determined by genetic influence. Anyways I decided that I would love to help people learn to exercise and feel better about their bodies and so I thought it would be super cool if I could become a personal trainer.
But I never thought I could!
So the past four months have been pretty interesting because God has shown me that He can help me do a lot more things than I thought I could do as I've been learning so much about exercise and the body and have been teaching boot camp which has actually turned out to be pretty fun. And today I went to take my ACE personal trainer exam and I was so freaked out because I didn't feel like I knew the materials well enough to pass. Yesterday was my birthday and I seriously prayed to God.. like that would be the best birthday present ever but I know I can't do it on my own. And somehow, He helped me pass! I'm so thankful.
Since being back in the states, I've lost about half the weight I gained in Peru and I know I still have a lot of things to improve on fitness-wise myself. But I think the thing I'm most excited about now that I'm a personal trainer is being able to help people now who are really out of shape and struggling with their identity to help them learn how they can lose weight and feel more confident. I empathize with people who are obese or who are struggling with emotional baggage or eating disorders, and I pray that God can use me as a personal trainer to help show people His love.