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110 || Redemption of Body and Soul – Journal of Brittany Hays

As a young girl, I would always try to use mirrors that only revealed my chin and up.  It wasn’t until middle school that I realized I was a bit shorter and wider than all my friends. Buttoned-down plaids were a comfort-wear for me, even though I had once been told that patterns and horizontal lines always made one look bigger! I find myself struggling to add those things to my wardrobe even now. The mirrors have gotten a little bit bigger and reveal a lot more these days. Yet I catch myself still keeping eye contact, never looking from the chin-down.

I am an emotional eater. Sexually abused, I ran to food. Parents decided to divorce, I ran to food. Parents get divorced, I ran to food. Lost loved ones, again I ran to food. Stability was out of the question. So I would run to something constant, a cheeseburger.  My weight would swing from one end of the pendulum to the other. I just never seemed to be able to control my cravings or my weight. As soon as I felt I had a new way of living, life would happen, and I would hit the wall without my seat belt.

I have had a very hard time transitioning from the lifestyle of a college student to an adult.  I went from running around campus to sitting around at my job. The choices I was making were leading me to a train wreck.  I had walked down the path of strict diet and exercise before, but the older I get, the harder losing weight is. In May, the consequences of my decisions rang loudly. My scale read back to me a weight I had never seen before. My maximum weight. Honestly, I was horrified. How had I let my health get so out control?! That was all I needed to see; I was on a mission.

God continually brought me to a place of redemption. I found myself choosing food to be my healer, my sustainer, and my savior. In Scripture, I am reminded that “a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Peter: 2:19). I was continually allowing food to master me! Food had given me a wrongful identity. In essence, I was choosing that milkshake to redeem my brokenness, rather than my Creator. Like a ton of bricks, that reality changes everything. It determines the object of my affection and worship. It gives me the strength to say no to food and yes to HIS freedom. What has worked to get you to a healthier state? I have tried one too many work-out plans! I used to be a runner, and after training and completing two half-marathons, I was pooped. I then exchanged my vigorous training schedule for Crossfit.

After moving to a new city in 2009, I found myself struggling to find a regimen. I tried to pick running back up and take a few Crossfit classes; yet, I was still having a hard time committing myself to either of them. I started working out with Sandy, a godly woman and personal trainer, in early May 2013. My husband made me promise that if I paid, I had to play (in theory). He gave me no choice and that forced me to commit. The workouts drew me right on in! In a matter of weeks, I obtained some consistency; I started being very diligent in counting my calories and focusing on my water intake. I started seeing results quickly.

I have believed the lie that what you see on the outside is what determines the inside. I intertwine how I feel about my physical appearance (ex. my idea of skinny and what my scale says) in relation to how I feel about myself and about who that makes me. These lies have affected my friendships and my marriage.

Believing the Truth 

I believe the devil’s lies far too often. He is keen on my perception of myself and he is aware of my weaknesses. He attacks and pollutes my mind with toxic lies that I should give up because I am not strong enough, good enough, or worthy enough to look a certain way. I struggle with being lazy — one show on Netflix can turn into a whole season if I let it.

I easily fall into believing Satan’s lies over the truths of my Father.

“But by the grace of God, I am what I am…but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). The LORD has created me, claimed me, and drawn me into His kingdom. I am His and He is mine. My identity lies not on what I see in the mirror, but rather what His Word says. What better way to let these truths sink in but through prayer and meditation.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Proverbs 62:1-2).

Scripture also says that iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). At TWITCH Fitness, Sandy has not only been my trainer, but my friend and mentor. I love watching her be a mom and wife — even during burpees. It’s in those teachable moments I feel like a victor. “Food” for my body and my soul. What would you like to see when you look in the mirror? I would like to see a woman confident and empowered in the way Christ created her. I would love to be able to look into the mirror and glance past the areas that my eyes so quickly fixate on. I would love to see a woman who aggressively pursues her Savior; ignorant to the physical attributes the world salutes.

An Everyday Decision

I have a very hard time controlling myself with food. I idolize everything about it. I desire to continually lay down my sin of control and want my anthem to be more of Jesus and less of Brittany.

I want to love my husband well in every way and serve him. I want to be able to chase my future children around without being winded. I want to lie down at night and feel like I have made Jesus’ name great! I want to honor the temple that I have been given and daily observe the sacrifice He made to give this body life.

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