The following post is a testimony from a girl that Jennifer met who set SimplyFit4Life up with ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) classes a couple of years ago. We hope you will be blessed and inspired (motivated in fact) through Nicole Leland’s story, to pursue your own path of healthy living. We look forward to Jenn resuming the Cardio Weights routines on this site in the next few months.
“I have never been fond of the term self-control. It digs up shame, guilt, and embarrassment inside of me. I always associated self-control with negativity, a lack of willpower, and even a personal defect if I could not conform to what others expected. Throughout my life I’ve witnessed both ends of the self-control spectrum, but I mostly grew up in a chaotic and unpredictable environment.
Emotional eating was always part of my life. I was not very aware of it but I definitely felt the effects of being overweight for most of my life. I had high blood pressure at 12 years old and as a young adult depression set in and I was warned I could be ‘pre-diabetic’. This terrified me, since my family history is marred with stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. I’ve seen the painful damage these inflict and know how out of control it can feel.
So many things in our lives make us feel out of control. After all, we cannot control the fact we need to eat. It’s a necessity! Maybe you feel like it’s too expensive to eat healthy or you don’t know how. Perhaps you are like me and every effort before failed and these failures made you feel even more out of control. Maybe you have had a hard life full of chaos and uncontrollable events that have left you feeling powerless and you are left wondering why you even try.
I attempted many different diets, never making it more than two weeks. I was constantly gaining weight and appeared to be on my way to 300 pounds at 5’2” and 30 years old. It was at my first simplyfit4life workshop that I heard something I’ve never heard anywhere else before: the idea that you can include God in exercise, dieting, and general healthy living! And most importantly, the idea that self-control is a GIFT! I grew up Lutheran but never really truly believed until recently. The Fruit of the Spirit was a new concept to me. I had no idea self-control was in the Bible.
All of a sudden this icky word became positive! The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (NIV). I, myself, chose to use the term “self-discipline”. I no longer had to blame myself and hold on to shame and guilt over my lack of willpower. I realized I have this never-depleted, always-available gift from God. Self-discipline became a word of EMPOWERMENT!
Life is going to throw you curve balls. I know! My self-control has been tested to its limits in every way imaginable. I have failed many times, yet life is full of new starts! Your gift is and will always be within your reach. So throw away the guilt and grasp the gift of empowerment that God has waiting for you! (Nicole Leland)