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Healthy, Whole & Free – Angela’s Story

I’ve had a long-term relationship with food as far back as I can remember.  Food was my go-to for feeling better, feeling safe; food seemed to ease the need to feel loved.

When I was 21 I became a Christian after coming face to face with the reality that Jesus is who he says he is and has done what he said he did.  However, my relationship with food continued.  For the last 30 years I have pleaded with Jesus to free me from the clutches of overeating.  Even though food still had a predominant effect on my life Jesus has brought much healing in other areas of my heart.

But the perfect body seemed to elude me!

I had tried every diet going both secular and Christian.  I even set up a blog to share the journey with others but knew there was still something missing from my approach.  I found Gaynor’s plate of plenty online however, as the focus was just on food my negative mindset limited the progress I could make.  At the same time I took up running which I loved and over the next year I lost 2 stone.  I then got a kidney stone from eating too much spinach which became calcified in my body.  That was it!!! I was livid, how dare my body respond this way after all I had done!?  I had a huge temper tantrum and went out of my way to eat everything I loved and stopped exercising.  As you can imagine all the weight went back on and some.

Through the experience of weight gain Jesus taught me much about my heart attitude and my need to be transformed by his Holy Spirit.  However, this time weight loss seemed impossible the weight gain seemed to taunt me every day.

It was then that Gaynor’s promotion of HWF came up through my link with Motivationfish.  At last a Christian approach by someone who had nutrition and exercise expertise but also wanted to bring the journey before Jesus.  I prayed a lot whether I should sign up or not as I promised my husband I wouldn’t waste any more money on losing weight (hate to think how much I had spent over the years).  I knew it was the right thing to do…..so I signed up on the basis that it would be only for 12 weeks which was more cost effective then secular solutions.

I knew Jesus was showing me that one of my issues was that doing this journey alone wasn’t helpful. I needed to bring myself before community and make myself vulnerable rather than think I could find the solution myself.

From week one of HWF I knew that I had made the right decision, it helped me identify that my underlying issue was a negative mindset where I saw everything through a lens of judgement and my expectations of myself were both too high but also too low as I lacked ambition and determination.  Much of this was related to a fear of failure and the fear of man.  Immediately just trying to put into words into a positive can do plan highlighted my negative mindset and I had to learn what a positive ‘can do attitude’ looks like.

The plan also taught me that this mindset also affected my ability to make positive choices which caused me to become lazy which resulted in guilt and a rush to the treat cupboard!

Over the last 2 years I have been unable to be consistent in eating the right foods as I was either too restrictive or too lax.  Using the information on this plan has helped me face up to the fact that my relationship with certain foods is restricting my relationship with God, I knew I had a choice to make.  The talk on the sugar cycle really broke through my dependency on food to make me feel better and help me cope with life, Gaynor’s statement that nutritionally we don’t need sugar really helped me face up to this lie.  When I realised that that I didn’t need the sugar I was craving and that the reality of trying to eat away my true emotions instead of facing up to them stopped me asking God for help.  It was during this time that I realised that actually I didn’t truly believe he cared enough to do something about my struggles.  I have come to see Father God as my true provider but most of all since my negative mindset has been lifted I can now see his complete love for me and his compassion to rescue me through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I stopped all sugar foods that I knew were my triggers these included alcohol, chocolate (which God had challenged me to give up 20 years earlier) cream, custard, ice cream (seems to be some milk link here) cakes, biscuits.  It took 4 days of intense cravings or the release to happen, I knew in that moment that I was no longer in relationship with the food that I had depended on for so many years.

Once these triggers foods were no longer in my life I realised that ‘frustration’ was another key problem.  This was both frustration with others for not living up to my expectations and frustration of others expectations of me.  I am now learning how to not stand in judgement of others and learning not to take on other people’s expectations of myself.  Instead I am learning about what is God’s plans and purposes for my lie and learning to live within his plans.

My overall mission statement now is : to know Jesus and to make Jesus known

My overall goal is to become a biblical counsellor

My overall desire is to bring the good news of Jesus to a lost and broken world.

As you can see my overall ambition and aim is no longer to loose weight but to bring my whole life before Jesus and choose to walk with him daily.  My ambition now is to make healthier choices so that I have energy to engage in all areas of life that he calls me to live.

I am grateful to this course in helping me to have the confidence to face up to the change that is needed and have the courage to take action.  I am grateful to the community for their support, for all their prayers and words of encouragement.

I would encourage anyone facing similar issues that we all have something to learn and if we have a heart to learn then we will be able to let go of the guilt that it was our fault we are in the state we find ourselves in.  Are we willing to live in the grace Jesus has provided or will we continue to believe the lie that we are trapped in our sinful choices forever.

Gaynor is a professional in the area of nutrition and exercise and her guidance in these areas has been hugely valuable, the fact that she is a Christian and is willing to openly share her trust in Jesus has allowed me to trust her in the advice she has given.  I could never go along to a retreat due to the costs involved but it has been worth every penny in committing to the 12 week HWF programme as Gaynor’s compassion to see us change, and her belief that we can, shines through in all she does.

Jesus not only wants to change us but has the power to do it too.  Don’t allow the lies of sin, the world or the devil to limit who He has called you to be.  And remember you are not alone we are on this journey together.

PS. If it interests you I have lost 7lbs so far and 4 inches from my waist

You can find out more about Healthy, Whole & Free here

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