As time went on, I did anything I could to distract myself from my disappointment of being overweight. I joined the swim team in high school, and even became relatively good as I began to compete with other teams. I made friends with the popular crowd at school, and I loved the fact that they had accepted me into their “elite group.” I distracted myself from my disappointment of being overweight by finding other ways to receive attention through my personality, and also by putting my identity in the different activities that was involved with.
But my weight didn’t stop piling on as time went by. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I officially was labeled as “obese” based on the weight that I was at. I had never felt as insecure as I did at that point in my life, and to make things worse I also was developed horrible acne all over my face. My parents desperately wanted to do anything they could to get me at a healthy weight and fix my skin problem, because they saw how much pain it was causing me as a young teenager. They knew that it was simply the bad genetics that had been passed down from our other relatives and they felt bad for me.
Toward the end of my high school experience, I learned that putting my identity in the popular crowd and in the swim team wasn’t working out. Eventually my friends in the popular crowd rejected me, and I was heartbroken. The swim team became too much of a commitment, so I quit. I couldn’t believe the circumstances that I was in, and it felt at the time that the Lord had forgotten about me. My friends that I loved rejected me, I no longer felt the same passion to swim as I used to feel, and I was obese with acne. This is when the depression set in. I decided that God was mad at me forever, so I forgot about my faith and put God on the back burner. I decided that it was time for me to do life my way, without God’s help.
Fast-forward to a few years later when I was a junior in college, still struggling with my weight and battling depression. I was sitting at a coffee shop with one of my close friends, who had been telling me about a guy named Jesus. She told me Jesus loved me, and I didn’t believe her until about 5 seconds later when I heard a soft whisper in my heart that to this day I will never forget.
“I love you Jessica, please return to me.” The voice said.
I don’t even know how to explain it, but it was in that exact moment that there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was God Himself who had just spoken into my heart loud and clear.
From that moment on, I knew I had to let God into my life to fix the mess that I was in. When I finally let God take the wheel and stopped doing things my way, Jesus transformed me from the inside out. Through consistent prayer, God taught me to respect my body by fueling it with healthy foods and by eating smaller meals. I went on a healthy meal plan where I learned how to maintain my metabolism by eating 6 small meals a day. After a period of 6 months with committing to eating differently, I lost 50 pounds and I felt amazing.
It has been two years since I lost the weight, and by the grace of God I have kept it all off since that time. No my weight loss story did not happen overnight, and it certainly was not in easy in any way. There were many times where I wanted to give up, but as I continued to lean on God for strength during that period of my life, He helped me get through the struggle of it all. I not only grew closer to the Lord during this time but I also discovered my hearts deepest satisfaction was found in God alone, and not in people, activities, food, or anything else. God also lifted me out of my pit of anxiety and depression, by completely renewing my mind and teaching me to conquer every single fear that I had in my life.
As I look back on the past couple of years, I am amazed at how God truly cared enough about every detail of my life to bring me to where I am today. He loved me enough to renew every single ugly part of me. He took away all my brokenness and replaced it with His wholeness. He made me feel beautiful, and He still continues to demonstrate His love for me every moment of every day. My blog is called “Forever Convinced” because I truly am forever convinced that if God was able to transform me into the person that I am today from the person I used to be, then there is hope for anyone out there to know the real Jesus Christ.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
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