Depression made me fat. Then, being fat made me further depressed. Anyone else knows this pain loop?
Pre the 2006-2010 recession, I was a healthy fitness Instructor Trainer. It was my job to be fit and to teach health/fitness to others. I even taught some to become Trainers in this discipline as well. I tell you this to show you that I had ZERO EXCUSE of ignorance on health and fitness, yet knowledge alone did not stop me from becoming unfit and unhealthy.
I also held licenses in the Financial industry. I was a fitness ‘expert’ and I was a money ‘expert’. When I was not in the fitness studio, I was helping people purchase their homes and even help them set their credit and money straight so they could qualify later to own one. I even sold gold and silver and touted them as boss financial tools for saving and even increasing your net worth later.
Me – PRE Recession, when I owned and operated a Fitness Studio.
Me, During and Post the Recession
It was clear that I needed to shift from the Trainer side of the table to the client side, but that made me even more depressed. What kind of Trainer was I, to allow myself to deteriorate to this state? So, with my identity as a Fitness Trainer challenged, I simply allowed my certifications to lapse. I did not deserve to teach anyone anything since I no longer represented what I claimed to represent. Rather than feel like a fraud, I slinked away like a failure.
Depression Made me Fat
Depression is an emotion that we choose to give into. It is very luring and easy to fall into and requires no thinking nor permission for depression to slip on like a well-fitting glove. However, it is a choice. We choose how we respond to things that happen around us and depression is a mental checkout of personal responsibility. Depression gives us permission to feel like a powerless victim and permits us to check out of our current reality and hide in a dark corner and the darkness welcomes us.
Some try to numb the emotional pain of depression with alcohol, some with food, some with starvation, some with angry outbursts. Whatever our coping strategy, depression tends to hinge itself to everything negative, sabotaging, and ultimately completely destructive.
Getting Fat Made me Depressed
I found comfort in food, The temporary endorphin rush following a meal or snack seemed the only ‘good’ feeling that was coming my way, so I totally indulged repeatedly to string more and more of those endorphin rushes together. The inhaling of excessive calories led to a predictable weight gain. I looked in the mirror and the self-sabotaged screamed at me, no amount of loose padded, or tight, structured clothing could silence.
Add to that, depression kills any reason to move, to take action at any level. Checking out of life happens for the depressed by watching unbelievable hours of mindless TV, or sleeping.
As long as I felt like a hopeless victim, there was no reason to take action to do anything. It all seemed pointless anyway.
One day, I got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
It started when I initially blamed God for my situation but knew in my heart that was the worst lie I ever told. God would not permit me to believe that lie and guilt became my new present sense. I hated feeling guilty especially as I was feeling guilty without knowing exactly what I was guilty of. So, I went to my Bible for answers.
How I Escaped My Depression Loop
Here is an absolute fact that you can take to the bank – if you seek, you will find.
Try it! Google anything and Google will give you an answer. It may not be the right answer, but you will get an answer. Try this – ask yourself, why is ice cold? I bet your brain already delivered a response. If you seek, you will find.
I went to the Bible for answers, and boy did I find a bunch!
Even better than finding answers to why I was indeed guilty, I also found solutions. I share many of these in my book, THE BIBLE ON BUSINESS.
The Bible showed me that I was in control of some stuff and I had done a pitiful job in how I handled what was under my control. I did a poor job of managing the abundance of money God let run through my hands. I did a poor job of choosing my business partners. I did a poor job of even managing the care of my body. Just like with my health and fitness expertise, I had read my Bible cover to cover many times. I was full of KNOWLEDGE but I was a poor implementer. I read for reading sake, and while I was a fitness instructor, I kept my body up to impress others – and often, I took unhealthy strategies to maintain that appearance.
I thought I was a fraud and needed to leave the fitness and financial industries, but I was the fraud back then.
Everything I taught and practiced back then I have abandoned now even though I am back playing in the same spaces. I come to the arena now with a different energy, outlook, and approach.
PRE the recession, my body was all about keeping up ‘the image’.
In the world of fitness trainers, many have enviable bodies, but not all have those bodies because they have a health regimen. If I pull the curtain back on this industry, take my word for it, the need to have and maintain the fit body image is so grueling, that many secretly have cosmetic enhancements, drug induced bulk and would never want you to know the truth about how they have the bodies they have, while they sell you the dream and tell you to do 10 more push ups.
Today, I am still aware that how my body looks IS an image issue. This time, for me, it is all about being in ‘His’ [God’s] image. After all, mankind was made in His image so it stands to reason that care of my body and my identity should be adopted from my ‘owner’s manual’, the Bible.
How I look now
Genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Today, as I slowly and healthily reduce in size, I am in no rush to impress anyone, nor take any unhealthy path to achieve my goal. The image that matters is a healthy one grounded in my identity in Christ. That sense of whose I am and who I am pushes me to pour loving self-care into my Temple (my body)
1 Corinthians 6:19 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,”
For the non-Christian, all that I have said may seem like ‘woo woo’ to you. Fine! You do not have to agree with me. Please scroll up to see this is MY blog, so do not be surprised to see I have shared MY perspective and beliefs. However, I know I am not alone in this space. Others feel just as I do, and FYI – you are welcomed into our community. Please click HERE to join my FREE Facebook group, and later, if you are so inclined, we can discuss an even deeper connection through our challenge groups where you will find personal accountability, encouragement, support, resources and more.
During my pit of depression, my Bible shined a light into the darkness. That light drew me out from a dark place and help me escape the depression loop. Now I feel like a powerful proactive creator of my amazing life.
Today, I understand that I am simply a Steward – a manager if you will, of what God has put under my control. We each need to give an account of how we managed our Time, Talent. Treasure, and Temple.
For me, loss of money drove me into the depression. I did not understand that the power to have money and abundance was always mine. No hopeless victim can see that! We are too busy whining about how bad things are, how sad we are, and how impossible things are to see the truth.
The fact is, when you understand and ACCEPT that it is how we manage and manipulate our Time, Talent, and Temple is how we create our abundance. Money and abundance are a by-product of profitable management of resources. Time, talent and your body are your resources. WE ALL HAVE THESE RESOURCES! How we choose to manage these resources are where we are all different.
Some of us use our resources well and create a profitable, financially free existence. Some of us are poor managers and waste our time, talent and mess with our health so badly that we can no longer show up to be profitable.
So, I have been RESTORED to my former place but better than before. The Lord has truly restored what the locust stole. Today I teach health and profitability from the Biblical approach of STEWARDSHIP! I move Christian income earners to become profitable stewards of what God has put under their control. There are too many Christians in line for a handOUT instead of being able to offer a handUP! This must change and I am honored to partner with God in this process. Christians can enjoy debt-free wealth and give generously to the things that move their heart. I have learned how, and I look forward to helping you do the same.
I challenge you today, to understand and accept your responsibility to manage what God has put under your control. Do not waste TIME (non-renewable asset), or your TALENT (a renewable and growing asset), or your TEMPLE (an everyday depreciating asset). Manage these well, and you can and will create the life you have. Whatever life you have, you created it. Want to change it? Change how you manipulate the elements of your life equation.
Show up more, show up early. Expand your talent, learn and grow. Take care of your body, and treat it well, you need it to move on this side of eternity.
If you are ready to become a Profitable Steward (manager) of what God has put under your control, I am willing to show you what God has shown me. I am privileged to partner with God in this urgent place. I am super simple to find, and I do look forward to connecting with YOU!