It's January, and for the first time in my life when I walked through the grocery store, I didn't feel bad, guilty or somehow full of shame. Usually, this time of year I feel overwhelmed, I want to make a change with my weight, I want to work out, I want it to stick, but I feel like I am drowning in all the options. Where to start? Will it last? Is this something I can actually do?
For the first time this year as I walked the aisles I wasn't buying new healthy foods, quietly chiding myself for spending the majority of the last year "off the wagon". I went through each aisle and bought the same foods I always do. Was my cart full of only organic fruit and only whole foods?? Don't make me laugh too hard, not even close, but somehow during the last year the Lord has set me free.
The biggest thing I feel I have been set free from is my harsh, mean and critical judgment of myself. It wasn't only that I had made progress and was 35 plus pounds lighter this year, but that I had learned how to stop shaming myself for being imperfect and let God show me how to be much more kind to myself in the process of learning. That it wasn't about doing something and being perfect every time, it was about the beauty of learning and gracing myself the space to learn.
I thought that if I really wanted to change that I had to be harder on myself, "just do it, Ashley, what's wrong with you?" But that never worked and still doesn't. All that spurs me to do is rebel and tell my mean, strict, fitness and healthy eating Ashley to shove it while I shoved whatever I wanted in my mouth just to spite her mean self. Shame and guilt and being mean to ourselves will never bring lasting change.
This is a series of videos I want to share with you that attempt to explain the journey that God took me on in this area of my weight. I was desperate to understand and find solutions that would last past January 31st. I am not at my goal weight, I am not a health and fitness guru, all I am is a fellow sojourner next to anyone who has also struggled and been pained by this issue year after year. I have a mind to believe that God can and wants to set us free from anything that keeps a bondage over us or causes any kind of pain. This is the journey he took me on.
In these videos I will discuss the spiritual, the mental and lastly what I did and still do physically, although I feel the what is far less important than the whys.
I know this is a hard and sensitive subject, that is exactly why I want to share on it. I carried the shame of this issue for years and I pray that as I continue to find freedom maybe one small thing God has shown me might help you in your journey as well.
Thank you for being here.
**The video below this weeks video is a vlog I made at exactly this time last year 1/2017 and what I was thinking and feeling. In all its raw honesty I share it so maybe you will feel less alone. Nothing, not even this, is too hard for the Lord. Be brave and be kind to yourself **