For my fourth “Feature Friday”, I have Chelsea Stump from @chelsea_lifts on Instagram. Thank you, honey! This girl motivates me so much to push it everyday to the limit so I can get to where God wants me to be. Showing her faith while promoting good health + fitness, this lovely lady has shared with us her story going deep into her past and allowing God to change her through the bad times so that she can use it as a testimony today. Way to go, Chelsea! Never stop seeking Jesus’ face, He’s the only reason we get to do this. Click below to read her Christ redeeming story. xo
So, I just started writing, and this is what came out. If it is not what you
wanted let me know and I can revise it. But, this is where God led me and I just
let Him speak through me and write my story through His redeeming power and
Love and prayers,
If I trace it back to it’s beginning, I would have to say that my journey with Food and Fitness started when I was a thirteen-year-old insecure middle-schooler, who was desperately searching for a way to fit in with a crowd who seemingly had it all together, but surely were just as lost as my thirteen-year-old self was.
As most teenagers do, I felt out-of-place with my peers. I was not only a bookworm, but also a band-geek, I was not a total tom-boy but also not a beauty-queen, I was taller then not only the girls but most of the boys as well, I was an athlete but not in a sport that my school had so thus was unrecognized as one by social standards, and lastly I was not stick thin but also not overweight. By all means I was a healthy and active kid, only I did not know that.
It was at this point that I saw myself as an outsider looking in, and I wanted in. So, I began to restrict calories in order to lose weight so that I could be skinny and thus pretty and thus like everyone else. You know how they say that when someone who works out starts seeing results they become more motivated and work harder? Well, it works the other way too. Once I began to see the number on the scale and my waist size decrease, I got motivated. I started restricting more, exercising more. The results were fuel to my fire. Every time someone told me how good I looked, I took it a step further. Eventually I got to the point where I was eating a mere 500 calories a day AND exercising as well.
Now, the last thing I want to do is shed a positive light on Anorexia, so let me tell you the downsides of my obsession, because that is exactly what it was, an obsession. I was obsessed with food, more specifically, not eating it, especially in public. I was obsessed with what people thought of me: how I looked, what I wore, what I did/did not eat. I was also paranoid. I thought that everyone was talking about me behind my back, out of jealousy, of course! I began to isolate myself for fear of people discovering my “problem” (although, I did not see it as a problem then). I refused to eat in front of people, I hated going out to eat (typically I either would not eat at all and say I had already eaten, or I would only get a salad), and I began to develop a VERY bad attitude towards those I loved most. All I cared about was the number on the scale. Was it going to be lower that day, did I eat too much, did I not workout enough? Those were the thoughts that circulated through my head. Anorexia is NOT pretty, It is NOT a fun trend or a quick way to lose weight. It is a seriously debilitating sickness that should not be taken lightly or thought to be something one can control. You cannot. I promise you.
My Anorexia took over my life. It ate me alive from the inside out, literally. It was not until almost a year after I first began restricting that I had an “Aha!” moment. I distinctly remember sitting on the couch and just snapping at my Mom because she was offering me more food. Now, I know you all do not know my Mom, but take my word for it, she is the nicest, most loving and caring woman you will ever meet. It was in that moment that I saw the hurt on my Mom’s face and knew that something was wrong. Now, being so young (14) I still had no idea how to deal with my problem, and I was not yet ready to admit that I had a “problem” and needed “help”. I thought I could fix it on my own. The result? Binge-Eating. I thought to myself, well, I will start eating more, but just not in front of people and on my own terms. You see, I still had a major control issue. I thought I could control myself, my disorder, my life, everything. Well, I am here now to tell you that you cannot.
So, what happened next? Well I began to binge-eat when no one was home. I would shove my face with whatever I wanted and then eat nothing for the rest of the day. The problem is guys and girls, when your body is used to having tiny amounts of food, it does not handle a drastic alternation to intake consumption very well. My body began to store the food that I was inhaling because in its mind I was telling it that it was only going to receive food at infrequent intervals and that it better hold on to it as long as possible, because who knows when the next feeding will be. Basically, I was like a bear getting ready for hibernation, holding on to the fat in order to be prepared for a long absence of nutrition. Obviously this led to weight gain, more specifically, fat gain. And consequently, led me into depression. I would be depressed about the weight gain and the fact that I was no longer “skinny”, which would consequently lead me to eat my emotions until I was sick, and the cycle would continue. Needless to say, I was a mess.
I battled Binge-Eating on a daily basis for about four years (essentially all of High School). I did not know what to do. I did not know who to turn to and trust because I was still paranoid, and I did not want people to know that I did not have it all together. It was not until I went to college at the age of 18 that I began to slowly turn the corner. I was a college-athlete and I wanted to perform well. I knew this meant that I needed to have somewhat of a stable nutritional intake, so with this in mind I began to slowly shy away from my Binge-Eating, it was ever so small of a step, but at least it was a step. I also began to get back on a regular fitness regime. We practiced daily and worked out semi-regularly, so this helped me some, as well to have that accountability with my teammates. The last, and definitely most important part of my journey, came in the form of a Christian College Ministry program called InterVarsity that I became involved in. I had always had “faith”, but I had never really committed my life to following Christ, and I began to long for that emptiness to be filled.
As my faith grew, so did my strength in relinquishing control of my life, including my weight, my fears, my insecurities, and my looks. By no means was my battle over, but it was definitely being fought. The next big turning point in my life happened when I began dating, and shortly after marrying, my High-School best friend, who provides me with unconditional love daily. Not for what I look like on the outside, but for who I am on the inside.
At this point I have graduated college with a Double Major and Honors, competed in College Athletics, knitted together a group of life-long friends, committed myself to a life-long relationship, and found hope in a Savior. You would think that was it, right? I had it all. I was set. You would think wrongly. I still struggled, as we all do in life. But again, I was on the right track.
By committing myself daily to lead a healthy, stable, Christian life I am overcoming my disorders. It is a daily battle, as anyone who has experienced an ED can tell you. The difference between ED’s and other addictions, such as alcohol or drugs, is that you can choose and commit to never touching or even being in the presence of drugs or alcohol, while you cannot do that with food. Food is part of your life, it is a NECESSARY part of life. We NEED food in order to survive. You do not need drugs or alcohol to survive. Therefore, ED Warriors are confronted with temptations each and every day, but we fight on! Why? Because being healthy and happy produces a far better, longer, and more fulfilling life than being sick and sad. When I face temptations I think of what makes me happy: God, my husband, my family, my strength, my health, etc. I also remember how terrible I felt and made others feel when in the midst of my battle and how I never want to hurt not only myself, but others, again.
If you are currently struggling with an Eating Disorder, I implore of you, seek out help! Please! Do not go one more day feeling lost, alone, and helpless. Life has so much more to offer you! Your body has so much more to offer you! Talk to a professional, pray, talk to your family/friends, take that first step to recovery!
If you have made it this far into reading my story, I thank you for sticking around for the journey and taking the time to look at life through my eyes! As I said, each day I wake up and actively continue on the road to recovery. When it gets tough, which is still does, I remind myself of how far I have come, and how far still I am able to go now that I am in a healthy state of mind, body, and soul!
With love and prayers,
***If you have any questions, or would like to know more, feel free to find and friend me on Facebook and shoot me a message! I would love to hear your story and share in life with you!***
1/4 cup, dry, yields Oatmeal
1/2 cup, mashed Cooked Pumpkin (from Canned)
1/3 cup Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg (Ground)
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
6 tbsp Egg Beaters 100% Liquid Egg Whites
1/4 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Milk
1 tbsp Bell Plantation PB2 Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter
1 tsp McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1 scoop Nutrition 53 Lean1 Vanilla Protein Powder
4-5 pieces Trader Joe’s Dried Apricots
1/2 tsp Great Value Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1. preheat oven to 350 F
2. in a bowl mix together: protein powder, almond milk, baking powder, egg-whites, pumpkin puree, oatmeal, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin spice seasoning, pure vanilla extract
3. once mixed transfer to a baking bowl/ramekin
4. top with 4-5 diced apricots
5. bake in oven for 20 minutes
6. while it is baking mix Greek yogurt and chocolate pb2 for cream topping
7. after the 20 minutes, take oats out of the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes
8. once reasonably cooled, top with the cream that you made
9. sprinkle the raw pumpkin seeds on top of the cream