Julie’s Journey to Health and Wellness

Read this powerful fit mom guest blog by Julie — military wife and mom to two gorgeous children.  Here is her story:

Julie — fit mom and military wife.

“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!” Ephesians 1:19 (MSG)Energy was something I always seemed to run short on, but now I can say I am abundantly filled!

My journey started about 5 months ago, the start of a very new season in my life. With a tearful goodbye, I instantly took on the role of being a single mom to my at the time 2.5 year old son and 6 month old daughter. This was the result of my husband deploying for the next six months, a common duty, and way of life for many military families. After having my daughter last summer, I found myself still holding onto 12 extra pounds, enjoying bad eating habits, and feeling very empty both spiritually and physically.

A few weeks before my husband left for his deployment, we enjoyed a night together as a family. It was on the car ride home that my husband expressed his desire for me to eat healthier and ultimately be more active physically as a family. During this discussion, I participated and listened to what he had to say. This was a first for me. There had been many talks like this in the past, which all ended empty, as I was not willing to change or listen. This night however, God got a hold of my heart, and with it He started to work. My heart was softened as I listened to my husband’s desire for me, there was more to it than just that, though I didn’t realize it until months later.

Being a single mom is not an easy job.  It is a lot of hard work.  There is also a lot of joy in it!  My kids have always been pretty good sleepers which usually allow for most of our mornings to start no earlier than 8am.  After my husband left, I decided to start getting up around 7 a.m. to work out in our very small apartment living room before the kids woke up.  I started this routine in February, and have been doing it ever since.  I started small.  A neighbor let me borrow the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD so I took it, and worked out using the beginner modifications, five pound weights, and worked my way up.  After a month of working out 5 days a week, I could tell I was on my way to gaining strength and melting some of the fat off my body.  I decided to keep a record of my transformation by taking monthly pictures to see my progress.  This was a great motivator for me!  I became a member of calorie counter (it’s free) to help log my food, and stay within the right amount of calories each day to achieve my goal of losing 12 pounds (which would put me back to my pre-pregnancy weight).  I did this faithfully for 4 months, and kept challenging myself by finding and utilizing harder workout videos (many of which I found on youtube) as I got stronger.

During these months of working out, I also cleaned up my diet, my kids diets, and started feeling better.  I found I was not just taking care of my body, but my heart as well.  I started taking out the trash in my life, and giving my heart to God.  He was still doing a work in me, and I realized that I was worshiping God through my exercise and eating.  Once I learned this connection, everything changed.  Yes, exercising made me feel better, changed my body appearance, and even helped improve my mood each day.  However, I can not do anything without the power of God in my life.  It all came together for me.  Through loving God, exercising, and eating healthy, it all became a package deal.  Now, I can truly say I have endless energy and boundless strength!

Five months later, I can almost start the countdown for my husband’s return home.  This will be a very joyous reunion!  But what I can say now, is that I have successfully reached all of my goals in just five months.  By God’s grace, I was able to be a single mom to my kids, workout every morning, and eat healthy!  Today, I am not 12 pounds lighter but 24 pounds lighter.  I have more definition in my arms, abs, and legs than before having kids, I eat healthy, and feel great!  The best part was, I didn’t ever go to the gym.  I worked and continue to work hard every morning with a pair of weights, a mat, and at home in a very small space.   I am maintaining this new lifestyle, as I eagerly wait to show it all off to my husband and enjoy the benefits together as a family.

To God be the glory great things He has done!

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