The confession that may cost me:

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Today’s post has been a long time in the making and today, I’m clicking PUBLISH with shaking hands and praying my words will be received in the way I am intending.

I have a confession and I need you to hear me out:
I’m a health and fitness leader and I have gained weight. Even more than that, I’m a health and fitness leader and most days, I’m tired of talking about health and fitness. 

I’m leading other women daily in ways that they can live a healthier, more free lifestyle, yet at the same time, according to standard measures of the world, I am not successful at the same thing myself. 

A couple months back I showed up for my annual physical. When the doctor entered, after she greeted me, her first words here “So let’s talk about your weight”.

To be honest, I wasn’t aware of my weight. I don’t weigh normally and hadn’t stepped on a scale in months.

When they weighed me in before my appointment, I didn’t look at that number, because for me, it doesn’t lead to a place of freedom and growth, but instead judgment and restriction.

I walked into that appointment (in January, a few weeks after Christmas), knowing I wasn’t at my thinnest, but also feeling really free and in a healthy place.

I lead fitness classes five days a week, was training for a 10 mile race, and eat well MOST of the time.

According to the scale there, I had gained 7 lbs over the past 1.5 years and had gained 14 lbs since I was at my lowest weight four years ago.

To try to make a loooong story shorter, let me give you the highlights:
Five years ago the Lord called me into learning how to live healthy and well for His glory. 
Over the course of that next year, I became obsessed with all things fat-loss lifestyle and metabolic training related. 
Four years ago the Lord asked me to begin sharing my journey with others. Wellness Witness was launched which at that time was a super-active blog, recipes, and local fitness classes. 
Three years ago He asked me to step out into full-time ministry and work with Wellness Witness and we’ve grown since there. I’ve gone from teaching 2 classes a week to teaching 5. I’ve added an online program called the At-Home Tribe that leads 300 women around the world virtually. I get to travel and speak and write and basically use this platform of health and wellness as a tool to speak life and worth and share the Gospel with women. 

It’s an amazing calling and I’m grateful for every second of it.

But, according to the world’s standards, I have no business leading a health and fitness platform.
Instead of seeing my body continue to grow stronger and smaller, I’m finding that the more freedom I walk in, the more space I’m taking up (In more ways than one).

Here’s where I need you to stick with me:

-The enemy is using this to try to convince me that I am disqualified.

I’ve gone round and round over the past two months trying to figure out what the Lord has for me in this struggle and if I’m supposed to even be sharing about it with you all.  It’s a strange place to know that others depend on you to tell them how to find ‘success’ in weight loss and living well but to not feel like you are experiencing that in your own life. It’s even more strange to not want to continue talking about health all the time because you know there are so many more important things we can focus on.

I felt shame.
I felt judgement (totally self-imposed).
I felt disqualified.
I felt a bit lost.

That stupid enemy. He doesn’t fight fair. And he doesn’t speak truth.
His goal: STEAL. KILL. DESTROY.
He’s been after me. And at times, I’ve been listening.

This morning, though, I was reminded of truth and I felt led– no COMPELLED- to share this with you.

Here’s my confession:
I am a health and wellness professional and I have gained weight.
I am a health and wellness professional and I don’t want to focus on living a ‘fat loss lifestyle’.
I am a health and wellness professional and I am done with measuring my worth by how often I workout.
I am a health and wellness professional and I know that training my body will never fix the issues that linger in my heart.
I am a health and wellness professional and I don’t care if the clients I work with ever lose one single pound.
I’m a health and wellness professional and I believe that we have far more important things to talk about than the number of carbs in the food we have for lunch.

There, I said it.
It’s out there.

But can I tell you what else is true?

I BELIEVE IN FREEDOM LIVING. 
This means I don’t live chained by a set of ‘rules’ to tell me what I can and cannot eat.  My joy isn’t linked to the number on my scale, and my success won’t be measured by seeing my monthly measurements go down.

Success for me?

OBEDIENCE.

…Stewarding well the gifts the Lord has given me INCLUDING my health.

For me this means moving my body because I GET TO and because when I move, I come alive.
It means making my workouts an act of worship that don’t just impact my body- they speak to my heart and bring peace to my soul.
For me this means being ON MISSION and more concerned with stopping to serve the people around me than meal prepping and planning to meet my nutritional goals.
It means putting people before platform and my relationship with the Lord before my required tasks.
It means I’m done trying to fit into someone else’s expectations of what health and wellness has to look like.

Here’s what else it means:
I am not disqualified to lead others into doing the same. 

If you’re looking for a quick program to change your body- you won’t find it here.
If you want a trainer who will whip you into the best shape of your life- it’s not me.
Looking for a nutrition plan that will map out for you every single bite of food you’re ‘allowed’ to have so that you can watch your body shrink smaller and smaller? You won’t find it here.

But if you are sick and tired of living sick and tired and you want to find a better way? This space is for you.

If you’re tired of letting the scale dictate your worth? We are your people.

If you know that the calling on your life is bigger than achieving a perfect physique? We agree.

If you know that living a healthy lifestyle matters so that you can go where God sends you? We’ll help you do that.

If you’re tired of looking at the women around you, constantly comparing and critiquing how you measure up- we’d love to show you another way.

I’m ready to change the conversation from weighing less to LIVING MORE. I think you might be, too.

We have more important things that we have been called to than fixating on every perceived flaw we’re walking around with.
And we have bigger tasks we’ve been equipped for than simply trying to take up less space.

YOU HAVE BEEN CREATED ON PURPOSE AND FOR A PURPOSE, set free and saved, and given authority to walk in. It’s time to stop shrinking back because we feel disqualified, and to ask the Lord to send us out even when it may not look like we think it should.

In the beginning of my journey, obedience for me looked like a whole lot of dying to self, breaking food addictions and unhealthy choices, and beginning to honor the Lord with living healthy.
A few years later obedience looked like trusting Him that where He calls, He will provide.

Today, obedience looks like surrender.

To being able to honestly say- “God, I surrender this to You. All of it. I’m willing to continue obeying You and the things you’ve called me to even if nothing ever changes. I’m willing to be the one who will step forward and say ‘I’ll go first’ and to shout that there has got to be more to this life than living chained to physical measurements of our worth.”

Lately I’ve been talking with the Lord about obedience and my current health journey and having to decide: IF I NEVER LOSE ANOTHER POUND, WOULD I STILL BE WILLING TO OBEY HIM BY LIVING WELL? Eating healthy foods, moving my body, doing restorative care, drinking my water…Am I willing to obey? To not take short-cuts, to not tie my worth to my weight, to not feel disqualified because I don’t look like other health and wellness leaders.  AM I STILL WILLING TO OBEY?

My answer is yes.

It matters.

The way I steward this one life I have to live MATTERS.

So I’m going to continue showing up.

I’m going to offer what I have.
I’m going to keep cheering on those around me.
I’m going to keep pointing you back to the MAIN THING which will always be heart > weight.

I know this will mean some of you can’t stay. But, for those that will, know this: WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED.

I’m free and the enemy has lost his hold over me.
Get ready- I’m stepping forward with NO SHAME and I’m inviting you to link arms and come with me.

let’s go- we’ve got lots of work to do. It won’t be easy, but sister, FREEDOM WILL BE WORTH IT!

When I was early on in my journey, I’d share progress pictures. I thought this would be a good way to show you tangibly what I’m talking about today:

This was one of my favorites- it’s a picture of my on my wedding rehearsal night in 2005 and then one from 2014 of me wearing the exact same pants. I’d lost a significant amount of weight and I used these green pants as my indicator of success.

Here’s a picture I snapped of me wearing those same green pants today:

Not too bad at first glance. Definitely tighter, but not too bad.
BUT HERE IS THE REALITY THAT MOST STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET WONT SHARE WITH YOU:

There it is.
The truth.
My pants won’t zip and guess what: I AM NOT DISQUALIFIED.

I’m refusing to feel shame over this.
I don’t HAVE to be the same size I was THIRTEEN years ago. My body has carried two babies, it’s endured countless trials and stresses and it has LOVED AND SERVED WELL. I will not belittle it or despise it. I’m making peace with it.

And I’m hoping that my sharing will serve to empower some of you to do the same.

Let’s do this differently.

As always, I’m praying for you and CHEERING YOU ON!

 

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Reader Interactions

Comments

    • I am right there with you. I am a rev instructor, runner etc… gained about 20lb since rev training. But… that’s just part of the journey. You do a great job. Your ability to be real makes you so relatable, and I appreciate that quality.

  1. I love YOU! thank you for sharing this……There is so much FREEDOM from to be found in this TRUTH!

  2. Yes. This was for me today & exactlay what God has been speaking to me about for 2 years. It’s so hard yet so incredibly needed! Thank you! I’ll be following along & cheering you on! God is paving the way!❤️

  3. You are speaking to me. When they weighed me to my “pre-pregnancy” weight it was days after returning from RWIT. I know in my mind that is an abnormally low weight for me and yet my mind tells me that is my goal and I should be ashamed at 3 months postpartum that I am not there. I’m in the battle this week. What a loser our enemy is.

  4. Wow! This was inspiring, such a great read! I can’t wait to share this with everyone that I know. Thank you so much for sharing you are awesome!

  5. Thank you for being real & transparent!
    I myself have a similar story. As a teenager and young adult I struggled with being overweight and unhealthy. After changing my eating habits and starting to exercise I lost 100 lbs over a 2 yr period. However, I went to another place of bondage and that was extreme control of my weight, excessive exercising, very limited eating. I bought into the lie that my value was found in my clothing size and what my weight on the scale was.
    I was in the fitness industry for 23 yrs.
    Finally, freedom came after realizing how much I am loved by God regardless of how much I weigh, what size clothes I wear, or how much I exercise.
    I have gained weight over the last 2-4 years. I work at keeping my focus on living healthy, keeping everything in balance(No extremes). I have to fight the lies from the enemy of my soul at times. I know that I am healthier, I am free , and I am loved!

  6. Yes but look at the muscle in those legs! Those arms! I have been with you for two years and I have noticed and watched how your arms and legs have gotten so toned and muscular. You look so healthy and so amazing but most of all YOU are amazing! I love your sweet, caring spirit and the love for Jesus and for others you bring to that platform. I’m sure a lot of women, including myself are grateful that you don’t do everything perfectly because that means we don’t have to beat ourselves up when we don’t. You’re awesome Kara!

  7. Kara, you are so loved and cherished. Thank you for sharing this. Papa sees you. He holds you. He sustains you. Sending love your way from Mexico!

  8. I too am tired of the judgement. Medical professionals (some) only look at numbers. The shame I’ve carried is awful.
    Thank you for being transparent. The weight of guilt really just adds to the physical pain and physical weight gain. I’m tired.

  9. Kara, thank you for all you do here! We are ALL still being healed day to day, praise God! Cheering YOU on! Thanks for cheering US on!

  10. Thank you for being honest and brave and pioneering. We love your leadership. Keep going, sister! We are with you!

  11. “I am a health and wellness professional and I don’t care if the clients I work with ever lose one single pound” This is FREEDOM- for me Kara, freedom for me because I’ve been in this tribe for years and I haven’t lost weight- but my heart is changing and according to the world- that isn’t success. But it is to me and I don’t want to let you down. This sets me free.

    You rocked my world with those pictures. It’s like scales fell off my eyes. The truth about how the internet can lie has never been shown to me like that. I think you look amazing, you look how I wish I looked but this pictures PROOVES that by the world’s standards- we’ll never been enough.

  12. Thanks Kara!
    I applaud your obedience and your passion is contagious!
    I’m so glad to be able to sit under your teachings and learn from you!!

  13. Thanks Kara for being real! Love it! Truth, oh yeah! Keep on speaking it. God is giving you a boldness and is making you brave. I say yes and Amen! You inspire me and so many others! Blessings on you my friend! Thanks for your encouragement!

  14. I needed this, thanks for sharing!
    I have gained 20 pounds due to hypothyroid and a adrenal fatigue. I have no desire to exercise. I started Whole30 and am on day 51. I am feeling a lot better, have more energy, sleeping better, my joint pain is gone, I am eating better and so many more things but I haven’t lost any weight. Its so hard to focus on the weight but it shouldn’t be when so many other things are so good and God is clearly at work in bringing healing to my body. Still no desire to exercise. I to used to be a personal trainer, Holy Yoga instructor as well as a Rev Fit instructor so your story speaks to me.

    Linking arms!

  15. Those green pants made me cry. I also married in 2005 and it’s just not realistic for me to ever be that tiny again. My life is full, my heart is full and my body is always going to be a little fuller now. Thank you for your honesty and your dedication to your mission. This post made me respect you even more.

  16. SOO glad the Spirit nudged you to share this . THIS right here is FREEDOM for anyone who reads!!! We tend to get this idea {from the world} that those that are influential are also “untouchable” by the problems that ‘we’ “common” folk face.

    Thank you for your transparency {which has definitely kicked that dang devil in the teeth}. All for His glory!!

    Love you girl!! Appreciate you and am so stinkin grateful for ya!!!!

  17. I love this.. thank you for your honesty. The enemy has been kicking me down and making me feel disqualified for what God called me to do as well. I’ve been listening to this song over and over. “Fear is a Liar” Great song!
    https://youtu.be/1srs1YoTVzs

  18. You definitely ministered to the ladies here in WNY and keep training that gem of a daughter that the Lord has given you. I am a financial advisor that has had to use credit cards and sometimes that makes me doubt but that but I know that I want what is best for all of my clients and if I waited for my perfection I would never serve anyone. Thankfully my savior is perfect so I don’t need to be. Keep the Faith.

  19. I love your heart & your honesty! Thanks for being real. Thanks for always giving GOD the glory He deserves. You are doing well faithful servant. Keep on keeping on!

  20. He loves us no matter…that is the only message we need. Am not a member of your groups, but your messages give me hope…one day I might be rid of some of the weight I carry on my body…if not, your messages especially today lighten the mental weight so many carry by reminding us that His love relies only on our acceptance of Him. Prayers for you and your going forward!

  21. Love your honesty and your heart!! Thanking God for what you share with us… your gifts, talents, family, cares, struggles, hope, wisdom, love!!! Thank you, Kara!!

  22. Wow. Just wow. Can I seriously say I’m in the same type of struggle and won’t step into what I believe God is calling me too because I’ve gained weight and am not obsessed with working out and the scale at this point in my life.
    Can I please learn from you and grow with you?! This was so freeing. Never hesitate to share. We need you!

  23. Kara,
    So happy to see a real person. Not trying to hide your imperfections. We all have them and we all need Jesus! Thanks for being real.

  24. You are EXACTLY right. You are NOT disqualified! And what you said about the devil is right too. He wants nothing more than to destroy your ministry. Good for you for not letting him.

  25. Could it be that you’ve gained more muscle mass and that’s why you weigh more? Whatever the reason, I follow you on IG for your words of encouragement and the urgency in which you remind us believers to abide in Him. You’re gifted, sister, so keep running the race!

    • I’m on your side. Satan will always look for your weakness to use against you. You know after two babies, your body will never be the same, something just changes. Make sure you don’t neglect your personal time with God. Thank you for your honesty.

  26. This was such a powerful message for me to hear. Thank you for putting your vulnerability out there and showing your true strength.

  27. What a clarion call to all of us fitness and wellness instructors who don’t look the part, nor weigh the “ideal” weight the world says we should be. This is about the truth of the liberating power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! To God be the glory forever! Thank you Kara for your encouraging words and OBEDIENCE!

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