Fit By Grace

NOTE: Thank you, Margie Garrison for writing today’s guest post. I met Margie years ago at Oral Roberts University when we were college students, but we didn’t stay connected after we graduated. Nearly twenty years later, I reconnected with her at the local gym I had joined. This past year, she launched a Zumba class at the gym and through taking her class, I’ve gotten to know her even better. She’s an incredible person and a fun Zumba teacher. I’m excited she accepted my request to share on this blog. She not only has an inspiring testimony, but is a great example of someone who demonstrates the love of God. 

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“For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord…” (Jeremiah 30:17)

Gods grace, his ability, weight loss, struggle

Margie Garrison: before (left) and after (right)

As long as I could remember, I had always been a “chubby” kid, but it never seemed to bother me since the rest of my family members were too.

But that would soon change when two major events happened that scarred my heart. I remember, at the age of twelve, standing in front of my entire PE class in junior high and being weighed in. I weighed the most out of all of them. It was not only humiliating, but it also created an unhealthy relationship with the scale. The scale became my enemy that day. Little did I know that I would allow the numbers on a scale to define me and determine my self-worth for many years to come. 

Another life-changing incident happened at the age of fifteen. I had a “crush” on a cute boy when I was in high school. When my mother found out, she decided to give me a reality check. She sat me down at the kitchen table and said, “If you really want that boy to notice you and take any interest in you, you need to lose weight.” I believe that in her heart, she was only trying to encourage me to lose weight, but the delivery was very harsh. In my heart, I received her words as, “You are not good enough, Margie. Only if you are thin are you worthy to be loved.”

At that point, I realized that my weight was a problem. So I embarked on a journey of yo-yo dieting which only resulted in my weight to balloon every time I got off of one. I felt helpless, hopeless, and discouraged all throughout my teenage and adult years. I thought that this was my lot in life—I was meant to be overweight.

One morning, as I woke up with so much pain from all the weight I was carrying on my body, I cried out to God to help me. I was tired of living this way and I needed help badly. Then a series of events unfolded and one specific event was the paradigm shift that I had been longing for. 

John Bevere, a minister, came to our church and shared a life-changing message. He read from Psalm 139 that all of our days have already been written in a book and that we were meant to live an “Extraordinary” life.  Except, we were not meant to live it in our own ability. He went on to say that God has given us the Grace to live this kind of life. He defined Grace as: God’s empowerment or His supernatural ability to go beyond our natural ability.

As I listened to him, I thought, Ok, if I was meant to live an Extraordinary life, then being overweight for the rest of my life must not be God’s plan for me. Surely, God has written a healthy life for me in my book. Again, I had honestly thought being overweight was my destiny because of all the struggles I endured and felt too defeated. I continued this conversation in my heart while he was still speaking: And if God’s has given me His Grace – His supernatural ability to go beyond my natural ability- then, I don’t have to live this way anymore. I got the CD of his message and listened to it over and over until my mind began to be renewed to this Rhema of God’s Word. I had always read that passage but it had not become truly alive in me until that day.

Once I had committed to God to begin this journey of health and took the first step, change happened. God brought key people into my life that would help me along this path. Every time I had walked into the gym and got on the treadmill, I would say to myself,” I have been Graced by God to do this. I have God’s supernatural ability to go beyond my natural ability.” One step turned into days. Days turned into weeks, weeks to months, and now, I have been walking this path for over four years.   

The change first began in my heart. As healing started to flourish in my wounded soul, the physical weight began to fall off. Although I have lost a significant amount of weight, I am still on this journey and will be on it for the rest of my life. It has not been easy. I have had my ups and downs, but one key thing I have learned through it all is to never give up. This is God’s plan for my life; therefore, He will see that I will be successful in fulfilling His plan. Since He began this good work in me, He will see it through to complete it.

Many people are going through life struggling with their weight, their self-worth, and their purpose. My desire is to help those struggling in these areas. During all those years that I struggled with my weight, I felt like I had no real sense of purpose for my life. That is different now. I know what my purpose in life is. My purpose is to inspire, to encourage, and to guide others on the path of their “Extraordinary” life as they allow God’s power and his love to heal their wounded soul.

How about you? What is God doing in your Extraordinary life? Please share in Comments below. Thank you.

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About the Author

Margie Garrison