I am excited to have my friend Jaclyn on the blog today! She and I went to high school together but live in different states now. Thanks to social media, I read a small part of her story when she shared a post not too long ago. I knew I wanted her to guest blog for us because she has a story women can resonate with...body image. I am thankful for her transparency and I pray it can help someone today! Please know you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need prayer!
When I was little, how much I weighed or what size pants I wore was never brought up. Who cared??
I was never called fat, always an average size. Because I started tumbling at the age of five and always stayed busy with some form of athletic sport, my bottom half was always on the larger size compared to my waist. It was in high school when I started to pay more attention to my weight and size. The models in clothing ads were much thinner than me (and of course taller, too). I was 5'1" and wore a size 6. I was no where near fat but the BMI chart said I was overweight.
After high school, I was determined to not gain the "Freshman 15." I wanted the opposite. I was going to be thin like society said I should be. Being an average size 6 was not good enough, and there the obsession began. I was obsessed with looking at myself in the mirror and judging my flaws around my waist, hips and thighs. I would turn this way and that way, suck in my stomach and would wish I was a size 0 or 2. Working out and eating low fat and fat-free was not doing the trick anymore.
There had to be something else.
That's when I started purging my food. It was wrong, but I justified it because I didn't do it all the time and not every meal. The truth of the matter was I was bulimic. I became more obsessed when I started working at a local gym part-time. I would get there an hour before the gym opened to workout and then stay after my shift to workout some more. It was working. By the end of the summer, I was a size 0/2. Just what I wanted. My friends were concerned. My family wondered. I just denied anything and said I had been working out a lot, which was true, but I kept the bulimia a secret.
When I moved to Louisville, Kentucky and my workouts became less and my eating habits were lax, I had to purge even more. It happened at every meal and then eventually became everything I ate. I would be in tears in the bathroom because it hurt to purge my food. In my apartment, I would cry while looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself I needed to stop. But I couldn't. I was gaining weight. I had to keep throwing up. I was now a size 4 and extremely unhealthy.
This went on for over 6 years. It wasn't until I met the man who is now my husband that I revealed my secret. When we started dating, I told him who I really was. I was bulimic. He was a smoker so we made a pact to face the things that were taking over our lives head on. I needed more than just his help to get me out of the pit. I needed prayers and God's help. I emailed my friend and family and confessed my secret and begged them for prayers to help me. It was a slow recovery, and I went through a lot of changes. I gained more weight, and my metabolism was gone. My body was hanging onto everything in fear it was going to go without food. My teeth were ruined, my esophagus scarred and I was no longer "thin", but I was getting better. It was a very long road to recovery but I had God on my side along with friends and family who cared about me. Prayers and God's love and grace were my strength and I realized that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
It has taken years for my metabolism to begin to fully function like it should, which in turn caused me to struggle with my weight. Now I'm finally at a place where I no longer look at the number on the scale or my pant size. It's all about how I feel. Yes, I still look in the mirror and want to lose some inches, I'm human, but my ultimate goal is to just be healthy.
Now that I have kids, especially a daughter, I hope I can instill good healthy habits in them. I want them to see me eating whole foods and exercising because I want to be healthy, not skinny. Because of society and the pressures we put on ourselves, I can only pray that my kids don't go down the road I traveled. God made us all different, yet beautiful in His eyes. We just need to see the beauty within us.
I’m Jaclyn and from a really small town called Calvert City in Kentucky. I accepted Christ and was baptized when I was eighteen, after graduating high school. I moved to Louisville when I was twenty and never left! I married my best friend in 2006 and my last name changed for the 4th and final time. We have two amazing kiddos; Jackson who is eight and Evelyn who is four. They are full of life and keep us on our toes. I am the office manager for a local eye company called VisionFirst. Life is hard and marriage is hard but I am thankful for the love and grace that God gives us.
Sausage Balls - Audra’s pick
1 C Bisquick Pancake Mix (Bisquick makes a great GF mix)
16 oz Breakfast Sausage
1 lb Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Pour it all in a bowl and mix it with your hands. It will take a while and may seem like it’s too much pancake mix, but it will eventually stick together in one big ball. Pull it apart and form small one inch balls. Place the balls on a piece of wax paper that will fit into a gallon size Ziplock. Then, stack another piece of wax paper on top and add another layer of uncooked sausage balls to it. Keep it up until you have them all on a piece of wax paper. Slide the layers of wax paper/sausage balls into a Ziplock and lay flat in the freezer. Once they are frozen, the bag does not have to lay flat. Pop out a few each morning and cook at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. These are a great addition to any breakfast and easy for your kids to grab as they head out the door to eat on the go.
Cream Cheese Danish - Laura's pick
Spread one can of crescent rolls into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Don't press together! Combine 16oz. of cream cheese with one cup of sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over rolls. Place another can of crescent rolls on top. Pour one stick of melted butter over the top. Combine one teaspoon of cinnamon with 1/4 cup of sugar and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Egg Bites - Rebecca's pick
12 Slices of Canadian Bacon (the circle kind)
Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with coconut oil. Push one slice of Canadian bacon into each muffin hole. Crack an egg and drop over bacon. Season with nutritional yeast (optional) and salt/pepper. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Overnight Oatmeal - Tammy's pick
milk of your choice
sweetener of your choice
fruit of your choice (optional)
chia seeds (optional)
In a bowl or glass or jar with a lid (my favorite for easy grab and go), place a serving of dry oatmeal. Pour milk in to cover the oats. Add your favorite sweeter (and a scoop of fruit and/or chia seeds.) Stir together and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is ideal for yummy creaminess. The next morning, grab a jar and a spoon and you are set to go. (My man likes to heat his up, but I love it cold from the fridge.)
I usually make 4 pint jars at a time and keep them in the fridge for whoever needs a grab and go breakfast. There are oodles of recipes on the worldwide web. Here's one site full of recipes to get you started: http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/recipe-search-results.aspx
Freezer Smoothie Packs - Kathy's pick
Need a healthy breakfast, yet pressed for time?? Prepping smoothie freezer packs will save you time and energy in the mornings as well as provide a nutrient-rich breakfast! And....these are super easy to make! You can even involve your kids in the smoothie prep so they can choose which fruits and veggies they like. Don't forget to label the packs and include anything you need to add to the blender such as chia seeds, flax seeds, a scoop of protein powder, ½ cup of Greek yogurt, etc.
Prepare several zip-lock bags with about 1 cup of a fruit of your choice, and 1 cup of greens (spinach or kale). You can also add ingredients such as a scoop of peanut butter to the bag. Add the liquid of your choice to the blender, not the bag (i.e. almond milk, cashew milk, water, coconut water, orange juice, etc). It is recommended that you thaw the Ziplock bag in the refrigerator overnight if you want to use it in the morning.
You can find tons of smoothie freezer pack recipes online. Here is an example from cookinglight.com:
1 cup spinach
½ cup fresh or frozen mango
½ cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1 small banana
Liquid: 1 cup water or coconut water