Today is the first of what I hope will be a recurring theme here on my blog. I’m excited to share a guest post from on of my biggest inspirations, my friend, Amanda Matthews.
Hello! First off a big THANK YOU to JJ for asking me to write a post about the most transformational season in my life. I’m thrilled to share my story with each of you and my prayer is that you are inspired and encouraged by my story. But FIRST, let me introduce myself.
My name is Amanda Mathews. I’m a Mississippi girl, that found my way to Texas almost 5 years ago. I’m 27 years old and a lover of Jesus, people, and all things creative. My full time occupation is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Director ofRehabilitation at a retirement community and rehab center. I also run a small business of calligraphy and design which I absolutely adore… but lets cut to the chase! I’m here to talk about the last two years of my life, my journey to health and fitness.
On January 1, 2014, I was sitting at my kitchen table writing out my goals for the new year and at the top of the list (as always) was “GET HEALTHY.” As I pondered that resolution tears filled my eyes and I cried out to God asking “WHY WHY WHY is get healthy/lose weight always on my list year after year and why can’t I win this battle?” In the sweetest, most wonderful way, God spoke directly to my heart and said “My dear, you have forgotten who your creator is and how you were created!”
He lead me to Psalm 139:13-15 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you whenI was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
WOW. Suddenly this revelation of identity broke through every wall of shame and worthlessness. My heart and mind were renewed in the revelation that I was a daughter of the Most High King and I was worth it!
After this moment, I went straight to the gym. That minute. I already had a membership to the gym that I was not using, but I knew I had to start. I didn’t know what or how, but that day a grace fell on me and my journey started. I decided to simply commit to 5 days a week and eating clean. I had a little knowledge of what clean eating was, and this blog helped me so much! I highly encourage anyone who is starting this journey to start here.
As the first week went by I decided to give myself a goal of -50 pounds lost by my birthday (June 21st) and -25 pounds by week 12. I exceeded both of those goals! During that first six months, all I did was Zumba or elliptical cardio for 30-60 minutes 5 days a week and eat clean.
After the first 6 months, I decided to start with a personal trainer. I continued cardio, but learned so much about strength training, its importance, and how to move forward into the next phase. I did hit a bit of a plateau the last 6 months of the year. I was still seeing some changes, but the weight and scale moved much slower and I lost 15 pounds the rest of the year.
In 2015, I kicked off the year with a Whole30. Another resource I recommend is the book It Starts with Food. You will be amazed by how much of our illnesses and issues can be healed if we just feed ourselves the right foods! Additionally, in 2015 I tried Smart Barre classes (LOVE!) and some fun Beachbody workouts. I lost another 15 pounds in 2015, but in the fall I hit a bit of a “rough patch” in life and gained about 10 pounds from September to December.
2016 has brought a restored hope and the word “completion” from the Lord. I don’t know that a healthy journey is ever complete, but I’m hopeful that with 50 more pounds gone, I will be at a place where maintaining is my goal rather than losing!
I wish I could tell you that there is one quick fix, but what I have learned on this journey is that a renewed mindset is key! And there are so many different ways to get healthy! Choose one that you enjoy and keep at it!