I love sharing the stories of other women who have broken free from the bondage of body image struggles. This is Tess’ story. I found Tess online, we had a mutual friend, and I liked what I read. I can relate so much to her story, I bet you will too! (Have your own story you want to share, contact me through this form and we can make that happen!) Here’s Tess’ story:
I had my first baby at age 24.
Something very odd happened during that pregnancy, the anxiety I’d always had became increasingly worse. I can remember being reduced to emotional paralysis on a few occasions while I was expecting.
To combat those terrible feelings of dread and worry, I ate. And ate. And ate. I ate until I gained 65lbs and delivered a spunky 7lb 4oz baby girl in July of 2006. Then, I’d like to say that the eating stopped, but it didn’t.
I continued to worry. Was she eating enough? Would she be okay when I went back to work? Did I have to go back to work? Was she sleeping okay? When should she move to her own room? Not enough tummy time? Why does she cry so much? What if this and what if that…all day long. I couldn’t focus on my work. I couldn’t do anything. So, I just continued to feed my emotions all day long…with junk food.
Before I knew it, I was expecting again and was still carrying extra weight. I continued to feed my emotions as I found myself between jobs; and my husband traveling a lot for business; meanwhile, we were trying to find a bigger home for our growing family. I continued to feed my questions and problems with sugar and carbohydrates while my weight and health spiraled out of control even more.
This cycle continued through another pregnancy and finally, I found myself at a cross-roads. I was possibly as stressed out as I had ever been during my adult life. I was working a job I hated; in terrible shape; constantly sick; unhappy; and fueling my laundry list of issues with even more bad food, only making the situation worse. It was almost as if the Lord brought me to an absolute breaking point so I could see clearly.
Then, seemingly all at once, I realized that I had been putting food in place of where my trust in Jesus should have been all along! As a believer, this was a critical step in my walk with the Lord and it was only through trusting Him that I began to BREAK FREE from the bonds of sugar and food addiction; I was able heal and with this new trust, came a new and healthy body, spirit and mind!
Because of the substantial weight gain I had over many years, my body will never be the same as it was pre-baby. But, I’m okay with that! The stretch marks and extra skin are a clear reminder of how far the Lord has brought me and how He’s changed my heart to one that wants to help and serve others going emerge from the the same valleys that once consumed me.
Tess Augustine is a wife and homeschooling mom to four (soon five) little people. She loves writing, photography, great books, sunsets and spending time with family and friends. Her passion is to help others work through food and wellness related issues and break free into a new life of optimum fitness. Tess writes for BreakFreeBeFit.com and is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach Blog: Break Free. Be Fit.
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