God told me to move. I thought HE meant exercise.
Exercise. I absolutely hated that word. It was pure-nasty coming across my lips and the exact moment my ears heard the utterance of it, I shuttered. All 276 pounds of me simultaneously screamed a silent groan. The justification party of 1 fell to the floor, clutching her chest, melodramatically beginning the soliloquy. The only thing my ass was lifting back then were the excuses I stacked in front of me to block out and prove that God did not exist… (Insert caveat here…. God existed for others just not for me).
Yet growing up I begged to attend church, Young Life, soaked up every book and conversation about God. Even in amongst the chaos, I still held a calm inside myself with confidence that I was OK. I was the softball player, the basketball player, the discus and shot put launcher, and powder puff football girl. I was also the choir, literary magazine, and photography girl. Whatever I could throw myself into.
So, how did I blow up to almost 300 pounds and get to a point in my life where I had all the “things” I wanted but didn’t recognize the girl in the mirror or the one living my life? What the hell happened!?
In a nutshell; A life where I stopped seeing, hearing, and believing God was there.
The Cliff notes version:
- My childhood was filled with chaos, depressive parenting, neglect, abuse, and patterned behaviors I didn’t understand until about 5 years ago (my ass is 40 now!?)
- I had an almost fatal car crash at 17 years old (there was an extrication, jaws of life, helicopter ride in the rain and I had a Come-to-Jesus moment… blog coming soon).
- I moved away from home and went into a foster family situation when I was 16 years old.
- I got kicked out of college and lost my full ride of tuition for drinking on an off campus field trip that landed me with alcohol poisoning and a ride back from Kentucky to Shepherd University with the Dean. (this actually turned out to be the best consequence to have ever happened to me…. But, we won’t discuss [yet] that moment when my daughter thought about applying to Shep….can you say, “AWKWARD”?)
- I moved across the country in pursuit of my Daddy, hoping to heal my inner 5 year old’s broken heart (total bust on that one by the way… 5 year olds don’t know shit from shinola it turns out… more details to come)
- Met a dreamy rock-star in a leather jacket, with long hair, and a fender strat on his side. Head over heels went I. We sat under the stars mapping out our future and climbed mountains together (Literally, they’re HUGE in Albuquerque, NM)… for about 6 months and then I realized I was preggers and decided against going back to school, it was time to LIVE my “adult life”! (Insert total and complete excitement here…. I was getting my white picket fence, my loving and doting prince charming, my beautiful and wonderful new baby, and I was going to live happily ever after).
- FAST FORWARD FIVE KIDS
- I learned about alcoholism, Al-Anon, After-Care Programs, Hiding Booze in Insulation in the Garage, Domestic Violence, lawyers, restraining orders, supervised visitation, food stamps, Medicaid, choosing between gas over groceries, Section 8, sending the kids to Grandmas and sitting in an apartment with the electric shut off, and stealing the GIANT roll of toilet paper from the Phillip 66 Gas Station on Lomas Blvd NE.
- I did NOT see one picket fence, prince charming turned out to be the King of Bottomless Beer night at the Corner Pocket, I traded Happily ever after in for an excellent concealer for my face, and my babies and I learned how to thrive in horrid circumstances despite it all.
- Another Extrication and jaws of life moment took place on February 14, 2006… to most it was Valentine’s Day…. to him it was his Birthday… To me it was the day I choose to live my life again!
- In walks the man who I met at 17 years old and doodled his last name with mine all over my notebooks. In walks literally the only person on this planet that I would trust with my life and my kids at this point. In walks the man God prepared me for… (picture the movie shot of the couple running towards each other in the park as the background blurs out and a silence falls around them and after years of just missing each other at every turn their paths finally merge and a lifetime of whys, unknowns, how comes, and what ifs all just fade away…… NOW imagine an 18 month old nailing that same guy, who has never had kids in his life, square in the balls upon first encounter. Envision driving across the country with screaming banshee children, all under the age of 7, one of which seriously took off their diaper and peed up and down the back of his brand new car as if marking his territory…utter embarrassment, and then there was trying to explain to 5 children why they cant see their Dad anymore and exactly who this “new guy” is that thinks he is going to make “Hulk Pancakes” and its just gonna be smooth sailing…. (the close up shot is captioned WTH AM I DOING).
- FAST FORWARD 2 MORE KIDS (yep, that makes 7…. And yep, yep…. We figured out how this happens)… you can find the rest of the saga here: https://wordpress.com/posts/tinafraley.wordpress.com
- I learned that you cannot walk away unscathed from 9 years of domestic violence and just throw yourself into the new life of “happy” and that if you choose to not deal with that energy (trauma), it will ooze out all over everything and everyone in your path. (think quagmire here….)
- I learned that when YOU are in pain and choose that pain over the temporary discomfort of healing, it hurts the people who love you too.
- I learned to comfort my pain with food.
- I learned to comfort others with food.
- I eventually (because my ass is STUBBORN) learned how to accept and love myself but there was a rather severe learning curve…(insert more food here…. with a SHOVEL).
- TIMEHOP…..So, its 2013 now and I am…
- Finishing my undergrad studies
- Finally enjoying being a stay at home mom and working from home
- Down a little over a 100 pounds
- Husband’s down 50+ pounds, one son has lost 38 pounds, other son is packing on the muscle
- New amazing home, in the neighborhood we dreamed of, at last with enough room for all 9 of us
- It’s the picture of perfection…. Or is it the Perfect Storm?!
- At the end of 2015 TINA TALKS TO GOD… (geeze-louise, that took a long time, didn’t it?!)
- I have overcome so much why do I still hurt inside?
- I want more than this but what am doing wrong?
- I understand life doesn’t have to be this complicated but what am I to actually DO instead of just continue this juggling routine?
- GOD ANSWERED…. Believe… Trust… Have Faith… Love… Forgive… Let Go
- I’m sorry, say what?!
- TINA: “Dude, I mean Mr. Almighty-Dude, Sir…. I DID THAT STUFF ALREADY… what about all the crap that happened TO ME!?! My kids?! My Love?!”
- GOD: “It happened FOR you not TO you.
- Houston, we have a problem.
- TINA: “What in the world do you mean by THAT?!
- GOD: “When you trust, believe, have Faith, love, forgive, and let go, I am there with you”.
- I’m sorry, say what?!
- TINA: “It sure as heck doesn’t FEEL that way”
- GOD: “That’s because you aren’t presently doing those things… you are questioning them”
- TINA: “Touche”
Exercise comes in many different variations it turns out and serves many different purposes. The weight I carried was not the issue, rather it was the physical manifestation of the pain I was choosing to hold on to and compound for years. Today, I do exercise… my body, my mind, and my Faith…. I do so to strengthen, condition, and grow everyday!
It is (and always has been) a choice to make. Living a #FitMinded Life includes learning how to exercise your choices…. when YOU Choose You…God will be right there with you, the whole entire time. To join the #FitMindedLife Community for support, recipes, nutrition help, and exercise resources and tools just click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KickassWoman/
Have a Rockin-Awesome, Blessed Beyond Belief Day!