Meet Kalei. She has struggled with body image issues and feeling like she was never thin enough or good enough since she was a teenager. Kalei developed eating disorders and put her body through a lot of crazy things—from starving to over exercising to binge eating—all in an effort to combat feelings of unworthiness.
Dark Seasons and God Surprises
My food and body image issues came to a head recently. I got divorced, lost my job and moved to a new city where I didn’t know many people. I was in a very dark place, and I found myself turning to food for comfort. I gained weight and felt disgusting. Through a divine sequence of events, I was made a facilitator of a Daniel Plan small group.
It was through this small group that I learned the key principles of being healthy: Food, Fitness, Focus, Friends, and most importantly, Faith. For some reason, even though I grew up in a Christian family and believed in God, it never occurred to me to bring him into my challenges with food and body image. Food seemed like a silly little issue; I told myself I just needed more willpower.
Purpose That Transforms
Through the incredible teachings in The Daniel Plan, my motivation for being healthy changed completely. Instead of wanting to be thin out of vanity and societal pressure, I was taught that taking care of my body was a spiritual obligation. I realized that I needed to be healthy to focus on God’s purpose for my life. That was very convicting to me. How I treat my physical body influences every other area in my life- my mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual. It just clicked. I needed to be in shape physically so I could be in shape spiritually, too!
I made a few big changes that helped me get healthy. I made my workouts a priority by putting them in my calendar as a non-negotiable meeting that I couldn’t miss. I also started tracking my food, and I asked friends to help keep me accountable. There was so much power in asking others to join me on my journey. One friend in particular helped me tremendously. Anytime I felt like night bingeing (my biggest challenge), I would call or text her and we would talk through it.
Bucket Lists and a Bright Future
In addition, discovering The Daniel Plan prompted a big life decision. I enrolled in Nutrition School to become a Health Coach. I’m finishing up an incredible year long program that’s taught me so much about how I can help others become healthy, too. And I decided to take a big step and check off an item on my bucket list--training for a half marathon!
I’m in such a wonderful place now— I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Yes, I’ve lost weight, but more importantly, instead of being obsessed with food and how I look, I’m completely focused on God’s purpose for my life.
Kalei is beginning a new career as a Writer and Speaker. She is confident God will use her pain for good and is excited to encourage others on their own journey towards health and purpose.