With our first child, I gained fifty pounds during pregnancy, with the second, sixty, with the third…dare I admit it? I gained seventy pounds carrying him. Now, he was worth it! But I found myself overweight and not losing it quickly like after the birth of the first. I was busy with three young boys and didn’t realize how overweight I’d become until I saw a few pictures of my new self.

Beautiful, slim girls threatened me. I was jealous of their look, their clothes, their style and so I was silently critical. I can’t think of one that appeared to “show off”. All the angst was in me!

Then, slowly, I began to get back to exercising. My husband, Eric had followed Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s book “Aerobics” and I got ahold of the book his wife, Mildred Cooper, wrote, “Aerobics for Women”. That book changed my perspective, changed my future.

An Aerobics Gym opened a couple of miles away; I joined and after a few months worked my way to Instructor. That was the beginning of a hobby: a love of trying to improve my health, normalize my weight, enhance my personal style.

You are created in the image of God! Does this sound simplistic? Think about it. What had to happen to bring you into being…go back centuries…or just go back one generation. You are a one and only…go, do, become the best you can make yourself. Yes, it takes study, discipline, vulnerability and wisdom. You will need one or more friends (husband, sister, daughter, child hood friend… a truthful, loving person) who believe in you. But the journey, when you get a clear picture in your mind of your best self, will be a worthwhile adventure.

When you are threatened, feel small, think “I’m worthless” – just don’t. Be an overcomer. “Wow, Lord, you made me. I have these innate interests, drives, gifts. The path of my life has brought me to this place! There is a purpose for me…which is for me alone and no person on earth can fill exactly the place God created for me.”

When I lost the weight, gained strength and flexibility, my jealousy went away. I had worked very, very hard to grow in this direction. Vision can be like a clear picture in your own mind! Follow the example of the wise woman described in Proverbs. No need to compare ourselves with anybody!

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