I’m a wife and a mother of four. If you saw me and talked to me today, you would think that I’m a fitness nut. Well maybe I am, but I haven’t always been that way.
As a kid, I was pretty happy, but the divorce of my parents left me feeling a little hollow and empty. I turned to food for comfort. It was an easy choice. Every time I ate, I felt better. I would feel full. I wasn’t obese, but I was bigger than most other little girls and was teased about it. I told myself it didn’t matter, but I knew inside that it really did. These feelings continued for years.
I met Joshua, the man who is now my husband, and he changed my world. Most of the changes were great, but . . . well . . . I’m not going to blame my weight issues on my husband, however he was an integral part of them. I adopted many of his HORRIBLE eating habits, and bit by bit, they added up to me being UNHEALTHY.
Through the next 8 years, I had 3 beautiful daughters and supported Josh through graduate school, and managed our apartment complex among other things. If I was treating my body the way I should have, I could have handled the stress. But because my fitness and eating habits were terrible, I topped the scale at 269 pounds!
You heard me right.
Outside I seemed happy, but inside I was sad. I hated looking in the mirror—yuck! I felt trapped in my body but with the brain of an athlete. Not only that, I had pre-diabetic blood sugar levels.
What was I going to do about it though? I started where many start: with a few fad diets. I tried hCG, Body for Life, South Beach and Weight Watchers. As fad diets always are, these diets were a temporary fix. I would lose weight, but eventually it came back.
In October 2011, I began the journey of weight loss that will forever change my life.
I am an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I’d never considered how I ate to be tied to my faith. Boy did I learn a thing or two.
D&C 89:19 talks about the promises in the Word of Wisdom:
“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures”
The knowledge that I’m talking about didn’t happen overnight. Just like scripture study, it was slow to build.
I did however decide that following the Word of Wisdom and eating meat sparingly was a great leaping point. If I said it was easy that would be a lie. The idea of high protein and eating meat is practically shoved down our throats at every fitness turn.
I counted calories and discovered that I could get so much more nutrition and bang for my calorie buck from fruits, veggies, grains and legumes. I also learned to love the deep flavors that they have.
I made daily exercise a priority and discovered that it was FUN! Okay, at first it was a chore, but I grew to LOVE the feeling and the energy it gave me.
I had my setbacks. As in our spiritual journey, we fall in the pit and have to rely upon our Savior and the atonement to lift us out of that proverbial pit.
In 2013, I was blessed with my little finale child, Frazier, my first and last son. Since having Frazier some days have been hard, but I look at where I’ve been and I think, “I can do this‼”
All-in-all I managed to lose 100 lbs. That is no small feat.
I’m so grateful for the knowledge and experience I have gained through my struggle to lose weight. I feel blessed to have escaped the clutches of diabetes. I know what it’s like to struggle for so many years and then to succeed. I have taken classes to become a certified personal trainer so that I can help others.
I am a lover of people. I’m so sensitive to the pain of others and when it comes to weight loss I know that it’s not easy. In my blog, ImaFitMormon, I preach about the Word of Wisdom. I feel strongly that the Lord has given me these experiences to help others learn.
April Thompson is 35 years old and lives in Houston, Texas. She and her husband have four children. She loves trying new things, including sports, foods, and crafts. She is a homemaker, blogger, hair and makeup artist, and personal trainer and currently serves in the Young Women’s auxiliary. She loves teaching the youth about the Word of Wisdom, health and fitness.