My name is Chelsea Gnida, founder of Fitness by Chelsea. My relationship with food, exercise and God has been all over the map. My past has shaped me to be who I am today. While I wouldn’t change any of it, it hasn’t all been good, but God has worked out all things for the good, just like Romans 8:28 says “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
When I was, younger there was a lot of verbal and physical rejection from others that surrounded me. I conclude that I was the problem, thus not good enough. My brain believed the lie that I was not good enough. “I am not good enough, I can’t do anything right, no one cares about me, I’m no one’s number one, no one wants me, I’m not cool enough and will never be or do enough”, were the thoughts that took over my mind. Deep down I really believed that I was not good enough, at anything for anyone, ever.
This belief manifested itself in everything I did from early childhood through school, into college, my marriage and beyond. Every choice I made was based on this lie. I feared other people’s judgments and criticisms, and avoided many situations to hide, because I thought wasn’t good enough and didn’t want to fail. Although I was relatively thin, I started exercising at home in middle school and high school to keep off any excess body fat. I also restricted calories to keep a body image that I had defined as “good”. My diet was filled with unhealthy foods when I did eat. At the time, I knew about God, but didn’t have a real relationship with him or a deep belief.
Into early adulthood my under-eating turned to over eating and my belief of God had disappeared; while my deep belief that I wasn’t good enough intensified. I went through cycles of overeating unhealthy foods and not exercising; to under eating, healthy foods and over exercising. I would just finish losing all the weight I had previously gained, to gain it back again and collapse in an anxiety attack.
Unhealthy food with lack of exercise and anxiety really took a toll on my body and mind. I was extremely unhappy and filled with restlessness. My health and body had basically deteriorated into a painful, inflamed, tired, pit of sadness along with a slew of other worsening random symptoms including eye bags, painful rashes, insomnia, night terrors, prolonged napping, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, joint swelling/pain, dry eyes, dry throat, headache, coughing, confusion, brain fog, canker sores, memory loss, dry skin, raynauds, anemia and chest pain. I gained control of my body and completed a total diet with the paleo and autoimmune paleo diet. While my physical symptoms are much better from eating healthier and a balanced diet, they’re still not perfect. I am following the autoimmune paleo diet currently to eliminate any food that might be an issue.
While “God stands at my side and gives me the strength I need for today” 2 Timothy 4:17, I still need to put the work in to fulfill God’s purposes and promises because “Faith without works is dead” James 2:17. I’ve started learning how to cook whole foods and am looking more into God’s word and scripture. I have always been interested in how the body works and have went to school for exercise science, so learning about what I needed to do for my body, mind and soul was interesting. Progress has not happened over night, I am still growing and trusting God every day, and am continuing to reflect more of Christ in my life. The changes that God has made in my life are truly amazing. He continues to keep working in my life as I surrender to him, and changing me for the better. God’s ways may not make sense to your brain, but that is why it is called faith and trust. Whatever you let go of and hand over to him, he will return it way better than you could have imagined. God has a better plan for your life than you could ever think or achieve on your own. “For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
My hope for the site is that you can learn from what God has taught me about my past and apply it to your life. To find resources to help improve your body, mind and soul, and to deepen your relationship with God, while becoming stronger and healthier for you and everyone around you. “So, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1.