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 and chest pain. I tried taking control of my body and completed a total diet overhaul without God. While my physical symptoms were better from eating healthier, my soul was still aching.
Ready to give up, I asked the Lord to help me and change my heart to want his will for my life instead of my own. I deepened my relationship with God and gave up trying to control everything and started letting go of my worries. Then, God started working in my life! God set me free with the truth about who I am: created in his image “So God created human beings in his own image.” Genesis 1:27 and that I am better than good enough, I am very good, “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” Genesis 1:31. My thoughts started changing from “I am not good enough, I can’t do anything right”, to “I am created in the image of God, I am very good”, and “I am complete in Christ” Colossians 2:10.
I started seeing that I don’t need to work out to be good enough, look good enough, or to look like another person that has it all together, but that I need to work out to be healthy and strong; ready for any of Gods purposes or plans that he throws my way, whether that’s being strong enough to take care of the yard work, being able to stand the whole time at church to sing, to having enough muscle and core strength to carry a baby, or eating healthy to nourish an infant during pregnancy. Whatever it is, I want to be ready and fully capable when God calls me to it and not limited by my health and strength. I also learned that I need to eat better to honor God’s temple that he has entrusted me to take care of, not to control my body image and weight for appearance and acceptance. I believe that if you will seek God with all your heart and come to him daily, praying for him to make your heart desire his will and spend time with him, you will make progress, worry less and gain peace.
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.