Hi I am Erica!
I am so glad to be sharing this journey with all of you! Let me start by saying it is my biggest passion in life is to share my experiences in healthy eating, fitness, and faith with all of you. Restored Reality was born out of a desire to help young women everywhere win back their heats and their lives. Maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul is no easy feat for women today. Women today are wrought with unrealistic expectations of having the perfect body, having the perfect personality, or just “having it all together.” My main purpose in this blog it to create a community where women everywhere can learn how to embrace beauty, lean into the love of Christ, restore their hearts, and embark on a joy filled quest for healthy living!
Since I have you here, let me begin by sharing a bit of my story to restoration. My journey began after years of seeing myself through the world’s eyes. I was hopelessly trapped by my poor self-image. I had a warped reality of who I was and how I looked to the world. I thought my only worth was in how I looked, and how men took notice of me. I was lost.
From about the age of 8 I always struggled with my weight. As a youngster I never really understood the difference between “healthy eating” and “unhealthy eating”; to me food was food. I was eating and enjoying it. However, my childlike mindset was soon shattered by entering high school, and finding out that I was considered “fat”. From that point, I would be on a perpetual diet for the next 10 years of my life.
My weight and my self-image controlled every aspect of my life. For the first three years of high school I became obsessed with diet and exercise. I thought if I worked hard enough, and lost enough weight, that perhaps I would be ideal. I would be good enough. However, no matter how many calories I slashed, or what diet I tried, I never felt that my body was even close to good enough. All of my friends could eat whatever they wanted and never gain a pound- yet I ate a French fry and blew up like a balloon! Where was the justice in that? So I worked harder.
I kept dieting and “trimmed” down .The skinnier I would get, the more attention I would get. I began to antiquate my self-worth directly with my body image. If I looked good men would like me right? I’d be sexy? Well, it didn’t take too long for my body, and mind, to lose steam from my intense dieting. I became so obsessed with looking good that I lost focus on important relationships, and most importantly my relationship with God. I blamed God for not just blessing me with the Victoria Secret body from the get go (would’ve saved me a lot of time and effort God!) I distanced myself from God, and in result distorted my reality even more.
Without God I felt a hole in my life. I was missing something. So what did I do? I filled it with food and boys ( great idea right?). I went from extreme dieting to binge eating my feelings. I binged. I purged. I starved. I Repeated. This cycle went on for years. All throughout college I fluctuated from extreme restricting to extreme gorging. The worse my eating became the worse I would feel, so I needed a new fix. Boys. I convinced myself that if a man found me attractive then I was doing alright. I used sex as a gage for my self-worth.
This unhealthy and dysfunctional mindset I had acquired lasted much longer than I am proud to admit. I was so lost for so long. I blamed God, I blamed my body, and I blamed men. My life was stagnant until one day I realized how tired I was. Actually I was exhausted. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t enjoying life. I even wasn’t enjoying myself. That is when I realized I needed a change. I needed God.
After intense self-examination, prayer, and counseling I began to find my life again. I finally surrendered my pain and my deeply unsettling need to be good enough to God. God whispered into my heart to “Be Still” (Psalms 46:10,) and to let him bandage my brokenness. I knew I wanted to live in the joy that God had promised me. I meditated on this psalm, “restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12). Here is the miracle- he did.
After surrendering my brokenness to God I felt free. I realized I would never be good enough for the world, but I was more than enough for God. My struggles didn’t disappear, but they pushed me to fix my warped realities, and replace them with God restored realities. In his restoration I began to find joy. I found happiness in learning to eat, and lead a healthy life. I found a new respect and love for cooking. I found a strength and a drive in working out. I found a beauty and adventure in relationships.
I am happy to report that in God’s goodness I am 2 years clean of binging and purging, my body is stronger than ever before, and I a happily married to my best friend. God is good, and he has a plan of restoration just for you.
I pray that this blog offers you support and balance as you reclaim your life!
Let’s do this together! Side by side.
Let’s live Joy.
Let’s live Restored.