Owning My Life {My Health Journey}


Sixteen months after having my first child I was miserable with myself. I was 19-years-old and had gained 60 lbs during my pregnancy, of which I lost 7.2 lbs immediately after giving birth. That is all.

I did what anyone else in a desperate situation would do. I joined a weight loss group, counted my portions, ate very expensive snack bars and four months later I was 42 pounds lighter. I kept the weight off for almost seven years, until I married. I know how to lose weight. I know the steps, the plan, the foods I need to put on my plate in order to see change.

Yet, after having my second child I found it so difficult to go back to what I knew. I suppose it’s because what I learned wasn’t sustainable. It locked me in to certain foods and portions. Though losing the weight was amazing, keeping it off was dreadful!

I’m Hispanic. We love food. How does one engage with food appropriately? I didn’t want to just lose weight. I didn’t want to just exercise or eat right. I wanted to understand my body. I wanted to nourish it from the inside out. I wanted this to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix.

Research left me overwhelmed, anxious, and even more discouraged. Everyone had a different way of getting healthy. Information resources contradicted themselves, fitness groups failed to talk about real issues that contribute to weight gain, the news constantly reported another cancer causing food… I felt hopeless and helpless. I was afraid of food. I didn’t know how to deal with this area in my life.

“Lord, I can’t do this anymore. I’m not sure what to believe. I keep sabotaging my health. If you don’t intervene, this lifestyle is going to kill me!” 

That’s when I found Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to do, for His good pleasure.”

The stress of it all fell off my shoulders. There was a work in me only God could do. I started going on walks every morning. I began taking pictures of God’s beauty all around me. Somehow, my morning walks became holy, coveted times. Thirty days later, I was still getting up to walk. I was getting healthier and I didn’t even know it.



Peach Rose1


Soon, the Lord provided an amazing walking partner. Our walks got longer, but we didn’t notice. Engrossed in conversation about living life with a heart fully committed to God, about surrender, about our hopes and dreams…well, time just flew. We began our Trim Healthy Mama journey and the rest is history.

I learned how food actually works in my body. I learned why I was deadly addicted to junk food, especially sugar. I learned how to use food to nourish myself from the inside out. Fear of failing and going back lost it’s grip on me. I learned a way to eat that was sustainable for the long haul.


Last year my son was in the hospital for 21 days. When I returned home, I’m sure I had gained 20 lbs. I didn’t even want to look. I was fatigued and physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Eating so unhealthy for 21 days took a toll on me. This year, he was again hospitalized. Even in this, I feel the Lord was preparing me beforehand, and I’m so thankful. I spent 14 days in the hospital with him. I packed healthy food options, I took the stairs instead of the elevator. I was focused, prepared, and was so much stronger at the end of it all.

Last month the scale showed me a number I hadn’t seen in eight years. While I’m eating right and working out consistently, I can’t take the credit. I know God is at work in my life. He’s removed the shame associated with my unhealthy lifestyle and He’s shown me the peace and joy that come with simple obedience. Though the scale marks my progress, it’s lost its hold over me. The numbers displayed could never truly quantify the amazing work going on inside me. They could never truly capture my worth and my value. They could never enumerate the countless ways in which God loves me.

Maybe you’re where I used to be. Maybe you’re struggling with some particular area in your life. This part of my story is less about the weight and more about what God is able to do in us. I’m not done with my journey. I still have 27 lbs. to lose. However, I am done with sabotaging myself. I am done with hating the choices I make and then making excuses for them. I’m done with shame and guilt. I’m done with fear of going backwards.

A new year is on the horizon. I haven’t felt so much like ‘me’ in a long time. These past six months have changed me. This is a part of my life I’m no longer willing to compromise. And so, as I enter the new year, one way I will own my life is by continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. 

How about you? Your story might be different, but we all have  areas to own. Some journeys are hard. Some seem impossible. Yet, it’s God who’s at work in us, both to will and to do, for His good pleasure. These journeys are always worth the very dark valleys, because in the end they serve to glorify the One who is able!  How will you own your life this coming year?



Post: Own Your Life  {Walk Out Your Purpose}

Book: Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (affiliate link), by Sally Clarkson, is now available for preorder! You can head on over and get your copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest


  1. Your post really resonated with me. I am at the highest weight that I’ve ever been and have lots of health problems. I too have found Trim Healthy Mama and am letting God change me. I lose some weight and then self-sabatoge myself. I can’t do this by myself anymore and so I loved your memory verse. I am having knee surgery on Monday, but once I heal I plan on getting back to walking daily. I love that you took pictures and focused on God’s creation and beauty and then God gave you a friend to walk with. He is so awesome!

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