My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Learning That I am Strong

So, working out has never, ever been my thing.

Growing up, you would find me with a nose in a book, watching a movie, or engaged in some piece of craftiness over any type of physical activity. Even bike riding, the typical childhood pastime, became a thing of the past after the bike crash of 1990.

Entering into high school, I avoided all sports but eventually joined the tennis team. This was a plus for me as we only had to make three three laps around the courts for warm ups and other than that, it was just fun on the courts with friends. In fact, when I was asked to move to the varsity team, I attempted one game and the competitive attitude that came out of me was not pretty. I went straight to the coach and asked to be placed back on the JV team so my scores wouldn't have to count (all that pressure was too much for this people-pleaser) and I could simply play for fun.

But, as an adult, I have had to seek out my own ways to stay active. I never enjoyed the gym, the feeling of being stared at was too overwhelming (whether it was true or not) to make me confident in that environment. I hated running, and after a terrible sledding accident that wrecked my knee (yes, sledding...don't ask), it didn't even feel like it was an option. There was the season of Curves, which worked for awhile, until I knew I would need something more intense to lose the weight I needed to be healthy.

Moving to Ghana, working out has definitely not been a priority. There have been short seasons of God working in me to get moving again. But the excuses were always there:
-How can I lose weight when we eat mostly carbs?
-It's so hot, how can I possibly work out?
-My schedule, how can I find the time?

But, I started working out seven weeks ago. I know that it's just the start of something, but here is what I am learning about myself:

*I am stronger than I think I am.

*I can persevere and keep this thing going, even when I am sore, tired, and not feeling my best.

*While I may only have lost three pounds this whole time, I have lost inches and that is worth it. It changes how I feel in my clothes and changes how I feel about my body.

*The physical journey is so much a spiritual journey. It is a daily battle, a daily joy, a daily pressing in.

*I sense a deeper sense of worth in this process, knowing I was created for more. That my body was actually created to be healthy and whole.

*This is not about numbers, it is about me honoring His creation, my body.

*This can't be done on my own. I have an amazing group of ladies here that keep me accountable. I have encouragers back home that write me truths to cling to. I have partners that work out with me everyday, and question me when I don't want to.

*I can do anything if God calls me to it.

I can't say that I enjoy working out or that sports have now captured my attention, but there will come a day when this process will feel normal. Where I will feel fully confident in my own skin. It's all in the process.


  1. It's always such a struggle! I hear you. But if you can feel different in your clothes after 7 weeks, you are making some awesome progress. When I started running, it took me 7 months before my clothes started to fit differently! And it took me over a year to lose 10 pounds. I don't say this to discourage you, but to say that you are already making so much progress! And it really does take a lifestyle change before you see lots of change. So keep it going! I'm so proud of you. Love you tons (pun intended). ;)

  2. I love these truths you have learned! You are right. Working out is so much more than a physical activity. It challenges and teaches every aspect of your being! Keep it up, sis. I'm proud of you!