I’ve never been like most people. I react differently and I think differently. A lot about life goes over my head and I don’t see eye to eye with most people . . . but that’s because I’m short! And I suppose this has made me who I am.
Walking across the stage to receive my diploma at the grand height of 5’3”, I’ve had to learn not to care what people thought about me and I’ve had to accept that my body composition isn’t like most people.
As a kid, I didn’t love being physical. But between playing basketball in elementary and carrying a bass drum through football season in junior high, I stayed active naturally.
But it all went south when I got a job at Taco Bell (not a pun about Taco Bell food being “south of the border” because Taco Bell is not real Mexican food!) Working lots of hours with very few breaks “forced” my diet to consist of a lot of Chalupas (my weakness back then—fried bread filled with steak, sour cream, and cheese!) and all the Dr. Pepper I could drink!
I didn’t weigh myself back then—I wasn’t aware of my weight gain and I didn’t care. By the time I graduated high school at 18, I was short and fat, my skin was broke out, I struggled at sleeping, I lacked confidence, and I had learned to cover it all up with humour and sarcasm.
And I took all of this to college where I lived in the dorms with guys who had obviously played football in high school, yet they ate pizza at midnight and still looked good without a shirt on. I knew I needed a change, but didn’t know how.
As luck would have it, I couldn’t find a job in college, so I finally resorted to applying at Taco Bell and got a job on that day.
I wanted to be healthier so I would occasionally drink Diet Dr. Pepper instead of the regular version and I would opt for a Taco Salad instead of chalupas (You know, ‘cause the word ‘salad’ automatically makes it healthy). On random days where I wasn’t working and it was beautiful outside, I would go for a 20-minute jog around the campus and hope that my “healthy” choices would result in a thin, muscular body.
My intentions were to get healthy and strong, but clearly, I didn’t know what I was doing up to this point, I did nothing to educate myself at the time, and kept hoping amazing results would just happen!
What I didn’t know then that I do now is that nothing great in life comes by accident. They are intentional choices that require hard work, patience, and consistency.
Over the next 15 years, my journey to understanding health and my journey to following God would eventually collide and I now realise that they are not separate paths.
In fact, years ago, I was looking at the phrase “Make A Difference”. I noticed that the initials of this phrase spell the word MAD. I realised that mad means two different things: it means ‘angry’, but it also means ‘crazy’. I had no idea then that I unearthed the secret of making a difference in every area of life.
When it comes to our body, I believe that God created it, Jesus died for it, the Holy Spirit indwells it, so we need to take care of it. Our bodies are at base level for being good stewards of God’s creation—if we can’t take care of our own bodies, why would God trust us with more responsibilities?
And as disciples of Jesus, we are meant to share God’s grace in every aspect of our lives. One area we can do this is by preparing and providing food for others.
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
— Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:31
Table Art is my life in words.
My past obesity has shaped my present passion for good health and educated nutrition. I’ve always been passionate about food. I’m amazed at how passionate God is about food and meals as well, and I see this as I study the Scriptures. Jesus did some of his best discipling at a Table and his best talks were about food.
I am in artist. I love a great presentation no matter what it is. For me, my Art is food creations. Whether it’s in the skillet or the meal put together on the Table, I love the Art of the colours and textures and tastes that come from it.
I also love what happens at the Table. Relationships are built, memories are made, and food is enjoyed. I love creating something that makes people smile, but it’s even better when that creation brings them together as we celebrate the goodness of God.
No matter who you are, there is a change you need to make in your life to become a better version of the person God created you to be. I hope to challenge and inspire you in this area, but you will never really make the difference you need to make until you are angry with where you are and crazy enough to do something different.
Nine years ago, I became angry with my health and my life and I was just crazy enough to do something about it. And I haven’t stopped! And I want to share the stories and lessons I’ve learned that have made a difference in my life!
Please join me in the kitchen, this meal is just getting started!