In 5th grade, I failed the Presidential Fitness Test. When we weighed in, the girl behind me in line saw my weight and proceeded to announce to the rest of the class that I was a good 15-20lbs overweight. On that day, I took an imaginary Avery name tag, wrote “the fat girl who can’t exercise” in bold, and stuck it to lapel of my identity.

Fat Girl

In 8th grade, I tried out for and made the basketball team. As I worked hard to be able to confidently rip off the label I had been wearing for 3 years, I went the entire season and didn’t score one goal. Label confirmed.

In 9th grade, I was cut from the basketball team after a long couple of months of daily workouts and practices. The coach told me I had potential, but I just wasn’t good enough. Label confirmed.

At this point, as a teenager, I felt it was too late to rewrite my label so instead of trying and failing, I just started to adapt to the identity I had believed and worn for so long.

Last year, I finally decided this label would not define me any longer. I made the choice to sign up for a 5K (The Color Run), downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my phone and started my journey of redefining what I BELIEVED about myself.  It was HARD. When I started, I had a difficult time running for one minute without stopping and my pace was a 15 minute mile.  It’s been a LONG process, but I’m finally starting to see myself getting stronger.  I’ve shaved about 4 minutes off of my pace, added more exercise (BOOT CAMP!!) into my weekly routine and I am seeing myself do things that I believed for FAR TOO LONG that I could not do.

Last week when I was running with Nick, I realized that when I got to a point that I need to take a break and walk, I was say, “I can’t!” and stop.  When I ran my 5K today, I decided to change my dialogue and use the encouraging words I hear from the other ladies in my bootcamp classes on MWF.  I would put a goal in my head (the next stop sign, a tree, a curve in the road) to get to before I stopped to walk.  As I approached that point, I would start to say, “you got this! you can do it!” and I found myself pushing beyond the goal I had set in my mind.

I have reached a point in which I am free to rip off that nasty name tag that has been worn for far too long, and confidently wear the name tag I was originally given….


…Amy…a Beloved daughter of the most high King who has created me, called me, and equipped me for every good work that I might bring ALL glory, honor, and praise to Him!!

We were challenged last week at church to look for opportunities to share our story…this is part of mine.  If you’ve been wearing a nasty name tag on the lapel of your identity, RIP IT OFF.  Rediscover who you are.  You ARE capable. You ARE beautiful.  You ARE designed for something greater.

And if you’ve believed for far too long that you’ve always been overweight so you might as well just stay that way, it’s a LIE.  Start somewhere.  YOU GOT THIS.


4 Comments on “Labels”

  1. Jen Tufts says:

    YES!!! Thanks for sharing your heart, your journey, and the encouragement. I love you, friend.

  2. Heather Tiger says:

    Awesome Amy! Just awesome! You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  3. Katie Hurst says:

    I LOVED this, Amy! I can definitely relate. Even though I’ve never struggled with weight, I was never encouraged as a child to try anything athletic either. So I got it in my head that I just couldn’t do those things because no one ever told me that I could. I have found a new identity through running, also. In my race this weekend when I was struggling and telling myself I couldn’t do it, I could hear God telling me “I created you, and I’m telling you you CAN.” It is so freeing to let Him rip those labels right off! Keep up the good work and the inspiring posts!

  4. belovedone06 says:

    Reblogged this on Twenty-Five and commented:
    I think so many of us have these “labels”that we carry within us, whether they were “given” to us or were “self-appointed”. Many of which are most likely FALSE. But that doesn’t take away the core belief or meaning, unfortunately.

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