Your Story: Kim Lincoln

I Can’t Give Up
shared by Kim Lincoln

per·se·ver·ance
1. Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Kim Lincoln

Hi! I am Kim, and I have been actively engaged in my journey toward holistic health for the past four years. Four years ago, I began to take a very assertive and conscious look at how my story and life circumstances contributed to my lifelong weight issue. More specifically, I had to acknowledge how sexual abuse played a part in how I perceived my body and in what I have done to protect myself at all costs, including how I have used food and my weight to both shield my emotions and keep people at bay.

Kim in her earlier days

When I decided to embark on this journey, I did not know what I was getting into. Not really. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be painful. I knew I would have to confront all of the ugliness within me. Although I “knew” this, I only knew it on a superficial level. I had no idea what this really meant. If I had, I am not sure I would have stepped into the journey. It is far easier to view your life from a victim perspective, where nothing is your fault, and you “can’t help” being 300+ lbs. If only those awful things had never happened to me. If only I had had a perfect childhood, where the heart was cared for in the best possible way, where divorce and anger were not present and where sexual abuse never happened.

If only.

But that was not my life.
It is far harder to look honestly at my own sin and to name it for what it is, without taking away from the reality that YES, I was a victim of sexual abuse, and YES, I did grow up in an emotionally-stunted home. AND, I am where I am because of choices I have made. I CHOSE to ignore the opportunities for healing. I CHOSE to deal with my emotions in unhealthy ways. I CHOSE to use food for comfort.

These last four years have been hard ones. I sought out counseling, I participated (3 times) in a 12-week group workshop in order to deal with my experience with sexual abuse, and I began a weight loss journey…all at the same time! Some might say I was crazy to try to do all three of those emotionally-intense things simultaneously, while also being an emotional eater, but I have never been one to be half in or half out. I dive into everything, full speed ahead. Sometimes this method of living life causes me to crash and burn; sometimes it yields amazing successes.

The first six months were the most intense and the most fruitful. I experienced amazing healing in my heart, and I lost 65 lbs. Then, the intensity of the healing slowed down. I have continued to deal with things as they have come up, but it seems the bulk of my issues were dealt with back then. However, then the greater struggle became weight loss. My body simply stopped losing weight and started gaining again, despite all my efforts and discipline. I have sought professional help over the last 3.5 years – trainers, doctors, and nutritionists. Trainers couldn’t keep my body losing weight on any program for more than 6-8 weeks, and nutritionists were convinced I simply wasn’t following the plan. The doctors told me I should just have surgery, that I would never be able to lose weight on my own.

So why not give up?

I can’t.

Six months ago I tried to quit. I was tired, exhausted really, from this journey. The emotional roller coaster of gaining and losing over and over was taking its toll as my weight crept higher. I confided to my key support people that I was done; for once they didn’t argue with me. They had observed the strain this journey was putting on me. And they simply couldn’t argue against me that the emotional roller coaster was just as unhealthy as my obesity.

But here is the thing.
I KNOW, deep in my soul, that I am not meant to be 300+ lbs. It is a strange thing to be living in a body, yet knowing that you are not meant for this. I also have young eyes watching me. My 12 year-old nephew recently told his mom (while I was trying to quit) that he wanted to be like me when he grows up–because Auntie Kim does not give up, and she works so hard even when she doesn’t get the results she wants.

How does one quit when a young one wants to be like you? How can I intentionally teach him what it looks like to quit?

Kim at the 2012 Warrior Dash

So I press on, searching for the answers for my body. I am currently in a good place. I have found a man who knows how to work with the body, not against it. In five months with him, I am down 50 lbs. I continue to deal with the lingering issues that come up regarding sexual abuse, such as when men notice me and my shrinking body; I freak out! However, I no longer run from those feelings; I no longer stuff them with food; I just give myself space and time to feel and process them. It hasn’t necessarily gotten easier, but seeing progress certainly helps to keep me moving forward.

I was asked to write a post about perseverance and weight loss. I am not sure I succeeded in that task. My journey toward healing and weight loss began long ago; probably further back than I can even remember. My journey likely began at the moment the first wound was inflicted on me, when Jesus wept and decided in that He would never give up on His pursuit of me or His pursuit of wholeness for my life. In all honesty, when I think of Perseverance, I don’t think of me, I think of Him and how He has never given up on me. So how can I give up on becoming all of who I believe He has called me to be? One who finishes what she starts. One who lives life with purpose. One who lives life out loud and inspires others to do the same.

Kim Lincoln

Kim is a sexual abuse survivor and a woman dedicated to conquering lifelong obesity. She is a woman determined that the circumstances of her life will not hold her back from living the kind of life she wants. Despite her size, she has run half-marathons and competed in sprint triathlons, and lives to tell about it all because someone once told her she couldn’t/shouldn’t run at her weight. Kim is incredibly passionate about fitness and health but what really fires her up is when she gets to walk alongside someone else in their journey towards health and healing, particularly from sexual abuse. There is no more sacred moment for her than to sit and listen to someone’s story and to weep with them.

Kim is single with eight nieces and nephews that watch her every move. One day she hopes to add to her bio a husband and children of her own.

You can follow Kim’s journey at road2beautiful.wordpress.com.

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6 thoughts on “Your Story: Kim Lincoln

  1. Awesome, Kim! I definitely think you succeeded in sharing your story of perseverance and weight loss. You are definitely an inspiration to so many, and you have more than little eyes (your nephew) watching you. When people are discouraged in their own journeys, they can see you and how you don\’t quit; they are then inspired and want to keep fighting. I thank you for taking the time to share your story. It is definitely encouraging and WOW!

  2. Kim, thank you for sharing your story here. I am honored to be able to share it! I am intrigued about what has helped you the most in the healing process from the sexual abuse. I know it could be different for everyone, but in your experience, where did you feel you had the most breakthrough in being able to forgive the perpetrator and anyone else who may have been involved?

    I am dealing with a specific incident that happened to me when I was in junior high. Each time I THINK I have forgiven the people involved, it creeps back up again a couple years later and I feel myself experiencing the pain and anger all over again. Do you have any recommendations on how to work through this?

    • Gosh Alana, the answer to how I initially came to a place of forgiveness for my abuser…and myself is a whole other blogpost, one I have written in my own blog, but never published. At the time of writing it was a place for me to process and putting it out there seemed to be too much to handle. I was still very much in the midst of all of it. But in all honesty, I never would have taken such a good hard look at my abuse story if it had not been for a clear and powerful invitation from Jesus to do so that came with a promise for healing.

      But you asked about forgiveness. I don’t know much about forgiveness except that Jesus’ capacity to forgive is so much greater than ours and without Him I am not certain we (I) CAN forgive. I know that for me, there was a period of about 6 months where I KNEW I was being led towards forgiveness and I did NOT want to go there. In fact, I kicked and screamed adn threw a very real spiritual temper tantrum. You know how kids will walk away from their parents in anger and hope the parent follows them…I did that, with God. There came a point where I had to choose to follow him towards forgiveness and while I didn’t necessarily FEEL very forgiving I had to make a very active choice to forgive. Over time, it became more real to me and eventually what sealed the deal for me, the thing that made me KNOW I had reached a level of forgiveness was the day I could pray for and even weep for my abuser….and for myself.

      Since then, there ARE times and situations that things flare up and I am all angry and bitter again as though nothing had ever happened. For me, it has been a choice to forgive again and just deal with another layer of the pain associated with the events. To acknowledge once again that what happened was real and was painful. Usually it is some new trigger that is getting me. Men noticing my shrinking body is a trigger for me. I know this. As this continues to happen, while it is exciting, it is terrifying too and I find myself hating my abuser and myself once again…..and having to actively choose forgiveness again.

      Oye, this was long…and fairly unedited. Hope it makes sense and is helpful.

  3. Pingback: Who Is THAT Girl? | The Road to Beautiful

  4. Kim, thanks for linking to this post from your blog…I know your story but am glad to be reminded. You’re such a strong woman and I’m proud to call you friend!

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