Michael has had a lifelong fascination with food, how it relates to the body, and a person’s overall health. Moving to Chico CA to study Exercise Psychology at CSUC was a great next step to fulfil his desire, but life had other plans. In a strange twist of events, Michael ended up creating and operating a wholesale bakery and café for nearly twenty years.
His desire to equip people to nurture their bodies remained as he developed several diet-specific baked goods, including gluten-free, vegan, and alternative-ingredient products, which were sold locally and through several grocery store chains.
Through a series of disappointing business dealings, Michael was forced to close down the business and file bankruptcy, in effect bringing an end to what he had thought was his life’s work and calling. He has learned through this process the importance of his faith in God and not to put his trust in the hope of man or in his own ability.
Michael has embraced the importance of leaning on God’s provision, sanctuary, and healing power in his life as he continues on his path of recovery from issues with sexual integrity, workaholism and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
God is leading Michael on a path of renewed passion.
In June 2019 Michael will be certified as a Mind Body Eating Coach by The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Michael is using his experience and education to help people break free from the bondage that ensnares so many of us.
Heidi Bylsma has worked diligently for the past three decades to recover from childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. To take difficult childhood experiences and move from victIM to victOR is something that only God could do in her life.
Over her adult life, Heidi has used food, overeating, deprivation and exercise to cope with many of the difficult circumstances and emotions that have surfaced. As a result, she has ridden on a pendulum, vacillating between obesity and thinness. Even now, she grapples with medical challenges that emerged in 2014 due to a “rogue” staph infection that affected her mobility. Having gotten her sense of identity from being an athlete and other temporary roles she has played, she has been learning through experience that renewing her mind (Romans 12:2) is the only way to deal with the challenges that are inevitable in a “Genesis 3 World.” Heidi’s “toolbox” includes gratitude, God List, PraiseFest, Truth Cards, What is True?, Truth Journaling, Dialog Journaling with the Lord, and a lot more!
By using these tools—and many more—to renew her mind, Heidi has experienced greater joy through many of life’s challenging transitions: Empty nest, loss of the use of her legs (which, thankfully, was temporary), chronic illness, loss of her church family, her husband wandering far from the Lord and, ultimately, divorce. She lives in the quaint historic town of Columbia and is eager to see what new adventure God has in store for her as she plans to marry the handsome gentleman (pictured above) on June 29th!