I always felt like a fat girl (I’m on the left in the picture) and knew I LOVED food. Probably too much. For a girl who moved around a lot, found herself tall and awkward, and longed to make friends, food became a willing tool of escape. I thought about food constantly – when I was going to eat it, how I could eat more of it, and why it did not seem to live up to the hype. My weight began to reflect my eating habits when I was a junior in high school. I had just finished my first summer at McDonald’s and decided I would not play basketball another season. That year, and every year through the end of high school, I packed on 10-12 lbs, only to discover by graduation I was 70 lbs overweight. I knew I desperately wanted to lose weight, but really had no idea where to begin. In the summer before my freshman year of college, the diet season officially began. I tried the following: Carbohydrate Addicts Diet, Weight Watchers, South Beach, exercising 4 to 5 times per week, and starvation. All of them allowed me to lose some weight, but left me with the same problem: I would have to follow the diet for the rest of my life in order to keep off the weight. And because of that, I eventually could not sustain the diet and I always regained the weight. Such a devastating cycle. During this time, I was also building my personal knowledge of the Christian faith. I began to pray to God for some deliverance from this demon (that’s what it felt like) called food. I felt so out of control! It really felt hopeless and at time I resigned myself to just accepting that I would always be a fat girl.
God began to slowly speak to my heart about the concept of “eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full”. While it sounded admirable, I also felt as if were impossible and unrealistic. I continued my dieting attempts. However, through all my diets and attempts to lose weight, I could feel the Holy Spirit churning within me and patiently waiting for me to become obedient. It was definitely a frustrating season.
In March 2005, I was introduced to a woman who confronted the father who sexually abused her. When I heard her story and saw how she could overcome that, I knew I need to decide to do whatever it took to lose this weight. I joined a Bible study support group online and decided to work out three times per week. I started loosing weight! It was amazing. However, after two months my weight plateaued. I did not lose any weight for another month. Ummm, what?! I could not believe it. I had been doing so well. After seeking the Lord in prayer, he brought me back to his original message, “eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full”. Again I thought – “Lord, this is too simple. It can’t be this simple”! I knew he wanted me to trust Him though. I had so many fears: Would I regain the weight I had just lost? Would God abandon me and not help me through this? With all of my fears, I still decided I needed to do this. I needed to trust God and take a chance. So, I didn’t change what I was eating, but rather how much and when I would eat. I realized I ate for every reason but hunger. The weight loss started slow, but it was coming. It was coming! Without stress and worry, the weight would come off. I would miss a workout, go out to eat, eat dessert after 9pm (oh no she didn’t!), and as long as I was eating what my body called for, I lost weight. In February of 2006, I got on the scale and it said 185. I probably hadn’t seen that weight since I was in middle school. More important than the weight loss, was the gift of understanding what a relationship with Christ can really look like. He really loves me. He hears me. And throughout all my struggle with weight, the Lord had a plan to bring me out of this pit.
Since I lost the weight in 2006, I have had seasons of victory and of course, disobedience. Every time I decided to go back to my old, gluttonous ways, I gained some weight. In 2009, I finally decided I must choose obedience. I must. Since my renewal, my weight had stayed in my ideal range. I now understand what it means when Christ says he has come to “set us free”. I don’t stress about my weight now at all. Really. As long as I am obedient, everything is fine. While I am always striving to be healthier, my worries about being overweight have ceased. I want everyone to know what that feels like.
I will be documenting my continued journey on this blog to maintain my weight and will provide tools, support, and strategies for those who are desiring to begin the journey of losing weight. Join me as I continue to love God more and love food less.
July 2014 UPDATE: In August 2013, I had a baby. I gained about 50 lbs with the pregnancy. I lost 30 immediately, but I have about 20 lbs. I need to lose. Continue with me as God teaches new lessons about honoring Him with my food and exercise behavior.