Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be writing about my weight loss journey or sharing it with anyone in a blog! This is most assuredly a God thing. I have never liked talking about my weight, my attempts to lose it or my many failures trying to do so (and there have been so many). But, here I am, doing exactly what I have dreaded for most of my life. Talk about God getting someone outside of her protective box!
I’ve been overweight for the majority of my life. I was a thin child until about the 3rd grade. My weight began to creep up and up until I was, oh how I hate this word, obese, when I entered high school. My food struggles began early. I started using food as a source of comfort to help me deal with the emotional pain caused by sexual abuse I experienced as a very young child. My abuser used threats, telling me I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening because my parents wouldn’t love me if they found out, no one would believe me if I did tell and there was nothing wrong with what we were doing. Out of fear and shame, I used food to stuff down my feelings. Food made me feel good. It never judged me. It was always there for me. It was dependable, reliable. My relationship with food blossomed into a codependent, destructive and unhealthy nightmare. Even after telling my parents what had happened to me years later, my eating habits never changed. Food had become a ruthless taskmaster and I was its wimpy, addicted prisoner.
In 2014, God began revealing to me two strongholds that were keeping me from moving forward in the ministry He had planned for me. The first was my financial situation. That in itself is a long story, so I’ll simply say that I confessed my sin of greed and excess, asked Him for His help getting out of debt and He did! After three and a half years, He removed $40,000 of credit card debt and set me free from my sin! One down and the big one to go…
The second stronghold was my food addiction. I knew this one would be the hardest. This stronghold had 10-foot thick walls, a barbed wire fence and a deep moat surrounding it. It’s dug in deep and has no plans of being penetrated. Ever. Ah, BUT GOD. My two favorite words! He had a plan to tear it down and it is no match for His power.
Fast forward to early 2019. I struggled and fought about joining Equipped 4 More. Not because I didn’t think it couldn’t work, but because I wasn’t ready to DO the work. As much as I have complained about how horrible this taskmaster was, I was CONTENT to stay there. I had Stockholm syndrome. If you’ve never heard of it, here’s the definition: a psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands. That was definitely my problem. I had been in this state for so long that the thought of changing my ways had me in a state of panic and stress!! I was COMFORTABLE being overweight and had no plans of addressing my food addiction. I had talked to Julie in 2018 about joining, but would never commit. We had lots of conversations up until April of this year about my struggle. She never pushed. She never made me feel bad. She just simply listened. As you all know about Julie, when you have a conversation with her, she looks you square in the eyes and you feel the Lord Himself looking into your soul during your conversations! With love and compassion, she listened, encouraged and always let me know she was there for me. Little did I know that God spoke to her about me after our initial conversation and she had been praying for me the whole time!
What it took to get me to the commitment part was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. I had to CONFESS my sin of gluttony, to admit that food was my god and I was participating in idol worship! Instead of going to the Lord to comfort me and help me, I worshipped and depended on food to get me through. Talk about a punch to the spiritual gut!! But once those bitter words left my mouth, the sweetness of the Holy Spirit took its place! That once impenetrable stronghold was breaking into a million pieces! Much like Joshua and the children of Israel experienced at Jericho, I was shouting praise to God around my walls and He was breaking them down.
Fast forward to today. I am three weeks in and have lost 7.8 pounds. I’ve lost weight before on other programs, but it always came back and brought at least 40 friends with it! This time, I know it’s different. As Julie said to me when I told her of my confession of my sins, this will be the LAST TIME I lose this weight. I could feel the Holy Spirit flood over me when she spoke those words. I’ve never had that thought when attempting to lose weight!! I always knew it would come back! But, I know she’s right because I’m letting God lead me. With His help, this will be the last time that I have to do this. Once I’m finally at a healthy weight, I will never go back to where I was. I’m leaving Egypt and headed toward Canaan!
Let me tell you, when I think about the fact that God has been orchestrating this next step all along, before I made a commitment to E4M, before I confessed my sin, even while I was eating myself to death…..to be honest, it overwhelms me. The E4M family scripture for the month of April is a testament of what God is doing in my life! Joshua 3:5 says “Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves. For tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you’. God was speaking to Julie about this blog long before I joined E4M. I am living out Psalm 37:23 – ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way’. He prepared this next step before my obedience was completed. How merciful is the Lord!!
As I share my experiences with you each week, (the good, the bad and the ugly) I am praying that you will find encouragement, support and strength through what can be a discouraging and frustrating process and discover that we can and will be victorious when we realize that God is bigger than our weight loss struggle. When we RELY on His strength, BELIEVE what His Word says about who we are and ACT on those truths, there is nothing can defeat us. Did you hear me? NOTHING can defeat us. Do you believe that you are finally going to lose the weight and this will be the last time you do it? If not, we are going to get there together.
If you’ve ever considered joining E4M, now is the time. Click on the link below and start your own victorious journey!