My weight and disordered eating have been an issue my whole life. In 4th grade I started my first diet when I weighed 100 pounds. I felt shame for eating. I thought I should eat less than others because of my size but struggled to control my urge to eat whatever I wanted. My family life was in turmoil. Eating became a place of comfort.
By the age of 16, I was well over 200 pounds. Age 21, I was at 270 and battled with a deep-rooted self-hatred, and I was angry at God. I blamed him for my self-image and my weight problems. I asserted that he created me this way.
I developed serious medical problems with my joints: knees, ankles, carpal tunnel. I was living half a life, the work half. I had no energy to enjoy fun with my husband and children. My doctor gave me the hard news that at the rate I was going, I was going to need a knee replacement before I was 50, and the health insurance was not going to pay for it unless I lost 100 lbs.
I was broken and desperate. I realized that I needed to act, but I felt weak and hopeless. As I prayed taking my feelings to Jesus, I was prompted to get connected to a First Place for Health group. I was afraid to tell anyone about what I was doing in the beginning. I did not have confidence on how long I would last or if I could be successful for the long term. I had failed so many times. I focused on only the day in front of me.
I began to learn the principles of the Live-it plan in FP4H. I started tracking with my group and weighing in weekly. I also started to exercise. The weight started coming off! I averaged about 10 pounds per month. The most amazing miracle of all is the work God did in my heart and mind through the FP4H devotionals, praying and sharing with my group.
In reading a FP4H devotional, I came across a life changing statement that became my mantra:
“I am not on a diet that I eventually fail, I am on a freedom quest where He molds me, teaches me, and empowers my cravings and my choices!”
I decided as people started noticing my weight loss and I would be faced with the inevitable questions: “Are you losing weight? Are you on diet?”; I would tell them my mantra. I shared it with many people, more for me than for them.
God gave me insight into my story and how the enemy of my soul had built strongholds in my mind that were lies that needed to come down. I repented of blaming God and believing he created me to be obese. I realized it was my own sin. I had responded in ungodly ways to the pain I had experienced all throughout my life. God gave me a new identity and a new name. He told me I was his “brick house.” (The enemy could huff and puff, but he would not blow this house down). I could feel myself gaining momentum and hope. I began to be able to visualize the finish line and believe I was going to make it.
I fell in love with exercise and started discovering all kinds of different ways to have fun and get fit. In February of 2020 at almost 44 years of age, I reached my goal weight of 160 pounds bringing my total weight loss to 140lbs. I went from wearing a size 22-24 to a size 8! I never anticipated that I would get lower than a size 12!
God transformed my life in every way. My FP4H leader encouraged me to start leading a group at the church campus nearest me. I have been leading the group since the fall of 2019. The pain in my joints is practically non-existent. I have boundless energy! I am full of hope and closer to God.
I am now 45 years old, and I have maintained my goal weight for almost 18 months. Recently I trained for and ran a half marathon!! If anyone would have told me five years ago that I would be running a half marathon in 2021, I would have laughed them to the moon!
There is one thing I now know for certain; I serve the God of the impossible!