Have you ever felt so far gone that the thought of change seemed overwhelming and, worse yet, impossible? I found myself in that situation last summer. I ran seven days a week to keep up with the demands of my home, business, and ministry. I gained 45 pounds after March 2020. I was quickly moving towards menopause. I gave all I had to everyone around me but found myself getting ready to hit a brick wall going 100 miles per hour.
That is precisely what happened. My husband and I had just planned another weekend retreat and had several couples we taught and ministered to for 4 straight days. By the last night, I had become sick! I felt like a truck had run me over. I had one night left to push through, and it felt like I would not make it.
I ended up at the doctor, taking medications I had not taken before. I was sick beyond over-the-counter medications and chicken soup. For weeks, even the littlest task would set me back. I had no time to be sick. I was running a business that, at the time, was impossible to keep employees in; it was the 2022 employee crisis for small labor businesses. I was running a weekly food pantry, home church groups, and all the daily needs of a small ministry. I had very little help, and the needs of the people were mounting. I was exhausted, sick, overwhelmed, and feeling alone.
I remember crying out to God because I didn't know what to do. My heart's desire was to serve Him with all that I am. My husband was trying to downsize the business so we could concentrate on ministry. Still, we just couldn't decrease quickly enough. We were in a tailspin, and the laborers we were praying for God to send were not coming to our rescue. I could no longer put my energy into the gifts God had given me. Instead, I found myself running ministries others were called to do but were not stepping into their roles.
I had to make some hard decisions. If I was going to take back my health, I would have to take back my life. Though my life is not my own, it's been purchased by another, Christ. I should be a good steward of the gifts He has given me, and one of those gifts is my temple.
I have no problem laying my life down for others, but not this way. I ate processed foods because they were convenient and cheaper as I was feeding so many people. I had no time to exercise my body. Honestly, I didn't even believe I had the strength to lose the weight I needed. Instead, I was overwhelmed by the thought of losing 50 or more pounds at my age. Full Testimony Here
God convicted my heart to lose weight because I was eating emotionally, and being overweight was gluttony and a lack of self-control. As believers, we are supposed to be self-controlled and discipline our bodies for holiness. This does not mean we have to be a size four, but I knew I was not taking care of myself and not setting a good example as a Titus woman in the body of Christ.
I could feel the Holy Spirit gently nudging me to get rid of processed foods, deal with the emotional side of overeating, and start fasting. Then one day, a mentor suggested a podcast episode he had done on gluttony. Podcast I listened to it, and the conviction was intense for me. He was confirming everything the Holy Spirit had been pressing upon my heart for weeks.
I expressed to God how sorry I was for allowing myself to get so far away from the biblical disciplines of my physical body. I cried out to God begging for His help because I knew I had nothing in me that would be able to lose this kind of weight. I felt defeated and overwhelmed by another weight loss journey.
PHOT ON THE LEFT WAS FROM JULY 2022 AND THE PHOTO ON THE RIGHT WAS FROM FEBRUARY 2023
I put a plan together that I felt I could stick with. I knew if I went to the extreme, I would fail. I enacted these three disciplines and started on July 25th, 2022.
I started a messenger group and asked a couple of people if they would hold me accountable. I knew I needed people to pray for me and help me stay on track. I did not have any motivation to make this journey. I have failed so many times before. I knew if I was going to have success, I needed reinforcements. 60 Verses on Accountability I committed to them that I would send my daily logs for the plan I had made for myself.
I have an all-or-nothing, black-and-white personality. Living at extremes is not healthy. Our God is a God of balance, and His kids must be balanced too. I knew I had to keep it simple but honest. I forged a plan: intermittent fasting every day, even if it was for only 16 hours. I said I will not eat sugar or flour/Gluten. This took away all the processed, fast foods, etc.; I needed that boundary. I did not want to commit to Keto or any extreme diet because I didn't want to be tempted to binge if I messed up. I can live without sugar and flour and not feel deprived since I kept potatoes, rice, sugar-free desserts, and berries. If I felt led later, I could tighten up or loosen up my plan as needed. This plan felt doable, flexible, and healthy to me.
3. Mental Health
I knew I needed to explore why I kept returning to food as my comfort. In Grief Recovery, we talk about how we use different vices to not feel the pain caused by grief. Food has always been what dulls the pain for me. So, I started working with the action tools I had been taught using them when I felt the urge to overeat. I journaled my "why's" (Podcast Episode Further Explanation) to keep me motivated and kept my eyes on Jesus.
I gave myself grace as it was not always perfect. I have sometimes eaten sugar and flour, but I do not feel good when I do. I keep my accountability group going, and they pick me back up when I fall down. I keep recommitting to my original plan. Intermittent fasting each day, no sugar and no flour/Gluten. I lost 55 pounds in six months and am feeling so much better. I have more work to do physically and emotionally, but I am on the right track.
I know it can feel so overwhelming. However, today will go by, next week will come, and next year will come. So, start today making small commitments, get a small team around you to cheer you on, and do some emotional work on the "why's." God has your hand and will help you get up each time you fall. He is our Father who is showering us with love, grace, and the ability to succeed.
I am here to help too! Connect with me!