My struggle with weight is no big secret; it is something I cannot hide, although I did try to ignore it for a long, long time. I began gaining weight as a young teen–it was, looking back, a direct response to being sexually abused. I think I subconsciously thought I would be safe with an extra layer (or ten) of fat. Even worse was that the food became my comfort. Instead of turning to the Lord and finding my solace in Him, I turned to the comfort (and sometimes the DIScomfort) of a full belly. Even after I recognized that I had a sinful pattern of comforting myself with food, it was all but impossible to stop. I had heaped so much condemnation on myself for so many years that I felt stuck. I felt I deserved to be “fat”. It was in a sense my punishment, a penance I would pay over and over again forever.
Oh, I had tried to lose weight in the past. I had even succeeded. I once won a weight-loss contest for losing 55 pounds. It was great. But it all came back. I could take a few supplements and walk a lot and lose the weight, but the real problem wasn’t my slow metabolism or lack of exercise. The real problem lay in my heart and my mind.
Thank the Lord that He showed me his mercy and grace! I have been a Christian since I was eight–since before I was molested, in fact–but I had such a twisted understanding of God. I really did not understand that He is sufficient for all my needs. He really is! As I began to really feel God’s love and grace in my heart (not just knowing it to be true with my head) I began to really believe Romans 8:1. I began to believe that God accepts me, that He really loves *me* and that there is no condemnation for me from Him. God used a Bible study called Making Peace with Your Past to help break through the barriers I had created out of the remnants of my dysfunctional childhood and sinful choices. I may have done this to myself, but God’s grace is such that He is helping me UNDO it. HE is redeeming even my body, and that is really exciting!
So, time for true confessions. At the beginning of May, I weighed in at my highest ever: 355.8 pounds. I looked at that number and wanted to cry. My hips were so large that my measuring tape (which goes to 60 inches–that is FIVE feet!) was too small to circle my girth. I had to measure twice to get my hips measured–65 1/2 inches. It was depressing. And it ticked me off. I decided it was time to lose it!
Enter in T-Tapp. I heard about T-Tapp on a You Tube video and I thought, WOW–I can relate to this lady! I decided I had nothing to lose but some weight. And I have! Since May 9th, I have lost 23 pounds and 40 1/2 inches (I measure 14 different places.) I can now measure my hips with my measuring tape…they were at 60″ the last time I measured. I work in the garden a few times a week and I T-Tapp a few times a week. It is working. And when I plateau (and I know I will) I will step it up a little.
I have not dieted…I have changed how I eat, but I think that is more a function of having a summer-time garden in full production (which translates to LOTS of fresh vegetables) and fewer cravings. As I have begun my weight-loss journey, I no longer feel compelled to eat as I once did. I still eat what I want, but the wants have changed. Now, don’t get me wrong: if there is a yummy dessert at the church fellowship supper, I am going to have some. The real challenge is when I am in the store alone…I no longer feel like I just need that candy bar or that doughnut from the bakery. I can walk past. I am retraining my mind–I used to think I needed to get a treat. Now I when that thought enters my head, I evaluate whether I am hungry or not. Most times, I’m not. A real-world diet for a real woman works for me.
A friend and I were commiserating a few weeks ago about being obese. She related a story about being in a weight loss group and the group leader calling out her weight so all could hear. It was a painful thing–and the shame caused my friend not to go back. She said she wanted to say to all those ladies in there, “I was once your weight. I didn’t just wake up this way, you know.” It doesn’t happen overnight. It isn’t like I just woke up one morning and found that I had gained 180 pounds. Have compassion for those of us who are big. We know we are big. But we still need companionship, friends, laughter–and we need God’s grace most of all.
I didn’t go to the movie theater for a few years because I didn’t fit in the seat (and yeah, because there isn’t money in the budget for that, ) but two weeks ago I took my little ones to see Cars 2 while the rest of my gang was on a mission trip. I dreaded the painful experience of sitting in that movie theater seat, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I fit!! It was a milestone moment for me.
I am in a sense not unique. I know a lot of women who struggle with their weight. For some of them, undoubtedly, it will take emotional healing from the Lord to conquer it. Others of them will be able to exercise and watch it fall off. And some of them will be like me–having to overcome huge barriers in their minds and souls in order for it all to come together. What I know for sure is that Jesus is sufficient for the need. He has been for me, and I am watching my body change and transform. I will report back to you now and again as I travel this path. Just knowing I have to put it in writing will help me stay accountable. Now it is out there. I have told my deep, dark not-so-secret secret. Anyone want to join me?