It took me two long years to get pregnant after suffering a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. When I finally held my first child in February 2010, he was everything I had hoped and prayed for. More than anything, I wanted to be a mom. My brother and sister-in-law had kids before us, and while I really loved being an auntie, I was so happy to finally have my own child to raise and do fun activities with—like going to the zoo; It should have been one of the happiest days. Unfortunately, at 5 months post-partum, I pulled out my summer clothes and found that nothing fit. I had gained a lot of weight with the pregnancy and weighed an all-time high of 299lbs. I squeezed into the largest capris and a nursing-friendly t-shirt and set off to meet my parents and brother’s family, baby in tow.
I had gained a lot of weight with the pregnancy
and weighed an all-time high of 299lbs.
It was a busy day at the zoo, and when lunch time came there were no picnic tables available. My mom had packed a picnic lunch and everyone decided it would be fine to just lay a blanket on the grass. That was anything but fine for me. All day my capris had been painfully digging into my skin and restricting my movement. I think it was before the time that manufacturers had the bright idea to add 2% spandex to everything—these capris had ZERO give. There was no way I was going to be able to lower myself onto a blanket, find a comfortable sitting position for the duration of the lunch, and then manage to hoist myself back up. My poor family probably had no idea why I was so grumpy about something as picturesque as sitting on a blanket for a picnic.
It should have been one of the happiest days. But in my mind, my body had ruined what should have been an enjoyable carefree day once again. I felt like I was living in a cage made of flesh. It had held me back from so many things in life. It sucked the joy out of fun things like getting dressed up for a date or spending a hot day at the beach. I was miserable and ashamed of my body.
I felt like I was living in a cage made of flesh.
The worst part was, I continually sought out food to make myself feel better. Food was the thing I could count on for a little flicker of happiness in a day of disappointment. Even as I sat on the picnic blanket squirming and so uncomfortable because of the excess weight on my body, I greedily ate chips and anything else yummy on offer to distract myself from the intense physical and emotional discomfort.
Have you ever felt like you live in a cage made of flesh? Do you dream about the skinny version of yourself breaking free from the pounds of weight locking her in? I certainly did. I not only felt held back by the body I lived in, I felt like a slave to my food cravings. I didn’t know where to turn or what to do to change myself. I felt completely helpless. I had tried so many diets in the past and failed miserably. I was at the end of my resources. I had no option but to cry out for help. I didn’t know HOW, but I knew WHO.
I didn’t know HOW, but I knew WHO.
I knew that God didn’t intend me to live in an aching, weighed-down body. I knew that God didn’t want my love for food to hold more sway in my heart than my love for Him. I knew that I KNEW that He had a better way for me. When I struggled with what the doctor diagnosed as “unexplained infertility” I cried out to God day after day, month after each monthly disappointment, and He heard my cry. He led me to the answers I needed and a doctor that had the knowledge to reverse my infertility. He would hear me again. He would lead me to the answers and knowledge I needed to reverse the excess weight on my body. There was hope for me. There is hope for YOU.
“I’ve seen you move, You move the mountains / And I believe I’ll see you do it again / You made a way where there was no way / And I believe I’ll see you do it again.”
Today I’m free. I’m free from over 70lbs of the excess weight on my body. I feel good in my body—I don’t feel like it holds me back anymore. I no longer feel enslaved to food. I no longer struggle with cravings and the guilt and shame that comes from succumbing to them. Food is no longer my enemy or my secret love. My weight doesn’t ruin my day anymore. I’ve been completely set free from compulsive bingeing and feeling addicted to sugar. God has led me to a way of living and eating that feels effortless and natural and is enabling my body to continue to shed unnecessary weight while becoming healthier. I’m still not at what our society would consider an ideal weight—and may never be—but my heart has changed so much that my physical and emotional health are far more important to me than my clothing size. Because I’m at peace right where I am, I don’t need to stress or try to force faster weight loss. I can relax knowing that my body will thrive as I continue to take good care of it.
Right now you may not know how, but you can settle the WHO in your heart. No weight-loss guru or strategy is ever going to offer you the all-encompassing freedom and healing that Jesus does. Many people lose weight only to find they haven’t also changed on the inside and are still unhappy and bound up in food rules and fear. Jesus is offering you a complete wardrobe AND heart overhaul. Cry out to Him today. Believe that He will lead you to the answers and knowledge you need to reverse the excess weight on your body. He cares so much more than you know or understand. He is faithful, and He WILL set you free. Whether you are at the beginning of your weight loss journey and looking for answers or stuck in the middle of a frustrating plateau, pray this prayer with me today:
God, I am tired of feeling like I live in a cage of flesh. I know you have created me for so much more than this. I know that Jesus paid the price for me to be completely free, in spirit, mind and body. I put my trust and my hope in You today. Please forgive me for trying to figure things out on my own. Please lead me to the answers I need to help my body thrive. Give me the courage and resolve to make necessary changes. Thank you for my body, for every challenge it has seen me through. Thank you for caring about me enough to help me find complete freedom with food and my body. Amen.