Several years ago, a TBYT reader named “Sheila” (name changed) wrote a public comment about her weight loss fear. When I read it, I related.
I too once feared that releasing excess weight would remove my “emotional insulation,” make me more vulnerable, and change me into someone that others would not like (more about that later).
“Do you really answer these emails? Are you for real? Was that really you in that before “fat” photo? How long did that take?
What is the purpose of losing weight when we all meet the same end anyway? I am morbidly obese and I have been watching thin and fat folks most of my almost 43 years and I can tell you that there is no difference in us. If people truly knew what was within me that my fatness holds back, they would prefer me fat!”
I prayed about my response. In Proverbs 18:13, the Bible says that it is foolish to try to provide answers without understanding the problem:
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.– Proverbs 18:13
When I wrote “Sheila” back, I felt the Holy Spirit gave me insight into the weight loss fear issue. My heart-felt response is below, transparent about the fears I faced and overcame.
I can tell you are passionate about this subject, and you certainly have many questions!
Since I am responding to this post, that answers the “Are you real?” question 🙂
Yes, that is me in the “Before” picture. It took me 18 months between the before and after photo, but that wasn’t consecutive.
Instead, I lost 70 pounds my first year and then lost the rest in 2-5 pound increments to reach my final weight loss goal.
You asked an interesting question: “What is the purpose of losing weight when we all meet the same end anyway?”
Here are my thoughts:
Everyone has a beginning (birth) and an end (death). Life is the part that happens in the middle.
How we choose to go through “the middle” is up to us. I spent over 20 years obese, seriously impacting my middle, literally and figuratively!
- I had low energy and tiredness; I felt self-conscious about my size.
- I felt out of control with my eating.
- I worried about whether I was going to fit into certain chairs.
- I felt squeezed into airline, sporting events, and movie theater seats.
- I couldn’t ride certain amusement park rides because the seat belt wouldn’t fit around me.
- I had high blood pressure problems and had to be on expensive medication, which made me feel worse than the high blood pressure.
- I had frequent bouts of depression and seething anger inside.
That was my life before – my middle.
It took chest pain to make me say, “enough is enough.” I decided I wanted a different story than the one I was living.
My love of sweets, fast food, and junk food was not worth continuing to trade the quality of my life over.
God gave me many other good food choices, and I was going to focus on those so that I could gain the health and energy I needed to fulfill His purpose.
Everybody has to make that choice for themselves, though.
I ultimately figured out that it wasn’t about the weight but how I managed my life. Or, in my case, not managing it but hiding out in food.
I don’t believe that God cares what you weigh. I don’t think He is up in heaven with a scale and tape measure, fretting if you gain a pound or two. I believe He leaves the size we choose to maintain up to us, much like our hairstyle or clothing choices.
I only know of 2 people mentioned in the Bible that were obese – one of them was Eli, God’s priest. God never condemned Eli for his weight.
Instead, He admonished Eli because Eli refused to control his corrupt sons.
God always deals with people on the heart level rather than appearance. But the heart is what people most resist surrendering to God.
Instead, they focus on the outside to look good before others.
In my case, I did decide to surrender my heart to God so that He could heal my depression and anger. The process wasn’t easy as God worked on changing me from the inside out. But what freedom as He loved me through the healing process!
I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
I found it interesting that you said, “If people truly knew what was within me that my fatness holds back, they would prefer me fat!” Wow. That is a very telling statement.
Here are some weight loss fears I had to confront:
- I was once afraid to lose weight because of attention I might receive.
- I feared I would become like Alexis Carrington, the villain from the old T.V. show Dynasty. I thought I would become someone I didn’t like.
- Finally, being a single woman at the time, I was scared I would turn into a “loose” woman!
None of that happened.
I did not shed my morals along with my excess fat. But what did happen was that I stopped being passive and letting people walk all over me. I stopped being a people pleaser.
And you know what? I discovered that you could stand up for yourself without being nasty!
You can treat people with love and respect but still say “no” and set boundaries. God taught me to balance my weight loss process.
So you see, “Sheila”, you choose how you will live. If you are content with your weight and life, then who am I to tell you anything different?
You are an adult. God gave us all free will. I pray that you live with no regrets once you reach the end of this life’s journey.
One thing is for sure, though. If you never make another right decision in your life or never do anything right again, you have already made the most critical right decision – accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.
God loves and accepts you on that basis alone. Everything else pales in comparison to the richness of that relationship.
That is the essence of life anyway.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”– John 17:3
God bless you!
Be Blessed with Success,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with eating too much sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss success.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”