Member Spotlight – Ruth Ann S.

My struggle with my weight began about 40 years ago after the birth of my first child. From the busyness of motherhood, I put my needs on the back burner. Nighttime became my time to relax and snack. Slowly, I started putting on the pounds. Back then, I could diet with some success, only to wind up falling back into the same bad eating habits. I blamed my weight issues on my medications, my slow metabolism, my age, and excused myself from exercising because of my three knee surgeries. Of course, I didn’t want to see myself as gluttonous because that seemed harsh and hurtful.

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In early January 2018, I was looking on the YouVersion app for a new Bible study when I came across Cathy’s Weight Loss, God’s Way Devotional. I knew I needed to lose weight, but mentally I wasn’t in a place where I wanted to start. However, I felt compelled to read the sample of Cathy’s writings. I knew that God was leading me and preparing my heart for what I was about to read. Cathy’s writing resonated with me, and on January 4, 2018, I started the WLGW 21-Day Challenge.

My first major turning point came in lesson 8, Speaking to Your Situation: Powerful Positive Affirmation. I realized that my “stinking thinking” was Satan’s way of defeating me, not only in my weight loss journey but in every area of my life.

As long as I can remember, I lived my life in fear. I realized that I not only feared man, but I feared success. The fear of man consumed me and fueled my negative self-talk. I also realized that in the past, I feared success too!

When I received compliments on losing weight, my weight loss would stop, resulting in gaining the pounds back. Ultimately, I didn’t want the attention on me, and rather than feeling pleased by the compliments, I felt embarrassed and shameful because my weight was so out of control.

No longer wanting to live in defeat, I discovered through the Challenge the root of my negative self-talk and saw myself through the truth of God’s Word.

"Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety" (Proverbs 29:25). It’s so freeing trusting God with my weight loss journey. Now I replace the negative thoughts with God’s Word and choose joy.

Today food no longer controls me. Eating is not something I look to for comfort or do out of habit or boredom. I enjoy good food but now see it as fuel for my body and make healthy food choices.

At my last doctor appointment, my A1c (a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over time) dropped low enough that my doctor reduced my medication dosage in half. My lipid profile is headed in the right direction, too. My BMI is down over 8 points, and I’ve lost 14 inches overall. I've lost a total of 46 lbs as of this writing.

Despite some serious physical limitations, I’ve found ways to include exercise into my daily routine--even if it means taking my stationary bike with me when I travel. There are so many hiking trails in our beautiful upstate area of South Carolina, and I’m now able to enjoy them without needing my rescue inhaler. This Nana is even keeping up with her three active grandsons!

As wonderful as my physical changes are, I’m most happy about the internal changes taking place in me. My verse for this year is Psalm 37:5 KJV, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.

God has given me a new appreciation of who I am in Him. My negative thoughts don’t consume me as they once had. I’m more focused on all the benefits God has given me, and I’ve gained the confidence and opportunities to share my story with others.

My light is no longer “under a bushel” but shining brightly for Him. My life is His. My walk with Christ is stronger and healthier today, and my desire is to please Him not man. "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

Today, God continues to use the WLGW Bible study lessons to bless, challenge, and transform me spiritually, and I enjoy the accountability with my sisters in Christ. My outlook on life is more in line with God’s truths, and I’m reaping the benefits physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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If you are still struggling with losing weight and have a story similar to mine and want God to transform you, I want to share what I have learned from the WLGW Program that I hope will help you:

  • Start by making small changes, like setting realistic exercise and weight goals. This is a journey--a marathon, not a sprint!
  • Be patient and kind to yourself.
  • Track your food intake and exercise. I find the MyFitnessPal app a great tool. Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
  • If/when you feel discouraged, tell God--seek His face. If you don’t have an accountability partner, get one. Ask for prayer support. Read 'Your Vision Statement' (What) and 'Your Why' and refocus on your goals. Don’t give up!
  • See yourself as God sees you. Read and study His Word. Trust Him with your journey.

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Ena G

Ruth Ann, Thank you for sharing your story with all of us! You have obviously overcome fear because you’re now able to put your story out in front of others. Congratulations on the outward physical change of losing weight, but more importantly I rejoice with you in the changes that trusting God has made inside of you. I enjoy going through Weight Loss God’s Way with you! Ena