My Life Before Weight Loss, God’s Way.
I am one of God’s miracles.
I was diagnosed with a rare form of left breast cancer in 2006. The doctors said that, at best, I had 5 years to live. I was 48 years old. My mother had died of cancer at age 49 and it appeared that it would be my fate as well. In my darkest hour, I turned to God. I studied the Healing Scriptures and prayed to Jehovah Rapha, God my Healer, for my physical healing. My greatest desire had been to live long enough for my husband and I to see our son graduate from college. God answered my prayers. And, despite the medical prognosis to the contrary, I am still alive and cancer-free today.
Although I have long term side effects from the cancer surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other treatments, I was able to manage them and go back to work in 2007. I am an attorney and I tried to step back into my old life and stressful work environment, but my body had changed during the medical trauma. I did okay for about 5 years. But then, my younger sister died suddenly in 2012. After we buried her, her husband of 25 years could not imagine life without her. He took his own life a month later. By 2013, I was on medical disability with heart and pulmonary complications. The medical trauma and the emotional trauma manifested in my body in numerous chronic and debilitating diseases and ailments.
It took 6 years to regain stability in my health. I was forced to shift my focus from my career and work to my health. I had to adjust to numerous lifestyle changes. I was finally turning the corner when the Coronavirus pandemic hit in 2019.
During the pandemic lockdown, my life and my weight spiraled completely out of control.
Throughout my life, I had struggled with emotional eating and “yo-yo” weight gain and loss. I was always trying a new diet, pill or supplement, or exercise program. I vacillated between starving and bingeing. However, the emotional eating escalated to a whole new alarming level during the pandemic lockdown. I was consumed by fear, panic, and uncertainty. We had loved ones in nursing homes, and we could not visit. We had loved ones who died alone, and we could not gather for funerals. I slipped into a deep, dark pit of despair and depression.
I gained 50 pounds in a matter of months. My weight ballooned to169 pounds, the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I was experiencing breathing problems, joint pain, and difficulty walking up and down the stairs and doing simple tasks. I had trouble sleeping. I was not moving. I was just trying to escape the pain by watching TV, online shopping, and eating to self-soothe. I stayed in my robe and yoga pants because I could not fit into my clothes. I mastered “contactless” take-out and delivery. I ordered every day. It is bad when the restaurants and delivery drivers know you by name!
The more I ate and the more weight I gained, the more I was consumed by shame, guilt, self-condemnation, and self-loathing. I was drowning in negative thoughts and emotions and felt hopeless and helpless. The pandemic lockdown gave me an excuse to hide from family and friends.
I also hid from God. I knew Him as Jehovah Rapha, but I believed that I should be able to control my weight. It was not important enough for God’s attention, like cancer. I just did not have enough willpower!
But God stepped in and pulled me out of the pit.
God Rescued Me Through Weight Loss, God’s Way.
I have absolutely no doubt that God led me to Weight Loss, God’s Way (WLGW) in December 2020. I had been searching on Amazon for another “quick fix” weight loss book or self-help tool. It was no coincidence that I came across Cathy Morenzie’s book, “Weight Loss, God’s Way.”
I was amazed that, in addition to Cathy’s books, there was an online program and a membership community. I started reading the books, but I knew that I need more structure. I started with the 21-Day Challenge at the end of December 2020. I knew that God had set me on the right path. In January 2021, I started the monthly course, “Plan Prayerfully, Lose Weight.” Then, I took the “Breakthrough” course in February and March 2021.
These courses had a profound impact on me. I realized that God was dealing with me on heart issues that I had ignored, avoided, and stuffed deep down inside, using food for comfort. I knew that God was guiding me and showing me that I need Him in EVERY area of my life, not only my health.
Taking a step of faith, I joined “Commit 365.” My goal was to release 50 pounds. My goal weight was 119 pounds. I had my Vision, My Word for the Year (Focus), and My Smart Goals. I was reading the devotionals and joining the Coaching Calls. I was excited and ready!
By God’s grace, I did well for 10 months, steadily releasing weight. As a recovering “perfectionist” and “controller,” I loved using all the planning tools. I stayed within my healthy boundaries of intermittent fasting, meal planning and tracking and daily movement. I reached my goal weight of 119 pounds in October 2021.
Just when I thought that I had everything under control, I relapsed in November 2021. I gained back 15 pounds over the Holiday Season. I was disappointed and discouraged but I knew that God had led me to WLGW, and I did not want to quit and go backward.
I restarted again in January 2022, but my perspective and mindset were different. I knew that my Vision and Smart Goals were reasonable and attainable. But the relapse caused me to self-examine. It helped me to accept that I had focused less on God and more on the results – the numbers on the scale, the measurements, the tools, and the checkmarks on the Monthly Checklist. It also showed me that I needed a better stress management plan.
I had lost sight of the fact that God was in control and that I desperately need His guidance and strength every step along the way of this journey. I had become overwhelmed and stressed trying to do too much in my own strength. I acknowledged that I still had made progress in WLGW, but I accepted that there was more work to be done.
I had an Accountability Partner, but I knew that I needed more support and help to maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy boundaries.
I turned to the WLGW team for coaching support. Coach Lynette Gee has helped me to look at the relapse as an opportunity to learn what God is trying to reveal to me about myself and to modify my mindset. The coaching sessions and additional support and fellowship have been invaluable. In addition to coaching, the “Seek Him Saturday” Bible Study is a priority. I am learning to seek God at 6 am on Saturday morning! Now, I am practicing seeking Him every morning as my priority.
This time in going through the courses, I am focusing on my relationship with God and what He is teaching me through the process. I have gained a greater awareness of the emotional triggers that have led to bingeing in the past. I now recognize when the false identities of “perfectionist” and “controller” are re-surfacing and threatening to take me out of alignment with God’s best for me.
After some ups and downs, I reached my goal weight of 119 pounds again in May 2022. I am so grateful. In fact, my husband and I went on vacation in August and celebrated my official retirement after 40 years, our 40th wedding anniversary, and my 65th birthday. It was our first trip since the pandemic. Thanks to Coach Gee, I was prepared for vacation. I had a plan for my meals and daily movement, and, by God’s grace, I was able to stay within my healthy boundaries during vacation! What a blessing!
God has sustained me and continues to sustain me. My weight has been stable for the last few months.
After attending the “Strong Faith, Strong Finish Breakthrough Summit” this past weekend, I am encouraged and looking forward to winning the Holidays this year!
I am one of God’s miracles.
Weight Loss God’s Way Lessons Learned and Practice Points.
- Practice surrendering the journey to God daily – ALL of it.
- Practice trusting Him and His will, His ways, His plan, and His timing. Delight in how He is transforming you.
- Practice new mindsets. Focus on God and not yourself. It is not about you and your failures. It is about Him and what He wants to do in you and through you. He knows where you are in the process. He knows you better than you know yourself. Allow Him to teach you.
- Learn to recognize, acknowledge, and release unhealthy habits, false identities, limiting beliefs, and core fears to God instead of trying to bury them. Food does not satisfy your unmet needs. Only God can. He is more than sufficient.
- Commit. Do not give up. No matter what, keep moving forward – moment by moment, step by step, day by day. It truly is about progress and not perfection. No more pity parties!
~Stephanie L. F.