Skip to Content

My History

I have been overweight all of my life. My mom tells me I didn't start becoming that way until I was five. I don't ever remember it feeling like it was a problem until I was 12. So, my parents took me to Weight Watchers. I don't remember whether I asked or was encouraged to go, but I was starting to not like the way I look so I went. Never hit my goal weight. That began cycles of dieting that would span over 30 years.

The hardest years were the teen years. I remember weighing 145 in 8th grade and thinking I was the fattest person ever. For the next 12 years I tried to prove to myself and the world that I could live however I wanted to, that my weight wouldn't get in my way. But there was always part of me that I would try to supress that I really wasn't happy with how I looked.

In all the times I tried to lose weight, I have never met my goal weight. I've tried Weight Watchers at least three times, Jenny Craig once, limiting calories, limiting fat, increasing exercise, going all natural, going vegetarian, low carbing, even a lemonade type cleansing fast. There has always been some part of me that has always wanted to hold onto being able to eat what I want, how I want, when I want.

To complete this history, I've decided to post an article that I wrote for a friend's magazine written for teen girls: (Virtuous Magazine)

I didn't really know I was overweight until I was about twelve. It never occurred to me. I lived my life up until then happy, healthy and oblivious. Had some friends, played with those who would play with me but perfectly content playing on my own. For a time. Then in sixth grade I started realizing I was shaped differently than others. My stomach stuck out more than other girls. It was around that time my parents took me to Weight Watchers. I can't remember if they initiated it, or if I did. In any case, I started to be discontent with the way I looked, feeling tremendous pressure to be skinny. As each attempt to lose weight would seemingly end in failure, it set off a continuous circle of bondage that would span over thirty years.

I remember begin in 8th grade weighing 145 lbs. and feeling like there was no other teenager heavier than me. I had no self esteem and failed attempt after failed attempt to lose only made me feel like there was something seriously wrong with me. Why could other girls maintain a “normal” weight without trying but I couldn't? I bowed seriously to the pressure that I had to look like everyone else and when I couldn't, this created a battle with depression that lasted throughout my teenage years and into my twenties. I slowly dieted my way up the scale. I was frustrated, depressed, and embarrassed. I tried my best to hide it, acting like there was nothing wrong, but there was always a part of me that I would try to suppress that really wasn't happy with how I looked. I know my best friend at the time got sick of hearing about how upset I was that I was fat, that I had no boyfriend, that I just wanted to end it. I never had the nerve to end it, praise Jesus!, but I always felt like I was living at the end of my rope.

I didn't know the Lord then. I was raised in a home that, by the time I was a teen, we went to church maybe Christmas and Easter. Maybe. And it was a church where I never felt any type of spiritual connection. God felt as far from me as China did. I did, however, have a basic foundation of prayer knowledge from catechism from when I was little and I remember crying out to God in desperation for help. Praying for Him to help me lose the weight. My eyes were solely on my body image and nothing else. I sometimes wonder what my motivation was at that time. I believe it was to feel “normal”, “accepted”. Something we all want to feel.

I ended up taking it to the complete extreme. I decided I didn't care what anyone else thought and for many years I tried to prove to myself and the world that I could live however I wanted to, that my weight wouldn't get in my way. I started smoking as a teenager thinking that it would keep me from gaining more weight, even maybe help me lose some. I had heard that somewhere. It didn't work. All it did was create a nicotine addiction in me that took 15 years to break. When smoking didn't work, I tried drinking. All that did was give me a way to pretend that I had no consequences for my actions and allowed me to move on to boys and sex. None of those things worked. All they did was create a temporary escape from my pain. I spent years avoiding the pain by convincing myself that I was happy that way. Using alcohol and sex whenever life got unbearable. I wasn't fooling anybody. Least of all myself.

What I know now was that I was trying to fill a void in my life with things that were never designed to fill it. God designed us for Him. To worship Him. To love Him. To serve Him. The only thing that was designed to fill that void was Him. I spent years focused on my body image when I should have been focused on Him. It led me far down paths that I was never intended to go. Created bondages and pain in me that He never intended for me to have.

It was only after coming to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior that was I free to be the person I was designed to be. To love Him, to worship Him, to serve him. I was truly happy deep down inside for the first time in my life and wasn't because of anything I was trying to do or achieve. It was His saving mercy and grace in me. It has taken me over 10 years after coming to know Him to break free of the bondages that I brought upon myself after years of trying to do things my own way. The following scripture relates so perfectly:

20. Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: 22. "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. 23. Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25. Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27. When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28. "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30. They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33. But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil."

This passage showed me exactly what happened to me because I would not listen to the wise advise of those around me. Wisdom. Given in many forms. How to lose weight. How to know Jesus. For many years I rejected those that tried to reach me for God. And for many years I tried to manage my weight on my own, trying to do it my own way. In both cases rejecting the wise counsel of others. And so, like it said in verse 31, I ended up eating the fruit of my own way, filling up with my own fancies. Both spiritually and physically.

Last year, I had one of those moments where I made a decision. And it isn't like I had never made the decision before, but this was different. I actually surrendered. No more fighting. I finally just surrendered to the fact that I needed give up my will and came to the realization that no matter my weight, no matter how old or young I am, no matter what fitness level I am at, if I wanted to live the rest of my life healthy that I needed to incorporate exercise into my life. Little did I know, that small decision would change everything. I did not start out even thinking about weight loss. My friend and I committed to each other and we just started moving. 4 months later, I changed my diet. And continued to stick with it. Each and every day. And asked God each and every day for the help I needed to keep going. Before I knew it, 7 months had passed and I had lost 100 lbs.! As of this writing, I have lost 115 and want to lose 50 more. But not because I want to fit in, be accepted, get a husband or improve my body image. But because I want to be the best that I can be. I want to be healthy, strong, and able to do things that I was designed to do. I love who a I am today, a person who is living her life the way she was designed to live it.