I have always loved the Thanksgiving through Christmas holiday season. However, this season was always my downfall. For more than 30 years I weighed over 300 pounds and eventually landed at 430 pounds before starting my real weight loss journey.

Teresa weighing over 400 pounds in 2004 with Roy, Andrew and Jenny

Going through photos we found this one from 2004 or so. Roy, Andrew, Jenny and Teresa Parker. I weighed over 400 pounds here. So glad those days are behind me.

For all those years, though, I was dieting. What person who weighs over 300 pounds doesn’t at least try to diet. I could lose weight by strictly sticking to a diet. But when Thanksgiving hit, all bets were off until January 1.

10 Things

Every new year my resolution would be to lose weight. I really couldn’t figure out why I could be successful in every other area of my life, but I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. For years I had at least 10 excuses for why I was morbidly obese.

  1. I blamed the holidays.
  2. I blamed the foods my Mom, Grandma and Mamaw dished up.
  3. I blamed the fact I hated to exercise.
  4. I blamed work stress and deadlines.
  5. I blamed others who stressed me out by always wanting something more from me.
  6. I blamed my children and foster kids for wanting to eat junk food and fast food.
  7. I blamed tv and magazine advertisers for making every food product look so amazing I couldn’t say no.
  8. I blamed the food producers for making easily accessible, pre-packaged, heat-and-eat foods.
  9. I blamed the church for always having donuts, cookies, pies and cakes at every get together.
  10. I blamed God for creating me with an insatiable desire to devour the wrong foods.

The one person I didn’t blame was myself. Because I could diet and lose weight, I thought surely God just made me to be a fat person. Some people were created to be normally thin and others to be overweight. I feel in the later category. So there was a time I just stopped trying to diet all together.

Was the Problem Diets?

From my point of view, dieting had actually caused the problem. So at point I blamed diets. In a way, diets are a big part of the problem for many of us who need to lose weight. One minute we’re eating all the sugary pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cheesecake, brownies, casseroles, pizza, pasta, mashed potatoes, gravy, breaded and  fried meats and hot rolls we want.

Them we decide we want to lose weight. The only option offered is a diet. So the next day we completely change the way we are eating. We eat salads, vegetables, fruits and lean meats. We don’t eat any of the things we used to eat. We power through this season looking forward to the time when we reach our goal and can go off the diet.

Diets Are A Short-Term Fix

The moment we do that, we begin gaining the weight back. I always gained it all back plus more. That wouldn’t take me long and then I’d go on another diet until Thanksgiving. Then, the cycle would repeat itself. Each time I gained more weight after I stopped dieting. So the diet had to be the problem, right?

This isn’t the case. It’s really the way we look at diets. We see diets as a short-term fix for a long-term problem. A diet, though, is defined as the food a person or animal habitually eats. Notice the word habit in there. The way we use diet is not changing our habits because changing our habits means regularly or repeatedly doing, practicing, or acting in some manner.

What I needed was to change my habits. I could say that the way I grew up with church potluck dinners, huge family gatherings and resorting to fast food for a large portion of my meals instilled those habits in me. In some ways they did, but I can’t really blame anyone but myself for not learning how to change my habits and really not even wanting to learn how to do that.

Habit Change

On my journey of losing more than 250 pounds, the one thing that has helped me more than anything is learning how to stop a bad habit and focus on starting a good one instead. Fifteen years ago, I was preparing and indulging in large holiday dinners with all the assorted trimmings. For the last 10 years, I’ve modified everything I prepare to be gluten-free and sugar-free and include vegetables, fruits and lean meats.

I changed my habits, by working on changing one thing at a time and incorporating a new habit that would help me and not harm me. I used to blame not liking to exercise as one reason I couldn’t lose weight. When I realized the importance exercise plays in boosting my metabolism, I choose to begin exercising by doing water aerobics or water jogging in our community pool.

This was one of the good habits I focused on intentionally incorporating into my life. I began to see that if my bad habits were to blame for my weight gain, only I could change them.

What’s God Got To Do With It?

More than anything I began to understand that God’s desires for me are to live and not die (Deut 30:19-20.) I also began to see that I am weak when I am around certain kinds of foods, mainly those comfort foods that are served at every Thanksgiving meal.

It also became apparent to me that in order to change my habit and choose better foods that nourish my body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), I need God’s help. Because of God’s grace within me, when I am weak in my physical strength if I admit that and call out to God, then I can be strong, truly powerful, during drawing from God’s strength. (2 Cor. 12:10 AMP).

God helped me pick up the broken pieces of my life and He will help anyone who is need of the same thing. I couldn’t have lost the weight without  the help of God, a coach and group of like-minded peers on the same journey,  Because of that, I said, “Yes” to God when He called me to begin an online weight loss coaching group and so many other things like starting a podcast.

My coaching group is a totally different type of weight loss group in that we focus on what God wants from us, what past emotional hurts and issues are holding us back and learning how to allow God to heal us and lead us on this journey. It takes time and commitment. It takes being all in on the journey.

Overcomers Overcome With God’s Help

In just a few days, I’m opening my Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Coaching Academy for new members. The group will only be open for 48 hours.

I’m doing this just for you. Our regularly scheduled and more heavily promoted opening will occur in early February of 2020. Right now, though, I know you need this group to get through the holidays. If I’m only opening the doors for you, then it will have been worth it.

To get notification of when the doors will open, along with the ability to get the free early bird bonus and receive free gifts while you wait, sign up here>>>https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/Overcomers-Christian-weight-loss-academy/



Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.