What people saw when I was super morbidly obese was just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface was where I hid the tons of emotional weight. It was baggage that I had decided I couldn’t deal with and so, I stuffed it somewhere I thought no one would see.

Emotional baggage is something many of us drag everywhere we go. People use various methods to deal with this. Some have fits of rage, are abusive physically or sexually, drink, do drugs, are addicted porn. Some love to shop, but overspend themselves into poverty. Others gamble. Still others, sit in despair, loneliness and depression, victims of everything life has thrown their way.

Phil 4 13 amp

Silent and Loud Addictions

I can walk by those who handle their baggage in these ways and never guess they have issues. They look good, put-together, normal.

I call these the silent addicts. Their issues don’t publicly present themselves until they are extremely out-of-hand.

As a food addict, my issues are always with me. When I was super, morbidly obese I was a loud addict. It’s not that I wanted anyone to know I had a problem. Still, it was like I had rented a billboard to proclaim, “Look at me. I have a problem.”

Food, though, was not the problem. It was the emotions I was trying to manage all on my own, albeit not too well.

I had adopted the first half of famous verse, “I can do all things.”1 Or as the amplified version says, “I am self-sufficient.”2

Don’t Bother Me

I was saying, “Don’t bother me. I am handling my emotional baggage just fine. Yes, a lot of it is showing up here on the surface, but I have most of it tucked away safely beneath the surface. And, yes, I’m fine. Thank you. How are you?”

It was a lie. I knew it. Others knew it, but it’s the loud addiction no one wants to talk about lest they hurt another’s feelings. Many act out of cruelty and do so just to ridicule others. Some call it fat hatred. However, we only hate what we don’t understand. I, though, understand because I’ve walked in those shoes. Thank God, they no longer fit.

I admit, it’s difficult to talk to anyone who has an issue with food. When I was much larger, people didn’t want to hurt my feelings. And admittedly, I wouldn’t have listened anyway. I would, however, read a book. So, that’s one of the reasons I write books on the topic. I even searched for a book by someone as overweight as me who had lost weight with God’s help. I couldn’t find one. So I know there are people out there just waiting to read Sweet Grace or Sweet Freedom and understand the truths inside, because, like I said, I’ve been there.


Losing Weight Is Physical

Losing weight is physical. Many other addictions have physical components as well. Many nutritionists will help with the actual mechanisms of what to eat. However, it’s not that those of us who are or have been obese and above don’t know how to lose weight, it’s that those pesky emotions won’t let us.

How do we get through this? How do we overcome our addiction, our emotional dependence on what we think is helping us to live and feel somewhat normal? God, the one who is Truth Personified, is the only one who can lead us to truth. It is a simple process, which we tend to resist and make impossible.

We forgive the persons in our past. We renounce the lie God will treat us that same way. Then, we hear His truth. This process when followed correctly will set us free. It only comes when we listen intently to the one whose desire is to set us completely and wonderfully free, not just partially free. He want us to always cherish His truth and stubbornly refuse to go back to the bondage of our past.3

 He wants the iceberg gone. He will set us free from what feels like an anchor keeping us stuck in one place. First, though, we have to surrender completely to Him.

Oh, and by the way, when I added the last part of the verse, it made all the difference in the world.  “I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.”4


1Philippians 4:13 NIV

2Philippians 4:13 AMP

3Galatians 5:1 TPT

4Philippians 4:13 AMP


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.