What’s on your want list this Christmas? At our house we each make lists of things we want. We put lots of stuff on the list in order to give each other options and to have some element of surprise in the presents.

Meats, veggies and fruit: a step towards health.

The older I get the more I realize there isn’t much in the way of material things that I really have to have. Maybe there are some big things I want but they aren’t the kind of things that would go on a Christmas list.  They can’t be bought at the store, either.  They are things like no pain in my joints, 50 pounds to disappear from my body, all the hanging skin to tighten up.

For years, I prayed for God to change me, the way I ate, the way I felt.  Then I realized I needed to do something to make it change. So, I had gastric bypass surgery.  I saw it as the intervention, albeit a major one,  that would “fix” me. But it definitely wasn’t a cure.  It was just a continuation of the problem.

I wanted a quick fix; an immediate change. Though I did lose 200 pounds in about 18 months, I lost it the wrong way.  I lost it without doing the hard work that it takes.  I didn’t do any exercise. I didn’t count calories.  I did follow some of  the bariatric eating plan but I did it only until I could eat more food and then I went back to much of my old habits..

With the gastric bypass in place, I essentially starved the weight off. I lost a lot of muscle along with some fat. I realized I didn’t have to exercise to lose the weight. The weight just came off because I was not hungry.  When I did try to eat something that my new smaller stomach wasn’t ready for, I got esophagus spasms which felt like I would never be able to swallow again.

There are a lot of weight loss pills, liquids and shakes that say you can eat whatever you want and lose weight.  That’s probably true for a short period of time. But when you stop that product, the weight will come back.

If I want to get stronger, I have to be in the gym every day doing whatever I can.  I have to eat correct things. For me that is meats, vegetables and fruits.  I need to eat a reduced amount of calories.

I’ve always taken the short cut; the easy way.  I want something that comes in a pill or formula or a surgical intervention.  I’ve always known to be healthy will mean the denial of my selfish ways.

Is health on your wish list this Christmas?  Although not every health issues can be cured by eating right and exercise, many can. It’s definitely on my wish list this Christmas, but I’m not so naïve as to think it will come in one of the packages under the tree.

This kind of gift is only one you and I can give ourselves.  So no matter how much hard work it takes, I wish you a very merry, healthy Christmas.


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.