As human beings, we are learners at heart. We learn best when we have a burning desire to learn. Probably the best motivation for learning is that if we don’t learn that particular skill we won’t survive … in our jobs, in our marriages, or in our lives period.

The third stage in the Success Path to Transformation is the Watchful Learner. This is the stage where we learn to implement tools to help us walk out our journeys through food addiction to the victory God has for us. This is the stage where we learn to become a spiritual weight loss disciple.

We’ve talked about stage one where we accept we have a problem that needs to change and we begin dreaming about what that change might look like. Then, in stage two we own that issue, like I did when I owned I am a sugar addict, and then the surrender process is like when I had to surrender sugar to God.

After surrender comes an overwhelming desire to learn how to actually walk out our journey so that we will be around long enough to live out the purposes God has for our lives.

Types of Learning

Most students don’t learn the best by sitting at desks in neat rows listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher go,  “Wah, Wah, Wah” all day long. They need to apply what they’ve learned.

When I talk about the Watchful Learner stage it’s really all about tools for you to put into action. The type of learning that really sinks in deepest for us is learning some task or skill that we need in our everyday lives to make us more successful. For instance, when I went to college, I supposedly learned a lot of things. I took tests, studied, got good grades and graduated with a degree.

However, as a journalism major the classes weren’t the things that mattered the most to me. The more important things were when I put my newfound knowledge to action by founding, developing and editing the Baptist Student Union newspaper, working as associate editor on the school newspaper and editor of the yearbook.

These were volunteer jobs and internships that required me to put the theories I learned in the classroom to work on a tangible product I helped produce. The same happened when electric typewriters were replaced by word processors;  typesetting machines were replaced by computers; and manual layout skills were replaced by computerized layout programs.

Out of necessity I learned how to operate all of those. Through the 35 years since computers first began to invade my life I’ve continued to learn each new upgrade of each program. Learning continues even though I’m 65 because I still love to write, do layouts and produce graphics.


The Watchful Learner stage is where about the almost magical tool of Stop-Start. I tell how it changed my life and helped me lose over 250 pounds and then the members develop stop-starts for themselves in order to move forward on their journey..

I teach members about the nature of God and how trusting Him is more than just words. Then we do activities designed to help deepen our trust and faith in the fact that God actually will help us. It’s not just flowery nice words, but it is truth in action in our lives.

We learn how to develop our own personal forever lifestyle change plans that don’t just include what we eat, but how we move, how we connect with God and others, how we rest, how we play and how we set up our lives to minimize stress.

Part of what I share makes me feel a little like Paul when he said, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ,” (2 Cor. 11:1 NIV). This really is spiritual weight loss discipleship. I have to constantly be asking myself, “Am I doing what Christ wants on my healthy living journey?” Because to ask you to follow my example, I have to know I am following His.

I also teach how each person can go to God for input, advice and consultation. When in doubt, ask God first.

How Change Happens

As I shared in Seven Keys for Spiritual Weight Loss, weight loss is first spiritual before anything else. We have to get those tenets deep inside us so that they become part of the very fabric of our being.

This will change us on the inside (spiritually) and then be evidenced on the outside (physically). “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out,” (Romans 12:2 MSG).

God is not asking us to be perfect, but to be a learner, a disciple. His definition of perfection is so different from ours. “You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life],” (Matthew 5:48 AMP).

Did you get that? Perfection to God is us growing in character and becoming mature spiritually. How do we do that? Growth is not linear. It’s a winding path where we have to see failure as part of our learning curve. We only grow in our faith as we try and fail, and then, get back up again and do it over the right way. Sometimes it takes a few times around the mountain to get it, but we don’t give up!

As we work on implementing these strategies in our lives, spiritual, emotional and mental issues come up that we feel we can’t get through. This is where as a coach who has walked out my own journey, I can help take you by the hand, ask you the tough questions and spur you on to victory.

Although learning resources are a part of the equation (we have over 175 video lessons available to our members) the real key for change is personal application and implementation. Such as when your journey feels like you’ve hit a brick wall, what do you do? Well, I’ve already been there probably more than once. I can help you remove that wall with God’s help.

Overcomers Academy

My all-new Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy is not about courses that you take to mark off your list and get a badge of accomplishment. This is about courses that will disciple you in God’s ways, which relate to your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical journey out of sugar and food addictions of all kinds, into God’s freedom.

This is a different kind of academy, a different way of looking at weight loss that is both extremely spiritual and very practical. As your coach, I will be there every step of the way encouraging, support, guiding and challenging you to live the life you have always imagined, but have been too afraid to even speak about.

Doors are likely closed now, but go HERE to read all about Overcomers Academy and get on the waitlist to be notified when the doors open again.

If you are interested in one-on-one coaching, go HERE for availability.

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.