Some messes are worth something and some aren’t. I felt like my biggest mess, especially when I was in the middle of it, wasn’t worth anything. As a matter of fact, it was costing me my very life. Yet, today it is the basis of my greatest message.


Slopping The Pigs

The fact that I carried my mess with me for many more years than I like to think about reminds me of Papaw, my grandfather, slopping the pigs. My grandparents didn’t have garbage disposals. They had pigs. Any food waste that today we’d put down the handy disposal, Grandma would put in the slop jar under the sink.

Once a day, Papaw did the thankless chore of transferring that mess to the slop bucket. He hauled it out to his pigs, those smelly beasts who would become bacon, sausage and pork chops.

He pitched the ghastly concoction over the fence where the pigs just gobbled it up. Even at an early age I began to identify with these smelly beasts who seemed to eat nonstop, anything and everything. Well, I don’t know if they’d eat vegetables or salad. I’ve never seen a pig do that, but most everything else they’d eat.

I’m A Pig

I was a tad more choosy than them, but in many ways I was just like them, especially with sweets and breads. As I kept eating and eating, adding more and more weight, I would secretly call myself a pig and a hog. Doing that just made me become what I decided I was.

I didn’t really understand the power of speaking godly affirmations over my life. I didn’t understand that I could speak scriptures over myself. I didn’t understand that my ears were the gate to my mind. I didn’t understand that what I tell myself is in large part what I become.

I definitely became what I thought I was. When I started on my lifestyle change journey, God started doing something amazing. He began telling me who He thought I was.

Who God Says I Am

Hearing about me from His perspective began changing me on the inside. The first one I had to wrap my brain around was “I am beautiful.”

A scripture I claimed as mine back when I was editor and publisher of Good News Journal talks about being beautiful, but I jumped right over that part. Surely that didn’t apply to me.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”1

Looking at that passage I realize Isaiah wasn’t saying the messenger’s feet were the only thing good about  her. He was saying the person who brings good news is beautiful. Her feet were just the way she traveled, but he was praising every part of the person who carries God’s message to others.

What Is Beauty?

Beauty is a “quality in a person or a thing that gives pleasure to the senses or the mind,” according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary. Wikipedia adds that beauty brings satisfaction, attraction, balance and harmony with nature and emotional well-being.

I’ve come to realize that beauty has little to do with how we look on the outside and everything to do with what goes on inside of us. We can be beautiful and weigh an enormous amount of weight. However, I began to understand something else about overcoming my definition of myself as a pig. I had to start acting beautiful.

Pigs don’t act beautiful. They rut and push each other out of the way. They wallow in the mud. They don’t care how much they weigh or how they look.

Acting The Part

Before I ever felt any where near beautiful, I had to begin caring about and for myself. I had to understand that beauty would begin to emerge when I began feeling beautiful.

“How beautiful you are, my darling.”2 The woman is called beautiful 14 times in the short book of Song of Solomon. Many times not by Solomon, but by those asking her where Solomon was.

There is something about this woman that goes beyond mere outward beauty. I had to learn that to be really beautiful I had to believe that God sees me as beautiful.

Beautiful Inside

I had to learn to become beautiful inside. I could no longer act like or even see myself like a pig. “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”3

How to do that was a process I knew well, but had never really fully implemented. I had to start listening and following the voice of God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”4

I knew God’s voice. He knew me, but many times in my self-centered desires to stay like a pig in what I ate, I didn’t follow Him.

He had told me what to do many times when I would ask Him. I knew sugar was like a drug to me, but giving it up was an overwhelming obstacle. I would like to say it was easy and I laid it down without protest, however that would be a lie and not a beautiful one at that.


When I finally surrendered even the things I craved to God, He began the transformation process. As I fixed my gaze on Him more and more, He began changing me from the inside out.5 

It wasn’t an easy process, but with His strength on my side it has become the easiest hard thing I’ve ever done. I love looking back at where I was and where I am now and understand I have been transformed in every sense of the word.

Transformation means “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.” I have certainly been transformed from a pig to something beautiful. It’s not because I lost physical weight though. It’s because I am finally allowing Him to do a thorough cleansing job in me. 

My Message

I identify completely with this Psalm. “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!”6

This is exactly what God did for me. With that fresh start, breath of holiness and fresh wind He gave me a message to share with others wallowing in the muck and mire of their lives much like I was.

That message is that there is freedom for you. I accepted where I was, I owned my food addiction and I am now walking it out hanging on to Jesus with everything that is in me.

There is a way out. It’s not about a diet or shake or pill. It’s about complete and total surrender of everything, even what you crave to the God who created you for good works before you were even born.7

My Best Resource for You

I have a lot of resources on my website to help you, but the most important one to you right now and the place you need to begin is with #KickWeight, my six-month, affordable weight loss coaching group, run primarily through Facebook.

#KickWeight is closing soon and I don’t want you to miss it. I’m keeping it open only until October 18. Don’t wait. Join today. Do it for the ones you will impact with your message. Go HERE.

1Isaiah 52:7 NASB

2Song of Solomon 1:15 NASB

31 Peter 3:4 NLT

4John 10:27 NLT

5Romans 12:2 MSG

6Pslm 51:10-12 MSG

7Ephesians 2:10 TPT

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.