The dictionary defines a journey as, among other definitions, “a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.” My five stages of weight loss outline the process you must go through to achieve personal change or as I like to refer to it—transformation.

It does outline an uphill journey over sometimes rough terrain. The most important thing, though, is we don’t take this journey alone it’s an all-in journey with God towards healthy living.

The first three stages are just setting the stage for the journey. Stage one is accepting you need a change. Stage two is owning your issue and surrendering it to God. Stage three is the spiritual weight loss discipleship stage where you learn the tools to deal with your issues.

Wholehearted Traveler

The Wholehearted Traveler, or stage four, is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you put what you have learned into action. This is like graduating from college and going into your first real job in your chosen field.

Every stage is important, but without guidance through this stage, I find people fall off the wagon quickly when life throws them something unexpected, which happens like every other day! I’ve seen more people fail at this stage than at any other.

This is where you think you’ve learned all you need to learn and you can do this by yourself. The problem is you never get to the place where you can do this journey without God. It’s just not possible.

When you get to this point you should understand that truth better than anything else. At this stage your faith and trust in God will be tested. Count on it.

Not Quick and Easy
To get through this stage you must be wholeheartedly committed to God, every single part of you sold out in unshakeable, enthusiastic, absolute undivided allegiance to the God of the universe.

Most everyone I’ve encountered who is anxious to go on a weight loss journey wants it to be a quick and easy journey. Let me debunk that myth for you right now. No matter how much weight you have to lose, if you do it fast, you will gain it back just as quickly and sometimes quicker.

I had to realize that I had programmed myself to fail. I wanted quick weight loss, but it took me years to gain all the weight I had to lose. Losing it quickly wouldn’t allow myself time to change my habitual routines that had gotten me into the desperate situation I was in.

I’d love it if I could have just taken off a year from all my obligations, jobs and duties and focused on myself at some luxury spiritual weight loss oasis and return a totally new woman.

Even then, I’d probably have slipped right back into my old routines when faced with trying to make ends meet, work, raise a family, keep a household and be a loving and supportive wife.

Daily Changes
I had to incorporate changes as I walked the journey in real time in my real life. I had to do what Paul was saying in this passage. “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering,” (Romans 12:1 MSG).

The path of a Wholehearted Traveler is never an easy one to walk. By necessity, you have to be willing to examine every part of your life because it all impacts your healthy living journey.

Not only your daily behaviors, but also how you handle relationships that seem to heap stress on top of stress and how you deal with unexpected difficulties in your life or the lives of your loved ones. 

Dealing with the Unexpected
The out-of-the-ordinary changes can derail you the quickest. In the midst of my weight loss journey, my father passed away. We knew it was coming. Still, though, going through that grief caused me to backslide on changing my life. It was a time when I started gaining weight again.

That was in 2005. It was several years later that I really stepped back into all that God had for me on this journey. I had been sort of doing the journey, but my heart wasn’t in it after my dad went home to heaven.

Part of recommitting to this journey was understanding that my dad would have wanted that for me. He’d not want me to be sitting around moping and sad over my circumstances. He’d want me to do everything I could to turn my life around and fulfill God’s destiny call on my life.

That was my dad’s heart for all of his children, grandchildren and descendants. I knew then and I still know now that I cannot do that without taking care of my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Temporary Bodies

This is really why we are here to walk out our faith journey while we are in these very temporary physical bodies. “We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.

“Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option,” (2 Cor. 4:7-8 TPT).

Do you hear that? Quitting is not an option. Once you get to stage four the inclination is to let up, go slack on habits, allow old choices to creep back in. This will kill your journey to transformation quicker than anything.

Never Give Up Trying with God’s Help

You are on a journey. You are transforming. When you step off that journey, you cease to transform and actually start regressing back into bondage. Don’t let that happen to you.

“Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past,” (Gal. 5:1 TPT).

You do this by learning to continually walk with God hand-in-hand through every single day’s struggles and victories.

I couldn’t have gotten through any part of this journey without a coach to keep me grounded and a group of peers who shared my struggles. I don’t think you can either.

Don’t Do This Alone

That’s why I coach. That’s why I offer very affordable programs you can join and stay in for as long as possible. My Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy monthly cost is less that the price of a dinner out for you and your spouse or a friend.

Just think, if you’d started this time last year, you could be well on your road to recovery from food addiction. This is your year for a breakthrough.

Doors are closed now, but I invite you to get on the waitlist to be notified of the next time they open. Go here:

If you want one-on-one coaching, go HERE.





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.