Ever have a dream that turned into a nightmare? I’m here to tell you that even great and awesome dreams such as losing weight can turn into a nightmare, if you don’t do it the right way. I know because at one time I weighed 430 lbs.

When I was that weight, it seemed like everywhere I went, church, work, conferences, people were asking the question: What is your dream?  What do you really want?

For me it was a rhetorical question. I mean who wants to come out and say, “My dream is to lose weight?” The speakers and others asking the question were looking for things like: end poverty, start a million-dollar company, bring everyone to Jesus. All I wanted to do was lose weight.

I’m sure you’re wondering, if that was my dream, why couldn’t I just stand up and blurt it out?  See, as a morbidly obese person I couldn’t say that was my biggest dream because then I’d have to do something tangible about it.

So, I pretended that wasn’t my dream. If I pretended then I could still eat whatever I wanted and never exercise. I could blame it on some nebulous condition that packed on all the weight.

At 430 lbs. I felt as miserable as I look.

Don’t eat that!

Fess up. Though there are a few people who have physical conditions, for the majority of us that just isn’t true.  Instead, we joke about losing weight.  We laugh about eating the extra piece of cheesecake when really don’t need it.

All the time everyone around us knows we don’t need it but if they disagree with us then they couldn’t eat their second and third pieces either.

We say things like I’m starving when we have no idea what that really means.  Maybe we should be dropped off in the closest third world country with $2 to last for a month and see how we fare.

I have written a lot of nice things through the years about losing weight, suggestions, helpful hints, exercise tips such as this, this, and this but, they really don’t matter.  All of those things are true and helpful but only if you and I do them.  It doesn’t help to just know them.

Many of you know my story. If you don’t you can read it here.  I was probably one of the most dietary knowledgeable fat persons around. However, its not enough to know you need to lose weight, you have to want it and then you have to put your knowledge into action.

Magic weight loss

I started out telling you losing weight was a dream of mine.The problem was my definition of a dream coming true was some fairy tale twist of fate that would magically happened to me.

Poof and I’d weigh 135 pounds! Yes, I actually prayed for pounds to magically disappear in the middle of the night. (Don’t tell me you haven’t done the same thing.)

There were times when I lost significant amounts of weight through a diet and sheer willpower only to pack the pounds back on again (plus more) once I went off the diet.

You see, I had a dream but I didn’t want to make the long-term lifestyle changes it requires to make that dream happen. I made lots of excuses as to why I couldn’t achieve my dream. I even took some drastic measures to make it happen, such as weight loss surgery.

Although that worked to an extent I could easily be headed back up to the weight I was prior to surgery. Once my stomach began stretching out and I could eat more things, I did. I put some weight back on. I was headed back to looking like the picture at the top of the page. Instead of a dream, it would have been a sheer nightmare.

Here’s what I learned. It’s not rocket science. It’s plain and simple.  If you want to lose weight you have to expend more calories than you take in, significantly more.  In simple mathematic terms, the equation looks like this (and you can tweet this):

Moving more + eating less = the dream of losing weight.

I’m not saying its easy. I’m just saying it’s true. If you really, really want to weigh less, take actions that will be lifestyle changes.

  • Make a plan.
  • Find an exercise that works for you.
  • Schedule time to do it.
  • Start cutting out those foods that seem to have you bound.
  • Put healthier options in their place.
  • Finally, realize exactly why you want this dream to be a reality.

Do you want to live longer? Do you have things you want to do that require you to be healthier? Do you want to see your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren graduate college, get married, have children.  Do you want to sail around the world, write a book, run in a marathon, become a brain surgeon?

I hate to be the one to tell you this but, if you don’t do something about your weight now, that dream you have may just become a nightmare of your own making.  When a heart surgeon walked into my hospital room in 2000 and told me that if I didn’t lose weight I would be dead in five years, it certainly felt like a nightmare.

I wouldn’t write so bluntly if this issue were not close to my heart, literally.

Through everything, I’m happy to say, I’m now on a course of action not just for a little bit of time but for the rest of my life.

I exercise daily doing water exercise and a great new program I’ve discovered that only takes 15 minutes a day called T-Tapp (see affiliate link in right sidebar).

I eat healthy. My choice is fruits, vegetables and meats. I also take an awesome Isagenix shake every morning. The protein helps me not be so hungry.  I love feeling better and being alive.

I’m not to my goal weight and I may never be. See, I have a new goal that I keep in front of me every day. It’s to be healthy and live every moment doing the things I know God put me here on this earth to do.

Your dream of living the life you’ve dreamed of is just around the corner.

Comment here or email me: [email protected] and tell me about your goal and your story. I’d love to hear from you.

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.