I was 40 years old before I even asked myself the question, “What do you really want?” Most of my life to that point had been trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t even realize that I could legitimately ask myself this question.

On this trip west I was definitely not the happiest of campers. Even the presidents look happier than me, although I did enjoy the scenery and being with my family. First ever live debut of this photo by Roy Parker.

Many people come up with the glib answer of, “I want to be happy.” In every person’s life there will be exceedingly happy, over-the-top exhilarating times and there will be dark, dreary, depressingly sad times. So how can we be happy?

I have discovered that I can be happy, content, satisfied in every situation no matter how dark, dreary and depressingly sad it is. It took me a while to understand this, but I finally got there. Let me tell you how.

Living the Lie

The year was 1994. I was at a seminar that I had been coerced into going to. As I look back on it, the two friends that paid my way probably saw how unhappy I seemed even though I had a lot of things going my way. Fat and happy is a lie and they knew it. I weighed over 400 pounds at the time. I was living the lie.

The only time I felt anywhere near happy was when I was eating the things I loved like desserts and any food with high carbohydrate content. Of course, my children and husband made me happy. So did editing and publishing a regional Christian newspaper. My weight, though, was a burden.

I was tired. I hurt all over. I couldn’t walk very far. It was a true labor of love for me to try to attend anything at my son’s school. I loved having my daughter at home, but I worried that I wasn’t giving her enough attention. I couldn’t go on walks or hikes with her or play with her at the playground.

Happiness Doesn’t Only Come In A Size 10

My husband was the fun parent who took the kids on hikes or bike rides. He took them to the playground. They visited state parks. If I did go with them, I took a book and stayed in the car and read. I wanted to be with them, but my size prohibited me.

This seminar was life-changing for me because it helped me to understand a basic truth I’d been missing. Happiness, contentment or joy doesn’t only come in a size 10. It doesn’t have a lot to do with how much a person weighs. It comes from within.

A lot of my unhappiness was because I knew what I was doing when I was overeating and binging was not what God wanted me to do. I was definitely not making wise or even adult choices. I knew it and that alone made me sad. I knew what I was doing to myself and I couldn’t seem to stop it.

Digging Deeper

At the seminar, I began to dig a little deeper into what I really wanted out of my life. A career, husband, two children, house and cars were all on the list so what was missing? What did I really want?

To this point in my life, I had been allowing circumstances in my life to guide me. Sure I prayed, but I hadn’t really tapped into or even acknowledged a deep desire I had. It almost seems crazy to say it now that I have achieved it, but I wanted to write a book. I wanted to be an author.

It was a desire I hadn’t shared with many people because it was one I didn’t think I’d ever achieve. I knew it would be a true story about someone who had done something impossible with God’s help. God would be the hero of the story.

There were several times I felt I had the story, but all of them had fallen through with contract issues. All of those left sour feelings in me. The burning desire, though, was still there. I couldn’t get away from it.

What do YOU want?

At the seminar when Pat, a woman I admire, asked me, “What do you want?” I knew what I wanted to say, but I held back because what would she think? What would those around me whom I barely knew think?

As I just stood there, she didn’t back down. She got in my face and literally shouted, “What do YOU want?”

Without thinking, I shouted back, “I want to write a book!”

“And what kind of woman could have what you want?”

This time the answer came from that deep place within me. “A whole, healthy, happy woman!”

“I can’t hear you,” she hollered. “What kind of woman?”

“A whole, healthy, HAPPY woman,” I yelled back.

Whole, Healthy, Happy

From that moment on I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be a whole, healthy, happy woman. That became my mantra, my guiding star, my prophetic direction. Everything that happened to me from that moment on was orchestrated by God to move me towards that prophecy.

I needed to be whole in body, soul and spirit. I thought I had been focusing on the spiritual part of me, but I began to see that ignoring what I knew God wanted me to do to take care of my body was not being spiritual at all. My soul needed a lot of help. I was eating to keep my emotions somewhere near even keel. I had to allow God to begin a deep work to move me towards wholeness.

I needed to be healthy in every area. The health of my mind, will and emotions would affect the health of my body. The health of my spirit would improve when I began to allow God to invade every part of me, even what I ate and how I moved.

I needed to be happy whether or not I lost weight. I had to be happy with the choices I made. I had to know that I was following God. If I knew that, I knew I could be happy even if everything around me was falling apart.

Not A Quick Process

Don’t get me wrong, this was not a quick process. That seminar was just the time the prophetic declaration was placed over my life. It would take 19 more years before I could step into that prophesy and not be lying.

Everyone has to begin somewhere. I can trace the beginning of when I began to turn things around back to this moment. God would take me to the depths of despair, though, before I would totally trust Him on this journey.

Along the way, I’ve left 250 pounds behind and tons of emotional baggage and spiritual lies I believed. Today, I can say without a doubt, “I am a whole, healthy, happy woman.”

Oh and I’ve written a few books along the way too, five books and two study guides to be exact. Then, God took me a step further into something I didn’t even know I wanted. He called me to be a Christian weight loss coach.

Overcomers Opening Dec. 3 

If this blog post has resonated with you in any way, I want to invite you to join Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy when the doors open on Tuesday night, Dec. 3. What I would like you to do is signup on the waitlist so that we can send you an email the moment the group is open for new members.

Overcomers is a community of like-minded Christians who all want to lose weight as badly as you do. We have Facebook community where I post a weekly video lesson from one of our courses. Right now we are beginning Sweet Freedom Applications, which is our inner healing course.

In addition to the Facebook community, I do a monthly live Q&A video call where all members can join in and ask questions. I am also open to help with inner healing during that call.

Special Bonus

If that isn’t enough, every member has access to over 200 video lessons in our Overcomers vault on my website. These are divided into 25 courses which are available for members to go through at any time.

As a special bonus every new member gets access to .pdf downloads of my books, Sweet Freedom and Sweet Freedom Principles. Get on the waitlist here and then watch for an email from us at [email protected] Add us to your contacts list so you don’t miss an email.

Oh and we’ll send you some free resources while you wait. You won’t have long though. Tuesday will be here before you know it. Sign up here: https://Teresashieldsparker.com/overcomers-christian-weight-loss-academy/.

I’ll see you in the group!



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.