We are embarking on a journey that will last a lifetime and take us places we’ve never dreamed.

Where are we going?

beautiful young woman on beach with scarfIt’s a question we ask every summer when planning a vacation.

Me: Where are we going on vacation.

Husband:  Where do you want to go?

Me: No fair. I asked you first.

Husband: Well, I don’t want to go somewhere hot. I don’t want to drive a long ways. I don’t want to go a big city or somewhere you have to battle crowds. Other than that, I’m fine going anywhere you want to go.

Me: I agree. I definitely don’t want some big, gigantic theme park with long lines far away.

Daughter: Disneyland!

Son: Disneyland!

That summer we went to Disneyland. The kids loved it. Roy endured it. I hated it, mostly because of the amount of walking and standing.

Most vacations are one-time destinations. We go, enjoy the sites and come back to our regular routine lives, hopefully a little more invigorate or at least thankful to be home.

However, the healthy journey I began 10 years ago is a one I’m on is far from what routine looked like most of my life. This journey though is for the rest of my life.

In the past, I attacked weight loss like a vacation to Disneyland. Let’s just do this because we have t. Let’s get through it and be done with it. Then we can say we’ve been to the place and we won’t have to go again. 

At the start of any diet phase, I would dread giving up my favorite foods, which all seemed to have sugar and flour as basic ingredients.

I began to long for the time when I could stop the diet and eat what I loved even before I went on the diet.

My mindset about weight loss was let’s get this done and over with as quickly as possible so we can go back to real life.

I didn’t ever see my life without certain foods I love and grew up with, foods like oatmeal cake, cobblers, hot rolls, cakes, brownies, cookies, sweet breads, homemade noodles, fried and breaded meats.

How could I make family memories without these kinds of foods? How could I enjoy birthdays, weddings, Thanksgivings, Christmases, family reunions, picnics?

Therefore, my idea of weight loss was like a difficult vacation I just endured to get through so I could get back to real life.

One day, though, all the pieces of the puzzle of my life fell into place. In actuality, it felt more like a ton of bricks falling on my head. 

I realized through a series of events that I am a sugar addict. I also knew it was a revelation God had shown me many time through the years but I wouldn’t acknowledge it.

This day it came through listening to a story a 25-year sober alcoholic told of his journey. He said, “Alcohol is liquid sugar.” Then I knew. That’s me.

In that one moment of clarity, I knew what I considered the horrible, no-good, very bad vacation was going to become my lifestyle.

Panic set in. How can I do this?  I love things made with sugar way too much.

With the help of a great counselor, a supportive group and God’s guidance I began the journey with great trepidation.

This was literally a last ditch effort to save my health. Otherwise, I knew I might as well lay down and die. However, I wanted to live. I had this dream of writing a book that mattered. I wanted to fulfill that before my time ended here.

With the dream firmly in mind, I made the decision that with God’s help, I will give up sugar and, then, eventually made the same decision regarding gluten or wheat substances.

I didn’t know then that God had some bigger dreams for me than just writing a book. And I didn’t know the book would be one about my 250-pound weight loss. Actually, that amount of weight loss seemed undoable and really far-fetched.

Last year, I knew God was directing me to begin work on my weight loss memoir. I completed the writing in June and the book was published in October. I also completed a study guide to go with the book.

Since then I’ve been on featured on radio and television shows, in magazines. I’ve spoken to numerous groups and just recently opened an online weight loss coaching program.

None of these were on my dream list nor did I ever think about doing them. However, God knew deep in the recesses of my heart lies a dream of helping people overcome whatever issue is holding them back.

I am living my dream. I am more in love with my husband. I am more connected to others. I am closer to God than I ever dreamed possible. I am helping others connect to the Overcomer.

Recently, after a long day, I was headed to bed. I was exhausted. Still, I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to read a verse in the new Passion translation of Proverbs.

I had been reading earlier so I just opened to the next verse. It nearly took my breath away. It was exactly what God did for me when I finally got with what I knew was His plan for my life.

“The lovers of God who chase after righteousness will find all their dreams come true.”

Then the next day I was overwhelmed by that translation again. “Never doubt God’s mighty power at work within you to accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you.”2

I didn’t realize when I began my weight loss journey that it would be one that would last a lifetime and take me places I never dreamed.

I only wanted to be able to walk and think a bit clearer. Now, I can’t wait to see what else He has in store. It will exceed my most unbelievable dream.

And it will all be done by His miraculous energizer bunny power inside of me.

By the way, it doesn’t matter where we are going because God knows the way. That’s all that matters. 

1 Proverbs 21:21, Passion Translation

2 Ephesians 3:20, Passion Translation


PrintSweet Change Weight Loss Coaching & Accountability Group is Teresa Shields Parker’s new group on living healthy through a total renovation of body, soul and spirit. Teresa chronicles her journey in the memoir, Sweet Grace, and the practical application workbook, Sweet Grace Study Guide. Get a free chapter of her memoir at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.

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.