“Stop. Just stop eating sugar. Just stop now.” That’s what I knew God was speaking in my spirit and I didn’t listen. Those of us with extreme weight issues HAVE to take extreme measures or just write our obituary, lay down and die.

tp-430 lbs

Yep, that’s me in 2004 at 430 pounds. I felt miserable. I wanted to be set free from this body of death.

I’m risking your wrath by being brutally honest. I wish someone had been as honest with me. My story is long and yes, it involved the drastic surgery intervention. However, surgery DID NOT FIX my desire to eat sugar and bread and it will not fix yours.

The only thing that can fix it is YOU and your commitment to do whatever it takes to live. I started this journey knowing everything I ate was sugar and flour, everything.

I lost weight with surgery, but after a year I found could eat sugar. Once again I was back to morbid obesity. It was then I faced the hard facts of life. I’m a sugar addict. I can’t eat mitigate or moderate it. I have to give it up. And I grieved! I seriously cried like a baby. That gives you an idea of how low I had fallen that I cried more over losing sugar and flour than what I had done to myself.

I knew God showed me years ago to stop eating sugar and not eat so much bread. When God shows me something, He will give me the means to do it if I trust Him. Obviously I didn’t trust Him as much as I thought I did. Did I really believe He could raise the dead to life? Because I knew I felt dead.

I tried the sugar-free lifestyle at various times, but I was not committed to it as a lifestyle change. All it would take is to just eat one cookie and I’d be back on the path to death. It’s like taking one drink. And I’d say, “See God, it didn’t work.” I blamed the God of the universe for my failure.

What works is what He said. JUST STOP and don’t start again. And when I messed up, I stopped quickly and got back on the track. I learned to listen to the voice of God. I learned not to listen to the lies inside my head. I learned to not rationalize my desire for sugar saying I need energy. I learned what I need is sustained energy from protein. Sugar depletes me. It doesn’t sustain. It is the enemy’s tremendous substitute. Don’t fall for that trap.

I faced the fact, as you will have to, that I CANNOT EAT SUGAR AND FLOUR. I can’t. You can’t. We can’t. When we do, we are putting poison in our bodies. We don’t need sugar to live. We need meat, fruit and vegetables. We have to retrain ourselves. We have to clean our houses, our cars, our bodies of all offending foods that pull us back into addiction.

It begins with a covenant commitment between us and God. It begins with telling God we want to live and we WILL do what it takes.

If you don’t have a copy of Sweet Grace, get one now. Also get Sweet Grace Study Guide. The study guide is what I will be going through in the study group I’m privileged to lead at my church starting in March.

If you’re not close enough to join us for the study, gather some girls together and ask them to go through the study with you. Or. ask a friend to meet with you and go through the study with you. Reaching outside yourself is very important for accountability

I am interested in eventually offering an online weight loss coaching and study group which is why I’m facilitating a foundational group in my church. It will be the launching platform for what happens later.

This will be a course that shoots straight. I’m not sugar-coating this, ha! It will be hard work. It will be a commitment. It is not easy and it is not quick. We didn’t get here overnight and our extreme issue will not be taken care of overnight.

However, intentional effort pays off. It’s taken me 10 years to get to where I am at now. As of today, that is minus 264 pounds, headed to minus 280. I will continue to eat this way even after getting to my goal. It is important for my health. I’m never going back.

The key for me was surrender. I laid myself and my addiction on the altar of God. I surrendered it to Him. I gave up completely. I turned around from walking in my unhealthy lifestyle and went towards health.

Teresa Parker on left in 2004 at 430 pounds. Today, she has lost more than 250 pounds and she's still planning on losing more.

Transformation is possible if you do it God’s way. Today, I actually weigh even less than this picture. I’ve lost 264 pounds. To God be the glory!

If you’ve stayed with me this far, I’ve got hope for you. You can do this. You are not a victim. You are a victor.

You can no longer delay. The time is short. Take back control of your life and then surrender it to Him. Do it now.

I’m afraid for you, if you don’t.

In 1999, a rude cardiac surgeon told me I needed to lose at least 100 pounds and keep it off or I would be dead in five years.

It was the best thing anyone ever said to me and yet I still wallowed around in the yo-yo dieting syndrome trying magic fixes. And when I had done everything and come to the end of myself, that’s when I looked to God.

Amy Perry of Selah sings the wonderful song I Look to You. “After all that I’ve been through, who on earth can I turn to? I look to You. I look to You. After all my strength is gone in You I can be strong.1 I look to You. I look to You. And when melodies are gone, in You I hear a song. I look to You.

‘Bout to lose my breath. There’s no more fighting left. Sinking to rise no more. Searching for that open door. And every road I’ve taken led to my regret. I don’t know if I’m gonna make it. Nothing to do but lift my head. I look to You. I look to You. After all my strength is gone in You I can be strong. I look to You. I look to You. And when melodies are gone in You I hear a song. I look to You.”

He’s calling to You, singing a song over you, dancing with joy when He thinks of you. He wants you to come to Him, rely on Him, trust in Him for everything. He is your comfort. He is your sustenance. He is your food. He is your drink. There is no other place you can go for help, no other place to turn. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt this is true.

Look to Him.

1 2 Corinthians 12:9


Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog 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.