Remember the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Of course it’s a children’s book, but I love it for its message. All of us have to go through a process of becoming real.

I am convinced one of the biggest issues facing me when I was extremely large was being honest and transparent with God, myself and others.

For some reason I felt I could tell myself a bold face lie about what I ate that week. I would lie to myself about how I felt. I would lie about the emotional baggage I was carrying.

just being me good

I would lie and laugh and say I was fat and happy. Half of that was far from the truth.

It’s very similar to a foster daughter we used to have. We could never get the truth out of her. After several years, I realized, she actually believes her lies.

We’ve had 10 foster children through our home and most of them, I could tell when they were lying. There were tell-tale signs. They wouldn’t look me in the eyes. They wouldn’t be consistent with their stories. They would avoid me.

But this one girl, would always tell the same story even though she had a low IQ. That puzzled me until I realized she was telling me her truth.

I was doing the same thing. Although part of me knew the truth, the other part didn’t want to admit it. So I continued to voice what I wanted to be my truth. “I don’t know why I’m not losing weight. I barely eat a thing …”

I should have added “at meal times.”  It was the junk food and snacks I was eating in between meals that packed on the pounds. I didn’t count those.

I am grateful I had a weight loss group leader who patiently, diligently, consistently asked me questions when I admitted I hadn’t lost weight that week.

“What did you eat? When did you eat? What did you eat for snacks? Did you eat dessert? What kind?”

I’d answer and he’d move on to someone else and then come back and ask the questions again. Do you know how exhausting it is to keep track of your version of the truth?

My foster daughter had no trouble because she believed it. I wanted to believe it, but the evidence mounted in pounds on my body.

To be real and transparent, I had to first admit, I have a problem, a real problem. It’s not one that will be fixed with a diet. It will require a total reworking of my lifestyle—how I eat, how I move, what I believe about myself, how I relate to others, how I relate to God.

In truth, I was trying to lie to God. This in and of itself is totally ludicrous. But hey, I would try anything to get to keep eating all my favorite foods.

At some point I just figured, if I really want help, I’ve got to tell it like it is. “I’m eating everything in sight. I can’t stop eating sugar. I rarely move from the couch.”

The truth will set you free.1 It will hurt like the dickens, because you have to expose yourself to those you are real with. You have to show all your warts.

As a super morbidly obese woman I tried to control everything around me. Sounds weird because I wasn’t controlling my food like one would if they were counting calories and watching what they were eating.

My version of watching what I ate was waiting for the opportunity to consume whatever I wanted and however much I wanted. It was, “I am going to eat what I want and you cannot tell me any different. I’m an adult. So there.”

Of course it was childish. So, was my addiction to sugar.

Bottom line, I felt like a victim. Yes there were things that happened in my life that could be called victimization, but the kind of victim I’m talking about is feeling like my body had turned on me and probably God because He made my body.

“Why can others eat whatever they want and not gain a pound and I just look at food and I gain weight?”

Playing the victim card with myself caused me emotional pain and anguish.

Of course, the way I dealt with that was to eat. I stuffed my feelings to keep them quiet. If they yelled too loud I wouldn’t be able to do normal everyday things.

Eating brought a semblance of relief from the pain. We feel like we are feeding the victim so she will feel stronger. However, feeding the victim only makes her weaker and the pain stronger. And when we notice that, we eat more.

It is only when we are real with others, ourselves and God that some relief comes. It is only when we lay it out for all to see that we can begin to piece together solutions with the help of others and God.

I see that clearly now that I’m doing weight loss coaching. I can’t help anyone if they aren’t transparent about their problems.

“What’s really going on with you? What are you feeling? Let’s deal with the emotion, the feelings. Let’s take those to Father God and ask Him what the truth is. Let’s replace the lies we’ve believed about ourselves with His truth.”

Weight loss is an inside job. What you eat and how you move is important, but why you eat and why you don’t move is even more important.

In Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group, we do accept everyone where they are and encourage them to dream about where they want to go.

It’s in the sharing of where we are and what’s going on that healing comes. Not having to lie to yourself or others becomes very freeing. It only comes when you feel you are loved, supported and accepted.

“’Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

“’Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

“’Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

“’Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

“’It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’”

The process of becoming real is so akin to the chrysalis the caterpillar crawls into after she has stuffed herself. Everything caterpillar melts. You feel like you are about to die.

But it doesn’t matter because you are becoming something new and beautiful. For the first time in your life you are becoming a fully integrated real person.

Can you be real with others? Can you be real with God? Can you be real with yourself?

It’s the first step on your healthy living journey. It will jump start your breakthrough.

Here’s your assignment. Write a letter to God and tell Him the truth about yourself. When you finish, say, “Father God. This is me. I hand myself to you. What do you give me exchange?”

Listen to the first thing you see, hear or feel. You just asked the God of the universe to speak to you and He will. Write down what you saw, heard or felt.

It will be a key for your journey.

1 John 8:32


sweet-change-sidebar-ad_finalCome join us at Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group. A new month is just starting and you will get in on all that we do. You are worth the investment of your time and effort. As your coach and mentor, I will help you on your journey. Others in the group will lift up your arms and encourage you as you encourage them. It is a safe place, a life-changing place. I spent thousands of dollars on diet programs and product when I was morbidly obese. Please consider what your life is worth and join us on the journey. Don’t forget to check out Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and the Sweet Grace Study Guide, both available on Amazon. Just click the Sweet Change group title or the book titles to take you to the links.

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.